Tattoos are Gay!


A signboard in Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, indicating the workplace of famous tattooist Ricky Lo Yuk-kan.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that neck and hand tattoos would be synonymous with hipster wimps. These moustachioed parasites co-opt all the sub-culture signifiers of past generations without any of the passion or energy that spawned them.

Unlike previous generations who were propelled by feelings of outrage and rebellion, the hipster is the final vapid chapter in youth counter-culture and a sign that Western civilization has stuffed its head up its asshole.

Over the decades I have been pissed off when the mainstream spewed out their interpretations of punk etc, but that was nothing compared to seeing a fuckwit who looked like the scarlet pimpernel prancing down King Street the other day.

He was shirtless, moustachioed, wearing non-prescription glasses and wheeling his fixie bike. The only tattoos he had were on his hands and neck. One of the good things about getting older is that I have a very long fuse now, still, when I saw this cunt I was tempted to jump off the bus and leave him in a pool of blood burping up his smashed internal organs.

Maybe it was the OMG/like WTF? expression he had on his face? Or perhaps the soy-mocha-latte that he held in his spare hand? Or maybe it was the fact that the prick was in a suburb that used to be the epicentre of punk rock in Sydney and now is a gentrified shopping mall – and he fit right in.

Just imagine if you did a Brando on him and asked, “What are you rebelling against?” He would probably complain about Facebook’s latest policy which is just, like sooooo whatevs, before pulling out his iphone to retweet a sext of his foppish prick.


underneath the stairwell ricky and pinkys hong kong

It hasn’t changed since the 80s

Anyway, fuck him! Let me take you back to the olden days of 1985 in a land far, far, away. Ricky and Pinky’s in Wanchai, Hong Kong was where I got my first tattoo. R&P started their career in Shanghai, tattooing merchant marine in the 1950s. They moved to Hong Kong after the commies took over China.

They had a few shops around Kowloon before setting up Ricky and Pinky’s in the 70s. Business boomed with American soldiers on R&R from Vietnam.

In the 80s when I was in high-school, me and my mates used to skive off and head down to the Wanch to score for H.

Then we would smear on up to R&Ps to watch them tattoo. In the daytime it was usually triads getting work done. These blokes usually only ever got out-lines of tattoos – so that they could not be ID’d.

We would sit around drinking long-necks of San-Miguel (that they sold from a small fridge) and watch as they did a whole back piece (i.e. outline) in one sitting. They had large albums of flash which included all the Vietnam era stuff. We spent hours looking through these – every different division had an entire book of flash devoted to it.

On the weekends, if there was an American ship in harbour, the place was a mad-house. The main clientele at Ricky and Pinky’s in those days was sailors, British soldiers (Coldstream Guard, AKA ‘Squaddies’), whores and Triads.

underneath the stairwell hong kong

That says 1987 not 1887 – I’m not that old.

The squaddies and sailors didn’t get on and there were regular brawls in the place that would be broken up by the military police. Once, when I was getting tattooed the whole place erupted in a fight and the tattooist didn’t stop what he was doing, just yelled at the fighters to ‘diu-lay-lo-mo’ – fuck your mother.

Another time, my 15 year old mate passed out from smack whilst getting tattooed and the tattooist kept spraying him in the face with an alcohol bottle and called him ‘buck gweilo!’ (Basically, ‘white cunt’)

underneath the stairwell hong kong boot boys

Me and my mates thought we were well ‘ard when we all got this one

As far as sterilisation was concerned, in between tattoos they would hold the needle over the flame of a lighter for 10 seconds. At the time we thought this was incredibly conscientious of them and would re-assure friends that there was no-way you would get an AIDS there because they flamed the needle!

Over the years I have met many people who were tattooed there and all of them claim to have been tattooed by either Ricky or Pinky. The thing is, every time I went there a different guy would say, “Me, Ricky!” or, “Me Pinky!” Still to this day I don’t know if I was actually tattooed by either of them.

They had this awesome business card too. When it was full size, it was a Chinese dragon – but when you folded it, it was a cock going into a cunt. Ricky is still in Hong Kong, doing what he has done for decades – waiting for the American ships to dock.

Anyways, I think it would be a good thing if tattoo ‘studios’ started using the lighter-sterilisation technique again. Give the hipster cunts a whack of Hep C, and then they can get all ironic about interferon.