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The Organic Sleeve

By Todd Maquire on March 29, 2013 in Other


Davo was an individual who forever spoke his mind. He possessed a comic demeanour and was always one to roll with the punches. He was by no means a narrow-minded fellow, but the latest culture of excessive ink tattooed on fresh young skin did not sit very comfortably with Davo.

It was during the time he was travelling through the far-flung reaches of the Indonesian archipelago that Davo really began to question the increasingly tattooed trend of the youth of Australia. He had hooked up with another travelling Aussie surfer and was making his way to a remote surf break that was reportedly ‘world class’. Davo’s travelling companion was extremely proud of the tattooed artwork he had recently acquired.

The craftsmanship was exquisite: dragons and flames intertwined with a tiger, a number or roses were highlighted by tribal patterns and a skull and cross bones eerily blended in to cap it all off. The colours of the sleeve tattoo were brilliant and had Davo bedazzled. He had never taken much interest in a tattoo before but this was some of the best artwork he had ever seen.

But Davo, being Davo, couldn’t help firing off a barrage of cheeky questions to his newly acquired friend: “What do all these tattoos mean to you? Is there deep significance with each and every one? Or was it peer pressure that possessed you to succumb your body to this lavish artwork? Will they look as good in 40 years time as they apparently do now?”

The questions fired by Davo were ruthless. He was unyielding toward his companion.

As the local transport driver managed to find every pothole in the Third World roads that unfolded before him, Davo refused to yield: “You look like you’ve been rolling around in wet Sunday comics and they’ve stuck to you.” Davo was as relentless as a bull terrier. “Are you really tough enough to have such intense ‘tough stickers’?”

“Why don’t you grow some balls and get yourself a tattoo, Davo?” the travelling companion fired back. He was also thoroughly enjoying the high-spirited heckle. “But then again, I reckon you’d pass out at the sight of a needle.” The banter between the two surfers continued for another six villages.

The transport weaved its way through yet another village when all of a sudden the two travellers’ mocking of one another stopped at an instant. As they crossed a rickety old bridge over a sprawling river the sight before them took the wind out of both their sails. Neither had laid eyes on something as bizarre as this before.

Standing on the side of the road was an old man and his herd of cows. The man looked as old as Moses and only wore a sarong around his waist. But it wasn’t his weathered appearance that had the two travellers rattled. As the transport slowly neared the rustic human there was something far more peculiar afoot.

The old man was leisurely leaning behind one cow and had his arm shoved chock-a-block up its backside. And he sure was in deep – all the way up to his shoulder, in fact. As the two lads stared in shock, their driver had a laugh at their expense. He explained how this man was the village veterinarian and was carrying out some type of examination on the poor animal. It was just a normal part of rural life, apparently.

Davo wasn’t sure who had drawn the short straw: the cow or the old man. The transport came to an abrupt halt just as the village veterinarian pulled his arm out of the rear end of the beast, fully covered in excrement. Davo was in a state of shock but still managed to kick his travel companion while he was down.

“Well my good buddy, I may not be too sure about some things, but there’s one thing I do know: that old man’s organic brown sleeve looks far better than that ridiculous tattooed sleeve that you’re sporting!” Davo laughed.