There are rules we all must follow in a polite, orderly society. Rules my mother taught me. Rules I
try to teach my son. We are told to say "please" and thank-you", to not speak with our mouths full and that it's rude to stare. Mothers are, of course, always right but there are exceptions to every rule and thus I today declared that the don't stare rule needs qualification. Some people are just do striking that I actually believe it is rude to not admire and not just in a fleeting, furtive way. On occasions, you do need to take a good hard look. So it was today when I met Jesse. It was Jesse's job to apply the colour to my regrowth, a polite word we all know means grey hair. Immediately I was transported back to the Underground Nightclub in Brisbane in the early '80s, a somewhat strange reaction given that young Jesse would not even have been born then. But that was the era of Boy George and Marilyn where the men wore as much make-up as the women and were often better at applying it. That was the era Guy Liner first came to my attention although I don't remember it being called that at the time. Funnily enough, that was also the era of UB40 a band which Jesse told me was one of his musical inspirations. Modern music, he said, was noise and the saxophone player added most of the music he chose to listen to was by people now dead. Behind an ear was the tattoo of a treble clef which he said represented his love of music and at $30 cost more than any of the other tattoos on his body. All of his family are musical and inspired by that tattoo most now have a musical note behind an ear. The other tattoos were were all done by tattoo artists who are family and friends - the first for his 14th birthday. In New Zealand, where he is from, he explained no-one seems to have the same "problem" with tattoos. He only realised it was an issue when he briefly went to school in Australia. He recalls sitting in a school office with his mum and the principal - a man with little style and a bad comb-over job. The family was told they would need to do something to cover up the tattoo on Jesse's calf because appropriate standards needed to apply when you entered the school gate. The enraged mother replied "and how, exactly, is that haircut appropriate. Mum said she would "do" something about the tattoo - get another one. And so she did, because as I said mothers are always right, just not about the staring thing.