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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Stamp out the stampers

"Excuse me, have you been stamped yet?" Dumpf.

The inky stamp on the hand ritual as you go into gigs is one of those below-the-radar annoyances that's been slowly eating away at me. (Yes, so much to be aggravated by, so little time).

But why the insistence? "It's OK, I'm not going out again", I say, imploringly, as they grab for my wrist. No escape. "No, you've got to have one". Why? No reason given, or "You might want to go out later anyway". Well, I like to think as a I slither into my middle age that I'm grown up enough to make my own decisions about these things. Rubbish! They're at the door, they know best.

Scrubbing away these cancerous blotches of ink the next morning in the shower is the price you have to pay. You've been tagged like the gig sheep they expect you to be. A few years ago I went through a phase where I tried to get them to at least stamp my forearm so that I could cover it up with my sleeve (not relishing the sight of a black blob on my hand all night). Bad move. The stamper just clumsily tattooed my shirt sleeve instead (great aim!) with some black ink that never came off. Yes, thanks for that.

The pettifogging attitude grates. Bureaucrats on a bar stool. Hey, lighten up, it's a gig not a housing benefit office. Every time they force me to submit to the dreaded stamp, it's like a little death. As Patrik Fitzgerald might have said, it's a rubber stamp on my heart.

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