Ah, the annual Brighton Tattoo Convention. I haven't missed one yet. Mainly because this is the first one they've held. Ask me again in a couple of days time.
Anyhoo, tattoos aren't really my thing (although I can see the advantage of a tattooed engagement ring), but fortunately I know a couple of people for whom the idea of an angry carrot on the forearm next to an irate brussels sprout with a knife, is actually quite appealing. No, really. Apparently the runner beans dressed as the 118-118 guys are still in the developmental stage.
Lisa and I haven't seen Crash & Donna since April 2006, after which I moved house to avoid them. It was only a matter of time before they tracked me down though, and with the lure of a Tattoo Convention to get them down to Brighton for the weekend, yesterday was the day.
We met at Bella Italia, an Italian restaurant named after a women's magazine. To be honest I'd never heard of the place (I have no interest in food), but they accept Tesco Clubcard vouchers instead of cash, and Donna's the last of the Clubcard millionaires, so they suggested it, we heard the word 'pizza', and a deal was struck.
Donna's lost a lot of weight since we last saw her, although that includes the tooth she had removed on Tuesday, which must have weighed a good couple of pounds. She was reduced to sucking the cheese off her pizza and numbing the pain with beer. I'd like to say we struggled to recognise her, but with the bright pink hair, tattoos, and the man standing next to her in the Mr Sh*thead t-shirt and the shoes of a pimp, I don't think there was ever any chance of us missing them.
I have to say, the food at Bella Italia turned out to be very nice. And I'm not just saying that because Lisa paid for mine as a congratulations-on-the-job gift. It made me feel like shopping at Tescos just so we can afford to go back there.
So amidst the pizza, pasta and oddly-flavoured ice cream, we spent an enjoyable couple of hours shooting the breeze, discussing mental illness, suicide, alcoholism, egg-poisoning, car crashes and dentists. It was a lot more fun than it sounds. Especially when we got to examine Crash's shaven chest, which is being entered into a competition this morning to win a toilet seat. I can only wish him luck.