As I mentioned in my 2015 wrap-up post, one of the very last things I did last year was to get tattooed with my best friend Fox. This is the story of what we did and why.
I recently posted a collection of links about, and pictures of, German university duelling societies — and specifically the Renommierschmiss, or bragging scar, that was the frequent result of their duels. It was a conversation with Lucian last autumn that brought them back to my mind (my blogging practice has a wide turning circle). He and I got quite excited about the Schmiss; his boyfriend N was sympathetic but had to insist, to Lucian's disappointment, that N could not get one. There are certain things you should avoid when you are a historian of fascism.
I got my first tattoo eighteen months ago. Since then, I've got used to people leaning in around my shoulder, with their heads tilted to one side, their lips quite possibly moving silently until they break the ice.
"It's about quantum physics, right?"
"I'm sorry, I did take Latin at school but it's been a long time."
"What does your arm say?"