Al Pacino, women’s names and other things tattoo fans regret getting inked on themselves

Al Pacino, women’s names and other things tattoo fans regret getting inked on themselves

Last weekend, hundreds of ink enthusiasts flocked to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the 18th edition of Northern Ink Xposure, the annual tattoo show. We asked some well-inked attendees to show us (or, in one case, flash us) the tattoos they now regret getting, or have mixed feelings about. Oh, to be in love at 18.


Justin Gandoza

23, boxer from Scarborough

“I was in Cuba and I wanted to get a tattoo of Al Pacino. Scarface is my favourite movie. I’m going to get it removed. It looks like I have a zombie on my forearm.”


Mike Fernandez

28, electrician from Colorado

“This was my first tattoo. It represents my bad side. It was supposed to be more realistic, like actual skin ripping into skulls. At the time, I was 16 or 17 and going through some stuff. I have a temper, but I’m better at keeping it in check now.”


Imogen Wilson

24, fine arts student from North Bay

“I can’t get a sleeve because of this tattoo—the opening line of The Twilight Zone’s intro monologue–down both my arms. It represents everything I was into when I was 19 and had time to watch a black-and-white sci-fi TV show for seven hours at a stretch.”


Bikki Hundal

29, security manager from Mississauga

“I got a tattoo of my ex-girlfriend’s face, because I was in love with her, obviously. I wanted to marry her. That plan failed. But I learned a lot about myself from the breakup. The tattoo is a life lesson, basically, and that’s why I haven’t removed it. I still love her to death, but we met at the wrong time in life.”


Bruce Pollock

52, truck driver from North York

“I gave a kidney to a friend the day after the blackout in 2003. I expected a great scar, but I got a small one. Even so, I covered it up with this tattoo the next year. It’s comedic.”


Shelby Huntley

22, “budtender” from Toronto

“I was stupid at 13 and I just wanted to get a tattoo. I’m not a super-religious person, but I believe there’s some kind of judgment at the end of life. The people who do good things go to one place and the people who do bad things go to another.”


Dean Cutler

50, junk removal business owner from Pickering

“It was 2:30 a.m. in Nova Scotia and I was 18. My girlfriend got a rose and I got a rose. She has a special place in my heart.”


Parnell Fisher

25, pro boxer from Las Vegas

“I got this tattoo of a pentagram because I was living a negative life, selling drugs. I felt like a devil. I don’t feel that way about myself anymore.”


Nickola Pandelides

26, tattoo artist from Cobourg

“I regret this paper airplane—the first tattoo I ever got—but only in terms of placement. Tattoos are a memento. I don’t identify with the person I was two years ago, but that doesn’t mean I reject her. My dad, a Greek architect, used to say: ‘If you ever get a tattoo, I’ll cheese grate it off your skin!’ He was very serious. Now he’s quietly accepting of my tattoos and my art.”


Bradley Clement

21, salesman from Hamilton

“I was traveling in Vietnam, and I met a girl. I got her name, Olivia, tattooed on my right butt cheek in some dude’s basement—because it’s funny. I get a kick out of it. She was a nice broad, but I didn’t even sleep with her. I’ll put a ‘b’ in front of the word when I go to Bolivia.”

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