I can't believe this. The exact same thing happened to me not more than a month ago. Only in this case it was parrots. I was tatooing parrots for the central registry here. You'd be surprised how few parrots are properly tatooed. In Canada that's a government responsibility and, after years of whining, lobbying and petitioning like crazy, we've finally got the proper funding to do the job right.
Anyway, when the weather warmed up in March (Victoria -- balmiest part of Canada!)we took our operation outside on one particularly warm Sunday afternoon. Parrots bleed more than most people'd ever expect and when they're not bleeding they're making parrot poo poo's all over the place, especially when they're nervous and tired which is exactly how they get when you've been chasing them around for an hour or so with a burning tatoo needle. You have to wait for them to get really tired and then snag them with a parrot cord. By that time, though, they've usually bled and poohed all over and we're not given all that much money for clean-up. Best to take it outside.
So that's what we did. We're outside doing the parrots when my supervisor points out that the one he's just wrestled off its perch is already marked. I go over and sure enough, there it is, the mark of the beast, 860000545 (we exhausted the 666 series back in the seventies).
'But that's impossible,' I said. 'We've never seen this parrot before. Someone else must have done this one but that doesn't work because we're the only one with the contract and, besides, who else would know what numbers we were into at that time.'
'Look, Jim' said my supervisor 'maybe you did indeed do this one last week and just don't remember.'
I hit him in the mouth. First time I've done anything like that in such a long time but, well, I didn't know what else to say. Plus, I was starting to get nervous and tired myself, never mind the fucking parrots. Besides they wouldn't shut up -- the parrots -- and that was bugging me too. Anyway, I hit him.
Just then my mother showed up.
'Jim, honey, why are you doing that parrot again, dear?'
'What?' I asked, already feeling that sick feeling one gets when one's in one's mind and it isn't good. 'What do you mean? I've never seen this bird.' For some reason I was getting so angry I almost hit her too. But I didn't; I just shoved her back a bit. Not hard, this is my mother I'm talking about.
'No, silly, you did! This morning. Don't you remember?'
I stopped my advance and gave myself a good think. Yes, I realized, I had done this parrot! I did him just before we broke for lunch (but after we'd started our second bottle.) So, I had done him, the tattoo was mine. If anyone needs any further proof that this Knowledge isn't all it's cracked up to be, there it is.