Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls

Westphal, Robert. Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls (Hand Jobs, Blow Jobs, and Cigarettes). 48HrBooks, 2012.

DISCLAIMER: This book review is not for the Book Lust Challenge nor is it an Early Review for LibraryThing. I picked up Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls by Robert Westphal from a tattoo shop on Maui. Even though Kisa did get a tattoo from Westphal himself I did not receive compensation or a discount on my ink as a result of this review. A DVD comes with the book so I will include that in the review. Example of Westphal’s talent:
RobTreephoto 3_3

Second disclaimer: I should have titled this blog “Shame on Me.” Shame on me for still not knowing you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. You just can’t. Here’s the deal: I am always leery of self indulgent crap and to look at the cover of Tattoo Adventures you would think that’s what we’re dealing with. The outside of the book yields no proper publisher information whatsoever. Westphal’s name is nowhere to be found. It looks sort of snarky. More often than not all-about-me crap leads to larger piles of shit because the self professed writer/author thinks he’s gotten somewhere literary because the first dump he took was successful. In reality said crapper is an intelligent fuck who can articulate his thoughts on paper and group words together to form coherent sentences. I’ll be honest. My disdain for such excrement exists because I read such a waste of brain space last January and I haven’t recovered. Obviously. I fully expected Westphal’s book to be nothing more than a series of exaggerated sexual conquests only made possible by the sheer luck he is a tattoo artist. I predicted one completely unbelievable fuck story after another without an intelligent sentence in between. I was wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. Never, ever judge a book by its cover and shame on me for trying.

Now that I have that out of my system. I liked, no, loved Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls. It was the break from boring I was looking for. Westphal begins Tattoo Adventures by describing the five different types of customers he potentially could see while tattooing. If you are a customer of Maui Atomic Tattooing and if you are anything like me you will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide which type of customer Westphal has you pegged for. The rest of Tattoo Adventures is a series of seriously funny short stories delivering exactly what Westphal promised on his cover – his adventures in the world of tattooing and beyond. Think of Robert Westphal as that bartender-ish, incredibly patient therapist doling out life philosophies while dispensing pain punctuated with doses of hilarity. For example, the chapter called “The Tattoo and Its Meaning.” What would you do if you thought your new tattoo meant something completely different than the reality? Or, “Fucking Cops and Donuts.” If you were arrested for child molestation who would believe you if you professed your innocence? Trust me. It’s funny.
My advice? Forgive the quirky margins, ignore the less than professional cover, and disregard the lack on continuity. Take a huge bite of Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls and swallow it down. Gorge on Westphal’s stories with a strong appetite, a sense of humor, and an appetite for all things crazy. Life is too short not to. Chew with your mouth wide open and don’t be offended by the cohesiveness that isn’t there or the small typos that are. Have a bellyache laugh at the outrageous situations he has gotten himself into without even trying. It’s all in the interest of having a good time. As he says (p 7), “Let the weight of expectation go and enjoying the time you’re given.” So, the wording is a little clumsy but don’t tell me you don’t know what he means.

Author Fact: When I asked Westphal for an author fact he said, “I believe this life is all about having fun. Nothing in life is more important. Happy heart happy life.” Case in point, meet the author:
The author

Book Trivia: With the purchase of Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls comes a DVD, a companion to the book, if you will.

DVD review: I can only describe this DVD as schizophrenic and fucked up funny. Most of the time you will be laughing your ass off at the seriously silly shit people do (off roading in a golf cart was my favorite. As someone who grew up with more golf carts than not for transportation I can relate!), but other times you will cringe with fascination (I never knew you could tattoo that part of the body – ouch!), or be awestruck by the displays of beautiful tattoo artwork (Yvette’s was my favorite). There are some seriously talented mofos in this video. The music is all over the place but it matches the style of the visuals. Warning: adult…very adult. Not for the sissy prissy tightwads of the world.


4 Comments on “Tattoo Adventures of Robbie Big Balls”

  1. […] Kisa was getting his pain from someone named Robbie Big Balls. You may recognize the name from a book blog on the other side. Since my tat took Leilani all of 45 minutes from start to finish (she probably could have done it […]

  2. Donald Huey says:

    Your comments are right on. I had the pleasure of meeting RBB a couple weeks ago in Maui as my friend was having his arm tattooed. Aside from being a terrific tattoo artist, he can talk the side off a barn. And frankly, you could listen all day. I just finished his book (have not had the time to watch his DVD), and was thoroughly entertained. I’m convinced that with a professional editing and an open mind, he could be published by a reputable publishing house. A book that focuses just on his clientele would be a best seller, especially if told with his raw style. If I had any advice for RBB it would be to reduce the I’m and Me’s in his writing and spend more time telling us more of those hilarious heart-warming, shocking stories of the people who come through his doors.

    • gr4c5 says:

      I’d love to hear what you think about the DVD. It’s hilarious & it’s right up there with the book in terms of laugh out loud craziness. I agree with you about the I’m and Me’s. I’d love to see him write a book about being a dad, too.

      • Donald Huey says:

        His 3 yr old son sounds like a trip. RBB shared with us a story about his son that still makes me smile. Im paraphrasing here. One afternoon he asked his son what he wanted for dinner. The boy responded after some thought, ” I want steak and dicks!” When told that it was a tall order for a 3 yr old, he replied, “if I have to pick, I choose dicks!” RBB told us that if his request meant he was gay, it would be perfectly fine with him. He only wants a son who feels free to be happy, which is, of course, the RBB philosophy of life.


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