The Bet

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1. A Decisive Handball Match

My name is Dina Aydoğan, and I’m not the kind of person who makes bets. Usually. I’m more sort of the rational, calculating law student. The kind of person who wants to keep control of her chances. Which is often hard when you bet.

I’m a German of Turkish descent, studying law at the university of Kiel in Northern Germany. Right now, though, I’m taking a break in my studies, pursuing other possibilities after five demanding and intense semesters. But I’m determined to return to the Faculty of Law at some point and get my degree.

People have often referred to me as “pretty”. In all modesty, I have to agree. I’m 24 years old, 176 centimetres standing on my bare feet, have a athletic body, big brown eyes with long lashes, and an appealing smile. I used to have waist-long, black hair with natural curls and complain about the size of my too small A cup boobs. But not anymore.

So why did I make that bet if I’m really so rational?

One: I was drunk. Two: Misunderstood loyalty towards the SG Flensburg-Handewitt’s men’s handball team.

You have to understand that handball is really big in these parts. In case you’re not familiar with the sport: It’s a game with seven players on each side who try to throw a ball with a diameter of 15-20 centimetres into the other team’s goal of two times three meters. It’s played on a pitch of 20 times 40 meters, and here in Kiel it is watched by thousands of excited spectators in a large indoor arena, the Ostseehalle. The same is the case in Flensburg, my hometown, where I used to be an elite player myself as a teenager.

As it happens, Germany’s two leading handball teams are both at home in our small, northern region of Schleswig-Holstein, the SG Flensburg-Handewitt and the THW Kiel. Each year the two clubs, from towns only 90 kilometres apart, compete about the German handball championship without giving competitors from other parts of our federal republic much of a chance.

To study law, I moved from Flensburg to the state capital Kiel where I am now surrounded and sadly outnumbered by fanatic fans of Germany’s second-best men’s handball team. And they strangely suffer from the delusion that their pathetic idols are not the second-best but the best.

Anyway, I was at this bar, dressed in T-shirt, jeans, and my Handball Spezial sneakers that I wore constantly at the time. And as usual I wore no make-up. I was together with my fellow law student Tobias, who is an ardent supporter of THW Kiel, and some others. It was the night before the match between Flensburg and Kiel in the Ostseehalle that would decide the championship.

Tobias is a rich kid. He grew up in a villa in Düsternbrook with a nice view of the fjord and a private swimming pool. So he promised me that he would take me to New York for at one-week, all-inclusive holiday if Flensburg were to win against Kiel.

I, the daughter of poor, hard-working immigrants, had never been to America and had no chance of putting anything similar at stake in the bet.

“What will you pay me when the Zebras win tomorrow?” he asked, referring to the Kiel players by their nickname.

“That’s so hypothetical,” I insisted, gulping down another mouthful of Pilsener from the brewery of my hometown.

“Well, Dina, you have nothing to lose then.”

“I know, Tobi.”

“So what is your part of the bet?”

I contemplated the situation for a moment. Then it came to me:

“If Flensburg loses, which they don’t, I will have the logo of THW Kiel tattooed on my back.”

I believe Tobias would understand that this, in the inconceivable event of a Kiel victory, would be a huge sacrifice. Earlier that night, I had entertained him about my disdain for tattoos as a sign of very bad taste.

“What size?” Tobias asked with a smile.

“I don’t know. Any size you want.”


Tobias got up and walked around me. He spread his fingers and placed his large hand on the upper right part of my T-shirt.

“I want it to be the size of a handball. And I want you to keep it visible all summer,” he specified.

I agreed to wearing a bikini, a very low neckline shirt, or a backless dress whenever weather permitted it. The ugly zebra logo would have to remain in place and not be covered by other tattoos for at least a year and be surrounded by the words DEUTSCHER MEISTER (“German Champion”).

“But I can cover it with another tattoo after a year?” I asked.

“Sure. But there’s a lot of black ink in the Zebra logo, so it will be really hard to cover,” Tobias explained with a wicked grin and agreed to pay for the tattoo he was clearly looking forward to getting me.

Then we shot a short video in which we explained what we each would do if we lost the bet and, stupidly, put it on Facebook and Instagram for the world to see.

The next morning, I woke up, badly hung-over.

I remembered the bet and texted Tobias:

“Let’s forget about last night.”

He answered immediately:

“Did we have sex?”

Then, after 10 seconds of silence, he wrote:

“Just joking.”

“Let’s kırıkkale escort forget the bet!” I texted.

“No way. You’re on, babe!”

“But it’s so unfair. You got all that money and I get to wear an ugly tattoo with that ridiculous zebra.”

“Right! Cause we’re gonna win today.”

“Can we meet?”

“Sure. See you at the Ostseehalle this afternoon.”

“No. Before!”

Tobias stopped answering my texts. I opened Instagram and Facebook. Our video had hundreds of likes and smiley faces from Kiel supporters. And lots of puke faces from Flensburg fans. And comments like: “Traitor!” and “I can’t believe you did that!”

The arena that afternoon was filled with over 10.000 screaming and singing fans, most of them dressed up in black and white as fucking zebras.

The Flensburg team had a bad day. We lost 32-27. Afterwards, Tobias had a few beers with me to celebrate while I drank to brace myself for what was ahead. After an hour at a bar, he dragged me to a place next to the harbour and the main railway station called Förde Tattoo.

2. The Zebra Tattoo

The tattoo artist was a muscular, Viking-type guy named Günther with blond, curly hair. He must be heavier than 120 kilos and more than two meters tall. Apart from his face and palms, all visible skin was covered with tattoos. And I mean covered. Judging from the photos on the walls, the THW Kiel zebra logo seemed to be one of his specialities. As it happened, he was a fanatic supporter himself and Tobias and he gloated and joked as he tortured me with his machine.

I got goosebumps all over while he went to work on me. At first, I just sensed the pain. Then I caught myself moaning without being able to determine whether it was out of pain or pleasure. At one point I fantasised about being thoroughly fucked by this tattooed giant who smelled of cigarettes and sweat and was able to work so meticulously and precisely using his huge hands to force the disgusting zebra logo into a large area of my skin.

“You like it?” Tobias asked as I looked at my ugly tattoo in the mirror before Günther carefully wrapped it in transparent plastic for protection.

“What do you think?”

“Too bad your team is only second best, Dina.”

I was silent as I didn’t want to dignify his insult with an answer.

Tobias paid and shook hands with Günther.

I felt this nearness to Günther and threw myself into his bear hug.

“I don’t like the tattoo. But I like being tattooed by you,” I said.

“You do?” he said, surprised, as he found a Marlboro in his pack and opened the door for us.

Günther lit his cigarette outside the shop, and we stood for some seconds in a silent triangle.

“You can come back for a tattoo that you like. I’ll give you a good price,” he said.

“Thank you. I’ll think about it.”

I gave Günther a peck on the cheek before I walked away with Tobias.

“What was that?” Tobias asked as we were out of Günther’s earshot.

“What was what?” I asked, knowing only too well what he asked about.

“You seem to have pretty good chemistry with the tattoo artist who just gave you a tattoo that you hate.”

“He’s nice.”

“Nice? I’m nice. And well, we’ve hugged… But you never kissed me.”

“And I’m not going to, asshole,” I laughed at Tobias.

The victory celebration continued in the streets of Kiel and at the bar where we went afterwards to wash down the experience with more beers and ease the pain from my sore back. The other bar guests applauded my tattoo and laughed when they heard the story behind it. At the end of the evening, after a large quantity of Pilsener, even I was laughing along. However, with a queasy feeling.

The next morning, I woke up at the sound of my phone. It was Jonas, the chairman of the SG Flensburg-Handewitt fan club for which I managed the video blog on Instagram and YouTube.

“You’re not going to get that tattoo, are you, Dina?”

For a moment I felt the soreness of my shoulder even more clearly than the hangover.

“I already got it,” I admitted.

“You got a fucking zebra on your shoulder the size of a handball?”

“Tobi insisted. We went directly from the Ostseehalle to this tattoo artist to get it done. There was no way around it.”

“You know what, Dina? You’re fired! Have fun with your new handball heroes. I’d stay out of Flensburg if I were you. Have a good life in Kiel!”

He hung up.

3. Distraction

Later, over breakfast, my roommate Klara asked me how I felt about my new tattoo.

“I feel rotten. Like a traitor.”

“Don’t. You defended our club by going into that bet. Because you really believed that we were the best, right?” Klara asked. She’s another handball fanatic and a member of the Flensburg student team with whom I used to play against a Kiel team every Saturday afternoon in a local sports centre.

“That’s sweet of you. I guess I just bet on the wrong terms.”

“Definitely. But tattoos are cool, don’t you think?” Klara already had several kırıkkale escort bayan and kept getting new ones as she could afford it.

“Actually, I was never fond of tattoos. I mean… I do like yours. But I never thought of myself as a tattoo person.”

The truth was that I considered tattoos extremely poor taste. And beyond that, it was not suitable for the daughter of two Turkish peasants, who had struggled all their adult lives for their daughter to have a prestigious education and career in Germany, to get tattoos that were, in their minds, associated with prostitutes and drunken sailors. But I guess the lid was off now that I had the zebra.

“I agree that this zebra is ugly,” Clara went on. “And it’s too bad that you have to wear it for a whole year. But why don’t you get another tattoo to divert attention from the zebra?”

“Another tattoo?”

“Yeah! You could get a big, colourful tattoo on the left side of your back. And people would look at that and not at the boring zebra. If you got a big and eye-catching tattoo next to that stupid zebra, it wouldn’t stand out as much. It would be a distraction from the humiliation of having to walk around with the logo of THW Kiel tattooed on your back.”

“A big tattoo. Do you realise how expensive big tattoos are? Tobi paid 300 € for this. And it’s black and white.”

“I’m painfully aware. But maybe you could get it for free.”


“You’re a really pretty girl. Your skin is a perfect showcase for an ambitious tattoo artist. I’m sure that some skilful artwork on your back with the name and contact info of the tattoo studio would attract new customers.”

Next thing I knew, I was on the phone with Günther, the Viking from Förde Tattoo.

“Remember me? You tattooed the THW Kiel logo on my shoulder yesterday?”

“Oh yeah. The Flensburg girl. How’s it going? Did you get used to it?”

“Well, how shall I put it… I feel a little asymmetrical…”


“I mean… being just tattooed on the one side of my back. And I really felt comfortable while you did this to me.”

“You did? I’m glad. Most people say it hurts like hell.”

“It did. Don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, it was… thrilling and… stimulating. So I was thinking of getting something on the other shoulder.”

“I don’t do SG Flensburg-Handewitt logos, if that’s what you had in mind.”

“It wasn’t. And I can’t have that according to my contract with Tobias. I was more thinking along the lines of using my back as advertising space.”

“Advertising space? What kind of advertising?”

“Well… Please tell me if this sounds silly… But I was going to offer the left side of my upper back to you. You could, you know, draw some of your fine artwork and then Förde Tattoo and your phone number and email address. And I’m bound by my contract with Tobias to wear backless dresses all summer so it will be very visible. I also plan to highlight it on my Instagram where I have 800 followers and hope to get more soon.”

“And how much would I have to pay for that?”


Günther was silent for some seconds.

“You’re not joking, are you?”

“Not at all.”

“And you have thought this through?”


“I’d say, it’s a deal. Can you come by this afternoon, Dina. Your name’s Dina, right?”


The second time around, my experience with getting tattooed by Günther was even more intense. I got goosebumps and sensed a deep pleasure while he tortured me with his machine. It took more than three times as long as he was using a lot of colours for his very detailed floral painting with Förde Tattoo featured in large cursive handwriting with the phone number and email address below.

I was very satisfied with the result. It made the black-only tattoo on the right side look inconspicuous and pale in comparison. Exactly what I wanted.

We went outside the shop so Günther could have a cigarette.

“Want one?”

He offered me his Marlboro pack.

“No thanks. I don’t smoke. I’m this healthy, sporty girl. I play handball, you know.”

“I see. Probably smart of you.”

Günther lit his cigarette. I sensed a strong urge to have sex with him but didn’t really know how it would sound if I suggested it here and now. And I needed to hurry home.

Klara and I had made the plan that I should address the followers of the video blog before Jonas changed the password. I would explain how I had lost a bet defending the club’s honour, show off my second tattoo, and invite the followers to my personal Instagram.

I kissed Günther on the cheek and soon managed to broadcast a video on the fan club Instagram and YouTube accounts. Two hours later the password had been changed. But I had 300 new followers on my own Instagram. And the number grew the following days.

4. My Business Model

Three days later Klara and I were having dinner in our kitchen.

“I’d really like Günther to do some work on me,” I said.

“You mean tattoo you? Or fuck you?”

“Both. I dream of escort kırıkkale him at night. I wake up with this soaking wet pussy. He’s all I can think of.”

“So if you want to spend time with him, you should get more tattoos.”

“I know. Should I go back and ask him to put more ads for his tattoo studio on me.”

“Maybe not for his studio. Maybe you could make some money in the process.”


“Look at the jerseys and shorts of the handball players. They have logos of five or six sponsors.”


“Why do you think that is?”

“Well… to get money from the sponsors I guess.”


“Why don’t you do the same?”

“You mean… with tattoos?”


“But the players are on tv and play in front of thousands every weekend. Why would sponsors like to have their logos tattooed on me?”

“Social media, girl. You have a strong Instagram presence. And it’s growing. Why don’t you announce that you have more commercial space available on your back.”

“My back isn’t that big.”

“I know. But you have legs and arms. There’s plenty of space. Not that you’re fat, though.”

“So you want me to get all covered in commercials.”

“Why not? It’s an easy way to make money. I guess it beats working at that law firm.”

The next day I made sure to casually walk by Günther’ studio. He stood outside, smoking.

“Hi. What’s up? Slow day for your business?” I asked, trying to remember the lines I had rehearsed. I was nervous and horny at the same time.

“You could say that,” he agreed and inhaled from his Marlboro.

Then I made him this business proposition: I would sell commercial space on my skin to customers. They would pay me for the space and Günther for the tattoo work.

“I’d make an exclusivity agreement with you and we’d be in this together,” I suggested.

“You may get a lot of tattoos you don’t like, Dina.”

“I don’t care. They can’t possibly be worse than the zebra.”

Günther chuckled while I continued.

“And of course, I’ll have the right to veto tattoos that advertisers want to put on me. I’m not going to let some neo-Nazis tattoo swastikas all over me or something like that.

“And I wouldn’t do that kind of work.”

“Exactly. So what do you say?”

“I say yes,” Günther concluded and tossed his cigarette on the pavement. We went inside the shop and shot a video for my Instagram to present our new business model to the public.

Trendy bars and fancy clothing in Kiel stores started buying advertising space on me. Within a week I had tattoos on both arms and both legs. Günther was happy with the extra income but struggled to find time to do the work. We had to put in a night shift now and then to meet the demand.

5. My Bald Head as a Campaign Ad

One afternoon while Günther was working on my left calf, his phone rang.

“It’s for you, Dina,” he said and handed it to me.

“Yes?” I said, moaning in pain and sexual arousal as Günther went back to work.

“Excuse me?” a man’s voice said.

“Sorry. I’m being tattooed. Who is this?”

“This is Phillipp Graf Lambsdorff. I believe you know who I am?”

“Oh, yes. We’ve had together seminars at uni.”

I immediately knew who this guy was. An irritating fifth-generation law student with political ambitions.

“Yes. And I am your candidate for parliament here in the Kiel constituency for the Free Democrats.”


I knew I wasn’t going to vote for this neo-liberal asshole under any circumstances.

“What can I do for you, Phillipp?” I asked in a friendly voice.

“Well, I’m one of your keen followers on Instagram and I’m following the sale of your… advertising space with great interest.”

“You are?”

“Yes. And I thought I’d better get in touch before it’s too late. I’d like to place a big ad on a very visible part of your body and what I had…”

I interrupted him.

“Before you go on, Phillipp, I have to tell you that most of the attractive spots may be taken. At least, they are if you’re talking big ads.”

“I don’t think so.”

“You don’t? Well, you’ve seen on my video blog how quickly the available space is sold, haven’t you?”

“Not the space I have in mind. Please hear me out, Dina, okay?”


“I want you to shave off all your hair and let me use your bald scalp as an advertising space. I’m…”

“No way, Phillipp!” I laughed him off.

“I said, hear me out, please. I’m going to pay you 50.000 € for this. 25.000 when you get the tattoo and another 25.000 on the day after the election if you have lived up to the contract. And as a bonus, I’ll pay a third instalment of another 25.000 if I become a member of the next Bundestag.”


“Yes. 75.000 € is a lot of money, isn’t it?”

“It is. But I’m not going to vote for you.”

“Who cares? Vote for anyone you like. Just keep it secret to the public. You’re a major influencer now, so I need you to sign a non-disclosure agreement about our financial arrangement and about your personal political sympathies. You have to agree to not cover your head at any time until election day in September and you must shave it carefully every day, of course. But on the day after the election, you can start growing your hair. And after some weeks the whole thing will he invisible and forgotten.”

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