Monthly Archives: December 2016


Improvements are all to the good, may we have more of those, touch wood.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, for goodness sake, leave alone the wedding cake.

Speak to a child an improving word, it could be the best he heard.

Say what you mean, mean what you say, that sort of thing doesn’t go away.

Simplicity is the best way, see what Occam had to say.

You live, you learn, you work, you earn.

I’ve had my say, now its your turn.

Tich Ennis

29th December, 2016


Me: Do you want some sweets?

He: No.

Me: Someone gave them to me and I don’t want them. Do you know anyone who would like them?

He: (Takes sweets).

Me: Are you five? I’m a paedophile. Never take sweets from a stranger. I like five-year-olds. I don’t like six-year-olds. They’re perfectly safe with me.

He: I’m taping this conversation and giving it to the Garda station.

Me: Did anyone ever tell you you have an attractive personality? Even in jest? I like you. I wish there were more like you. When I say like you, I mean more or less. If you had an identical twin brother, identical in every respect I wouldn’t like you both here at the same time.

If an evil genius grabbed you and said we have him now and cloned you nine billion times and killed everyone else on Earth except me and turned to me and said, I’ve done it now, what do you think?   I would say you thought you were making Heaven but you got it the wrong way round. To reverse the situation, is one of me enough?

He: Too much.

Me: When I was a journalist in the digs some other kid, well twenty three like me, was reading the paper spread out on the table. He said this paper is good. I wrote it all. I didn’t say that, he probably didn’t even know I was a journalist.

He was staying there temporarily, most of the people there were permanent or semi-permanent or like me, call me semi-detached.

He: Semi-detached.

Me: Then I went down to the office and the editor told me they didn’t like the way I wrote. He meant him and his father, who owned the paper. Six months earlier he said they liked it. I kept writing the same way. What did they want, posh crap?

He: That’s all they want.

Me: A guy I know, a real Dubliner, lives around the corner from the courts. He sits in the District court now and then to see what’s going on. He tells good stories. The court starts at ten or ten thirty, the lawyers have to get some sleep. It breaks for lunch and starts again at two. You wait all day to see when your case comes up. One day at two a man stood up and said put a jerk in it your honour, I have to be up at Glasnevin at three thirty. I would put that in the paper, wouldn’t you? Is it illegal to have a sense of humour?

He: Yes.

Me: A man in a motor accident case said he was fatally injured. That means he was killed. The judge said we are very honoured to have you with us here today.

He: Judges are very intelligent.

Me: A woman judge told a fourteen-year-old if you do that you will go to jail and be raped by other prisoners. She was castigated. She told the truth and was torn to pieces.

He: It always happens.

Me: That’s life.

The editor died, I read his obituary. It had a lot of words but was very boring. It didn’t say he went to a nudist camp when he was on holiday in France. He told me, probably trying to be one of the lads. I said why? He said because we haven’t got them over here. That seems a strange reason. You could say you went to France to see the Eiffel tower because we haven’t got one here. We have the RTE television mast. Or the Folies Bergere, we haven’t got one of those. They could bring it over here on a cultural exchange. Why go to a foreign country? Because there are less Irish people?

He: That’s a good reason.

Tich Ennis

29th December, 2016


Scene: a bungalow. Present: two elderly brothers.

 David: Will you get me a cup of coffee?

George: When? Now, or ever or in the forseeable future or at some indeterminate time in between?

David: More or less now or in the reasonably near future.

George: Why don’t you get it yourself?

David: I don’t want it that much. Why should I get it when I have you to do it for me?

George: If you want it get it for yourself. I am doing something.

David: It’s only across the room.

George: Then get it for yourself. I’m busy.

David: I’ll leave it for the moment.

George: I’ll get it for you when I finish what I’m doing.

David: Alright, I’ll wait.

George: Is this play pointless? You’re putting words in my mouth.

David: You’re not putting coffee in mine.

George: All things come to he who waits.

David: Am I too clever by half?

George: A quarter.

David: I’m glad we cleared that up.

George: A lot of things remain to be cleared up.

David: More than dirty dishes?

George: Much more.

David: We’ll ask the next visitor to make himself at home, wash the dishes.

George: You said that before.

David: It cannot be said often enough.

George: Did your last visitor wash the dishes?

David: No.

George: Why?

David: He took it as a joke.

George: Were you joking?

David: I was and I wasn’t. I wasn’t expecting him to. But it would have been nice if he did. I would ask him to come again, which he did anyway.

George: Did he?

David: Yes. He invited himself. I invite myself to his house.

George: Do you wash his dishes?

David: No.

George: Why?

David: He never asked me to.

George: Would you if he asked you to?

David: No.

George: Why should I get you a cup of coffee?

David: To make the world a better place. And I’m lazy.

George: The truth at last.

David: It was a long time coming. Where’s my coffee?

George: I’ll get it in a minute.

David: What minute?

George: Wait and see.

David: This is entirely inconsequential.

George: Stop using big words.

David: Okay.

George: Here’s your coffee.

David: Put it there.

George: Why do I have to put up with you?

David: We have to put up with each other.

George: Will that be all?

David: Yes.

 Tich Ennis

28th December, 2016

Unknown Celebrity

Am I the greatest unknown celebrity the world has ever known? This question puzzles me to distraction. Oxymoron, a self-contradictory term. Hyperbole, exaggeration. Vocabulary lessons extra, no charge. Cheap at twice the price.

How am I known and unknown at one and the same time? Does the public want to know? Does its left hand know what its right hand is doing? Or left foot? Has it put its foot in it? Do I suffer from foot in mouth disease? Or is the boot on the other foot, are they the sufferers?

Do they suffer from self-inflicted wounds? When ignorance is bliss tis folly to be wise. Its no use being wise after the event. In the event of my death will there be many or any mourners at my wake? Who shall deliver the eulogy? Is there a logician in the house?

There are more questions than answers, Johnny Nash. Don’t rush to judgement. Who is the author of the greatest poem? Anonymous? Pet name, Anon. I shall be with you anon. Or without you. The choice is yours.

Genius is akin to madness, second cousin or thereabouts. You choose your friends, not your relatives. Am I relatively sane? Sanity is in the eye of the beholder. Don’t all rush to answer. Form an orderly queue. Observe the regulations, then ignore them. We’re Irish, we don’t do rules.

Famous for being famous? Not me. If I had fame what would I do with it? Sign autographs? Cheques? Passports? My own death warrant? Not if I can help it. So I live in penury, poverty and obscurity. How can I be in three places at once? Its easy when you know how. There’s no fool like an old fool. Experientia docet. Experience teaches. Latin classes free of charge. I’ll larn yeh.

Know thyself, said the Oracle. What was the question? How may I know everything. Or words to that effect. Go back to first principles. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Are you enjoying your meal? As you cook, so shall you eat. Don’t let me put you off your food. For thought or otherwise.

Do you like Irish stew? I do. Does that make two? The only rule at the farmer’s table is stretch your arm as far as you’re able. Gibberish and nonsense rule the world, I demand my say. Freedom of speech. For idiot and non-idiot alike. Equality in all things. Like and unlike. Good and bad. Sane and mad.

For afters, your just desserts. Me. For free. Lets not cannibalise each other. Show respect. Whatever that is. Look it up. Life is a learning curve. For those who want to know. Quick or slow. All welcome. Bring your brain. Your heart and soul. Old made new.

I have things to do and so have you.

Has Sherlock Holmes a clue?

Is mystery history?

Is madness true?

Tich Ennis

28th December, 2016


Me: I bought a book by an American, I can’t remember its name. It had dirty bits in it, that’s why I bought it. It was very funny. A man was in a psychiatrist’s waiting room with other people, the main man. The inner door opened and a pretty girl of eighteen came out, a blonde. The psychiatrist was beating her around the head, saying get out, get out! You dirty thing.  Dreaming of having sex with your father! Get out! Get out of my office and never come back! This in a psychiatrist’s office.

It wasn’t porn. It was very funny.

Michael: Sex is funny.

Me: I don’t know if they made a film of it, they’d have to leave out some bits.

Michael: They’d be the main bits.

Me: It wasn’t the sort of book you’d give your mother.

Michael: My mother would have liked it.

From Fact to Fiction And Back:

In the seventies I sat in our kitchen with a physicist friend and fifteen-year-old Paddy who worked in our metalworks. Paddy came from what used to be called an orphanage. He was the happiest kid I ever met. I said something about psychiatrists.

Paddy: What are psychiatrists?

Me: They are people who want to talk to you about your past to tell you what’s wrong with you when there’s nothing wrong with you at all.

Paddy: We had people like that in our school. I told them to fuck off.

Physicist: You were right.

Those were the days.

Note: I don’t know the difference between psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychologists. They’re all the wan to me.

Nor can I tell the difference between lawyers, conmen, police and gangsters. Ditto.

All children of psychoanalysts and psychiatrists are nuts.  They bring them up in wacky ways.  End of story.

 Tich Ennis

24th December, 2016

Am I Paranoid?

I have a terrible fear that some teenager with Asperger’s syndrome will hack into American and Russian missile control systems and launch nuclear war. His mother will say its not his fault, his condition must be taken into account. He’s good at video games. Yakety-yak.

Is this paranoia on my part? Am I also afflicted? More to be pitied than to be blamed? Is paranoia catching? Should we form a club? Of like minded individuals. If the Ku Klux Klan can do it, so can we. Nut cases of the world unite.

You be the judge. And jury. Is your sanity in question? Do you believe in sanity clause? Did you hear about the man charged with having no light on his bike? He pleaded insanity. A good excuse.

Should psychopathic killers be released from custody on the grounds of diminished responsibility? This is a tough question. Psychopaths are tough and go to great lengths to prove it. Sometimes with fatal results. Its not their fault, or is it?

Does society need protection? From who, what, each other? Teenagers with Asperger’s syndrome? The atom bomb, it has been said, is man’s greatest invention. No people, no problems. Can a teenager save the world? Watch this space.

An end to madness. A world fit for chimpanzees, before we wipe them all out. Goodbye humanity, and good riddance. Paradise would be twice as nice without you. Who wants Paradise? Creatures in the zoo, for one. And in primeval forests, or what’s left of them.

The Earth will recover after armageddon, it is remarkably resilient. That is my forecast, apart from that, scattered showers and some light rain. Is there a half-life after death? For a hundred thousand years, yes.

So maybe the Green movement are right after all, people are a curse on the Earth. Although they did not exactly say that, people rarely say what they think. Apart from myself and other madmen. The truth will out.   Only the mad are sane.

The lesser gifted among you may not realise that some people speak with their tongue so firmly in their cheek that others don’t know its there.   Who is anyone to look down on the lesser gifted? We were all teenagers once, except those who have not yet arrived at the age of knowing everything.

Does matter matter? Not unless it matters to you. Otherwise no. Ask a teenager. Out of the mouths of babes. Came forth wisdom, old saying. Possibly you would be better off asking an as yet unspoiled baby. Fresh from the garden of Eden.

Let us hope my fears are not realised. I live to rave another day. As a madman, I am one among many. Who’s finger itches to pull the trigger, push the button, master others, teach them a lesson they will never forget? The answer is staring you in the face. Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? If not, that can be your excuse, if you need one.

A mirror shows the world exactly the reverse of how it is. In that sense it may be realistic, because that is how things are, exactly the opposite of how they should be. When a teenager may launch nuclear war.

Am I worried? No, only on your behalf. That is my madness. It may not be widely shared. It appears not. Itchy fingers.

I drown my sorrows in a glass. All things must pass.

 Tich Ennis

22nd December, 2016


Stalin and Mao were mass murderers, now it can be told.

Never forgetting Hitler and Pol Pot in days not very old.

Still the murder goes on, does no one know right from wrong?

Hate for people who don’t agree with you, is shooting them the right thing to do?

Have you a clue?

Why shoot them down or treat them as a clown?

Is killing your way, is that all you have to say?

Death go away.

If you go far enough left you come out on the right.

Good night.

Tich Ennis

19th December, 2016


The spirit of the age is one filled with rage.

As a monkey in a cage.

Let me out, let me out they shout.

Its all about.

Here, there and everywhere.

Its in the air.

What happened to love, Heaven’s above?

When push comes to shove.

Hate does not bring us to Heaven’s gate.

Heaven can wait.

We await our fate.

Hell, what is coming, a bomb?

Or kingdom come.

Is it time to return to source?

Of course.

Must I spell it out?

Hell is all about.

I speak in a whisper, not a shout.

Love will find you out.

Tich Ennis

17th December, 2016

Happy Christmas!

16th December, 2016

Mary Dunne and Family


All your Christmases have come at once! Here are not one, not two but three discs for you, something to remember my by, and old times. Old songs, new poems, new plays, or fairly new, all sung or spoken by me, the songs nearly all Irish or songs I heard in our kitchen when young, when I never heard them better sung.

Lists of the songs and plays here too. The DVD was filmed by my sister Helena on her mobile phone, the film finished by me, its me reciting poems of mine at the Arklow Culture Night on 16th September last. Eight minutes playing time, not too long, not too short.

I am David Ennis but use the name Tich Ennis as a writer, the nickname I had at junior school, tich means a small person, I was younger and smaller than the boys in my class, so the name. There are other David Ennises, only one Tich Ennis.

Someone I gave the same cd of my singing to said, at least you can hear the words. The words are great! I love those songs. Okay, my voice, nothing to write home about, but a great collection of songs, say I who put them together. The same guy said, where’s the music? What does he expect for nothing? The Chieftains? You get nothing for nothing, or hardly anything. The sun in the morning and the moon at night, they will do to be going on with.

The film came out rather well, I think. I call it Poems in Arklow. My speaking voice is far better than my singing voice, still some people liked it.

I hope you like the plays. I play all the parts of course, just me and a microphone.   I have all this stuff on YouTube under the name Tich Ennis, but not the film, I can’t get into my YouTube channel to put any more stuff there, I don’t know why. Other people have the same problem with their YouTube Channels. Nothing’s perfect.

Watch the film first, Poems in Arklow, why not see and hear me at the same time? Only eight minutes. I hope you like it, and all the other stuff as well. I warned you about my singing, on Tich Songs. You have been warned. I’ve heard worse, I’ve certainly heard better.

I am more a speaker than a singer, my singing is half way between singing and speaking, so the words are clear, and what good words they are!

Anyway, happy Christmas, happy listening, happy viewing to all of you from David Ennis and George, from Arklow to Ballymoneen!

Tich Ennis

Cotton Wool

When I was ten a teacher we had used to say to boys who made a mistake in a sum have you cotton wool between your ears? Years later, I said to a college lecturer friend of mine, you can’t say that to eighteen year olds. But you would feel like saying it, he said.

That teacher never said that to me, except once. He wanted me to play the pretend-to-be-stupid game, and I wasn’t playing. You’re stupid if you’re not stupid. He was standing behind my desk. He said those words, have you cotton wool between your ears, possibly to himself and moved away, I was a lost cause.

There was no looney bin attached to our school, but there could have been. They were teaching us to pretend to be stupid so we could get jobs in the civil service, where they pretend to be stupid all the time.

I asked a friend at school at the same time, did he remember teachers saying do well at Irish and you can get a job in the civil service. He did. He laughed. I told my mother what the teacher said when I went home. She thought a job in the civil service would be quite good. I was twelve or eleven years old at the time, I thought a job in the civil service would be the most boring job imaginable. You were right, my friend said.

I may be running out of steam in this article, what else is there to say about cotton wool, which, as you know is the theme of this article. In Britain when the national health service started all sorts of things were free. People used free cotton wool to stuff pillows. I didn’t know people would be so greedy, someone said. If you give people things for nothing they waste them. That’s the nature of the beast, said a Protestant. How do I know he was a Protestant? Because he told me, why I don’t know.

Is that enough about cotton wool? There is a type of limpet in the South Seas which, when it is born, swims around to find a suitable rock to lock on to for life, then eats its brain because it doesn’t need it anymore. Some people stop thinking when they leave school. Before then said my lecturer friend.

Do a person’s thinking for them and they love you, make them think and they hate you. Its not cool to study. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I quoted that quotation to a hotelier, a cliché he said. Are the ten commandments cliches, I asked? Probably, he said. I asked his son, who had a mangerial position in the hotel, do you agree with nepotism? He thought for a moment. When its deserved, he said.

There is an oversupply of cotton wool in this country, but lets not be discriminatory, everywhere. Truth is an illusion someone said.   If it is the truth that truth is an illusion then there is truth, truth is not an illusion. So there. T.S. Eliot said the truth is what is most hated. Ask whistleblowers. You get shot for speaking the truth, many are. Or locked up, ignored, passed over for promotion, you name it. That’s why people don’t do it. Its not the done thing.

T.S. Eliot is or was only a poet, so what would he know? So am I a poet, but I prefer to say I write rhymes because so much rubbish is passed off as and considered poetry today. I write rhymes, rhymes for all time. But no one notices. Why should they? A poem has been said to encapsulate a truth, see above, the truth is what is most hated. Not popular today, at all, at all.

That there is no such thing as truth is not my position. If there was no such thing as truth then there would be nothing. Quite obviously that is not the case. Open your eyes. And ears. What do you see and hear? Mostly rubbish, yes, but not nothing. The truth is, but is everywhere denied. But not by absolutely all. Not by me, yours truly. Nor am I absolutely alone in my belief. Thank God.   If there is one. God is truth, truth is God. Is truth, God, a being, an entity, a person or a quality? Think for yourself. God, your God, is what you put first, money, sex, truth, whatever. Stamp collecting. Yes. Or trivial pursuit.

Get the wool out of your ears. Have you cotton wool between your ears? Thus spake Zarathustra. Whoever he was. Or is. God is dead, Nietzsche. Nietzsche is dead, God.

I’m a rambler, I’m a gambler, I’m a long way from home.

Tich Ennis

14th December, 2016