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


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