Play:  Scene:  Pub, men at the bar

Tich:  If I called you a friend would you buy me a drink?

Toby:  No.

Tich:  A friend is a person who buys you a drink.

David:  I must have no friends so.

Tich:  If I was nicer would people buy me a drink?  Do people buy nice people a drink?

Toby:  Nice people buy other people a drink.

Tich:  There aren’t many of those.  Do you know any nice people?

David:  No.

Tich:  My father is dead.  I could ask a priest.

David:  Ask what?

Tich:  How to get people to buy me a drink.  If I had charm.  You had charm when you were that high and look at you now.  Most people have charm until they’re seven.  I think I stopped having charm when I was eight.  President Kennedy had charm and he got shot.  Its better not to have charm.  You can thank God you’re not charming.

David:  I say it every day.

Tich:  The I.R.A. own pubs in Dublin.  Not de luxe luxury ones.  I went into one, I didn’t like it.  They look at you when you come in to see if you’re one of them.  They have posters of Maggie Thatcher on the wall.

Toby:  Maggie Thatcher!

Tich:  Cartoons.  Why do they have posters of Maggie Thatcher?  That was years ago.

David:  The I.R.A. never forget.

Tich:  I didn’t go there on purpose.  I went in by accident.  Do you ever go into a pub by accident?

David:  It happens all the time.

Tich:  You meet strange people in pubs.  I met a boxing champion.  Not world champion, just Kilkenny.

David:  You have to start somewhere.

Tich:  He said not to tell anyone he was a boxing champion.  People say you think you can fight, I could fight you. They want to fight.

Toby:  That was a rough pub.

Tich:  Its all relative.  I saw a postman punched on the nose there.  He was a friend of mine but I wasn’t with him.  He was standing at the bar.  He was always drunk at six o’clock, it was eight o’clock.  He was sozzled, swaying.  Look at Danny, someone said.  He ran over and slapped him twice in the face.  Wake up Danny, he said.

Then a sixteen-year-old thug punched Danny hard on the nose.  Blood splattered everywhere, he was pouring blood.  We took him to a doctor, the doctor was annoyed.  He dealt with Danny at the door.  He put cotton wool up his nose.  Danny started mumbling.  The doctor was alarmed.  He’s drunk, I said.  He asked what happened.  That pub should be closed down he said.  How could he say that?  He was never there.

Toby:  What you said was enough.

Tich:  I met Danny the next day.  I asked him how was his nose.  He didn’t remember anything.  He said the young lad shouldn’t have done it.

I saw the young fellow in court for something afterwards.  He was wearing a suit and glasses.  Glasses make you look innocent.

If I was a foreigner would people buy me a drink?  Do you buy foreigners a drink?

Toby:  No.

Tich:  When I was in London someone bought me a beer.  It was called Empire.  He gave it to me because I’m Irish.  He asked did I like it.

Toby:  What did you say?

Tich:  I was polite.  You have to be when you’re foreign.

He was going to marry his girlfriend. He had lived with her for eleven years.

Dan:  He was testing her.

Tich:  If I added up on my deathbed all the free drinks I got in my life they wouldn’t come to much.

Dan:  You could wait for a free drink all your life.

Tich:  I hate when someone buys a pub and rips out all the old fittings and puts in plastic.  I said that to a friend of mine who owns a pub.  That’s progress, he said.  He gave me a drink.

David:  That was something.

Tich Ennis

9th June, 2016