Out To Lunch Digest: Part 1 | Tenx9 – Names

Out To Lunch Digest: Part 1

Tenx9 – ‘Names’

By Cara Gibney

Tenx9 is a storytelling night where 9 people have up to 10 minutes each to tell a real story from their lives. Each night has a theme.”

The Tenx9 theme for Out To Lunch 2017 was ‘Names’ and on Wednesday night I saw humble, raw, unadorned, talent stand in the Black Box and tell stories that made me tearful. All sorts of tearful. Sad tearful, laughing tearful, the sting behind the eyes when someone puts into words that which you have left at feeling and not even put into thought.

Just people. You and I type people, no best sellers or renowned critics. Just people who had wrestled and twisted and rifled through corners for those words. They had risked the precious and decanted onto paper those particular thoughts and faces from the past. Then they stood in front of a room so full that I couldn’t find an area of wall to lean against, and they told us their stories.

I’m relying on poor handwriting and a worse memory for these names and quotes, so forgive inaccuracies.

Walker Ewart (not to be mixed up with Walter Love)
“The man who shouted a lot barked out orders, and now he was in charge of me”

Joe Nawaz on his dad buying him a bike for his paper round
“Before the bottom fell out of the paper delivery market.”


Lucky Powerful Person from Europe on his saddleless High Nelly (Tenx9 Facebook)

Jenn Clarke on casual and not so casual sexism
“Your reckless, feckless, dickish power.”

Richard Oh Lee Ray on his Chinese name
“Maybe the lucky, powerful person from Europe is not so lucky?”

Michael Crozier and his Quaker connections
“The wheels of the hearse pencilled tram lines in the snow.”

Paul Doran and the undertones of Irish dancing
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can really destroy you.”

Campbell Wa-Humpy Killick on taking the soup with the Sioux Nation
“I’ve always felt that deep down my blood is red.”

Helen Sour-Wee-Bastard McClements’ teaching practice
“I’ve never been one for political correctness so I’m just going to call him a little shit.”

Paul Acheson’s visceral observations on grief and love
“Whatever you don’t have makes you hungry … We didn’t hear her name, we heard his grief.”

I wish I’d bothered to click on the (wonderful) website of Tenx9 years ago. Every time I saw their events promoted somewhere I would think vaguely of the Dublin band Bell X1, see that it had nothing to do with Bell X1 and something to do with stories, start to become confused, and then move on to read something else.

But there’s so much going on out there, so much to keep up with. Why does it even matter? That one’s simple. In all seriousness I have been ashamed of coming from here for the past while. Despairing and angry with our ‘leaders.’ Humiliated and filled with dread for our future. Last night filled me up again. It is astonishing the amount of talent this tiny dot on the horizon has to offer. Open to everyone, encouraging and kind. A different channel, a power for good. I could never do what those speakers, writers, story tellers did last night – but I know I’d be welcome to try.

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