‘It’s a choice between my marriage and my old school. And tonight my marriage has won’
“I’m going to ask you to hold that thought,” I go, “because I seriously need a wizz.”
Which I do, by the way. My tonsils are floating here.
I’m there, “Get another bottle of that whatever-it-is while I’m gone,” because my old man is expensing this entire night, then I turn around and hit the old Josh Ritter.
I do my bit of business in there and I’m washing my hands – hey, it’s still technically a date – when my phone all of a sudden rings in my pocket. It ends up being Sorcha.
I answer by going, “Hey, Babes – how the hell are you?”
She’s like, “On my God, how are you? How’s the – what was it you called it? – set up?”
I’m there, “The set-up’s pretty impressive, Babes, don’t you worry about that. And it’s in Leinster, by the way, because I asked.”
“I’m so happy for you, Ross. I know you’ve been, like, so keen to get back into the game, even in, like, a coaching capacity?”
“Thanks for the back-up. Even though I haven’t said yes yet. What are you up to, by the way?”
“Oh my God,” she goes, “that’s what I was ringing to tell you! My dad has decided to retire!”
I’m like, “No way! Wow!” at the same time thinking, okay, and this affects me how exactly?
“He’s brought us all out to dinner to celebrate!” she goes.
I’m there, “I’d have to say fair focks.”
And that’s when she hits me with it. “He’s brought me, my mom and my sister to l’Ecrivain!”
I’m like, “Excuse me?”
“I’m sorry, Ross, I know it’s, like, our special place? But my parents have always wanted to come here. It’s such a pity you’re not here, Ross. Do you know something, I think my mom and dad are really storting to come around to the idea of us being back together.”
Oh, no! Oh! No!
I’m there, “So are you, like, on the way to the restaurant?” wondering if I have time to slip out.
“We’re just sitting down now,” she goes. “Oh my God, I’m definitely having the rabbit.”
I tell her I have to go, then I push the door to Trap One. I pull down the lid of the toilet. For the next few hours, this is going to be my seat. In 20 minutes, or maybe half an hour, a waiter will knock on the door and I’ll pay him 50 snots to tell Terri that the jacks is empty, that I must have focked off when she wasn’t looking.
It’s a choice between my marriage and my old school. And tonight my marriage has won. Which possibly shows emotional growth on my port.
ILLUSTRATION: ALAN CLARKE