I’m just sitting there with my mouth open, wondering what the fock is going on – like when I watched Lincoln.
“I remember one particular match, it was the semi-final of the Leinster Schools Senior Cup against Belvedere College. Ross scored this try and when he crossed the line to ground the ball, there were three Belvedere players hanging off him. I expect even he doesn’t know where he summoned the strength from.” Every word of that is true.
She goes, “Then in the final, against Newbridge College, he ran almost half the length of the field to score – I think it was his third try of the day. He had someone chasing him all the way to the line. But I knew he wouldn’t catch him. Oh, he was a wonderful player.”
I actually can’t believe she remembers that stuff. And that’s when my world famous conscience storts to get the better of me. I’m suddenly feeling bad about, like, the shit I said?
I turn around to Miriam – who looks incredible, I don’t know if I mentioned. If I thought there was half a chance, I’d be all over her like a dog on a dropped waffle – and I go, “I said one or two things in my introduction that might have sounded possibly horsh? Could they be, like, cut out?”
“Of course,” she goes. “So you’re saying you do admire her?” I’m suddenly, like, guilted into going, “Yeah, no, I mean she writes these books – they’re not my thing but they sell, like, millions of copies worldwide, so you’d have to say fair focks. Looks-wise, I personally think she’s raddled. But all these fashion magazines seem to think she’s some kind of beauty. So happy days.
“She also does a lot of work for charity. Again, this is in her defence, but she organised, like, a tray bake after the whole Chernobyl thing. What did it raise again?” “£186,” the old dear goes, “before expenses.” “Again,” I go, “fair focks.” On and on it goes, roysh, with me delivering compliment after compliment, until Miriam finally tells us that it’s a wrap.
The old dear stands up to go and ends up dropping, like, a sheaf of papers all over the floor – it’s possibly down to the gin, but I resist the temptation to say it.
“I’ll get those,” I go, bending down to help her, like, gather them up. And that’s when I notice what they are – we’re talking, like, cog notes – all about rugby. She obviously just rang up my old man and asked him to describe some of my incredible, incredible moments on the field.
There are many words to describe my old dear. A lush. A horse-faced jackpine savage. A crockadillapig. But evil is probably the one that sums her up best. But you won’t hear me saying any of them on Miriam Meets.
ILLUSTRATION: ALAN CLARKE