'I just wanted to give you a pre-warning, Ross that your name may come up in Dail Eireann this week'
I hear him before I see him. But that’s always the way with my old man.
“Ross Kyle Gibson McBride O’Carroll-Kelly!” he basically roars at me – and I end up nearly dropping the two sacks of documents that I’m carrying out to the van. “Talisman! Scourge of defences! Leader of men! Irish rugby’s greatest opportunity missed!”
I’m there, “Is there any chance you could keep your big focking foghorn voice down?” He’s like, “Oh, shouting, was I?” “Er, yeah, just a bit,” I go. “We’re supposed to be, like, a confidential shredding service? I’d say there’s people on top of the focking Sugar Loaf who know we’re here right now.” Here, by the way, is on, like, Hatch Street.
“Well,” he goes, “I did try to get your attention about 20 minutes ago. You passed me at, em, Foxrock Church. I was beeping at you, shouting out the window: ‘Kicker! Kicker!’ Alas, you couldn’t hear me.”
I end up just shrugging my shoulders. “Hey,” I go, “I was listening to the Hova. Had it on loud.” He goes, “Then I tried to catch you up. Except, well, you drive rather fast, don’t you? And you go through rather a lot of orange lights. Actually, that’s, em, kind of why I wanted to speak to you.” I’m like, “Oh?”
He nods at the Shred Focking Everything van and goes, “Probably best we discuss it somewhere we won’t be heard.” So into the back of the van we go. I throw the two bags onto the mountain of, like, 15 or 16 already piled up in the corner.
It’s been a crazy week. People trying to get rid of shit before Christmas. Of course, straight away, the old man is on my case. He’s like, “A bit behind with the shredding, are we?” I’m there, “Hey, don’t even stort. I’ve been busting my nads all week for you. I’ve worked something like three-and-a-half hours straight this morning.” He smiles in a – okay, you decide if this is a word or not – but sympathetic way?
“Well,” he goes, “Enda Kenny did say we were all going to have to make sacrifices. And you’re doing your bit, Ross, to turn around the economic fortunes of the greatest small country in the world. I hope the knowledge of that is reward enough.” I’m there, “Another 300 sheets a week would be better.” “Three hundred?” he goes. “Okay, you’ve just talked yourself into a raise,” and of course I’m suddenly thinking that I should have asked for five.
“And now,” he goes, loving the sound of his own voice, “to that matter at hand! I just wanted to give you a pre-warning, Ross – an, inverted commas, heads up, if you like – that your name may come up in Dáil Éireann this week.” “My name?” I go. “What, because of all this work I’m doing?” He laughs – he actually has the balls to laugh.