Ross O'Carroll-Kelly


Sorcha was always pretty gullible. That’s why she took me back so many times.

ANN TILSON is Georgette’s old dear – Georgette, as in one of Honor’s little friends from school? – and, much as I hate to come across as big-headed here, it has to be said that the woman has it pretty bad for the old Rossmeister General.

She drops Georgette around for a playdate with Honor last Sunday wearing a bucket of John Paul Gaultier and, when I ask her how she likes her coffee, she goes, “Rich, complex and with plenty of body,” at the same time checking out the old abcordion like a focking polar bear staring at a fox hole.

“The same way I like my men,” she adds, just in case the compliment went over my head. Which it didn’t. You’d want to be as slow as The Hunger Games to miss the vibes she’s throwing in my general postcode.

It’s all hormless stuff, of course. Nothing would ever happen between us: (a) because she’s married, and (b) because she has a face like a bloodhound licking shit out of a tyre groove.

Still, us marrieds have to take our pleasures wherever we can get them.

Our daughters are upstairs, playing – day spa! The last I saw of them, Honor was going through all of Sorcha’s lotions, potions and mixed emotions, giving Georgette the full makeover treatment.

It’s as I’m pouring the actual coffee that I hear Ann take a deep breath – like she’s building up to ask me something? – then she goes, “Ross, I have a question for you.” I pull a face. I’m there, “If it’s the question I think it is, the answer’s possibly going to have to be no. I promised Sorcha I was going to finally make a go of the whole marriage thing. Although I am flattered.”

Except, from her response, it obviously wasn’t that? She laughs and goes, “You’re joking, right?” And I end up having to laugh as well and go, “Of course I’m joking!” “You’re so funny!” she goes. “Yeah, no, what it is – Honor said something to Georgette last week and, well, I don’t know whether she intended to hurt her feelings?”

With Honor, of course, it’s usually pretty easy to tell. I’m like, “So what did she supposedly say?”

“Well,” she goes, “she told her that when Georgette grew up, she was going to look like Khloe Kardashian.”

“Oooh,” I go. “Khloe wouldn’t be the pick of the family, in fairness to her.” Ann’s like, “I know. Georgette came home terribly upset by it. I said to her, ‘Maybe she meant one of the other sisters.’” “Kim?” “There’s a lot of them, isn’t there?” “Or Kourtney.” “Possibly.”

There’s not a focking chance in hell of Georgette growing up to look like Kim or Kourtney, by the way – not if she has her mother’s genes.

“Maybe Honor just confused Khloe with one of the decent-looking ones,” I go, somehow managing to keep a straight face.

Ann’s there, “I was just worried that – okay, I’m going to come out and say this – that Honor was maybe bullying her?” That’s when the kitchen door suddenly opens and who’s standing there only Sorcha, back early from yogalates. “Who’s being bullied?” Sorcha goes.

There’s an instant atmos between the two of them. Sorcha picked up on the fact that Ann is one smitten kitten a long time ago.

I get in quick and try to smooth things over. “Just a misunderstanding,” I go. “Something Honor did or didn’t say to Georgette last weekend.”

“What?” Sorcha goes, on the straight away defensive? I thought yogalates was supposed to chillax you.

“She told Georgette that she looked like Khloe Kardashian,” Ann goes. “Or that she would when she grew up.”

“Well,” Sorcha goes, “maybe she meant Kim Kardashian. Or even Kourtney.”

There’s not a focking chance in the world that she did, by the way. Honor knows that family better than she knows her own. She certainly spends more time with them.

Sorcha’s in denial about our daughter, though. About who she is. About what she’s become. She suddenly turns on me then? “And what were you saying, Ross?”

I’m like, “What?”

“While this woman was sitting in our kitchen drinking our coffee and slandering our daughter.”

“I was just – I don’t know – listening to what she had to say. I mean, come on, Sorcha, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if it turned out to be true.”

“Excuse me?”

I’m there, “We’re always saying what a little wagon she can be,” and then I turn to Ann and go, “She makes my life a misery a lot of the time, if it’s any consolation!”

Sorcha laughs – except in, like, a bitter way? “So she’s not entitled to the benefit of the doubt, is that it? We always have to think the worst of her?”

Sorcha was always pretty gullible. That’s why she took me back so many times.

I’m there, “I’m not saying always. I’m just saying, you know, there have been other complaints.” Her mouth drops open and she flutters her eyelashes in true drama queen style. “Oh my God,” she goes, “so we’re going to discuss our private family business in front of a stranger, are we?”

Ann decides that she’s heard enough. “Well, as it happens,” she goes, “I’ve heard stories from one or two other mothers as well. And they don’t paint a very pretty picture of your daughter.”

Sorcha practically explodes. “So why do you keep bringing your daughter around here to play with her then? You don’t need to answer that. It’s so you can lech over my husband!”

I’m there, “There wasn’t a huge amount of leching going on, Babes,” trying to keep the porty polite.

“Where are they now?” Sorcha goes.

I’m there, “Er, upstairs. Honor’s giving Georgette a makeover,” and then I turn around to Ann and go, “That’s not saying the kid needs one,” still trying to remain – I don’t know – neutral?

Sorcha looks at Ann, then with real viciousness in her voice, goes, “Get your daughter and get out of my home.” Ann gives her the old elevator eyes and goes, “With pleasure!”

She steps out into the hall and I follow her, apologising for my wife. She calls her daughter’s name and suddenly Georgette is coming down the stairs, going, “Honor said she was sorry, mommy.”

Except there’s something wrong with the kid. I can’t put my finger on it. I’m looking at her and I immediately know that there’s something NQR about the way she looks.

Ann cops it straight away. Her hand is suddenly covering her mouth and she’s going, “Oh my God, where are your eyebrows?”

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