There's, like, chanting and roaring - these are all, like, Horseshoe Bor regulars, remember
There are some family traditions that, like, never die? Like Charles O’Carroll-Kelly’s New Year’s Day Political Think Tank, when the old man invites around all of his friends from politics, business and the Law Library, to drink 100-year-old port and discuss, at a very annoying volume, various ways to make Ireland a better place to live for all of its citizens.
Only three times in the past 40 years has Charles O’Carroll-Kelly’s New Year’s Day Political Think Tank failed to happen – twice when he was doing time in Mountjoy for paying bribes to county councillors – and once when Hennessy – his solicitor and literally portner in crime – had to go to South America in a hurry, in search of a country without an extradition agreement with this one.
The, like, highlight of the event – aport from the occasional visit from a billionaire businessman, serving Government minister or high-ranking judge – is the Foxrock 500, an endurance race in which the old man attempts to eat a 200 gram block of mature red cheddar faster than Hennessy can drink a pint of lager with, like, a dessert spoon? Whoever wins – and it was, like,18 wins apiece going into last Tuesday’s race – gets to make the keynote speech that supposedly sets the tone for, like, the 12 months ahead? I suppose it would have to be classed as an extreme sport, given both their medical histories. The old man’s orteries are so furry, you could stick a pair of eyes on them and put them in the next Muppet movie.
And yet I can’t help but cheer him on as he tears off another mouthful of Davidstow Reserve with his teeth and tries to work up enough saliva to persuade it down his Jeff Beck, sweating himself two collar sizes thinner, while at the same time stealing sly looks at Hennessy to see what kind of progress he’s making with the spoon.
There’s, like, chanting and roaring – these are all, like, Horseshoe Bor regulars, remember – with support, you’d have to say, equally divided between the two.
Hennessy is only, like, halfway through his pint, while a good, like, three-quarters of the cheese is gone, although some economist, who I’ve seen once or twice on TV, points out that the old man has “gone with the front-loading option” and, while he appears to be making progress, most of the cheese is still in his Von Trapp, hordening into a big dry ball – like one of those golf ball soaps I buy him every year for Christmas.
The good news is that Hennessy is slower than usual. He injured his wrist playing nine holes in Elm Pork on Stephen Zuzz Day and has had to switch to southpaw, which has placed the old man at a serious advantage.
“Come on, Charles!” the roar goes up.