‘I stare at my wife and I think, please, Sorcha, for once in your life, do the wrong thing’
It’s ten-past-six on Tuesday and I’m doing the usual weekday thing for me, which is having one or two cans while watching Xposé. It’s nice for my American friend The Chad to pick up one or two south Dublin customs while he’s here. Of course when Glenda appears – talking about Cheryl’s new tattoo – his eyes are out on literally stalks. I’m like: “Nice, huh?” He goes: “Who is she?”
I just laugh. I’m there: “She’s actually a really good friend of mine.”
He’s like: “Are you serious?”
“She very nearly could have been more. But unfortunately . . .”
“What? What happened?”
“I’m going to surprise you now by quoting Romeo and Juliet.”
“Okay, go on.”
“When are you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong?”
He nods. I can sometimes be deep.
“I’m going to get you another Heineken,” I go, “to wash that last one down.”
He laughs then? “Jesus,” he goes, “it’s six o’clock on a weekday evening and I’m absolutely wasted.”
I’m like, “When in Rome, my friend! When in Rome!”
He laughs. We just click.
I’m on the way out to the kitchen when all of a sudden the doorbell rings. I open the door to discover two of Templemore’s finest standing there, their badges already stuck out in front of them.
“If it’s about that wing mirror I clipped on Blackrock Main Street,” I straight away go, “let me just mention in my defence that it was a stupid focking place for you to pork.”
It ends up not being about that, though?
The one on the left goes, “We’re looking for someone,” and he hands me a photograph of The Chad. And that’s when my hort suddenly quickens.
I’m there: “I’ve never seen him before in my life.”
He goes: “You barely even looked at it. Look again.”
I do. Then I just, like, shake my head. “No, I haven’t seen him around.”
“Funny,” the other dude goes, “you’re one of the few people on this road who hasn’t. He’s something of a local celebrity, it seems. He’s in and out of O’Brien’s every day.”
I end up silently kicking myself. The dude was supposed to be keeping a low profile and there I was sending him out for focking cans every night.
The same dude goes, “He was also seen driving a Lamborghini – the same colour as the one outside.”
“Come on,” I go, “this is Blackrock. Do you know how many red Lamborghinis there are in this port of the world?”
“Yes, I do, as a matter of fact – there are three.”
“Three? I would have said it was more than that.”
“No, it’s three.”
“Well, it’s like my old dear says – we’re going focking backwards as a country. Anyway, I’d love to be able to help you, but I’ve never seen that dude before in my life. Now, if you’ll excuse me . . .”