“You? The woman who christened Ranelagh ‘Calcutta’ when they stuck a focking Lidl in it?”
T he old dear’s had more work done on her face. She looks like someone beat a swarm of bees off Sharon Osbourne’s face with a pair of running spikes. I mention that to her as well. Those exact words. Just so she doesn’t think this is, like, a friendly visit ?
“What do you want?” she goes – no basic manners. “I’m in the middle of something important.”
I step past her into the hall.
“You’ve been quiet,” I go. “Focking suspiciously so.”
She’s like, “What do you mean?”
“This D4 postcode thing,” I go. “I thought you’d be on it like a bonnet. Every time Sorcha sticks on the news, I keep expecting to see your big ugly face – like a fire-damaged waxwork of Joan Rivers – saying this, that and the other.”
She’s there, “I’ve been busy with my writing,” and she even manages to keep a straight face when she says it.
I’m like, “I was talking to JP, who works as an estate agent, as you possibly know. He reckons this No More Dublin 4 thing is going to knock about another two mills off the price of gaffs like this. Him and his old man are up in orms.”
“Well, I must say, I haven’t really thought very much about it.”
“You haven’t thought much about it? You? The woman who christened Ranelagh ‘Calcutta’ when they stuck a focking Lidl in it?”
“Like I said, I’ve had a lot of work on. I’m writing a screenplay based on my book, Fifty Greys in Shades.”
Something smells. Actually, something literally smells? She does this incredible baked eggs thing with leeks and pancetta and I’m pretty sure it’s that.
I’m there, “Are you having trouble flushing the toilet again?”
She’s like, “I was just fixing some breakfast.”
“Well,” I go, “I’ll have a plate of whatever pigfeed it happens to be, just so as not to hurt your feelings. Bring it into the living room to me.”
And she trots down to the kitchen to fetch it. The second her back is turned, up the stairs I go. Something is going on and I’m going to finally prove it.
On the landing, I find her shoes and her tights, obviously taken off in a hurry and just, like,thrown there? My guts do a literally somersault.
I knock on the door of her bedroom, we’re talking three slow knocks, and a man’s voice – the old man’s – goes, “You might need to give me an hour or so, Fionnuala. I’m not as young as I was and I think I might have bruised my tailbone doing that last thing you asked me to do.”
I have an idea then, which I’m admitting is a bit random. I pick up the old dear’s tights and I put my hand into one of the legs, pulling it all the way up my orm to my shoulder.
I put my hand into one of her shoes, then I open the bedroom door just a crack and I stick the orm slash leg through it and I stort moving it up and down in, like, a sexy way?
“Oh, you really are insatiable!” he goes. “Let me take another one of these little blue pills that Hennessy gave me, we’ll give it 15 minutes, then I’ll make love to you like the proverbial man possessed.”
That’s when I literally kick the door open and go, “Really? I didn’t know you felt that way about me!”
He screams – as in, like literally screams?
He’s like, “Aaaarrggghhh!” and at the same time he pulls the sheets up around his chin. “Good Lord! God Lord!”
I’m just there, “Busted and disgusted!”
Of course the old dear comes chorging up the stairs when she hears the commotion. Do you know what her opening line is? “Do not ladder those tights! They cost €80 per pair!”
The old man is at least embarrassed to have been caught in the act. “Ross,” he tries to go, “it’s not how it looks.”
I’m there, “It’s exactly how it looks. I knew you two were having an affair. Er, can I just remind you that you’re supposed to be, like, divorced?”
“We’re consenting adults,” the old dear – hilariously – goes.
I’m there, “And he’s supposed to be married to someone else – namely Helen – who I happen to like a lot. Am I the only one in this family who has the embarrassment gene.”
I have to admit, as I’m saying these words, I’m pulling my old dear’s tights off my orm.
“We don’t have to explain ourselves to you,” she goes. “Charles, let’s not deny it. Yes, we’re having an affair. Two people who were married to each other for more than 35 years are still sufficiently attracted to each other to want to express their feelings in physical terms.”
I’m there, “I think I’m going to vomit,” and then I stare the old man out of it and go, “And what was she doing to you that bruised your tailbone.
“Actually, don’t answer that. I’m not a 100 per cent sure that I want to even know.”
He tries to take the high moral ground with me then. His voice goes up, like, an octave or two, and he’s like, “Your mother’s right, Ross. You crash in here, invading our privacy, demanding answers . . .”
I decide that I’m not going to listen to it. I’m like, “I presume that your current wife knows nothing about you two – what was it? – expressing your feelings for each other in physical terms?”
That softens his cough. He’s like, “You’re not going to tell her, are you?”
I’m like, “Dude, I would have to be one seriously mean and spiteful person who despised his parents to do something like that. Of course I’m going to tell her.”