"Where the fock are we?" little Leo goes – three years old and effing and blinding like Lil Wayne.
It’s kind of funny.
I pull into the cor pork. I’m there, “We’ve arrived. This is our final destination on today’s mystery tour!”
I’m a great father. I don’t think anyone would dare debate me on the subject.
“There’s a smell of focking shite,” Brian goes.
I’m there, “That’s because we’re in Meath!”
Little Johnny’s like, “I want to go home”, because I’ve raised my boys to be suspicious of anything that happens north of Exit 13 on the M50.
I’m there, “You won’t want to go home when you find out what we’re doing today! Goys, this is Tayto Pork!”
Their faces light up. And the screams out of them. At the top of his voice, Leo is like, “Focking focking fock fock focker!” punching the back of the seat in front of him.
I’m there, “I knew you’d be excited”, and they’re not the only ones, because the second we get through those gates, I’m letting them off the leash and the staff can look after them for the day. I’m actually wondering is there a bor that sells the good stuff on draught.
I open the back door and I unfasten them from their child seats. “Focking fockers!” Brian goes, obviously looking forward to releasing some of that energy that’s pent up inside him.
I put the three of them on their leads and they literally drag me like a pack of huskies up to the entrance, snarling and spitting and borking out swear words at the top of their voices, which ends up drawing a fair bit of attention our way.
Up to the gate we go. I'm handing my credit cord to the dude in the booth, going, "Do you know is Heineken served on the premises?" when he turns around to me and says something to shocks me to my basic core?
“I’m sorry,” he goes, “your children are barred.”
I’m like, “Borred? What are you talking about?” and he pushes a laminated piece of paper across the counter at me, featuring – yeah, no – CCTV images of various children, including, at the top of the list, the triplets.
“You were here in June,” he reminds me.
And I’m like, “Whoa, does this have anything to do with them spitting off the top of the rollercoaster?”
“Spitting off the rollercoaster, spitting at the animals, spitting at other children.”
'Okay, you're beginning to sound like the manager of DL Kids now'
“But mostly it was the swearing.”
“We had a lot of complains from the other parents about the language your children used last time they were here.”
“Okay, that’s a bit vague. How many do you consider a lot?”
“Seventy-seven, it says here.”
"Okay, I'm accepting that that's a lot. Well, the good news – you'll be happy to hear – is that their mother and I think we've finally got a handle on it?"
“Tell him to fock off,” Brian suddenly goes, letting me down just when I thought I had a chance of persuading the dude to change his mind. “Stupid focking focker.”
“I’m sorry,” the dude goes. “Your children will not be allowed in today – or any day.”
I decide to try to plead with his better nature then. I'm like, "Dude, they're borred from everywhere. We're talking Imaginosity. We're talking The Fun Factory. We're talking Stillorgan Bowl. We're talking Dublin Zoo. There's literally nowhere that will take them and it's the summer holidays."
“Not my problem.”
“Okay, the thing about the swearing is that it’s totally their old dear’s fault. She read a book that said that telling kids not to swear creates taboos around certain words and that makes them even more attractive. The route she decided to go down was to just ignore it, which we’ve been doing since pretty much the day they learned to talk.”
“Tell him he’s a dick,” Johnny goes. “A dick with ears.”
And I’m like, “Johnny, you’re not exactly helping your case here.”
The dude goes, “I’m sorry, it’s a no.”
And I’m like, “Dude, please – there’s nowhere left where I can just let them run amok.”
“Step aside, Sir!” he goes. “Next in line, please!”
I end up having to just walk away and drag the boys with me back to the cor pork. They don’t go quietly either.
“Where the fock are we going?” Leo goes, not a happy rabbit.
And I’m there, “We’re going back to the cor. It looks like I’m going to have to put up with you for the whole day now.”
Brian’s like, “This is some bullshit.”
And that's when I end up totally losing it with them. I go, "I'll tell you what's some bullshit – the fact that you're three years old and your language would make a rapper blush! The fact that I can't get a little break from being a parent, not even for one day, because I can't bring you anywhere and make you someone else's responsibility for the day!"
I realise I’m waving my finger at them and suddenly shouting.
“I’ve had it up to here with it!” I go. “And, even though your mother is anti the idea of me doing this, I’m telling you now, you better stop with the constant effing and blinding! Because I’m sick to the teeth of it – and I’m saying that as someone who’s been hanging around rugby clubs all my life! I’m telling you this now, if you don’t stop with the bad words, there will be consequences! End of statement!”
Oh, that does the trick. The three of them look at me with their mouths open in literally just shock?
“Come on,” I go, “back to the cor with the lot of you.”
They don't say a word as I strap them back into their booster seats. They just sit there, totally – I think it's a word – chastened by what I said? They're not used to tough love parenting. But they're going to have to get used to it?
I press the ignition switch, then I check in my rear view mirror. And, as I do so, Brian goes, “What a complete and utter knob!”
And Leo’s like, “He’s an asshole!”
And I think, okay, that’s the last straw.