Her old man is like, ‘You should have had Ross neutered a long time ago’

Whenever the Rossmeister is in trouble, Sorcha’s old pair are the first responders

"Oh my God," Sorcha goes, "we are so on top of Christmas this year!"

I’m there, “In terms of?”

"Er, in terms of we've got all of our Christmas cords written and posted. Go, us! Oh my God, I can't wait to hear what people think of them."

Yeah, no, we got personalised cords made this year – as in, we went to an actual studio to get the family portrait done? The photographer – we're talking Lucy – was unbelievably patient with us, given that it took her nearly four hours to get one shot in which none of the O'Carroll-Kelly children were sticking their middle finger up at the camera.


The woman was an absolute pro.

We ended up picking one in which all six of us are wearing, like, red polo neck jumpers. Johnny and Leo are pulling a cracker with determined little faces on them, while Honor is handing a present to a delighted Brian, and me and Sorcha – on Lucy’s instructions – are doing the whole fake laugh thing, like the parents you see on the boxes of boardgames.

“And I’m pretty sure everyone’s got one,” Sorcha goes. “As in, I know we’re not going to be remembering people at the last minute this year, then driving around, hand-delivering them on Christmas Eve.”

I’m there, “Thank fock.”

And she’s like, “Thank fock is right.”

She looks at the picture and smiles.

She’s like, “We’re a nice family, aren’t we, Ross?”

I’m there, “I wouldn’t say that,” putting a cup of coffee and a mince pie on the island in front of her. “I wouldn’t say that at all.”

“I mean looks-wise,” she goes.

I’m like, “Yeah, no, looks-wise, we’re a lovely family alright. People always smile when they see us coming for the first time – although the smiles never last long.”

She’s there, “I think it’s a lovely photograph. I think we might actually get it blown up and put over the fireplace in the living room.”

I’m like, “Whatever bastes your turkey, Babes. Whatever shuffles your truffles.”

And that’s when I watch her facial expression suddenly change.

“Oh! My! God!” she goes.

I’m like, “What’s wrong?”

She's there, "Ross!" except she says it in, like, a sing-song way, managing to make about five – are they called – syllables out of it?

I’m like, “What?” because I still haven’t a bog what she’s on about.

"Look at the photograph."

“Yeah, no, I’m looking at it.”

“You’ve got a-?”

“A what?”

“Do I really have to spell it out for you?”

“Er, maybe you do.”

“Look at your trousers, Ross.”

“Yeah, no, I’m looking at my trousers.”

“At your you-know-what.”

“I’m looking at my you-know-what.”

“Ross, you have a-”

“No, I don’t!”

"Oh my God, you actually do."

“Sorcha, that’s just a fold in my chinos.”

"That is not a fold, Ross."

"It's totally a fold – and then also the way that the light is falling on it."

"Oh! My God?"

“Sorcha, it’s a trick of the eye.”

Which it is, by the way?

She goes, “I’m just remembering now that you were flirting with her.”

I’m like, “With who?”

“With Lucy – the photographer.”

“No, I wasn’t.”

"Where do you tend to do your socialising, Luce?"

“That’s called making conversation. Nice to be nice.”

"Are you a rugby fan at all? Do you get to many Leinster matches?"

Her impersonation of me is pretty cruel, it has to be said.

I’m there, “She was on the point of walking out, Sorcha. The kids were acting like demons. I thought, I’ve got to rescue the situation, so – yeah, no – I dug deep into my well of chat-up lines.”

“And you ended up with a-?”

“It’s a fold – in the fabric!”

Which – I swear to fock – it is. But her phone all of a sudden rings then.

“It’s Erika,” she goes, looking at the screen. “I bet she’s seen it.”

I'm there, "You're being ridiculous, Sorcha. As if anyone is going to notice."

So she answers the thing. She's like, "Hi, Erika, how are you? Yeah, no, it doesn't feel Christmassy yet, does it? I was saying to Mom last night that I think it was the mild autumn. Oh, you got the cord, did you? Something weird about it? In terms of? Is there? No, I think that's just a fold in the fabric, Erika. And the way the light's falling on it."

“Creating a shadow,” I go.

She’s like, “No, it’s definitely not that, Erika. It’s your eyes playing tricks. Thanks for ringing, though.”

She hangs up on the girl.

"Oh my God," she goes, "everyone is going to be getting them this morning. All my friends. All my work colleagues. Oh my God – Fr Rooney!"

I’m there, “Sorcha, it’s not what it looks like!”

All of a sudden, there’s a ring at the door – and of course it ends up being Sorcha’s old pair. Whenever the Rossmeister is in trouble, they’re always the first responders.

You should have had him neutered a long time ago

He walks in like he owns the place. He's like, "We came as soon as we saw it."

I’m there, “It’s just the way the fabric is folded! Look, I’m wearing the same chinos – I’ll show you!”

Which I do.

I'm there, "You see? There's just a lot of fabric around the, I want to say, crotch area."

“It’s definitely worse on the cord,” Sorcha’s old dear goes, not helping.

Her old man is like, “You should have had him neutered a long time ago. How many of those cords did you send out?”

“120,” Sorcha goes. “Including one to Fr Rooney.”

Her old dear gives it the big theatrics. “Sorcha,” she goes, “I’m a minister for the Eucharist!”

Sorcha's there, "I know you're a minister for the Eucharist, Mom. Just let me think."

After a few seconds, she looks at me and goes, “We’re going to have to do a recall.”

I’m like, “A what?”

"A recall," she goes. "Like when a company puts a toy on the morket that turns out to be, like, dangerous?"

I’m there, “Hang on – are you saying that we’re going to knock on 120 people’s doors and ask if we can have our Christmas cords back.”

“Get the cor keys,” she goes. “I’ve got the addresses here. This, by the way, is the worst thing you’ve ever done to me – and that’s saying something!”