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‘I’ve been booking supermorket delivery slots weeks in advance. Then selling them for €70 each’

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: Welcome to the horsh realities of the free morket, Honor goes

So – yeah, no – I walk into the dining room to be confronted by a sight I never thought I’d see. My five-year-old triplets are playing cords with my old man, each with a lorge brandy in front of him and a cigor long enough to inseminate a whale wedged between their tiny fingers.

I’m like, “What the fock is going on here?”

The old man goes, “I’m teaching the chaps how to play poker, Ross.”

“I’m not talking about the cords. I’m talking about them drinking.”


“Oh, it’s just water with a bit of food colouring in it! It’s a bit of fun, that’s all!”

“And the cigors?”

“They’re not lit, Kicker.”

"Er, Brian's is?"

The old man suddenly notices that the kid is smoking like a focking gorse fire.

“Brian, I told you to leave my lighter alone,” he goes, taking the cigor from him. He puts it out in the ashtray, then hands it back to him.

I don’t like the influence that my old man has been having on my children since he storted self-isolating with us. Which is why I end up having to say something.

“I don’t want you turning my kids into miniature versions of you,” I go. “The last thing the world needs right now is three more Chorles O’Carroll-Kellys.”

“Oh, Ross,” he tries to go, “what horm is it? I’ll see your 200, Johnny – and I’m going to raise you 300!”

I look at the table. There must be, like, five grand on it.

I'm there, "Is that actual money you're playing with?"

He goes, “Don’t worry about it, Kicker. I’ve explained to them that we’re not playing for keepsies. Although Leo there is a wily one. He keeps slipping fifties into his pocket when he thinks his granddad isn’t looking!”

Leo – I swear to fock – goes, "Parvus pendetur fur magnus abire videtur."

To make money during a time of crisis takes real entrepreneurship

“That’s right!” the old man goes. “The small ones are hanged, the big one are not touched!”

“Quote-unquote!” Johnny goes.

I’m like, “What the fock is going on under my own roof?”

I head for the kitchen. Sorcha is sitting at the table with the Singer sewing machine that her granny left her.

I'm there, "He has to go."

She’s like, “Who?”

“The old man, Sorcha. He has to go.”

“You can’t throw him out, Ross. There’s a pandemic going on out there.”

“Out where?”

"Er, out in the world?"

“Well, I’m worried about the effect he’s having on our children. You know they’re playing poker with fake brandies and cigors? And real money?”

"I know. Oh my God, it's so cute the way they idolise him."

“And you’re perfectly okay with him teaching them Latin, are you?”

"Ross, I think it's amazing that they're getting to spend all this time with their grandfather. If this crisis has taught us anything, it's the importance of these, like, intergenerational moments? As a matter of fact, I'm going to ask Honor if she wants to help me with my project."

She stands at the kitchen door and shouts up the stairs: “HONOR? HONOR?”

I’m there, “What’s this project anyway?”

She goes, “I’m making designer facemasks!” and she says it like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

"It looks like these things are going to be port of our lives for a long time to come – so we might as well turn them into, like, fashion accessories? Loads of celebrities in the States are making them and selling them for, like, a thousand dollars each."

“Is that your good Chloé dress you’re cutting up?”

"It's for a good cause, Ross. I'm going to give the money to this amazing, amazing charity that's working to restore the urban tree canopy and improve levels of climate literacy?"

Honor walks into the kitchen then.

She goes, “Why do you have to shout? I told you before, if you want me for something, just text me the details and I’ll decide if it’s important enough for me to come downstairs.”

Sorcha’s there, “Honor, I just wondered did you want to help me make designer facemasks?”

"No," Honor goes, "I'm busy with my own business?"

“Business? What business?”

“I’m selling supermorket delivery slots online.”

That ends up going down about as well as you’d expect.

Sorcha's there, "You're doing what?"

“I’ve been booking hundreds of supermorket delivery slots weeks in advance,” Honor goes, “then as the time gets closer, I’m selling them for €70 each.”

Sorcha’s like, “But those slots are for people who can’t get out and who have to do their shopping online!”

“Welcome to the horsh realities of the free morket,” Honor goes.

I recognise the line – just as surely as Sorcha does. She suddenly stands up from her sewing machine and morches up to the dining room, with me following closely behind.

“Chorles,” she goes, bursting into the room, “did you encourage Honor to pre-book hundreds of supermorket delivery slots online?”

He's there, "There's no need to thank me, Sorcha!"

"I wasn't going to thank you, Chorles. I was going to say how dare you teach my daughter to profiteer during an emergency."

“As the great Hennessy Coghlan-O’Hara is wont to say, any old fool can make money when times are good. To make money during a time of crisis takes real entrepreneurship.”

I notice that Brian has relit his cigor and is puffing away on it like Columbo. No one seems to care.

“It’s no different to you and those facemasks,” the old man goes. “How much did you tell me you were selling them for? Five hundred euros apiece, wasn’t it?”

“Chorles, I’m doing it to support an amazing, amazing charity. Plus, they’re genuine Chloé.”

“Come on, Sorcha, we all know there’s no such thing as a truly selfless act.”

"She's doing it because she wants people to think she's a good person," Honor goes. "She's doing it for Likes and Reposts on Instagram. "

The old man's there, "It was the great Winston Churchill who said, 'Some people regord private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse . . . pulling a sturdy wagon!'"

“Quote-unquote!” Brian goes, fat Cohiba burning between his fingers.

Sorcha turns on her heel and storms out of the dining room, stopping only to say, “He has to go, Ross!”