So I’m in Donnybrook Fair with Honor when the woman in the checkout queue in front of us turns around to me and goes, “Sorry, I forgot to get an aubergine! Would you mind if I just . . ?”
She's asking us to hold her place in the line while she goes off to grab it. And, yeah, no, it annoys me, but I'm prepared to let it go – being very much a people person? – but Honor ends up suddenly tearing into her. She goes, "Why don't you finish your shopping before you come to the focking checkout?"
The woman’s like, “It’s just an aubergine. It’ll only take a second.”
“Yeah, that’s the second thing you’ve run off to get since you joined the queue. The last time it was coconut oil.”
“It’s only a couple of items. I don’t see what the big deal is?”
Honor takes the woman’s trolley and shoves it out of the way. “Go and do your shopping,” she goes, “then join the checkout queue.”
The poor woman looks at me as if to say, “Are you going to let your daughter speak to me like that?” but I end up just looking the other way.
Hey, if she’s never met a brat like Honor before, she mustn’t be from around here.
When she’s gone, I’m just like, “The way you spoke to that woman, Honor-”
She goes, “Yeah, did I ask you for your opinion?”
“I was just going to say I was very impressed.”
“You’re just sucking up to me.”
“I’m not sucking up to you. I’m tiptoeing around you. There’s a big difference. It’s just that you seem in bad form today and I just wanted to say, you know, if there’s something on your mind, well, your mother’s a pretty good listener.”
She laughs. “Yeah, right,” she goes, then she tells me she’s going outside to wait in the cor.
I pay for our bits, then I follow her out. A few minutes later, we're on the Stillorgan dualler when she looks up from her phone and goes, "You know why I'm in a bad mood."
She was born in a bad mood. I don’t know why I thought life would get easier as she moved towards her teens.
I'm there, "I'm just wondering is there something specific this time?"
“Yes, there’s something specific,” she goes. “My mother – so-called – has cancelled my credit cords.”
She spent literally the entire day before prepping food for it. The menu was inspired – meaning stolen – from Meghan Morkle's lifestyle blog
“Er, that’s because you ruined her royal wedding porty.”
Yeah, no, Sorcha invited about twenty-five of her closest friends around to the gaff last Saturday to watch Harry and Meghan get hitched over a Champagne brunch. She was absolutely determined that, of all the Champagne brunch porties happening in Killiney that day, hers was going to be the best.
She spent literally the entire day before prepping food for it. The menu was inspired – meaning “stolen” – from Meghan Morkle’s lifestyle blog: we’re talking her poached pears in spiced orange juice; we’re talking her Aegean-inspired kale salad; we’re talking her baked eggs in avocado; we’re talking her coconut chai smoothies.
Ten hours she spent in that kitchen before collapsing into bed around midnight. Then, just after she did, Honor tipped downstairs and unplugged the fridge.
“Everything was destroyed,” I remind her. “Can you imagine Sorcha’s embarrassment when her crew called around?”
"Embarrassment?" she goes. "Er, they were all dressed for a wedding they weren't even invited to? She was giving out prizes for the best hat. She has no idea what embarrassment even means."
“Well, at least you know now why she took your credit cords.”
“I suspect she’s trying to teach you that bad behaviour has consequences.”
“Why is she trying to teach me that?”
“I don’t know. I presume it’s something she read in a book. Or more likely a magazine.”
I pull into a petrol station because the cor needs juice. I fill it up while Honor stands beside me and carries on – I suppose you'd have to call it – venting?
She goes, “You should have defended me. I thought you, of all people, would have found what I did funny.”
Er, no one who ever saw me play rugby would say that I lacked backbone, Honor. I rest my case
I'm there, "Yeah, no, it was kind of funny? As a parent, though, I should possibly be teaching you that stuff can be hilarious but at the same time wrong."
“You’re a coward.”
“I’m saying you’ve got no backbone.”
“Er, no one who ever saw me play rugby would say that I lacked backbone, Honor. I rest my case.”
I replace the fuel nozzle but she follows me inside to pay while continuing to tear my character aport.
“Just like back there in Donnybrook Fair,” she goes, “when that woman joined the checkout queue before she’d finished doing her actual shopping. You hate people who do that as much as I do. And yet you just stood there and said nothing.”
I’m there, “You seemed to have the situation very much in hand.”
“You just looked the other way. You’re a coward. You have no character at all.”
We’re standing in a queue of, like, four or five people. I sort of brood over what she said until the dude behind the counter finally shouts, “Next!”
Just as I’m about to move, some dude comes up on the inside of me. “Excuse me,” he goes. “I just-”
Straight away, I’m like, “The answer is no.”
He’s there, “What?”
“Let me guess. You’re only getting a corton of milk and you have the exact change handy and you think that entitles you to skip to the front of the queue. Well, it doesn’t. You can actually fock off.”
Honor laughs. Oh, there’s no question she’s looking at her old man differently all of a sudden. She’s like, “Oh my God, Dad, that was amazing!”
And, spurred on by her, I turn back to the dude and I go, “You know, people like you make me sick. People who don’t respect the rules of queuing. You stand behind someone and you wait your focking turn. It’s actually very simple.”
The dude goes, “I wasn’t looking to skip you. I noticed that you left your car unlocked. And I just saw someone take a laptop bag, a briefcase and three Donnybrook Fair shopping bags out of the boot.”