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‘Ross, how would you like to make love to a woman with grey hair?’

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: After weeks in lockdown Sorcha’s roots are showing

I think it's fair to say that 2020 looks a lot different to how we expected it to look? We're all doing a lot of crazy shit we never thought we'd find ourselves doing. As in, walking into the supermorket dressed like we're planning to rob the place.

As in, talking to our families like astronauts to mission control. As in, responding to a child’s sneeze by locking her in the polytunnel greenhouse for the afternoon and telling her that she’ll have to survive on aubergines and cherry tomatoes until we see if any more symptoms develop.

In the latter case, I think Sorcha would admit now that it was a possible overreaction on her port? But, as people keep saying, these are unprecedented times and it should come as no surprise that the tension is storting to get to us all.

Matt Damon is her Celebrity Free Pass and it's a well-known fact that he's in the lo-cal

But there's, like, literally no explaining that to Honor. The girl holds on to things like no one since Warren Gatland and she will not forget easily the memory of her mother zipping up the door and telling her, through a half-inch of polythene, "There'll be strawberries in there in another few weeks! Isn't that something to look forward to!"


Let’s just say the incident has resulted in there being a bit of an atmosphere around Honalee.

Anyway, I'm, like, sitting in front of the TV, sucking on a stick of Heinemite, watching the Leinster versus Northampton match from 2011 – effing and blinding at Johnny Sexton in a complimentary way – when Sorcha steps into the living room and says she needs to ask me for a massive favour.

I’m like, “Yeah, no, what is it?”

And she goes, “I need you to do my hair.”

“Do your hair? As in-?”

“As in, dye it, Ross.”

I carefully consider my response like a man who’s on his sixth bottle of the afternoon. Then I go, “What colour are you thinking of dying it?”

She's like, "Er, blond?"

And I’m there, “But you’re already blond.”

She gives me one of those looks – like she can't believe how thick I am. It's nice that, after all these years, I can still surprise her.

"Ross," she goes, "do you think my hair is naturally blond?"

I'm like, "Honest answer? Yeah, I do. Well, I did."

"So we've been together, what, nearly 25 years? We've been married for, like, 18 of those – and you still don't know what colour my actual hair is?"

“So, like, what colour is it – as in, actually?”

“It’s brown.”

“Brown? Jesus, I thought I married a blonde.”

“Well, you didn’t.”

“You know, I could probably get an annulment, if I wanted to go down that road.”

"Well, before you phone the Vatican, I need you to do my hair for me."

"I don't know if that's a good idea, Sorcha. I'm on the outskirts of Pissedville, Arkansas, here. I cried for 15 minutes solid after Johnny's second try."

"Ross," she goes, sticking her head in my face, "look at my roots! What colour are they?"

“Oh my God,” I go, “they’re grey!”

"Exactly! Brown was my natural colour. That's my natural colour now. How would you like to make love to a woman with grey hair?"

Jesus, I haven’t heard a line like that since my days hanging out in Howl at the Moon.

So I stand up. I’m there, “You’ll have to talk me through the steps,” and I follow her to the kitchen, where all the various lotions and potions are laid out on the table.

"I've mixed everything," she goes, sitting down and putting a towel around her shoulders. "All you have to do is apply it. It's actually easy. Have a look at this video that Helena Hobbs posted on her Instagram. "

She hands me her phone.

I’m there, “Who the fock is Helena Hobbs?”

"She's a really famous hairfluencer," Sorcha goes. "Watch how she does it, Ross."

So – yeah, no – that's what I end up doing? And she's right. It does seem pretty basic. I follow Helena's instructions. I grab a handful of hair, weave the tail comb through it, stick the sticky paper to her head, flatten it down, then paint on the – yeah, no – actual colour. Then I repeat the step over and over again.

I end up getting quite into it. I stort having the crack then, asking Sorcha if she has any holidays booked, or if she did anything nice at the weekend, which she finds hilarious.

While the colour is doing its thing, I fix her a gin and tonic, which she says is every bit as good as the ones they give her in Brown Sugar.

She goes, "Ross, you're actually a natural at this!"

I’m there, “Yeah, no, it kind of brings me back to my childhood. My old dear used to make me wax her moustache every Sunday morning – although she took a lot more gin and lot less tonic than you.”

"Well, it's important to make the effort," Sorcha goes. "Even during the lockdown, we should at least try to look our best?"

Something suddenly hits me – you could call it a realisation.

I'm there, "This isn't about Matt Damon, is it?"

Yeah, no, Matt Damon is her Celebrity Free Pass and it’s a well-known fact that he’s in the lo-cal.

She goes, “Oh my God, Ross, not this again.”

I’m there, “I’m just saying, Sorcha, you’ve been trying to accidentally, on purpose, run into the dude ever since this lockdown storted.”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Er, lecturing us about making unnecessary journeys, then driving to the recycling centre in your best clobber with an empty bottle of Riscal?”

She laughs. She’s like, “Oh my God, listen to yourself! Ross, you’re being irrational!”

Hey, like I said, the tension is getting to us all.

She disappears into the bathroom then, to rinse her hair. And that's when the laughter stops. Suddenly, I can hear sobbing coming from behind the door, followed by these loud, piercing screams. It reminds me of the time she borrowed my laptop and saw my Google search history.

“It’s disgusting,” she screams. “It’s focking . . . orange!”

Honor walks into kitchen then. She’s like, “The drama! It’s almost as if someone tampered with the colour, isn’t it?”

I’m there, “Honor, you didn’t! You wouldn’t!”

But I watched her chew through polythene. I know she’s capable of anything.