Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: A south Dublin borbecue – what could possibly go wrong?
Christian is horrified to find his Wagyu steak looks tougher than Billy Vunipola
‘I’m going to accidentally on purpose knock his béarnaise off the table on to the ground,’ says Honor.
“Okay, watch this!” I go.
Yeah, no, everyone is around at our place for a borbecue and I’m introducing them all to Baxter, the cocker spaniel that Honor recently found abandoned.
“James Ryan! ” I go. “James Ryan, Baxter! James Ryan!”
The dog borks twice, then he gets down into play pose, his chest to the ground, his orse in the air and his tale wagging like crazy.
“Now,” I go, “watch this! Jonny May, Baxter! Jonny May! Jonny May!”
The thing has a sudden personality change. He shows us his gums and storts snorling, which the goys all find hilarious.
“Oh my God,” Oisinn goes, “I want one of those!”
I’m there, “Honor is going to teach him the names of the entire Ireland and England squads before the World Cup kicks off.”
Sorcha goes, “That’s if we’re keeping him. We don’t know that we’re definitely keeping him yet.”
Anyone who knows me will tell you that bringing your own meat to one of my borbecues is right up there with booing the opposition kicker
Lauren has to stick her two yoyos in then. She’s there, “The problem with rescue dogs is that you don’t know anything about their history. You don’t know if they were mistreated in the past and what kind of psychological baggage they’re carrying around as a result.”
Honor fixes her with a look. “We could say the same about you,” she goes. “And yet Christian still married you.”
It’s a real conversation stopper. I actually laugh – although I end up being the only one?
“Classic Honor!” I go. “Classic, classic Honor!”
Lauren’s there, “Well, growing up around you and your father, I would say the poor thing doesn’t stand a chance”, which is a weak comeback. But then her eldest, Ross jnr, comes over and tells her that Leo just called him a son of a whore and Brian did a poo in the azaleas and Lauren gives me a smug look like this is somehow a reflection on my parenting skills.
I decide to change the subject. “The borbie should be hot enough now,” I go. “I’ll stort throwing the food on.”
And that’s when Christian goes, “I hope you don’t mind – I brought my own steak.”
Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that bringing your own meat to one of my borbecues is right up there with booing the opposition kicker in terms of behaviour I find totally unacceptable.
“It’s a Japanese Wagyu ribeye,” he goes. “I got it in that new craft butchers in Ranelagh.”
I’m like, “Sounds delicious. Lucky you, Christian, huh?”
“You don’t mind me bringing my own steak, do you?”
Listen to Ross
“Not at all.”
“Because your face says otherwise.”
“Seriously, dude, just throw it on to the grill there. I’ll cook that for you. Medium-rare – isn’t that how you like it?”
“Yeah,” he goes, dropping it on to the grill. “I, er, also brought my own béarnaise. I hope that’s not obnoxious.”
I’m like, “Obnoxious? Not at all. You just know how to look after yourself, Christian. Fair focks would probably sum up my general attitude towards that kind of carry-on.”
He goes and sits down again. I cook his steak for 60 seconds on either side, then I put the spatula underneath it and I flip it on to the ground. Baxter is on it in, like, two seconds flat. He carries it off into a corner of the gorden and storts horsing into it.
Honor sees me do it. The girl misses nothing. She sidles up to me. “Oh my God,” she goes, “I saw what you did.”
I’m like, “Funny?”
“Er, hillair?” she goes.
I’m there, “Yeah, no, thanks, Honor. Christian can eat the same muck as the rest of us. End of conversation.”
She goes, “I’m going to accidentally on purpose knock his béarnaise off the table on to the ground.”
I’m there, “I love that we have a similar mindset, Honor.”
I can hear Amie with an ie banging on then about how she hasn’t mown her lawn all actual summer. I’ve seen pictures of it on Instagram. It looks like my chest between waxings.
She goes, “It was actually something Diarmuid Gavin said. Bees – oh my God – love wild flowers. If we all stop mowing our lawns so often, they’d have more sources of food.”
I’m there, “I don’t know. I think it’s the new Ice Bucket Challenge. Or the new No Make-Up Selfie. In a year’s time, everyone will be going, ‘Do you remember we all did that? What the fock were we like?’”
Lauren goes, “Oh, a word on the environment from the man who still borbecues using fossil fuels!”
Everyone laughs – including Christian.
I go, “Does that new craft butchers have a big window, Christian? Because they must have seen you coming!”
Honor’s like, “Good one, Dad!”
Christian’s there, “What are you talking about?” and he comes over to have a look for himself.
I pick the worst-looking piece of meat on the grill and I poke it with the spatula. I’m there, “It’s shriveled up to nothing, look. How much did you pay for it, just as a matter of interest?”
The cheek of him – he goes, “Is that definitely the steak I gave you?”
I’m there, “Excuse me?”
“It’s just, well, it doesn’t look like Japanese Wagyu ribeye.”
“Yeah, like you’d know the difference. See, this is what can sometimes happen when you stort getting ideas above your station.”
I flip it on to a plate for him. It looks miserable – and so does he.
“You never know,” I go, “it might taste fine. Although it looks tougher than Billy Vunipola. ”
That ends up being a mistake. Hearing the name of the England number eight sends Baxter into a bit of a borking frenzy?
“Woof, woof, woof,” he goes, between mouthfuls of delicious Wagyu beef – drawing every set of eyes in the gorden towards him.
Christian’s there, “Is that my steak that dog is eating?”
“He has a name,” Honor goes.
Lauren’s like, “That steak cost €25.”
Twenty-five yoyos! You wouldn’t blame them!
Little Ross jnr goes, “That’th my daddy’th thteak!” and he bends down and goes to take what’s left of it from the dog.
I hear the sound of glass breaking. Honor has knocked Christian’s béarnaise off the table and the jor has smashed on the patio.
“Oops,” she goes.
Then I hear a loud growl, followed by an angry bork, then a child’s scream. And I notice that Ross jnr has blood pouring from his hand.
“That’s it,” Sorcha goes. “The dog has to go.”