Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘God, I could tell you some stories about my debs days. Like the one where I went to two different debses on the same night’

Sorcha puts a giant Loub in it, leaving Ronan to cover up – badly

Shadden’s old dear hands me a can of beer called Hoxha – which is obviously Albanian for “Not Heineken” – and she tells me that it’s all she has in. It literally tastes like licking a bus tyre.

A second or two later, Ronan and Shadden step into the kitchen and it’s ooohhhs and aaahhhs from everyone, including all of the neighbours who’ve stopped by.

It’s the night of my son’s debs and I can’t tell you how proud I am to see him standing there in his tux.

“Yiz look lubbly,” all the old dears go. “Shadden, your thress is oatenly beauriful!”


Sorcha's there, "It's an – oh my God – goyergous creation!" and I hear one or two of the wans impersonating her out of the corner of their mouths, going, "Goyergous – where's she bleaten going with the accent?"

I’m always warning her to dial down the Vico a notch or two when we cross the river, but she never listens. These aren’t the kind of women you meet in the coffee shop in DL Kids.

"Ah, the debs!" I go. "God, I could tell you some stories about my debs days, Ro. Like, for instance, the one where I went to two different debses on the same night. That's a famous 'me' story. The Loreto on the Green debs on in the Berkeley Court the same night as the Loreto Foxrock debs was on in Jury's. I was invited to both."

Sorcha goes, “They don’t want to hear your stupid stories, Ross. Shadden, like I said, your dress is goyergous!”

But they do want to hear it. One of the neighbours goes, “You took two geerdles to their debs on the same night?”

"That's right," I go. "Picked the first one up from her gaff, where her old pair were having a drinks porty. Took her to Jury's, made some excuse to disappear for an hour, then pegged it out to the other one's gaff – Champagne with the folks, again, gift of the gab, blah, blah, blah – then I dropped her off at the Berkeley Court and laced back to Jury's."

Dordeen and the neighbours are listening to this with humongous smiles on their faces. Women love a rogue. That’s always been my experience.

“And I spent the whole night running between the two,” I go. “I had to eat two dinners and everything. That’s why I can’t even look at chicken supreme to this day.”

"You're veddy fuddy!" one of the wans goes. I think she's taken a bit of a shine to the Rossmeister. One of the other things I love about myself is that you can take me anywhere.

Of course, Sorcha tries to steal the limelight away from me. She goes, “Well, at least your son isn’t anything like you, Ross!”

I look at Ro and he can’t even meet my eye. Last week, he spent the night with a girl from college and told Shadden he was staying in ours. He’s like me alright. The philandering gene is strong in him.

He obviously gets uncomfortable with this line of conversation because he goes, “Ine, er, gonna go and check on Rihanna-Brogan,” and he leaves the room.

I'm there, "I'm trying to think of some of the other stories of debses I've ruined. Of course, Mount Anville took out a High Court injunction banning me from their bash one year."

Again, Sorcha tries to take the spotlight off me by asking Shadden how Ronan’s settling into UCD.

“He’s got a lot of lectures,” Shadden goes. “He does be veddy tired.”

And that’s when Sorcha goes and puts a size five Loub in it. She’s there, “I meant to say to him, if he’s ever too tired to get the bus home, he should stay with us.”

Shadden’s like, “Soddy?”

I’m shooting Sorcha a look as it to say, ‘Shut the fock up!’ except she keeps on going.

She’s there, “It must be, like, a year since he last stayed over – and Honor loves seeing him. Ross, what’s wrong with your face?”

Shadden goes, “Ronan toalt me he stayed in yooer house last week – and anutter night the week befower.”

I’m there, “Er, yeah, no, he did, Shadden. Sorcha had her book club, which is why she doesn’t remember. The only thing they ever read is wine labels!”

Shadden goes, “So you’re saying he did stay over – and Sorcha’s saying he didn’t?”

I’m there, “I’ll tell you what, I’ll go and check on Ro and see if he’s okay.”

“Stay where you are,” Shadden goes. “You’re gonna warden him,” and then she storts calling his name, going, “Ronan!”

Thirty seconds later, he arrives back in the kitchen, no idea of the shit storm heading his way. I go, “Deny everything, Ro.”

Shadden’s there, “You toalt me you stayed with your da and Sorcha last week.”

I’m there, “And I’m still saying you did, Ro. It’s just Sorcha didn’t notice because she was hammered. What’s that other joke I came with, Sorcha? Yeah, no, your drinking club has a book problem! Pack of lushes!”

It doesn’t put Shadden’s mind at rest.

She goes, “Ronan, tell me the troot – did you stay with them?”

The poor goy can’t look her in the eye and lie – that’ll hopefully come in time.

“No,” he goes. “Rosser’s trying to cubber for me.”

Shadden’s like, “So where were you?”

A horrible silence descends on the kitchen. Then, out of the blue, Ronan goes, "I went to England – yeah, to get you yisser Christmas present."

“Oh, good work!” I shout, because it’s an excuse that not only gets him off the hook – it makes her feel guilty for ever doubting him. It’s like he took my correspondence course or something.

She goes, “What are buying me for Christmas that you had to go to England twice for it?”

He hesitates, so I go, “It was a piece of jewelry, wasn’t it, Ro?”

He goes, “Jewdle oddy – that’s reet.”

Dordeen puts her hand over her mouth and goes, “An engagement ring?”

Sorcha’s like, “Oh! My God!”

Dordeen goes, “Shadden, he’s gonna ast you to maddy him!”

And Shadden – with tears in her eyes – goes, “Yes, Ronan! My answer is yes!”

I look my son, standing there with a look of total confusion on his face – suddenly engaged to be married – and all I can think is that he still has a hell of a lot to learn.