Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: Honor leaves Love Island to admit to driving the cor
‘Do you know how embarrassing it is to live in Killiney and have to drive stick shift?’
Honor shrugs. ‘I’m a focking better driver than you’
So – yeah, no – I’m in the living room, watching Love Island, when Sorcha all of a sudden steps in front of the TV and goes, “I need to talk to you about something.”
I’m there, “Can it wait? I want to see what happens with Yewande.”
But she picks up the remote off the coffee table and switches it off.
“I got three penalty points,” she goes, “for speeding.”
Sorcha is the worst driver in the entire world, but I somehow manage to pull off a look of surprise. “That’s terrible,” I go. “And obviously unfair.”
“I was clocked driving at 70km/h in a 60km/h zone driving south on the N11 through Kilmacanogue.”
“Yeah, no,” I go, “that’s a sneaky one. See, they know you have to basically slam on the brakes to get down from 100km/h. Everyone gets caught there.”
“And then I looked at the date. It was just after midday on Saturday, the 11th of May.”
All I can do is just shake my head. “The day that Leinster lost to Saracens in the Heineken Cup final,” I go. “God, that was a bad day all round.”
“You were in Newcastle,” she goes. “And I took my mom and dad for lunch – to The Orangery in the Lyons Estate. Dad had heard amazing things about the Duvillaun Beg Island glazed lamb shoulder with rosemary jus.”
I’m there, “Where’s this going, Sorcha?” because it’s actually a bit boring.
“I drove your cor, Ross. Don’t you see my point?”
“You might need to actually spell it out for me. You know how thick I am.”
“How could I have been driving my Nissan Leaf in County Wicklow when I was driving your Audi A8 in County Kildare?”
I’m there, “It’s, em, a definite mystery alright. I suppose it’s just one of those things we’re going to have to accept.”
“Well, I didn’t just accept it,” she goes. “Ross, when I won the 1996 All-Ireland Schools Debater of the Year award, the citation mentioned my relentlessly questioning mind.”
“Yeah, no, I’ve some experience of that myself.”
“So I appealed against the notice. I said I could prove I wasn’t anywhere near Kilmacanogue at that time and on that date. I have the receipt for lunch. I had the Kilkee scallops with ruby grapefruit and black rice. It’s there in black and white.”
“What were the scallops like – just as a matter of interest?”
“Why are you trying to change the subject?”
“I wasn’t. Go on, what happened then?”
“Dad rang a solicitor friend of his. He’s amazing. He’s got penalty points quashed for – oh my God – loads of people on, like, technicalities?”
“He sounds fantastic.”
“He said I was entitled to ask for photographic evidence of the alleged offence.”
“And did you?”
And that’s when she produces it – like a winning poker hand.
“Yes,” she goes, sticking a black and white photograph under my nose. She’s had it blown up, I notice. And there, sitting behind the wheel of her Nissan Leaf, raising her middle finger to the driver in the next lane, is our 13-year-old daughter.
“It’s Honor,” Sorcha goes.
It’s Honor alright. It’s totally undeniable. I decide to give it a go anyway. I’m there, “I don’t think it is her. And that’s me being honest.”
“Ross,” she goes, “I think I’d recognise my own daughter. Call her down here – now!”
So I tip out into the hallway and I call her name. I’m like, “Honor? Are you busy?”
“Yes,” she shouts back, “I’m watching Love Island!”
I go back into Sorcha. I’m there, “She’s watching Love Island. It looks like it’ll have to wait.”
But Sorcha steps past me and roars up the stairs. She’s like, “Honor! Get down here right now!”
Honor arrives down the stairs a full five minutes later. She looks at me and goes, “Okay, what is her problem?”
I’m there, “The first thing I want to stress, Honor, is that we’re not angry with you.”
“Yes, we are angry with her!” Sorcha roars.
I’m like, “Are we?”
Sorcha holds up the photograph. She’s like, “What the hell were you doing driving my car on the N11?”
Honor just shrugs. She’s like, “Dad was at his stupid rugby match. You went out for the day with your dopey parents. I decided to drive down to Monart for a spa day.”
I’m there, “I think that’s cleared that up. What’s happening with Yewande, Honor?”
Sorcha goes, “Shut up, Ross! Why were you driving my cor?”
“Er, because you took the Audi?” Honor goes. “Which was annoying, by the way. Do you know how embarrassing it is to live in Killiney and have to drive stick shift?”
Sorcha ends up losing it. She’s like, “How long have you been driving our cars?”
Again, Honor shrugs. “For ages,” she goes. “I’m a focking better driver than you.”
I actually laugh. I know I shouldn’t, but it just slips out.
Honor goes, “I am! At least I indicate when I want to change lanes. And I don’t block yellow boxes or take up two spaces when I pork.”
Like I said, Sorcha is the one who shouldn’t be on the road.
I’m there, “Sorcha, it’s important that we don’t overreact here. I remember you stealing your old dear’s Micra many times before you had your full licence.”
“Yeah,” she goes, “when I was 17! Honor is 13 years old!” and then she suddenly stops.
I’m like, “What?”
She’s there, “You knew, didn’t you? You knew she was driving our cors?”
I go, “I didn’t. I swear to you, Sorcha.”
“He did,” Honor goes. “He’s known for, like, ages.”
I’m like, “Yeah, no, thanks a bunch, Honor. Okay, we were in Dundrum Town Centre one day and she stole my keys and drove to Kildare Village. I said I wouldn’t tell you, Sorcha, as long as she promised to never do it again. But then she did it loads more times after that. And that – honestly – was the full extent of what I knew.”
“Honor,” Sorcha goes, “you’re going to be punished for this. You’re not going to Paris this summer.”
Honor laughs. She’s like, “You’re so lame.”
“And, Ross, you’re going to be punished too.”
I’m like, “Me?”
And then she says the words that are like a dagger to my hort.
She’s like, “You can forget about going to the Rugby World Cup.”