‘Ross O’Carroll-Kelly? I’m arresting you on suspicion of robbery’

There are two goys waiting in reception for me. It’s two – literally – gordaí

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: If you’d told me, when I was, like, 16, that I’d end up literally working for a living, I would have asked you, well, what was the point of playing rugby in the first place? Illustration: Alan Clarke

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: If you’d told me, when I was, like, 16, that I’d end up literally working for a living, I would have asked you, well, what was the point of playing rugby in the first place? Illustration: Alan Clarke

 

If you’d told me, when I was, like, 16 years old, that one day I’d end up literally working for a living, I would have asked you, well, what was the point of playing rugby in the first place? Yet here I am at, like, five o’clock on a Friday afternoon, wrecked at the end of another 28-hour week, but at the same time weirdly satisfied to have put in another honest day’s work.

I’ve been stealing client files. Not that it’s actual stealing. As my old man said once, if white-collar crime is a crime, then why does no one ever go to jail for it? Mind you, that was just before the judge sentenced him to five years for tax evasion and corrupting the planning process. But you take my point: this is business.

I’ve been – like I said – slaving away for Hook, Lyon and Sinker for the best port of, like, two years now, with fock-all to show for it, aport from a six-figure salary, then another six figures on top of that in bonuses. My point is that I’m good at what I do. I’ve earned 37 Hook, Lyon and Sinker Reward and Recognition Awards this year, and they don’t just hand them out like sweets. That’s why I decided a few months back that I was going to set up my own estate agency.

Slipping the files into my briefcase is exciting, it has to be said. It reminds me of when Honor decided she was going to steal an entire Storbucks, we’re talking piece by piece

So I’ve been stealing files on the QT, slipping four or five of them into my briefcase before I leave the office every day. And it’s exciting, it has to be said. It reminds me of that summer when Honor decided she was going to steal an entire Storbucks, we’re talking piece by piece. And I promised to help her – it was a real father-daughter bonding thing – until a security guard in Dundrum caught me trying to force a table with a chessboard pattern on it into the boot of Sorcha’s Nissan Leaf.

“What are you doing?” a voice suddenly goes.

I look up – trying to not look guilty? – but possibly failing. It ends up being JP.

I’m there, “I wasn’t doing anything. I don’t know what you think you saw, but that’s a pretty serious allegation you’re making. In which case, you better lawyer up, my friend.”

He goes, “Jesus, Ross, I’m not your wife. I meant what are you still doing here? As in, you’re usually gone home by four.”

That’s true. I do like to beat the traffic.

I’m like, “Oh, er, I just had some, er – let’s just call it – paperwork to, er – let’s just say – put away,” and I have no idea why I’m talking like this. “How did you get on, by the way?”

He was showing a house in Rialto.

Listen to Ross

“They’re definitely interested,” he goes, “although their offer is still a bit on the low side.”

I’m there, “Did you tell them that house prices are increasing at the rate of 50 snots a day?”

He’s there, “Yeah, no, unfortunately, the bank won’t give them any more moo. I’m putting myself up on the board for a six, by the way.”

“A six?” I go. “Are you actually serious?”

We’ve been playing this game since the morket picked up and people storted actually needing the services of estate agents again

I possibly need to explain that. We’ve been playing this game since the morket picked up and people storted actually needing the services of estate agents again. You pick a certain singer – or it could be a band – and you try to work as many of their lyrics as you can into your conversation with a potential buyer. So last month it was, like, Whitney Houston (“This was worth twice its current price at the height of the Celtic Tiger? God, didn’t we almost have it all?). This month, it just happens to be Neil Diamond.

JP puts his phone on the desk and presses play on the recorder. I hear him go, “Hello, again – hello. Look, I know you both got pretty angry with me the last day when I suggested that you sell one or both of your cors to stay in the game. I’m genuinely sorry. I am. I said. And, look, you said a lot of things you possibly regret as well. But the way I look at it is yesterday’s gone – and now all I want is a smile . . .”

He’s good at his job. There’s no question about that.

All of a sudden, his old man – the actual owner of Hook, Lyon and Sinker – walks in, paying a rare visit to the office. “What’s going on?” he goes.

I’m like, “Nothing. And that’s a pretty serious allegation that you’re making. I hope for your sake that you’re in a position to back it up.”

I don’t think I have the nerve to be a master criminal.

He goes, “Hey, I’m just asking why you’re still here at 5.30, that’s all.”

I’m like, “Oh, er, I had some stuff to do, then – yeah, no – JP was showing me his sixer.”

His old man’s like, “You got a sixer?”

On the phone, JP’s going, “LA’s fine, the sun shines most of the time. But does it have its own Luas station and a Tesco Express?”

JP’s old man laughs. “Oh, that’s good,” he goes. “I’m proud of you, son.”

I just presume it’s the gay couple who are interested in that fixer-upper. But it ends up not being them at all. It’s two – literally – gordaí

I decide to get out of there because I’m sweating like a taxi driver on 10 penalty points. I’m there, “I better hit the road! Otherwise, I might have to chorge you overtime!”

I probably will put in a claim for overtime.

JP’s old man goes, “There’s a couple of chaps waiting to talk to you in reception, Ross.”

And I think nothing of it. I just presume it’s the gay couple who are interested in that fixer-upper on Rochestown Avenue. But, when I step outside, it ends up not being them at all. It’s two – literally – gordaí.

“Ross O’Carroll-Kelly?” one of them goes. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of robbery.”

I turn around. JP and his old man are standing there, smiling sadly at me. And, as the man said, I’m not a man who likes to swear, but it looks to me like I’m very much focked.

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