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Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: I pop the boot and go, ‘Get in’

I’m not 100% keen on Honor driving, mainly cos she’s 14, and has no licence or insurance

Someone’s posted another video of wedding-day fails – basically a collection of unfortunate brides who either trip, slip, or, by some other means, snot themselves while walking up the aisle. Me and Honor have spent hundreds of hours laughing at these since the first lockdown. Sorcha’s right, it’s possibly immature, but then as my daughter reminds her, “So is marriage”.

Anyway, I knock on her door and I go, “Honor, this one throws up on her mother-in-law’s lap, then faints and takes out a string quartet while they’re playing, I’m pretty sure, Bruno Mors?”

Except Honor ends up not being in her room. I tip downstairs to look for her and that’s when I hear a cor engine outside. My hand automatically reaches for my pocket, where I usually keep my keys, and I discover, with a shock that almost stops my hort, that they’ve gone.

I run to the front door and I tear it open and – yeah, no – there’s Honor, back behind the wheel of my beloved Five Serious.


My daughter went through what might be called a rebellious phase last year when she storted driving my cor – not around the gorden either. She'd take the thing to Dundrum and, once, to Kildare Village, when Tory Burch was having a sale.

My old man told me once that Gords on random breathalyser duty play a game called Checkpoint Snooker

I'm not 100 per cent keen on her driving, mainly because she's 14 years-old, has no licence, tax or insurance and has to extend her neck like a periscope just to see over the steering wheel. On the upside – which she put to me quite forcefully – she is a better driver than her mother. But then so is Lindsay Lohan.

Anyway, I decide to do the whole strong parental role model thing by throwing myself across the bonnet of the cor, thus giving Honor the fright of her literal life.

I’m like, “Where the fock are you going? It’s Level 5!” and, I swear to God, I can see in her eyes she’s thinking about putting her foot down and taking off with me clinging to the windscreen wipers.

But she thinks better of it and I tell her to get out, which is what she ends up doing.

I’m there, “Where were you even going? There’s no shops open, Honor.”

And she's like, "I was going to drive down to Brittas Bay to bring grandad home."

My old man has been shacked up with Sorcha’s old dear in the Lalor family’s holiday home since the end of the summer, but has been self-isolating within the house, claiming to be suffering from Covid symptoms, since their affair stopped being fun.

Honor goes, “He’s miserable with that woman, Dad. He wants to go back to my other grandma.”

I just smile at Honor – can’t help it.

I’m there, “You get so much bad publicity – you’re very much like me in that regord – but I really wish people could see the sometimes good in you. Again, similar.”

Honor laughs. She’s like, “Er, I wasn’t doing it out of the kindness of my hort. I was doing it because he offered me two grand.”

I’m there, “Two grand?”

“Yeah, to come and get him. He knew you wouldn’t do it. And Hennessy’s banned from driving for 10 years.”

I’m like, “Un-focking-believable. Get back in the cor, Honor.”

Which is what she does.

I'm there, "Er, I mean the passenger side?"

So, yeah, no, she moves across to the passenger seat.

I stort the engine and I point the thing in the direction of Wicklow.

I’m there, “We’re not even supposed to leave the county, Honor.”

Fock's sake, Dad, it's not a  Jason Bourne movie

And she goes, “There was a moment, when you were on the bonnet of the cor, when I thought about just putting my foot down on the accelerator.”

“I know. Jesus, I could see it in your eyes. You better hope we’re not pulled over by the Feds on the way down there.”

It turns out they're stopping cors in Kilmacanogue, but we end up being waved through. My old man told me once that Gords on random breathalyser duty play a game called Checkpoint Snooker, where they stop cors according to the colours that make up a maximum break – we're talking red, then black for the first 30 cors, then a yellow, a green, a brown, a blue and a pink, before finishing on a black. It's possibly horseshit, but it's the reason my old dear will only drive a silver cor – and she hasn't been breathalysed since she lost her licence in 1978.

Eventually, we pull up outside the gaff. I’m like, “What were your instructions?”

Honor goes, "Fock's sake, Dad, it's not a Jason Bourne movie."

“Honor, what were your instructions?”

She sighs.

“He told me just to tap five times on the window,” she goes.

I’m there, “You stay in the cor. And don’t drive it anywhere.”

I tip up to his window and – yeah, no – I knock five times on it. A second or two later, he opens it and goes, “Honor?”

I step out of the darkness and I’m like, “Unfortunately for you, not.”

“Well, thank God it’s one of you,” he goes and – I swear to fock – he throws one of his legs out the window.

I’m there, “What are you doing?”

“I believe the phrase is making a run for it,” he goes.

I’m there, “You can’t end a relationship with someone by climbing out the window,” and I know the words “pot” and “kettle” aren’t far from the man’s lips. “If you’re not in love with her, finish it with a bit of class.”

I go back to the cor and wait for him. Twenty minutes later, he walks out of the front door, wiping tears from his eyes.

He’s like, “Good advice, Kicker!”

I pop the boot and I go, “Get in.”

He's there, "I beg your pordon?"

“Dude, it’s the boot or nothing.”

He knows I'm mad at him, so he just climbs in and I slam it shut. I stort the cor and point it in the direction of Foxrock.

“There’s a new wedding day fails video,” I go. “It’s on my phone.”

And Honor’s like, “Oh my God, I can’t wait to see it! Dad, can I ask you a question?”


“Why did you put grandad in the boot?”

I go, "You'll see!" and then I smile the smile of a man who's about to drive 35 times around the Loughlinstown roundabout.