Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘I wouldn’t be any kind of best man if I didn’t try to persuade you not to get married’
Ronan has a favour to ask Ross – and a cover-up he needs some help with
Ronan says he has a favour to ask me. We’re back in his gaff after watching Ireland lose to the All Blacks. We’re sitting in the back gorden and he’s smoking a joint big enough to paddle a canoe up the Liffey.
I’m like, “A favour? Does it involve me having to get up before 10 o’clock in the morning?”
He goes, “No.”
“Then fire ahead.”
“I want you to be me best man, Rosser.”
That pretty much floors me. I’m like, “Me? Why aren’t you asking Gull? Or Nudger? Or Buckets of Blood?”
“Cos Ine aston you, Rosser. Will you be me best man?”
I literally don’t know what to say. So I go, “Yeah, no, of course I will. I’ll do it. But I wouldn’t be any kind of best man – or any kind of father for that matter – if I didn’t try to persuade you not to get married.”
“What do you mean?”
“I saw you, Ro. The night of the engagement porty. With that lounge girl?”
He pulls a fake confused face. It’s the same one I usually use.
“Ro,” I go, “the two of your were in the storeroom going at it like zoo monkeys. I pushed the door and saw you.”
“That was a once-off, Rosser.”
“What about that girl from Galway – Pegeen Mike or whatever she was called?”
“That was a once-off as well, Rosser.”
“Ro, you’ve been going through the UCD Orts block like… well, I won’t say what. But the phrase ‘shit through a goose’ certainly suggests itself.”
“Ine gonna change me ways, Rosser – soon as Ine maddied.”
“You’re beginning to sound like me. Trust me, Ro, marriage isn’t something you enter into lightly.”
“I know that.”
“I always say that marriage is like eating with chopsticks. It’s a lot horder than it looks and you’re constantly asking yourself why am I even bothering here?”
“I know what Ine doing, Rosser. Like I said to you, Ine mending me ways.”
That’s when Shadden steps outside into the gorden. Ronan tries to wave away the smell of hash but Shadden’s got more pressing business on her mind.
“Who’s bra is this?” she goes.
She’s holding up – like the girl said – a bra.
Ronan’s response, I immediately know, is going to tell us a lot about whether he’s cut out to be a successful adulterer.
He goes, “Soddy?” to buy himself some time. I might as well tell you, I’m very impressed.
Shadden goes, “I ast you whose bra this is? I fowunt it in yizzer bag.”
Ronan’s like, “It’s, er… er… it’s Rosser’s.”
Shadden looks at me, her eyes wide with surprise. Yeah, thanks a bunch, Ro. She goes, “Yoo-ers? Why have you got a bra?”
Now it’s my turn to go, “Sorry?”
It’s like playing with a scrumhalf with quick hands – Peter Stringer comes to mind. It’s those vital extra seconds you get.
“You heert me?” she goes. “Why have you got a bra? And what’s it doing in Ronan’s bag?”
I’m there, “It belongs to, em – yeah, no – a woman.”
“A woman. It’s a woman’s bra. I just asked Ronan to mind it.”
“A woman you’re sleeping with?”
“Slept with. Past tense. So let’s all move on. Ireland were very unlucky tonight, I thought.”
She refuses to let it go. She’s like, “A woman you slept wit behoyunt Suddeka’s back?”
Unbelievable. Ronan actually tuts and shakes his head, like he’s disappointed with me.
I’m there, “Like I said, it was a once-off. Opportunity arose. Gift horse in the mouth. Blah, blah, blah.”
Ronan goes, “You’re some flute, Rosser. Lubbly geerl like Suddeka and you doing the doort behoyunt her back.”
I give him a serious filthy.
Shadden ends up losing it with me. At the top of her voice, she storts going, “You stupid eejit! You stupid bleaten… Ine ringing her.”
I’m like, “Whoa!”
“I caddent caddy that arowunt wit me. I caddent know something like that and pretend I doatunt. Ine ringing her and Ine tedding her.”
Ronan is still looking at me, shaking his head.
I’m there, “Ro, a little help would be nice here. Especially since this is kind your fault?”
Ronan suddenly comes to his senses – and my help. He’s like, “Ah, in fearness, Shadden, the fedda said it was oatenly a once-off. A slip. Suddeka finds out, that’ll be the end of he’s maddidge – am I reet, Rosser?”
I’m there, “Absolutely. The problem is there’s been a lot of once-offs in the past.”
“Thee’ve got fowur kids. You tell Suddeka, them kids is gonna grow up wirrout a fadder. All for what? A once-off – that reet, Rosser?”
“That’s right, Ro. I doubt if I’ll ever do something like that again.”
Shadden stares at me like she wants to kill me. “Ine so angry wit you,” she goes. “You’ve a lubbly wife…”
“Three beauriful little babbies.”
“They’re great – I’m agreeing with you.”
“And a gorgeous daughter.”
“And you’re gonna thrun that away?”
She stands behind Ronan and rubs her hand through his hair.
She goes, “Why caddent you be mower like Ronan here?”
Ronan nods – a big, smug smile on his face. Oh, he’s good. He’s very, very good.
I’m there, “I wish I was more like him.”
She goes, “He’s loyul, you see. You’d want to grow up, Ross.”
I’m like, “Yeah, no, I hopefully will.”
“Ine gonna ignore it this toyum. But if I ebber foyunt out that you’ve cheated on her again, she’ll be toalt. Do you wontherstand?”
“Yeah, no, I do.”
She storms off, back into the house, stopping at the door to go, “Ro, don’t smoke too much of that stuff – we’ve got to write Rihanna-Brogan’s Santa List wit her tonight.”
He’s like, “Feerd enough, Shadden.”
Then into the gaff she goes.
Ronan laughs. He’s like, “Moy Jaysus, that was bleaten close, wha?”
There are two ways of looking at what just happened here. If he can put on a performance like that, then he’ll make a very good job of being married. But at the same time, it’s like I said about the chopsticks – what’s the actual point?
So I decide in that moment that the most important role I can play as his best man is to persuade him that he’s about to make the biggest mistake of his life.