The Vico Road is absolutely mobbed. Yeah, no, they're porked from one end of the road to the other, cors of every variety – we're talking BMW X5s, we're talking BMW X6s, we're talking BMW X7s. And they've all come to see our Christmas decorations.
“Look around you, Ross!” Sorcha goes. “Look at the wonder on the faces of all these children!”
I'm there, "Yeah, I'm kind of busy here, Babes?" Because I'm doling out the hot chocolate and I've got a queue as long as a sober night in lockdown.
But – yeah, no – she's right. People are genuinely, genuinely loving it. They're ooh-ing at our life-sized Santa on his sleigh with nine, again, life-sized reindeer – we're talking Rudolph and the rest of the crew. They're aah-ing at our moving crib, especially Brian, Johnny and Leo, who are dressed up as the Three Wise Men and are sitting on the backs of three giant, stuffed camels. They're morvelling at our Santa's Workshop, where forty elves are busy making toys, surrounded by penguins and polar bears and whatever else.
We've got, like, giant Christmas tree baubles, each one six feet high, and a pile of giant presents, each one the same. We've got giant letters spelling out "PEACE" and "JOY" and "BIDEN 2020". And we've got Katherine Jenkins – although not literally – singing O Holy Night on the outdoor Bose speakers.
“People are saying it’s amazing,” Sorcha goes. “They’re saying that at the end of a miserable year, we’ve given them actual happiness by reminding them about the true spirit of Christmas.”
And I’m like, “Yeah, no, I’ve heard one or two say that alright.”
"They're saying it's – oh my God – way better than Fanchea Rowley's gorden last year."
“I’ve heard them say that too.”
"And this is only the first night, Ross. Oh my God, can you imagine what it's going to be like when people stort posting their pictures on Insta and Facebook? It's going to be like, Oh! My God!"
“Yeah, no, maybe try to rein in the excitement a bit, Sorcha.”
“You do this every year, Ross. You and Honor. You always try to crush my Christmas spirit.”
“It’s, like, an established fact that when you offer people something for free, they take the piss – especially around here.”
And right on cue – I swear to fock – a girl steps up to me and goes, “Er, can I get, like, a grande hot chocolate with almond milk?”
I'm like, "Almond milk?"
And she's there, "Yeah, no, I'm, like, lactose intolerant?"
“The fock do you think this is,” I go, “Storbucks? Jog on. Focking almond milk.”
I turn to Sorcha and I’m like, “See what I mean?”
“Well, that’s the main difference between me and you,” she goes. “I think people are fundamentally good. And you think–.”
“People are dicks. You could give them the world and they’d still ask you if you validate porking.”
And that’s when a woman, who I vaguely recognise from Idlewilde, walks up to Sorcha and goes, “It’s really wonderful what you’ve done!”
Sorcha's like, "Oh my God, thank you! That means so, so much! Don't forget to post pictures!"
“It must use a lot of electricity, though, does it?”
“Er, a lot less than you’d imagine. Plus, there’s a donation box over by the culturally sensitive Inuit Village. All the money raised will be going to a non-profit organisation that plants trees – just to ensure we offset our corbon footprint.”
“Did you know that non-native plantations can cause problems for biodiversity?”
“I’d just be keen to find out whether this non-profit is certified before I give money.”
While Sorcha searches her phone for the name of the crowd, some random dude walks up to the hot chocolate station and goes, “Someone’s blocked my cor in.”
Obviously, I’m like, “So focking what?”
“What I’m saying is there’s a cor porked an inch from my rear bomper and there’s another practically touching my front fender. I can’t get out.”
“And I’m just making the point that I’m struggling to give two shits right now, but I’ll make sure to let you know if that changes in the near future.”
“If you put on something like this, you should have porking stewards out there on the road!”
If I had to pinpoint the exact moment when the atmosphere storts to turn, I’d say that’s probably it.
Sorcha’s still looking through her phone when some other random dude walks up to her and goes, “One of your Three Wise Men stuck his middle finger up at me and used the C word,” and I’m about to tell him, hey, you’d want to try living with them, when all of a sudden I’ve got a woman standing in front of me – and not the required two-metre distance away either – asking me if I find food intolerances funny.
I’m there, “Er, some of them, yeah,” thinking about Oisinn’s ability to fart in three different keys after he eats bread. But I barely get the words out when someone else is standing there asking me if there are goodie bags.
“Something like this,” she goes, “you would expect there to be goodie bags.”
Sorcha’s still going through her phone. But now she’s got some other dude in her ear, going, “My son climbed on top of one of the giant presents and he fell off. Why don’t you have a sign up telling parents not to let their children climb on top of the big presents in case they fall off?”
"There should be goodie bags," the woman is still going. "Is there a manager I can complain to?"
“I’m going to need a caramel latte with coconut milk,” some random voice to my left goes.
And that's when Honor steps out of the house, carrying the loudhailer that Sorcha used to use for her Saturday afternoon protests outside Sydney Vord.
"Attention!" she goes. "I have called the Gords in Dalkey to complain about your cors being porked with their wheels on the path. They are ticketing you right now!"
I've never seen anywhere empty as quickly – even the RDS after a Leinster defeat. People are picking up their children and running like a volcano is about to blow. Me and Sorcha turn and stare at Honor.
And she just goes, “You’re welcome!”