Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘She’s being re-christened? Okay, is that an actual thing?’ ‘It is if your name is Isis’

The poor girl can’t even give her name in Storbucks without having to apologise and launch into this whole spiel about ancient Egyptian religion.

I don’t know why parents can’t just call their children normal names, like Aednat or Summer or Maeve spelled with three or four Bs, three or four Ds and three or four Hs?”

I don’t know why parents can’t just call their children normal names, like Aednat or Summer or Maeve spelled with three or four Bs, three or four Ds and three or four Hs?”

 

Sorcha says she hopes I haven’t forgotten about Saturday, but I barely even hear her. She goes, “Ross, are you even listening to me?”

I’m there, “Yeah, no, I am listening. Something’s happening on Saturday. I don’t know what it is. Hit me with it again?”

“My cousin – as in, like, Jacquetta? Ross, you’ve met her loads of times. I’m godmother to her 11-year-old daughter, Isis?”

I’m there, “Isis? Are you saying that’s her actual name?”

“Yes,” she goes, “but obviously she wasn’t named after that Isis. She was named after the Egyptian goddess who was, like, a friend to sinners and slaves. Her husband, Frank, is an – oh my God – huge Bob Dylan fan.”

“I’m tempted to say fair focks, Babes, but I’m wondering how all of this affects me.”

“Well, they’re having her re-christened on Saturday and obviously, as her godmother, I have to be there.”

“She’s being re-christened? Okay, is that an actual thing?”

“It is if your name is Isis.”

“Yeah, no, I suppose it would be. I don’t know why parents can’t just call their children normal names, like Aednat or Summer or Maeve spelled with three or four Bs, three or four Ds and three or four Hs?”

“Because Isis was born in, like, 2004, when mythical names were very much on trend. But now, well, Isis obviously means something else and every time they pass through airport security they get pulled in for questioning. The poor girl can’t even give her name in Storbucks without having to apologise and launch into this whole spiel about ancient Egyptian religion.”

“That’s a definite bummer.”

“So they’re changing her name to Corrina and I said we’d both be there.”

“Yeah, no, whatever.”

This conversation is taking place in a waiting room in the Blackrock Clinic, where we’ve been sitting for the past two hours. We’re waiting for news about JP’s old man, who had, like, a hort attack last week. He’s still critical, by the way – although I haven’t been allowed in to see him. At the moment, it’s just, like, immediate family.

Sorcha goes, “Have you had the conversation with JP?”

I’m there, “No, I haven’t been able to find the right, I suppose, moment?”

“Ross, you have to talk to him. Mr Conroy said he wanted you to be the new Managing Director of Hook, Lyon and Sinker.”

“Yeah, no, I know that? But I can’t very well turn around to JP and go, ‘Bad news about your old man – by the way, about 20 seconds before he keeled over, he told me he wanted me and not you to take over the running of the family business.”

Actually, it doesn’t sound that bad when I say it out loud like that.

“It’s what Mister Conroy wanted,” Sorcha goes. “And I’m not being, like, cold-horted, Ross, but you have to think what if something happens to him? As in, what if he doesn’t pull through? You have to get him to confirm you as his successor while he’s still alive.”

“But how am I going to do that? JP and his old dear won’t let me near the ward.”

“You’re just going to have to talk to JP. Tell him that’s what his father said. And I was an actual witness. Oh my God, I was, like, so proud of you.”

“It’s hord, though. Bear in mind, I played rugby with JP.”

“Then you should be able to say anything to each other.”

That’s actually true. Oh, rugby. Will man ever come up with anything better?

Suddenly, I get my chance to talk to JP. I spot the dude outside in the corridor. Out to him I go. I’m like, “Hey, any news?” just letting him know that I do actually care.

He goes, “He’s still, you know, the same.”

“He’s gonna pull through. Remember what Father Fehily used to say? Fear will keep you awake all night – but faith makes one hell of a pillow.”

JP smiles and nods. He’s the most, I suppose, religious of us all.

I’m there, “I’d love to go in and see him if that’s possible.”

Quick as a flash, he goes, “No, it’s not, Ross. It’s not possible.”

“It’s just, you know, I’d love to let him know that I’m thinking about him.”

“He knows you’re thinking of him. I told him.”

“Okay – and did he say anything in response?”

“What do you mean?”

“About me? About the qualities I bring to the job of buying and selling houses, how I’m ruthless, emotionally numb, blah, blah, blah.”

“Ross, the man has just had a near-death experience. He’s not even out of the woods yet. Why do you think he’d be talking about work?”

“Okay, Dude, there’s no easy way of saying this, so I’m just going to come straight out with it. When your old man hit the deck, he was just about to make an announcement.”

“What kind of announcement?”

“He was planning to retire in a few months…”

“Well, he’s retired now, because he’s never going back to work after this.”

“The thing is, JP, he wanted me to take over the running of Hook, Lyon and Sinker.”

“You? You’re not family.”

“I know that. But he just so happened to think that I was the man to steer the agency into the Celtic Phoenix. I know that’s a hord thing for you to have to hear.”

“No, it’s not, because I don’t believe it.”

“Are you saying he didn’t mention that he saw me as being very much The Man?”

“No, he didn’t.”

“Dude, would it be possible for me to go into the ward and just, like, confirm with him that he wants me to take over as the actual Managing Director?”

“No, it wouldn’t. Because he’s not in any condition to make a decision like that.”

“Dude, the decision was already made.”

“Shouldn’t you be at your desk, Ross? You know, what with it being a work day and everything?”

He stares at me, like, coldly.

I’m there, “Dude, you’re not my boss, Dude.”

He’s like, “Unfortunately for you, I am now.”

And as I turn around to leave, he goes, “And, Ross, there are going to be a lot of changes at Hook, Lyon and Sinker.”

ILLUSTRATION: ALAN CLARKE

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