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Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘We’re having a fancy dress porty. I’m going as the wife of a philanderer’

Despite Sorcha’s warning, Ross may have just made a bad situation worse

Sorcha's old dear asks me to go to her gaff in Smithfield to get her clothes. And, while this is technically a breach of the lockdown rules, I'm more than happy to oblige, because (a) it's a chance for me to see Sorcha's old man and gloat, and (b) I can't spend another week watching a 68-year-old woman walk around my house in my wife's Sexy Mama T-shirt and her Juicy Couture tracksuit bottoms with the handprint motif on the orse.

I actually can’t get into the cor quick enough.

Sorcha goes, “And don’t gloat, Ross.”

I’m there, “Gloat? Me?”


She’s like, “You know what I’m talking about. Yes, my dad did something wrong, but he doesn’t deserve to have you rubbing his nose in it.”

I’m there, “Yeah, no, that’s not my style, Sorcha.”

It's actually very much my style?

"Just get her a few bits," she goes. "I'm still hoping that Mom will come to her senses in a week or two and realise that this alleged affair happened, like, 40 years ago."

I’m like, “Alleged?” because her ability to deny the blindingly obvious shocks me sometimes. Mind you, it’s also what’s kept our marriage together.

She goes, “Just don’t say anything to make the situation worse, okay?”

I'm there, "Hey, don't worry, Sorcha. You're talking to Mr Sensitivity, bear in mind."

Half an hour later, I’m standing outside the door of the aportment – and I make sure to give it a big, loud, happy knock. He opens it and sees the Rossmeister standing there, grinning like a rabid dog.

He's like, "What do you want?"

I’m there, “Yeah, chorming,” putting my shoulder to the door and forcing my way in. “I’ve come for Sorcha’s old dear’s clothes.”

He goes, “Her clothes? Why do you want her clothes?”

I’m there, “We’re having a fancy dress porty and I’m going as the wife of a philanderer.”

I give myself a mental high-five for coming up with that in the heat of the moment.

“If she wants her clothes,” he tries to go, “she can come here and get them herself.”

I’m like, “Dude, I can’t look at her in Sorcha’s clobber for another day longer. With the greatest will in the world, your wife is no sexy mama – whatever other chorms she might have.”

Why do we cheat? You might as well ask why it's daytime here when it's night-time in Australia – the answer is nobody knows

He’s there, “Did she say what specific clothes she wanted?”

“Everything,” I go.

“Everything? But we haven’t even talked about what we’re going to do yet.”

“Those were my instructions. She said she’s never going back to you on account of you being a total filthbag and she wants her clothes.”

I watch his eyes fill up with tears.

I’m like, “Why do we do it, huh?” suddenly feeling sorry for him.

He goes, “What are you talking about?”

I'm there, "As in, why do we cheat? You might as well ask why it's daytime here when it's night-time in Australia – the answer is nobody knows."

"Don't you dare try to draw some kind of moral equivalence between our actions. I made one mistake – 40 years ago! You've been cheating on my daughter for the entire duration of your marriage!"

“If you want my advice . . .”

“Your advice?” he goes. “Why on Earth would I take advice from someone like you?”

"Because Sorcha has taken me back loads of times. Let's just say, I have a definite way with the Lalor ladies."

“You certainly have some sort of spell over my daughter,” he goes. “I said it from the very first day she brought you home: ‘That grinning, rugby idiot is going to destroy Sorcha’s life.’ And I was right.”

“Yeah, no, change the record.”

"When I think about all the ambitions she had back then. To be Ireland's first woman taoiseach. To be the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. And what did she achieve?"

“She got a shit degree, in fairness to the girl. Looking back, I think doing Orts was her biggest mistake.”

“No, her biggest mistake was throwing her lot in with you – and your dysfunctional family. It’s little wonder you turned out the way you did, given the example your parents set.”

That’s it, I suddenly decide. I am not going to stand here and listen to him slagging off my old pair, even though I hate them more than anyone.

“Anyway,” I go, “as my daughter says: great talk, Dad! Now, if you wouldn’t mind getting me your wife’s clothes. And – actually? – you might give me her golf clubs as well, would you?”

He’s there, “Her golf clubs? Why does she want those?”

I give him a big smile.

“Yeah, no,” I go, “she’s been, er, playing a few rounds with my old man.”

He’s like, “What?” sounding suddenly worried, because he knows that, like me, my old man knows how to chorm the old deadliest of the species.

I’m there, “Yeah, no, I have to say, he’s brought her right out of herself. She’s all silly and giggly around him – even though watching older people flirting with each other makes me want to vomit.”

He stares at me for about 10 seconds, his face turning slowly puce.

Then he goes, "I'll get you her clubs," and he disappears into the bedroom, returning 10 seconds later, holding her Scotty Cameron putter above his head like a sword.

One of my great strengths as a rugby player was obviously my explosive pace from a standing stort – and that’s what ends up saving my life in that moment. I turn and I take off, just as he swings the thing at me. I can actually feel the wind of it on the back of my neck as I switch on the afterburners and hotfoot it out of the aportment, down the hallway, down four flights of stairs and outside into the courtyord.

And that’s when a woman’s boot hits the ground in front of me. Followed by another boot. Followed by an ormful of dresses. Followed by a pair of trousers. Followed by a handful of – yeah, no – bras. Sorcha’s old man is throwing his wife’s clothes over the balcony, shouting, “Take it! Take everything! Tell her she’s welcome to it!”

I’m suddenly running around, gathering up whatever I can hold while trying to avoid being hit by falling shoes. And, at the same time, I’m thinking, despite Sorcha’s warning, there’s a definite possibility that I may have just made a bad situation worse.