Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: ‘You can’t fire me as a godparent. I resign’
The dog is for the chop until Ross channels his inner rugby captain
‘I bought him a rugby ball and he looked at it like it was roadkill’
Honor is quiet. Yeah, no, she’s sitting in the back of the cor with a face as long as a wet week in Bettystown. Every so often, Sorcha makes the mistake of looking over her shoulder at her and Honor just gives her the old one-finger salute. Which is kind of understandable. We’re on the way to the DSCPA in Rathfornham to give her dog away.
Baxter is lying across her lap, looking equally sad. It’s like he knows that this is goodbye?
Sorcha goes, “I know it’s upsetting, Honor, but you can’t always have what you want.”
“Jesus,” I go, “I’m not sure if that’s something we should be telling our children.”
“Ross, I would appreciate a little bit of support here.”
“I’m just wondering are we maybe being a little bit horsh?”
“The dog bit a child, Ross.”
He’s over-parented – and that’s the nicest way I can think of saying it
“Brian, Johnny and Leo are biting children all the time – we’ve never given them away. Actually, I wonder do they take kids? I’m not talking permanently. I’m thinking in terms of maybe scaring them straight – like Ronan’s mother used to do when she’d bring him to Wheatfield and ask the governor to lock him up for the weekend. Didn’t work, of course. He loved it. Loved it like a Leaving Cert student loves Magaluf.”
“Ross, what are you doing?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Ross, you’re speeding up. You’re trying to lose them, aren’t you?”
Yeah, no, I forgot to mention that Christian and Lauren are following us in their Subaru Whatever-the-Fock – just to make sure that we hand the dog over and mention that it took a nip out of their son’s hand – while he was trying to take a steak from him, I could add?
Honor goes, “That kid of theirs is a wuss.”
I’m there, “He is a wuss, Sorcha. He has literally no interest in rugby, for instance. Jesus, do you remember the time I bought him that Gilbert ball for his birthday? He asked his mother what it was for! My supposably godson?”
“Ross, I said slow down!” Sorcha practically screams at me. “Slow down – now!”
So I end up having no choice but to do what I’m told.
“That must be very hord for you,” Honor goes.
I’m there, “Hord for me? In terms of?”
“Having to take orders all the time. Especially as someone who was a leader on the rugby field.”
Sorcha goes, “She’s trying to get inside your head, Ross.”
“I’m just saying, I watched the video of that rugby match you played that time.”
I’m there, “Are you talking the 1999 Leinster Schools Senior Cup final?”
“Oh my God, you were telling everyone what to do!”
“I was very like Johnny Sexton – and that was before most people knew that Johnny Sexton even existed.”
“So it must be hord for you to suddenly be the one actually taking orders? From Christian and Lauren. From that weapon you’re married to . . .”
“Ross, don’t listen to her,” Sorcha goes.
Honor’s there, “I’m just saying, you used to be a leader. Now you’re just someone who lets everyone walk all over him.”
I pull into the cor pork. Twenty seconds later, Lauren and Christian pull in beside me.
I open the door. I’m like, “Come on, Honor, let’s go.”
Honor gets out, holding little Baxter tight to her chest. She’s got – literally? – tears in her eyes. She’s going, “I don’t want to say goodbye to him, Dad! Please don’t make me do this!”
Lauren’s in my ear straight away. She’s like, “What kind of way is that to drive?”
I’m there, “Excuse me?”
And Christian storts getting on my case as well. He goes, “You were trying to lose us on the road, Ross.”
I’m there, “Hey, it’s not my fault that you’re driving that bucket of rust.”
Little Ross jnr gets out of the cor then. Three stitches he needed in his hand and he’s wearing a plaster cast up to the elbow and his entire orm in a sling. He looks at Baxter and goes, “Bad dog! Bad dog!” while – very bravely – hiding behind his old dear’s legs.
Lauren’s there, “Come on, let’s hand this dog over. I’m going to recommend they put him down.”
And I suddenly hear my voice go, “No.”
Christian’s like, “No? What do you mean?”
And I’m there, “I mean we’re not getting rid of him, Christian. I mean I’m back calling the plays again – just like I used to back in the day.”
Honor goes, “Oh! My God!” and it’s the most excited I’ve seen her since she showed me a YouTube clip of Lady Gaga walking into a porking meter.
“Ross,” Christian tries to go, “that dog bit my son.”
I’m there, “Your son is a sap, Christian. It’s about time somebody said it to you and it might as well be me.”
Lauren’s like, “How dare you!”
“Hey, it’s true, Lauren. He’s over-parented – and that’s the nicest way I can think of saying it. He gets a nip from a dog and you ask the hospital to put his entire orm in a cast. He’s got more allergies and food intolerances than I’ve had hot women. Jesus, I bought him a rugby ball and he looked at it like it was roadkill. I know you don’t want to hear any of this – but then you shouldn’t have asked someone who consistently, consistently calls it to be his godfather.”
Sorcha goes, “Ross, we’re getting rid of the dog – and that’s final.”
And I’m like, “We’re keeping the dog, Sorcha. Honor, take Baxter and get back in the cor.”
Honor goes, “I love you, Dad!”
And I’m there, “That’s a lovely thing for me to hear in terms of my confidence.”
Honor gets into the cor with Baxter.
Lauren looks at Sorcha and she goes, “So, after however many years of friendship, we’re going to fall out over a dog, are we?”
I’m there, “Oh, we’re dishing out ultimatums now, are we?”
And Christian goes, “Yes, we are. If you do this, Ross, you’re no longer my son’s godfather.”
I actually laugh. I’m like, “I don’t want to be his godfather anymore. I thought he was going to be a rugby kid and he’s not.”
“You’re fired – as a godparent, I mean.”
“You can’t fire me as a godparent. I resign. And good luck finding someone else! Come on, Sorcha, we’re going home.”