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‘Ross, you need to come and see what I found in Honor’s room’

‘There could be anything in there: a gun, €100k in cash, one of her teachers gagged’

“She’s 12, Sorcha. What she gets up to is her own business.”

So I’m sitting in front of the TV, scribbling a few random thoughts into my Rugby Tactics Books, when Sorcha steps into the living room with a look of absolute fear on her face.

“Ross,” she goes, “you need to come and see what I found in Honor’s room.”

Now, knowing my daughter like I do, it could be literally anything: a gun, a hundred grand in cash, one of her teachers gagged and tied up. So I end up actually laughing when it turns out to be nothing more than a bunch of brand new clothes that Sorcha has never seen before.

“Do you think this is funny?” she goes.

And I’m there, “No, it’s just when you said you’d found something in Honor’s room, my imagination kind of ran away with me.”

“Ross, look at all these jeans, these dresses, these shoes – where did she get them?”

“I don’t know. Maybe she bought them. We do give her a ridiculous amount of pocket money.”

“They weren’t here a week ago. And I generally look at all of Honor’s purchases because I love that we have very similar taste.”

“Sorcha, I was actually scribbling down a few ideas that might help Bernard Jackman improve the Dragons. I wouldn’t mind getting back to it – just while they’re fresh in my head.”

“Oh my God, don’t you see what I’m saying here, Ross? Our daughter has been shoplifting!”

“Okay.”

Shoplifting! You think that’s okay, do you?”

“I don’t think it’s okay. I just think, I don’t know, there are worse things she could be doing than robbing things out of shops.”

“I can’t believe you just said that.”

“Shoplifting isn’t just a working class thing, Sorcha. A lot of rich kids do it when they’re in their teens. It’s just a phase that she’ll hopefully grow out of. In the meantime, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do.”

“What?”

“Send her into Bang & Olufsen for a soundbar.”

Jesus, the look she gives me at that point would strip the paint off a battleship. She’s about to rip into me when all of a sudden, behind us, Honor goes, “What the fock are you two doing in my room?”

We turn around. She’s standing in the doorway. I go, “Hey, Honor, don’t blame me. I was downstairs, writing a job application to Bernard Jackman – you remember Bernard, don’t you? – when your old dear told me to look in your wardrobe.”

She thankfully glowers at Sorcha then? She goes, “What are you, spying on me now?”


And Sorcha’s like, “There’s nothing wrong with taking an interest in what your children are doing, Honor. It’s the responsible thing to do as a parent.”

That’s weak. I roll my eyes and give Honor a subtle shake of my head just to let her know that Sorcha is on her own here.

“What’s in my wardrobe,” Honor goes, “is none of your focking concern – either of you.”

Sorcha’s like, “Where did you get all of these clothes?”

“Get out of my room.”

“I want to know where you got them! Did you shoplift them?”

Honor’s jaw hits the floor. She’s like, “Excuse me?”

I’m there, “Before you answer, Honor, I just want to let you know that I don’t really have a problem with robbing stuff from shops, as long as it’s done for the thrill rather than personal gain, and you stop doing it before you turn 16. And don’t get caught, of course.”

She goes, “Shoplifting? How could you think that of me?”

She seems genuinely hurt.

Sorcha’s there, “Look at all these clothes, Honor! Oh my God, look at all the make-up in this drawer!”

“I didn’t steal it,” Honor goes, slamming the drawer shut, nearly cutting off her old dear’s fingers.

“So where did it come from?”

“It was sent to me.”

“Sent to you? Who would send you all this stuff?”

“Companies.”

“What kind of companies?”

“Clothes companies. Make-up companies. I’m an influencer.”

Sorcha’s expression suddenly softens. She’s like, “Oh my God, really?”

“Yes,” she goes, “really.”

I’m the one who’s suddenly confused now. I’m like, “Okay, what’s an influencer?”

And Honor goes, “It’s, like, a morkeshing thing. We’re people who have influence over potential customers due to our following on social media.”

Now, speaking as a parent, I don’t want to know what Honor gets up to on social media. They say you should be aware of what your kids are doing on the Internet. But I took a look at her Twitter feed once, saw the horrible things she was Tweeting to Niall Horan and Taylor Swift and decided I’d be better off in the dork. At least I can deny all knowledge if it ever comes to trial.

Poor TayTay, by the way.

She goes, “They send me stuff and I review it on my vlog.”

Sorcha tries to get back in her good books then. “Oh my God,” she goes, “you have a vlog? Honor, I’m so proud of you!”

“Yeah, whatever,” Honor goes. “Five minutes ago, you were calling me a thief.”

“But wait a minute, I didn’t see any of this stuff arrive.”

“Er, that’s because I have a P.O. box number? Dad brings me to the post office to collect it.”

Sorcha literally turns on me then. She goes, “You’ve been driving our daughter to the post office to collect, presumably, boxes and boxes of stuff – and you never thought to ask her what any of it was?”

I’m there, “She’s 12, Sorcha. What she gets up to is her own business.”

“Excuse me?”

Honor comes leaping to my defence then. She’s a real daddy’s girl. She goes, “Don’t you focking dare try to make this about him! He’s the only one who trusts me! He’s the only person in the world who actually likes me.”

I’m there, “I think you’re terrific, Honor.”

“Stop sucking up to me.”

“Okay.”

Sorcha goes, “I’m just trying to understand, Honor, why you didn’t tell me about this: the vlog, the whole – oh my God – influencing thing? You know how much I love fashion! Hey, we could actually vlog together – as, like, mother and daughter.”

Honor goes, “I wouldn’t vlog with you. Yeah, a word of advice, Mom? You dress like it’s still the nineties. Now get the fock out of my room – both of you.”