The Gord goes: ‘Do you ever inquire as to what your daughter gets up to online?’

‘You’d better look at the video she posted three days ago’

It's the day before Sixmas and I'm sitting up in bed with my famous rugby tactics book open in front of me, mulling over one or two last-minute selection dilemmas for my fantasy Ireland team to face France. I'm also flicking back through the pages of the book, thinking, "I can't believe that Joe Schmidt isn't beating down my door to get his hands on this thing. I genuinely can't."

That's when Sorcha steps into the room. I don't immediately look up. That's how focused I am on the job in hand. "I've just realised that all 15 of the players I've picked are from Leinster. I know people are going accuse me of an anti-Munster bias, but I'm going with my gut here."

I hear Sorcha go, "What do you think, Ross?" and that's when I look up – and immediately laugh. On her head, she's wearing – I'm not making this up – one of those bonnets that Elisabeth Moss wears in The Handmaid's Tale. "Does it suit me?"

I’m there, “It looks like one of those cones that dogs have to wear to stop them licking their bits, post-op.”


“Honor’s done an – oh my God – amazing vlog on how to get the June Osbourne slash Offred look without breaking the actual bank!”

Sorcha – in common with hundreds of thousands of others – hasn’t figured out yet that Honor is using her YouTube channel to test the bounds of women’s gullibility.

“Hang on,” I go, “is that the light shade from the utility room?”

She’s like, “Yes, Ross, it’s the light shade from the utility room. I told you, we’re getting downlights in there eventually.”

"Are you actually going to go out like that?"

"Ross, everyone is wearing these! You've no idea what a powerful influencer your daughter has become."

Sorcha wanders over to the window and looks out. 'Oh my God,' she goes, 'it's the Gords'

As she’s saying it, there’s a ring on the door. “If that’s Joe Schmidt, looking for this book,” I go, “tell him to fock off”, but even as the words are coming out of my mouth, I’m thinking, ‘Who am I kidding?’ If he asked me for it, it’d be his – there wouldn’t even be a conversation.

Sorcha wanders over to the window and looks out. “Oh my God,” she goes, “it’s the Gords.”

Now, having grown up as the son of one of Ireland's leading crooks, I'm not exactly unaccustomed to hearing those words? As a matter of fact, I'm suddenly listening to myself go, "Turn on the shredder! I'll hand you pages and you feed them in!"

Sorcha’s like, “Ross, we don’t have a shredder.”

And I’m there, “Sorry, Babes, I still get flashbacks. Okay, I’ll go and answer it.”

I tip downstairs and I open the door. The dude says his name is Detective Something or Other. He's basically CSI Ballycumber. I invite him in. "If it's about my old man," I go, "I'm happy to implicate him in anything. Put a piece of paper in front of me and I'll sign it."

He’s like, “I’m not here about your father. It’s about your daughter.”

“Honor?” Sorcha goes, tipping down the stairs, sounding suddenly concerned. “Is she okay?”

He’s there, “Do you ever inquire as to what she gets up to online?”

I’m there, “Never. Mainly because I’ve always half-expected a knock on the door from you goys one day. I’m proud to say – and I could swear this on a stack of Bibles – that I have no idea what my daughter does on the internet.”

He goes, “Then I think you’d better look at the video she posted three days ago.”

Which is what we end up doing. Sorcha gets the thing up on her laptop while I flick on the Nespresso machine and make myself a Clooneycino.

“That’s the video there,” he goes.

And Sorcha's like, "This is the one she put up in response to that awful, awful man who wouldn't give her a free room in that hotel in Covent Gorden. I've already watched it. I thought she was so brave."

“Watch it again,” he goes.

The kitchen is suddenly filled with the sound of my daughter’s voice – laying it on thick. “As a girl,” she goes, “I felt actually triggered when this person said these awful things about me online? But then I just thought, ‘Oh my God, why would I want to stay in his stupid hotel?’ So he embarrassed me. Burn! It doesn’t matter. Down deep in my heart, I know I’m a good person.”

Well, that’s a definite exaggeration, I think.

“Did you hear that?” the dude goes.

Sorcha’s like, “What, the sound of my daughter deciding to take the high road and just live her best life?”

“The first word of each of the last three sentences she said. Listen to it again.”

He puts on the last 10 seconds.

We hear Honor go, “Burn! It doesn’t matter. Down deep in my heart, I know I’m a good person.”

Sorcha laughs like it’s the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard. She’s like, “Come on, that’s a serious stretch.”

This man is suggesting that our daughter is sending out subliminal messages to her followers, urging them to avenge her honour by doing who  knows what?

“Burn! It! Down,” he goes.

“That’s, like, a total coincidence.”

“There’s no doubt she puts an inflection on those three words.”

I ask the question that you're probably wondering. I'm like, "What's an inflection?"

Sorcha goes, "Essentially, Ross, this man is suggesting that our daughter is sending out subliminal messages to her followers, urging them to avenge her honour by doing who knows what?"

She says it in a way that tries to make it sound ridiculous.

The dude’s there, “We had a call from our friends across the water. There’s a woman in London – she found her daughter siphoning petrol out of the lawnmower. When she asked what she was doing, she said a girl on the internet told her to do it.”

Sorcha, being your typical south Dublin mom, decides to defend her daughter against all the weight of evidence. She goes, "How dare you come to my house making allegations like this? My dad is a solicitor."

Which is true. Family law and small claims.

The dude goes, “You really should monitor your daughter’s internet use more closely.”

I’m thinking, there’s not a chance – especially after finding this out.

When he’s gone, Sorcha is still furious. She goes, “How could anyone believe that a 12-year-old girl could be that powerful?”

And I’m there, “Your lampshade is crooked there, Sorcha.”