‘When I say it’s oaber, Rosser, Ine thalken about me and Hodor’s business. It’s boddixed’

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: Ronan’s there, ‘I sted at the roulette table too long – stordee of me life’

Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: Seriously, I wonder sometimes does Ronan ramp up the Dublin accent like Sorcha does whenever we’re in the States on Paddy’s Day

“It’s oaber!” Ronan goes.

Seriously, I wonder sometimes does he ramp up the Dublin accent like Sorcha does whenever we’re in the States on Paddy’s Day.

I’m like, “Oaber? What are you on about, Ro?”



He’s there, “Ine saying it’s oaber, Rosser! It’s oaber!”

“Oh, the restrictions,” I go. “Yeah, no, it’s great to be back, isn’t it? Late pints. Bro hugs. And hopefully no more sourdough.”

He’s there, “When I say it’s oaber, Rosser, Ine thalken about me and Hodor’s business. It’s boddixed, so it is.”

Ronan and Honor's business – just to fill you in – is called Remote Workforce Monitoring. It's, like, a confidential whistleblower line, where members of the public – in return for a substantial cash incentive – can inform on people who are supposably working from home, but are really, like, not?

The last I heard, more than two hundred companies had signed up to the service and there was talk of an Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award – although that was mainly from my old man, who had about nine fingers of XO inside him at the time.

I’m like, “What happened, Ro?”

And he goes, “Tody bleaten Hoodihan happened. He’s arthur sinking eer whole operation – by tedding the Government to open up. Is Hodor howum?”

I'm there, "Yeah, no, she's in the kitchen with her old dear – they're burning their vaccination certs and putting the photos of it up on Instagram. "

He follows me down to the kitchen. Sorcha and Honor are huddled over the sink and – yeah, no – there's a smell of smoke in the room, reminding me that I should possibly put the batteries back in the smoke alorm now that the Rock and Roll Santa has been put away for another year.

“Oh, hi, Ronan!” Sorcha goes, looking over her shoulder. “We’re just burning our vaccination certs – although don’t worry, we’re keeping the originals on our phones just in case the restrictions come back.”

Once a Mount Anville Head Girl, forever a Mount Anville Head Girl.

He goes, “Hodor, we’re in thrubble.”

“Thrubble?” Honor goes. “Are you trying to say trouble?”

What kind of a divided city are we living in when listening to my son and daughter talk is like watching a scene from Skippy the Bush Kangaroo?

Ronan’s there, “There was a time to seddle up. It was when Omicron came out – that was when the fear was at its woorst. If we’d walked away from the table then, we’d have cleared ten mills each. But now that the returden to the woorkplace is about to steert, the thing is woortless.”

"Oh my God!" Honor goes – as she occasionally does. "That's, like, Oh! My actual God?"

Ronan’s there, “We’re dead in the wather.”

Sorcha goes, "I think you're panicking unnecessarily. I think you should hold your nerve – and I'm saying that as someone who went to the Smurfit Business School."

I'm there, "You got a diploma in Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance – and I'm not being a d**k about it."

She goes, "I've also run my own business – a boutique in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, can I just remind you? – and been the keynote speaker at the Mount Anville Alumna Women in Business Luncheon . . . twice, Ross. Which means that my opinion is obviously valued? And I'm saying that Ronan and Honor have an amazing, amazing business idea."

Honor's there, "Er, I thought you hated it? You said it brought out the worst instincts in people by monetizing curtain-twitching and turning neighbour against neighbour."

Yeah, no, she changed her tune when she found out how much moo the business was worth.

"Yes," she goes, "I did have certain moral misgivings about what you were doing. And let's be honest, you're never going to win a Davy Stockbrokers Responsible Business Award at the Mount Anville Alumna Women in Business Annual Awards Business Dinner. But this could set you both up for life. Look, I'm sure the Collison brothers had wobbles along the way. And Mork Little. I think you should hold your nerve."

Ronan’s there, “It’s oaber, Sudeka. I sted at the roulette table too long – stordee of me life.”

“I’d say the coin cascade machine more than the roulette table,” I go, remembering how much money I lost in Dr Quirky’s Goodtime Emporium during the course of his childhood.

Sorcha's there, "Think about it, Ronan. One of the upsides of this whole, like, pandemic thing is that it's offered us all the opportunity to reimagine how we live our lives – including how we work? The days of the 40-hour office week are over."

Ronan bursts out laughing.

Sorcha goes, “Sorry, have I said something funny?”

Ro’s there, “Sudeka, that’s just something people say. Employers doatunt thrust their staff when thee say they’re woorking from howum. That’s what eer business model is based on.”

“I still say hybrid is the way of the future.”

“Thrust me, Sudeka, in a year’s time, all these companies that’s arthur leasing these big office buildings will want to see their staff sitting right theer in fruddent of them.”

And it’s at that exact moment that Sorcha’s phone ends up ringing.

"My boss," she goes. "You see? A perfect example of how not treating employees like schoolchildren actually pays off for employers in terms of increased productivity."

I’m there, “Are you going to mention that you’ve spent the entire morning trying to get the perfect picture of your vaccination cert on fire?”

Yeah, no, she printed off dozens of copies.

She goes, “Shush, Ross, this is possibly important.”

She answers the thing. We only end up hearing her side of the conversation. But – yeah, no – she ends up going, "Sorcha Lalor speaking . . . Oh, hi, how are you? I was just inputting the figures for- . . . Excuse me? . . . Sea swimming? . . . Yes, I've swum in Sandycove – oh my God, loads of times, but- . . . When supposedly was this? . . . Oh my God, it was, like, an hour. Then we went for coffee – two hours, tops. Plus I made up the time later when- . . . Do you mind me asking where you got this information? Because it sounds like a breach of my GD-."

Sorcha’s boss has obviously hung up.

“Oh my God,” she goes, “they want me back in the office full-time from, like, April.”

I’m there, “Another satisfied customer, goys.”

And Ronan goes, “Maybe there’s life in Remote Woorkforce Monitoding yet.”