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Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: First day in Willow Pork for the triplets – the absolute shame of it

“I don’t want my children to go here. I’ve said things about this school in the past”

The boys are in the back of the cor, playing 21 Beamer, a game that I remember playing myself as a kid. The rules are basic enough – when you see a Beamer with a 21 reg, you shout, “21 Beamer!”

Yeah, no, if you want to know how kids on this side of the city grow up to be so obnoxious, all I’ll say is that we stort teaching them young.

I'm wearing sunnies,' she goes, 'in the way that all Willow moms wear sunnies.'

Usually, I'd join in the fun, but this morning I'm not in the actual mood? I'm looking at them in the rear-view mirror, in their little Willow Pork uniforms, and I'm considering doing something drastic to stop this, like driving into a focking lamppost.

“Ross,” Sorcha goes, “will you take off those ridiculous sunglasses?”


And I'm there, "Can I just point out that you're wearing sunnies as well?"

"I'm wearing sunnies," she goes, "in the way that all Willow moms wear sunnies. You're wearing yours as a disguise."

“I don’t want my children to go here. I’ve said things about this school in the past and now you’re making me look like a hypocrite.”

"Ross, do you just sit around all day wondering what people who went to Blackrock College are thinking about you?"

“Pretty much, yeah. Sorry, have we ever met before?”

I take the turn into the grounds of the school. The cor pork is full of BMW X5s, or, for older moms putting the last of the dynasty through the school, Volvo XC90s. I watch the mothers mingle. It’s all Golden Goose faux-distressed runners, QDL tans and Invisalign smiles. My wife’s kind of people.

I open the back door and the boys spill out. I look at them in their grey uniforms and their little red ties and I feel the urge to give them either a dead leg or a wedgie.

A black X5 pulls into the space beside ours and a dude gets out.

“Ross?” I hear a voice go.

Oh, fock. It's Eddie Leeholme. He played for Rock back in the day. We had one or two famous battles – with him at outside-centre and me at obviously outhalf.

He’s like, “Ross O’Carroll-Kelly?”

“Sorry,” I go, trying to disguise my voice by putting on an English accent, “you’ve got the wrong goy.”

Then he spots Sorcha and goes, “Hey, Sorcha!” and I suddenly remember that he got off with her one time in Hollywood Nights and he may have even taken her to his pre-debs.

She's like, "Eddie! I haven't seen you in – oh my God – years?"

He gives her a big Rock laugh – I don't even know what I mean by that – then goes, "I take it that is Ross behind those sunglasses then?"

Sorcha's like, "He's paranoid about being spotted, Eddie. Oh my God, is this your son?"

She points at a little kid with blond hair who’s sort of, like, peeking out from behind Eddie’s legs.

“Yeah,” he goes, “this is Robin. Our eldest. He’s storting here today.”

Sorcha’s like, “Brian, Johnny, Leo – do you want to say hello to Robin? He’s new – like you!”

Eddie turns to me then. He’s like, “So Willow Pork, huh?”

I’m there, “What’s that supposed to mean?” still putting on the accent – no idea why.

“Yeah, no,” he goes, “I’m just remembering some of the things you said about Blackrock over the years. Including on the phone to me, the night I took Sorcha to my pre-debs!”

Sorcha laughs, then she lets me down in a big-time way by going, “No other school would take them, Eddie.”

Eddie smiles at her – I think it's a word – sympathetically ?

He goes, "I know they have a bit of a rep. I was actually there the day they were thrown out of the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Dundrum. "

Sorcha turns to me then. "They were what?" she goes.

I’m there, “You’ve got a big mouth, Eddie. I’m tempted to say that’d be typical Rock.”

But, thankfully, we’re suddenly distracted by the sound of a child’s screams. Robin is upset about something – and I’ve collected the triplets early from enough playdates to know what that something might be.

“He bit me,” the poor little lad goes.

And I’m on it like a seagull on a dropped 99.

I’m there, “Which one of them bit you, Robin?”

He looks at the three of them standing there, trying to look innocent.

“I don’t know,” he goes.

He wouldn’t. They’re identical.

Eddie’s there, “Ross, forget about it. It’s fine.”

But I’m like, “It’s not fine, Eddie. They’re out of order,” and I call over this teachery-looking dude who happens to be passing. I’m there, “Are you, like, a teacher here?”

He's there, "Er, yeah, Ian Hoeness. Fourth form."

“Well,” I go, “I think you should know that one of these little thugs has just bitten this poor child.”

Sorcha goes, “Ross, stop it!”

I’m there, “No, I won’t stop it, Sorcha. What kind of lesson is that for Robin to learn – that little fockers like these can go around just doing whatever they want with zero consequences?”

Eddie has to stick his hooter in then.

He’s like, “Oh come on, let’s not overblow this. There’s, like, a small mork on his orm, but the skin wasn’t even broken.”

And I’m there, “And that’s good enough for you, is it? Well, it isn’t good enough for me. These children are feral – and I want them expelled.”

Sorcha’s like, “Ross, stop it!”

The poor teacher, though. His first day at work and he’s having to deal with this shit. He goes, “Do you want to make a complaint to the principal?”

I’m there, “If that’s what it takes to get these three animals thrown out of the school, then show me the way to the office, dude.”

The teacher looks at Eddie and goes, “Do you know which of your children it was who bit this man’s son?” getting the totally wrong end of the stick.

"Er, the triplets are actually his children?" Eddie goes.

“Yes, they are,” I go. “And they’ve already proved this morning that no child is safe in this school while they’re on the premises.”

Eddie smiles at the teacher. He’s there, “Like I said, I’m happy to overlook it - put it down to first day exuberance.”

Sorcha shoots me an absolute filthy and goes, “Let’s get them into their classroom.”

And I’m just there thinking, I tried. At least I tried.