'They're recreating the moment when the universe came into existence.' I shrug my shoulders and go, 'Why bother?'


The end of the world is nigh, and no scientist buried under the Swiss border can stop it, writes Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

FIONN WAKES ME up, roysh, first thing Wednesday morning. I ask him what time it is and he says it's eight o'clock. I'm like, "Dude, the world better be about to end," and he goes, "Well, if you believe certain scarists in the media, Ross, it is." Usually, roysh, I'd turn over and go back to sleep, but the thing about sharing an aportment with a goy who won Blackboard Jungle three years in a row is that you can end up learning loads of shit, even if most of it is pretty much useless.

So I end up following him out to the kitchen slash living-room, and there, sitting in front of the Liza with a full fry is not only Fionn but Oisinn and JP as well.

"We're having an Armageddon breakfast," Oisinn goes. "Get some guilt-free, saturated fat in your arteries - you're not going to need them where you're going." Fionn must see the look of, like, confusion on my boat because he explains. "It's the biggest physics experiment ever undertaken. They're using a Large Hadron Collider to recreate the moment when the universe came into existence." I shrug my shoulders and go, "Why bother?" which gets a humungous cheer from the goys, as in, that's pure Ross - total legend.

Fionn - typical teacher - goes, "Ross, you might as well ask, why did a man walk on the moon?" A man walked on the moon? I stare at him for a few seconds, not knowing whether he's ripping the piss or not. I pull one of my comme ci, comme ca faces, then burst my fried egg open onto my plate.

"What if this was it?" JP goes. "I know some of us believe in another life beyond the temporal, and some don't. But what if, when they press that button, there's a blinding flash and Eamonn Holmes's face there storts to melt. And we all know we've got, like, five minutes left on this Earth. Who's your first phone call to?" "Let's Eat In in Sandyford," Oisinn goes. "Get wings delivered," and that gets a huge laugh.

JP and Fionn both choose their old pairs but I'm torn between, like, Ronan and Sorcha. I'm like, "Ro's one of those kids, you know, he'd probably survive the world blowing up - one his famous schemes - so I'd say it'd be Sorcha. She'd probably still be in a snot with me about something, though - our last five minutes on Earth, we'd be on the phone, as usual neither of us saying a thing." The TV screen is suddenly filled with men in white coats, pulling levers, sending sparks flying. It makes me think of my grandmother.

JP's like, "What about your family, Ross? Your mum and dad?" and I don't know, roysh, it must be all this talk of, I don't know, death and blahdy blahdy blah, but I suddenly find myself thinking, I suppose, kind thoughts about the two stupid tossers.

I'm suddenly there, "I'll say this for my old man, I really admire the way he's making a go of things since he got out of prison. Using my paintings to launder his offshore millions so he can finally go straight.

"And my old dear and her FO'CK Cooking programme - yeah, it makes me want to spew when I see her licking her lips while handling raw chicken on national television, but it's not the worst thing on RTÉ, is it?" I hate hearing myself talk like this.

Oisinn's there, "Okay, big one, goys - if you could have your time on Earth all over again, what would you do differently?" Fionn goes, "I'd probably do physics instead of Orts in UCD. When I won the Young Scientist of the Year award, it should have been a sign that that was the route I was supposed to take. It sounds crazy but right now I should be a mile under the ground on the French-Swiss border." "That doesn't sound crazy," I go. "We all wish you were too." In fairness, everyone laughs.

JP's there, "I wouldn't do anything differently, not even turning my back on the priesthood. See, it's our experiences, good and bad, that make up the person that each of us is today. And I'm very happy with who I am today." JP'll have to be watched - sounds to me like the Krishnas have got to him now.

"If I could change one thing," Oisinn goes, "it'd be my final game of online poker. Folding my hand with three 10s and 50k in the pot - what was I thinking?" I'm suddenly having one of my world famous, I suppose, philosophical moments. I'm like, "No offence, goys, but I wouldn't be sitting here with you lot. I'd have my own gaff, probably in LA, sharing with two or three Heidi Montag lookalikes. And everything works by remote control . . . "

Fionn suddenly shushes me. He's like, "Here we go," and suddenly we all sit forward in our seats, as a dude in a white coat gets ready to push the button. We hold, like, our breath. He pushes the button. We wait. And wait. And then suddenly . . . fock-all happens.

"Looks like I'm going to work today after all," Fionn goes, standing up. I'm like, "That's it? You got me up in the middle of the night for that?" He's there, "Well, not just that, as it turns out. Remember what you were saying there about, you know, having your own gaff? Well, there's probably never going to be a better time for me to bring this up. Ross, I need to rent out your room?"

I'm there, "Wait a second, that was just like a game we were playing - ultimate fantasies and shit." "Look," he goes, "I said you could sleep here for a few nights after your old dear kicked you out. But times are hard, Ross. I need to find a proper, paying tenant."

"This bloody recession," I go, thumping the actual coffee table. "My old man said it wouldn't affect me." He's like, "I'll give you a month to find somewhere else."

Then Oisinn has to chime in. "Cheer up, Ross," he goes. "It's not the end of the world."