ROSS O’CARROLL- KELLY
‘ My sons take after me, not just in terms of looks, but in their love of being surrounded by admiring females’
Honor says that Courage Kennedy’s mom is looking for my phone number. This is while I’m doing the school run. I’m like, “Who’s Courage Kennedy? And what have you done to the poor girl that her old dear wants to speak to me?” In the back of the cor Brian, Johnny and Leo are shouting, “Horseshit! Horseshit! Horseshit! Horseshit!”, which looks like it’s going to be their swear word of the day.
Honor looks up from her phone with a hurt face on her. She goes, “Why do you always think the worst of me?”
I’m like, “Excuse me?”
“Er, I’m not always horrible, you know, Sometimes I can be a very nice person.”
“I know you can. Especially when you want something.”
“Well, just so you know, I stopped bullying Courage two years ago. She’s now one of my, what I call, useful idiots.”
“Oh, that’s, em, great, Honor. Shows real growth. So why is her old dear looking for my digits?”
“I think she wants to send you the invitation link to join her Mount Anville Moms WhatsApp group.”
Brian shouts “Focking Horseshit!”, and he thumps the window with the side of his fist.
I’m like, “You said it, Brian. There’s not a chance of that happening.”
I’m already a member of seven different Leinster rugby discussion forums on WhatsApp, as well as a “Shane Byrne for President” campaign group, which storted out as a joke but we managed to talk ourselves into the idea over the course of the first afternoon. Now we’re trying to persuade the dude to actually run.
God, I love Shane Byrne.
“It was Mom who actually storted the group,” Honor goes. “But she doesn’t respond to messages anymore. I think she’s actually muting?”
I’m there. “Wouldn’t surprise me. Your old dear has definitely changed since she joined the Church of LinkedInOlogy.”
“Well, that’s why they want you to join the WhatsApp group. As in, you’re, like, kind of my mom these days and she’s, like, kind of my dad.”
“So what do these women talk about on this WhatsApp group? Recipes for vegan skincare formulations and embracing your F. U. P. A.?”
“Yeah, but they also talk about, like, school stuff?” “Horseshit!” Leo goes. And I don’t bother questioning his analysis.
“Plus they do loads of, like, activities together,” Honor goes. “On Wednesdays they have yogalates.” “What, in Storbucks?”
“It’s not a drink, Dad. It’s a fusion workout. But they do go for coffee together on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And sometimes they drink wine.”
“It sounds like my idea of a nightmare,” I go, as I turn into the cor pork of the school. “Look, if this woman asks you for my number again, just tell her that I don’t have an actual phone.”
“What’s in it for me?”
See, I’m another one of Honor’s useful idiots – the original and the best. I’m there. “I’ll give you fifty yoyos.” She goes, “I want a thousand.” “Okay, I’ll give you a thousand not to give her my number.”
Of course, now I’m paranoid that this woman is going to end up seeing me and nabbing me. I’m there, “Okay, Honor, out you get.” She’s like, “Excuse me?” “Er, we’ve arrived at the school – hop out there.” “Yeah, the cor is still moving, Dad.”
“Come on, it’s barely moving Honor. I’m doing five kilometres per hour, look.”
“What do you want me to do – perform a roll?” “Just open the door, throw your legs out and sort of run along with it for a few seconds with one hand on the top of the door and the other hand on the roof.”
“Dad, will you stop the focking cor?”
And that’s what I end up having to do. Honor gets out, goes, “That grand better be in my bank account by lunchtime”, then off she trots into the school.
So I throw the cor into drive again, and I’m about to take off when I notice a figure standing in front of me. And, though I’ve never met the woman before, I know instantly that it’s Courage Kennedy’s old dear.
I have two choices here. I can put the cor back into pork and talk to the woman, or I can pretend I didn’t see her, put my foot down on the accelerator and hope she manages to jump clear. In the end I decide that that might be the wrong thing to do. The Jesuits clearly left a mork on me.
“This is focking horseshit!” Leo goes. “Focking, focking horseshit!”
I wind down the window.
“Hi, Ross,” the woman goes, “I’m Mallorie Kennedy, Courage Kennedy’s mom! I just wanted to introduce myself!”
The smell of Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir suddenly fills the cor, and the most amazing thing happens. The boys stop suddenly swearing. Because they can presumably see what I can see, that Mallorie Kennedy is – and hopefully this isn’t me objectifying women – a serious, serious honey.
I’m there. “Mallorie. Yeah, no, I’ve, em, heard a lot about you.”
“Oh my God,” she goes, looking into the back of the cor, “look at those beautiful boys!”
All of a sudden Mount Anville moms stort appearing from every direction, crowding around us, going, “Triplets! Aren’t they just adorable?” They’re not, of course – they’re foul- mouthed thugs.
“Can we take them out?” one of the other mothers goes. “Have a little hold?”
I’m like, “Er, yeah – at your own risk, of course.” “I’m Rebecca, by the way. I was in school with Sorcha. I remember you were a great player.”
I doubt if she’s much of a judge, but I still go, “Yeah, no, thanks,” because I’m a sucker for a compliment. “I’ll take it.”
“He never lost his looks either!” one of the other mothers goes, and they all laugh.
I can feel my face actually redden.
They’ve taken the boys out of their cor seats now, and they’re telling them what handsome boys they are and I’m thinking, “Okay, goys, don’t stort effing and blinding now”, but they don’t because my sons take after me, not just in terms of looks, but in their love of being surrounded by admiring females. “So,” Mallorie goes, “we’ve got this WhatsApp group for Mount Anville moms.”
And I’m like, “My number is 087…”