Jackie O’Connor had a fling with a Spanish waiter in Magaluf. By the time she realised she was pregnant, she was back home in Ireland and Manuel was back in college in Zaragon, wherever that was. Her Da flipped when she told him. Her Ma was grand about it. ‘What can we do Joe? What’s done is done. Its Gods will’.
‘Gods will my arse’ roared Joe. ‘Spanish willy, you mean. Most people bring back an ashtray or a flamenco doll as a souvenir, but not you Jackie… Aww no! You have to bring back a baby ’.
‘We’re in love da, Manuel will be thrilled when I tell him’.
‘One night with a bleedin’ waiter, and she thinks she’s in love Dolores. Sure they didn’t even speak the same language, except the obvious body language of course’. You don’t even know where he is, sure wasn’t he only there for the summer like yourself’.
Jackie went scarlet at this. She’d tried ringing the number Manuel had given her but it was out of service, and when she rang the Hotel where he was working they said he was no longer working there. ‘I’m sorry da, he said he loved me. I wouldn’t have gone with him otherwise’. Joe hugged her as she cried. ‘It will be ok love, everything will be ok.
Seven months later, Jackie had her baby. Joe was over the moon. The proudest grandfather in Dublin shed a tear as he held his grandson for the first time.
‘You’re calling him what?’ He roared as he looked at the registration form at the end of the bed.
‘You can’t call a baby Jesus. Who in the name of God calls their baby Jesus?’
‘Mary and Joseph did Da’.
‘Don’t get smart with me young lady. No grandchild of mine is going to be called Jesus. He’ll be the laughing stock of the playground’.
‘Jesus O’Connor, come in for your dinner. Ah Jackie, can you imagine the slagging he’ll get?’
‘It’s not Jesus da, you pronounce it Haysoos. It’s Spanish. Loads of Spanish kids are called Haysoos’.
‘Well my grandchild is not Spanish, he’s Irish, and we’re not calling him Haysoos’.
‘Could you not call him something normal, like George or Paul or John?’
‘His da was a Spanish waiter da, not one of the feckin’ Beatles’.
‘Well knowing you Jackie, if it was one of the Beatles, you’d probably have gone with bloody Ringo’.
He looked over at his wife who was now changing the baby’s nappy. ‘Speak to her Dolores will you, she’s your daughter. Tell her she can’t call him bleedin’ Haysoos.
Haysoos O’Connor. Did you ever hear the like?’
‘She’s your daughter too Joe, and she can call him Batman if she wants, he’s her child, and anyway, you can bloody talk. You named her after a football player’.
‘ Jackie Charlton is not just any football player Dolores. He was the best manager Ireland ever had’. ‘But he’s not Irish Joe. He’s English. Just because he spends the summer fishing here, doesn’t make him bloody Irish’. ‘There’s no need for language Dolores, not in front of the child’. Joe was raging with his wife for not sticking up for him.
‘I could always call him after the place where we, you know..’ met’, like the celebrities do. You know like Brooklyn Beckham and Paris Hilton. My friend Jade Byrne did that’.
‘I can’t believe Jade called her child Ballyfermot’ said Dolores.
‘Don’t be silly ma, her fella is from Ballyer, but the baby was conceived in Chelsea. They went over for the weekend for a football match’.
‘ Chelsea , that’s a lovely name isn’t it Joe?’. Joe looked at them as if they were both mad.
‘But you met your fella in Magaluf Jackie. So now you’re telling me your calling my grandchild – Magaluf O’Connor.
‘I mean the name of the Hotel where we, you know, did it Da’.
‘Too much information Jackie, too much information’. Joe stuck his fingers in his ears and walked over to the window. He was embarrassed at all this talk of conceiving babies.
‘What was the name of the Hotel?’ he asked, still looking out the window.
‘The Hotel Jose del playa. I could call him José’
‘Hosay? That’s as bad as Haysoos for Gods sake, I don’t see what’s wrong with calling him after his Grandad.’
‘I don’t want everyone calling him ‘Little Joe’ da. That’s what he’d be called if I named him after you’.
‘I think it has a certain ring to it meself. Little Joe… Like in Bonanza’.
‘Bonanza? What’s that Da?’ said Jackie.
‘Ah it was before your time love. It was a western on the telly. The Cartwrights. They lived on a ranch called The Ponderosa. Great show, wasn’t it Dolores? Great show’.
‘I think you’ve lost the plot da. I’m calling him Haysoos and that’s the end of it.
Dolores looked up from changing the baby. ‘I like José’.
‘Ah here Dolores, stop encouraging her will you’. Joe was getting really pissed off at this stage.
‘But José is Spanish for Joseph. This way, he’s named after you, but keeping the Spanish influence’.
Joe thought about this for a minute as he looked down at the sleeping baby.
‘Nice one Dol’ Joe smiled ‘nice one’.
‘I think you have a name at last young fella – ‘Hosay, Haysoos O’Connor’
Jackie burst into tears and her son let out a piercing wail.
‘ Holy Mother of Haysoos’ said Joe.