I didn’t want to approach him initially, thought it a bit naff but feck it, knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. Hesitantly I walked towards him, perhaps he would get all narky if I interrupted him doin his messages. I apologised for intruding on his shopping and said ‘It’s Ken Bruen...isn’t it?’. I think that’s what I said, to be honest, it sounded gobbledegook to me. I may have said ‘I’m your number one fan...you Dirty Bird’ but really hope I didn’t. I continued to tell him I had all his books, was looking forward to the new one (Headstone) and enquired as to when it was available in Ireland. He shook my hand, held my upper arm with his other hand and said ‘D’ya know, you’ve really made my day’. We chatted about the new book, said he wasn’t too sure about it but that it had got rave reviews in the US. I told him that I, like he, was also a lover of the metaphysical poets (which is true...ya I know, tis far I was reared and all that). I looked at his warm face and held his cold hand (it was freezing). He asked my name, I told him, and he said again, ‘You made my day, I’m delighted you came up to me’. I bet he says that to all the girls. He was most friendly and ever so charming. Off he went into the dairy section I think. I didn’t follow him around the aisles, my fake moustache kept coming unstuck.
I could have asked for a lock of his hair, might have freaked him out a bit. I could have asked was he free for a pint and bribed Himself and the three to belt off away somewhere, anywhere. I should have asked for his autograph but did not. I felt he had been more than generous with his time. I walked back to the crew and wondered what was on his laptop, what he was working on at the moment.
Off then to Charlie Byrne’s with us, a spring in our step to seek out the latest book, but lo and behold Vinny informed us it was sold out. I recounted my tale to Vinny who said Ken had told him that Headstone, the ninth in the series, was to be the last Jack Taylor book. Shock. But given that he had not read it himself, he couldn’t say definitively if this was the case. So, I now await my order. If it is the last of Jack Taylor, am I going to have to entice him over and cajole him to write another, a la Cathy Bates Misery. ‘How ya goin’ on Ken, luveen. See, God came to me last night Ken and told me the purpose of you being here. I’m going to help you write a new book...Mr. MAN!’ He’d have to make do with whatever paper SuperValu had but no, I couldn’t break his knees. That job would have to be outsourced.