“Hang on – this is it? This is where we were going?” said Brigit. “Yeah,” said Paul, pointing up at the rather worn and faded sign featuring the name The Balloon Man, alongside a grinning clown. Clowns struck Paul as creepy at the best of times, but the devil horns and goatee the local kids had added did nothing to help the situation. “But… ” said Brigit, “I thought when you said ‘we’re going to see a man about a balloon’ you meant…” “What?” “Well, I dunno. I thought it was some kind of street slang.” “For what?” Brigit rolled her eyes and puffed out her cheeks. “How the hell would I know? I’m a nurse from Leitrim. I’m not au-fait with the patois of the Dublin criminal underground.” “And I am?” Brigit blushed slightly at this. “Well… you are from Dublin.” “And all Dubs are criminals?” “That’s not…” Brigit folded her arms. “You know that’s not what I meant. Is now really the time for us to be having this conversation?” “Fair point,” said Paul. “I’m going in. You stay here or you’ll make him nervous.” “Why would I make the balloon man nervous?” “Well, he’s a criminal.” Paul flashed Brigit a cheeky smile and then pushed the door open with his good hand.