Mollie Malone, a statue.

ConanK: So, Mollie, how’s she cuttin’? I hear you're having a face or eh whatever lift somewhere.
MollieM: Part of the job Jimmy.
ConanK: Jimmy?
MollieM: Hoots mon the noo.
CK: I beg your pardon?
MM: Hoots mon the noo. It’s a Scottish greeting.
CK: Ah...I know...but I didn’t quite expect...and come to think...like I didn’t expect you to have a Scottish accent.
MM: Well you know quite well...where I come from...I was a character in a nineteenth century Scottish ballad...
CK: Oh I do, I do, I do know that,  but I’m an historian of the revisionist school.
MM: Does that mean you’re writing the history of the revisionist school, or that you are a member of the same set? It’s ambiguous, isn’t it?
CK: Ambiguity is my stock in trade. And as you well know, as you well know, tourism is important to the Irish economy. And it’s my job as a writer to perpetuate damn silly myths to amuse same tourists.  So. Ok let’s get down to them.
MM: Them what?
CK: Them breasts.
MM: I read a review of one of your books and the reviewer said you were obsessed with breasts.
CK: So you keep up with the world of literature then?
MM: I try, but it’s not easy. Standing here all day, the butt of photographers. And buggers dressed as leprechauns poncing around.
CK: Have you thought of a Kindle, to pass the time like, you could secrete it there in your barrow.
MM: I like the feel of a real book.
CK: The public like the feel of your breasts.
MM: Don’t talk to me!
CK: They climb up on your plinth and stroke them. Particularly women. Do you know why?
MM: Well at first I thought it was something to do with hormones in the water turning women into lesbians...
CK: That’s an interesting theory.
MM: Don’t knock it. The water is full of hormones, that’s why there’s gay marriages.
CK: I see, I see.
MM: Yes I thought it was that for awhile and then I heard the rumour.
CK: Perhaps more of an urban myth, wouldn’t you say?
MM: Whatever, for some reason people around the world have got the impression that stroking my breasts can save them from breast cancer, it’s ridiculous.
CK: Medicine is not an exact science. And even if it’s true or false, it does give your breasts a nice sheen. Implies a certain youthful tautness to the flesh.
MM: Ah. So you are obsessed with breasts?
CK: Well it’s you that’s hanging them out in front of all and sundry from far and wide, like come on, what’s that all about?
MM: Artistic licence.
CK: But Dublin fish sellers didn’t go round with their tits hanging out, certainly not in the nineteenth century. It was upper class women in the eighteenth century who dressed like that. Of course I forgot...
MM: What?
CK: You never actually did sell fish, cockles and mussels alive alive oh, all that?
MM: Well if you put it like that.
CK: Some people say you were a prostitute.
MM: People will say anything.
CK: Like if you weren't a character in a Scottish ballad you were a Dublin prostitute living in Fishamble Street.
MM: Yes but that was a fish market.
CK: Who're you telling. My ancestors lived in Fishamble Street. In the seventeenth century.
MM: We could be related so.
CK: Stranger things have happened. Tell you what...
MM: Tell me what?
CK: Those baskets, remind me.  I used like in South Africa and Zulu girls used come round the apartment block pretending to be selling hand woven baskets...but they were really prostitutes selling themselves.
MM: Were they pretty?
CK: Just ordinary baskets, much like that one you have there.
MM: I mean the girls, were the girls pretty?
CK: Of course they were pretty. That’s what Zulu girls do, be pretty. Very.
MM: And?
CK: I know what you’re asking, but you needn’t bother. If I told you I’d have to melt you down.

                          [ Next interview...next week. Earlier interviews, scroll down ]

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