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I stopped to talk with a woman at a bus-stop in Cork City. Maybe it was an act of defiance, the Irish so repressed and me so reticent — and maybe I just wanted to challenge the parameter.

"Gross" — an American girl-woman's victimized critique of bad Spanish art....

"My eyes are up here," she said. Clearly, she got that one from TV — that's typical American pseudo-feminism.

I told her something like "yeah, but your tits are down there — and you have a nice ass, too."

That part was true, relatively-speaking. Irish women tend to have a flat nothing of an ass, and she had at least a bit of something.

She also had that severe vertical crease in her forehead — the kind worn into the skull from years when frowning was the only legal form of birth-control.

She was horrible, and I didn't really have any further desire to talk with her or look at her.