Opinion

Mad about the Material Girl

Michael Kelly, chief executive officer, FINEOS

What have you got in your pockets?

The usual things, I guess — keys for the house and car, my wallet, an airline ticket and a few other unmentionables.

With whom would you most like to have a date?

I’ve been chasing the same girl for nearly 20 years — Madonna, although she seems to be getting younger every day.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, I guess I always wanted to be a man.

How did you get into the IT industry?

Isn’t everybody else in the IT industry? I thought we were all nerds.

What’s your favourite chat-up line?

Coffee at your place or mine — morning coffee, that is!

What do you do to relax?

Put my feet up, open a nice bottle of wine and chill out. I enjoy the simple things in life. And outside of those ingredients, there isn’t much more that I need to unwind.

What’s your favourite song and why?

Heroes by David Bowie — it reminds me of when I was a student. I know, that was a century ago, or at least it feels like it.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Lying naked on a hospital bed, for a whole night … on the day I was born!

What’s your favourite place and why?

A place called Mount Juliet. It’s right in the heart of County Kilkenny, only a couple of hours’ drive from Dublin. Mount Juliet is an American-style country club with a fabulous Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, a great leisure centre and top-class restaurants and accommodation. The food there is out of this world and, of course, the golf course is amazing. It’s played host to the Irish Open on several occasions and is designed by the grand old man of golf, himself — the Golden Bear. Why do I like it? Well, because the place is so secluded. It’s so far away from other distractions —it’s custom-made for relaxation.

If you had a dinner party and could invite anyone, dead or alive, whom would you invite and why?

Well, first of all, I’d prefer it if they were alive! I guess Madonna, for the obvious reasons. I’ve heard that she has a wonderfully engaging personality.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Invest it in FINEOS — sad, I know!

If you could make a voodoo doll of someone, who would it be?

Hard to know; I couldn’t really say.

Is there life after death?

Hopefully. And next time I hope I start where I leave off here.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

I flew a plane on the first lesson. That was pretty exhilarating.

What’s your best quality?

I’m not sure I have one, but if I was pressed I suppose I’d say my strength of character.

Favourite joke?

I don’t really have one as such. I always liked that Tarzan one about the elephants: what did Tarzan say when he saw a herd of elephants coming over the hill?

“Oh, look at the herd of elephants coming over the hill.”

What did Tarzan say when he saw a herd of elephants wearing shades coming over the hill?

Nothing — he didn’t recognise them!

And I’ve always loved Steven Wright’s gags, like: “I’ve been getting into astronomy, so I installed a skylight: the people who live above me are furious.”

What most annoys you?

Not making progress.

Who is your biggest heroine?

Madonna, for the reasons — and characteristics — already mentioned.

How would you like to die and what would you choose as your epitaph?

Sleeping. And for my epitaph, the old Spike Milligan line: “I told you I was ill!”

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This was first published in March 2001

 

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