This Kilkenny Life: Gerry Moran Not the ‘fastest tool in the shed’

Brian Keyes


Brian Keyes

Gerry  Moran

Gerry Moran

We were having a bit of fun recently on Facebook with tongue twisters. Patricia, a member of the Kilkenny Global Community of which I am a paid-up member, threw in this little teaser: ‘Say this fast – the fastest tool in the shed.’ Now when it comes to tongue-twisters I’m not the fastest tool in the shed. And that’s for sure. But if I thought ‘the fastest tool in the shed’ was tricky, but manageable, who should weigh in with a few simple, but subtle, very subtle tongue-twisters but Mike Kelly, the founder of Young Irish Film Makers. Mike, a man ahead of his time, asked us to try this harmless little phrase which he used ask his potential actors to enunciate: ‘Red lorry, yellow lorry’. Sounds simple but speed it up, really rev up those lorries and see just how simple it is. And then Mike threw in another little one: ‘The teeth thief’. Speed that one up and see, or rather hear, how you sound. And finally, Mike landed this little gem on us: ‘Swiss wrist watch’. After just one rapid fire attempt I emailed Mike: ‘Impossible’. Mike didn’t think so. However, Patricia, who kick-started the tongue-twister episode, summed up my futile attempts to swiftly say ‘Swiss wrist watch’. ‘This’, she said ‘is what I came up with: SWISRRSSSWRSSZATCH’. Touché, Trish. Touché.

All of which leads nicely on to my one, brief encounter with the late, Jimmy, ‘Gentleman’, Magee. I was listening to Ronan Collins on RTE Radio and I can’t rightly remember if Ronan was talking of his own, or one of his listener’s, experience in the Smith’s Crisps School Quiz (a tongue-twister for sure said Ronan) which was hosted by Jimmy who very kindly, and off his own bat, gave the contestants a lift back into town from the RTE studios. That was one of the Ronan Collins Show anecdotes (not quite a tongue-twister, thank God) about Jimmy. My own, very brief, anecdote concerns a flight to Amsterdam with my wife and our ten-month old baby boy, James. We found ourselves sitting beside Jimmy who had the window seat. Jimmy very kindly gave up his window seat to my wife and baby James, offering us that bit more privacy and room to manoeuvre. A simple gesture, an unnecessary gesture, but one that I will always remember. Jimmy, as we chatted a little, was flying to Amsterdam to commentate on some five-aside soccer tournament hosted by Ajax soccer club.

Under the Kosh!

What do you make of this email I received last week: My name is Charles Koch, A philanthropist the CEO and Chairman of the Charles Koch Foundation Charitable Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the world. I believe strongly in ‘giving while living' I had one idea that never changed in my mind - that you should use your wealth to help people and i have decided to secretly give {$1,500,000.00} to randomly selected individuals worldwide. On receipt of this email, you should count yourself as the lucky individual. Your email address was chosen online while searching at random. Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience, so I know your email address is valid ( ) Email me Visit the web page to know more about me: or google me (Charles Koch) Regards, Charles Koch.

My first impression, of course, was: if it’s sounds too good to be true, it is. And then I checked out the Charles Koch Foundation and wow – it is one hell of a charitable foundation offering scholarships and grants, left, right and centre. BUT. No sign of random donations (to the likes of me for instance) And then as I scanned the email above I noticed two things: the small i for I (a small mistake but not for the Koch Foundation, I felt, not to mention several other grammatical errors) and far more telling, the email address: charleskosh, not charleskoch. That’s when my second impression of my first impression kicked in: if it sounds too good to be true, it is. So it is! In the meantime beware of such clever, seemingly philanthropic, scams.