This piece was written for the Six Sentence Challenge, with the prompt word of ‘form’
He had shape, in the sense that a woman bearing twins has shape but he carried it much lower, folded over his belt that was cinched to his hips, which led to wags saying that he had a veranda over his toy shop.
He had substance, in the sense that he was ‘comfortably off’, a euphemism for owning a two-storey mansion with 12 rooms and 5 bathrooms in a quiet leafy suburb where the closest thing to crime was your gardener mowing your lawn at an unseemly hour, several cars, a yacht, a private jet, and an unknown number of untraceable accounts in the Cayman Islands.
He had presence, in the sense of that indefinable confidence that comes with a private school education, an old boys network in every profession, an impeccable little black book of guys who know a guy who knows a guy that could fix any unpleasant attempted inroads into his fiefdom, and a bevy of judges and legislators whose penchant for social improprieties made them permanent targets for blackmail.
He had import, in the sense that he could always be relied on for a quote for the supine media from a ‘respected business figure’ expressing concern about the latest attempt by politicians to raise taxes or regulate industry and who was known to be a generous supporter of the arts and hospitals filled with machines that go ‘ping’.
He had spirit, in the sense of being seen as some sort of devil-may-care maverick who was unafraid to speak his mind when it came to business matters and the wave of political correctness that he saw as subverting the natural order of things, where everyone knew their place and stayed in it.
But most of all he had ‘form’, that quintessentially British term used to indicate that someone has a reputation for skullduggery, criminal wrongdoing and disdain for the social strictures placed on mere mortals but in his case somehow miraculously never resulted in charges being laid or convictions achieved, which is why, Your Honour, I had no option but to terminate him with extreme prejudice.