Mr Oxygen

Mr Oxygen told us in the meeting, “Money is oxygen, without it you can’t breathe.” 

And he wanted us to be impressed with his insight, 

As he flashed his Rolex and his diamond tie-pin sparkled. 

But we were waiting for there to be more, 

Because there had to be more, 

Because he had been taken onto the board to give us more, 

If not money, then means for us to gain money, 

Because he had been so successful himself, 

With his house Dorset and his Alfa Romeo and his – dear God – were those sock suspenders? 

He was like someone had taken Niles Crane, removed the charm, and distilled him into a middle-aged British Beetroot. 

How could we fail to learn from his mighty achievements? 

But what we got was, “Money is oxygen, without it you can’t breathe,” 

And a general sense that he thought this might never have occurred to us. 

That look in his eyes when he said it like we might want to give it a go. 

Go on, give those lungs a work-out; you don’t know what you’ve been missing. 

That’s what we got from Mr Oxygen. 

That, and the son at Oxford, 

And the daughter with her own practice in Harley Street, 

And the seat in the Lords that was going to be his one day soon, 

And the red face that looked, ironically, like he’d been holding his own breath for decades, 

So perhaps he ought not to hold out too much hope on that last ambition. 

At least, no more hope than we have in him. 

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