Merry Christmas Mr Jones

One cannot walk the streets of any urban neighbourhood at this time of year without sunglasses to block out the glare emanating from houses wishing to shout their approval of the festive period.

Multitudes of blue, red, green and white lights seem to adorn every house, and the Jones'* tree is so big this year that the fairy adored by all (but yet strangely thrown into a box at the back of the loft for the other 11 months) is now horizontal as the top branch bends at a 90 degree angle to accommodate the stippled artexing of the lounge ceiling.

Through a window a father sits with his sons to watch the latest instalment of James Bond, while mothers and daughters curse that fact that their turkey this year is 26.3% bigger than their Aga. (Worked out on Fathers new calculator)

Suddenly, father jumps up from his chair as his mobile vibrates on the table among the discarded wrapping paper still creating a fire hazard from that morning. Grabbing the device, he moves with practised silence into the downstairs loo, phone in hand to wish his other family a merry Christmas.

You see, this festive picture has two very distinct layers - Layer one is what we have just shared, but layer two is situated 45 miles away in another town. Not dissimilar in make-up, layer two contains a tree, a turkey, a son and a mother and all the festivity one could hope for. The only difference? When layer one contains a father, layer two doesn't, and vice versa.

One man living two lives, and, as they say, never the twain shall meet. Unless of course, the wife from layer one phones us the week previous to this to find out why her husband is away six months of the year and can only share every other Christmas with her and their family.

This case was closed almost a year ago, but as i walk the streets again and see the same familiar lights super-glued to houses i do wonder where Mr Jones* is spending Christmas this year and cant help but ask myself "Will that 8 foot tree fit in a bedsit?"

The Black Cat Investigations Team would like to wish all of our clients, past, present and future, a merry and peaceful Christmas...

*As usual, this is as assumed name!

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