Fa la la la la, it's Christmas time. All the houses I visit are decorated now. They've got trees & lights & stockings & blow up yard thingies. They've got presents wrapped under the tree. I have a solitary stocking hanging from the mantle...for my puppy. That gets us to the point of this tale.
I went to visit a client this morning. He had reported a new address, so I'd gone to verify it and approve it. There were two cars in the driveway & a dead Santa and reindeer in the yard. Okay, not really dead, but the plug to their air blowers had been pulled from the wall, so they looked like festive victims of a holiday drive-by. The subject answered the door and directed me to the room he shares with his girlfriend. We had our usual, "Are there any guns or drugs here? Of course not ma'am." conversation. The girlfriend said this was her father's house & he was letting them stay here. All seemed good.
As I got ready to leave, I walked back through the living room to the front door. That's when I saw them...24 Christmas stockings. Yes, twenty-four, I counted them. I have no excuse for not seeing them when I came in, except that only three were in my line of sight when I originally entered the house. Three were hung from the mantle, two hung from a shelf, and nineteen hung from hooks on the wall. Stunned and dizzy from the swirling holiday twilight zone, I asked the subject how many people live here. He responded, "Oh, just the two of us...me and her and her dad (pause) and his wife." Ummm, I may be wrong, but I think that equals four. He's working on his GED. Isn't basic math a portion of that test? Of course, nothing he said explained the 24 freaking Christmas stockings scattered around the living room, and yes, each had a different glittered name on it.