I planned X’s murder to coincide with his holiday. That way nobody would miss him when he didn’t turn up to work. While I deliberated over where to dump his body parts, I kept them in a small round red biscuit tin hidden under the dresser. I considered throwing them into the sea at Granton, but worried that they would wash up on the shore. An alternative plot was to bury the tin in a remote spot in the Scottish highlands. The disadvantage of this was that the choice of location and previous ownership of the tin could easily be traced back to me if the remains were ever discovered.
So on the day that Y and Z came round for lunch they sat at the dining table just feet away from the butchered body parts of our dead colleague, neatly packed away in the airtight tin. (Fortunately there was no smell.)
To add to the entertainment I was coming to terms with the recent news that Y was taking a six month sabbatical to visit her ex-wife and children in Australia. When I had earlier questioned the term “ex-wife” Y pointed to a black and white photograph pinned to her noticeboard. There, in a big safari hat and flares, was a young man who bore a striking resemblance to Y. “That’s me in the early 1970s” she explained, “before I underwent gender realignment surgery”.