The house that Mr BC and I are renting is on the market at the moment, which means that every so often an estate agent turns up at the front door with some hapless individuals he's talked into having a look at it.
I can tell they're hapless stooges because they usually spend less than ten minutes looking around, and sometimes they don't even look in all the rooms. (This is fortunate because one of the rooms contains the cat's litter tray, and it isn't usually a joy to behold.)
Yesterday, though, the estate agent brought round a bunch of people who seemed hell-bent on looking into every nook and cranny of our beautiful home. The lovely Mr BC and I arranged ourselves prettily in the living room and pretended to be part of the furniture, while the estate agent reeled off his spiel about lovely light rooms, easy-maintenance flame-effect gas fires, and so on.
Having craned their necks up the chimney and down the backs of the radiators, the viewers then filed off into the kitchen (glorious limestone floor, underfloor heating, state-of-the-art range cooker, blah blah blah).
'All these things are staying,' we hear the estate agent say, 'including the dishwasher'.
Mr BC and I look at each other.
'What's he on about?' say I. 'We haven't got a dishwasher.'
'Probably desperate to sell something,' agrees Mr BC. 'Credit crunch and all that. They're just making up any old rubbish.'
Later, after they've gone, Mr BC and I go into the kitchen to start making the dinner.
'I can't imagine where he thought he'd seen a dishwasher,' I say.
'No, quite,' says Mr BC. 'I mean, this is a cupboard, this is a cupboard, this is under the sink, this is the fridge, this one's just a false front...'
He tugs at the false-fronted cupboard to prove his point. To our amazement, it swings open, revealing two slide-out plastic shelves, a plastic cutlery holder, a slot for a dishwashing tablet and a control panel.
We both silently contemplate the hours we've spent over the last four months washing up acres of plates, mugs, saucepans, cat's saucers, clagged-up roasting dishes, food processor components and the like. Hours that we could have spent playing Bioshock, or watching Boston Legal, or making beautiful love.
'You still have to rinse the stuff anyway,' says Mr BC eventually.
'Yes, and you have to buy powder and salt and things. It's a hassle.'
I put on the washing up gloves and start running the tap.