Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It's Our Kitchen, But Not As We Know It

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.


nuttycow said...

Ooo, we have one of those but we're not entirely sure how to use it *the shame*. It doesn't have a slot for dishwasher tabs or anything. We tried it once (just to see you understand) but BC is right, you have to clean everything again anyway.

*dreams of the day she has a house of her own with a super dooper multi storey dishwasher*

Jayne said...

*falls off chair laughing*

I love my dishwasher. I've had the same bottle of washing up liquid next to the sink for 2 years now* as everything comes out: a. sparkling and clean and (as important) b. dry and ready to bung straight back in the cupboard.

* handy for getting stains out of the carpet - can't put that in the dishwasher.

henry dandelion said...

We have a dishwasher, it's great. It'd probably be even better if it was plumbed in.

(Hello btw, I used to be someone else but now I'm not.)

patroclus said...

Nuttycow: Are you sure it's a dishwasher? From your description it sounds like it might be a cupboard.

Jayne: Ooh, I don't need much more convincing than that.

*runs out to buy dishwasher tabs*

Henry Dandelion: Hello! Is there a clue in your name, or should I just mentally run through the repertoire of everyone I've ever known?

red said...

That sounds exactly like something I would do. Exactly. Except for the bit where you carry on doing the washing up.

Billy said...

Having washed dishes for a living when I was a student I'd like to have a dishwasher.

Mind you they are annoying.

Annie said...

Quick, go and open all other cupboard doors in the house. Maybe you'll find there's a snow-filled land at the back of one of them...

Boz said...

This is like finding a wing of your mansion you knew nothing about.

I am now going to open every single cupboard in our kitchen in the forlorn hope that one of them will have turned into a dishwasher.

Annie Rhiannon said...

*more giggles*

And, for the record, I've never rinsed anything before putting it in the dishwasher at Rhiannon Towers and nobody's died.

patroclus said...

Red: I didn't have much choice, as we were (obviously) ill-prepared for the miraculous discovery, and therefore we have no dishwashing tablets or salt crystals or whatever the hell else you're supposed to feed it with.

Billy: Decadent yes, but annoying, I don't think so. They wash the dishes for you! What's annoying about that?

Annie: There can't possibly be any other discoveries to be made. As it is it reminds me of the time when I was filthy rich in the dotcom boom (sadly no more), and I found £240 in an obscure pocket of a handbag I'd forgotten I had.

Boz: Let us know what transpires - especially if you also find any snow-filled lands.

Annie R: I'm not convinced about the rinsing thing, either.

Who knew there was so much to say about dishwashers?

Jayne said...

I don't rinse either - no problem. Although I'm wondering if there's a pipe filling up with bits of rice and pasta that will someday explode over my kitchen - but you don't need to worry about that, you'll have moved out by then!

Tim Footman said...

You know the game of brinksmanship that occurs in shared houses, when nobody wants to be the one that cracks and does the washing up, because everyone's convinced "I've done it the last three times"? Well, we had a similar stand off when we had a dishwasher, but over unloading the bloody thing. So all the clean stuff stayed in the DW for a week, while excess dirty stuff piled up in the sink.

There was a C4 domestic documentary waiting to happen, I can tell you.

Ooo look, Richard Widmark died.

Semaphore said...

*cries with laughter*

That sort of reminds me - since we're talking about kitchen related stupidity - of the time when I mistook a tumble dryer for a washing machine. In my defence, I'd just moved in to new accomodation, there was one such appliance in the kitchen and so I assumed it was a washing machine, plus the first time I loaded it it was 8.30 am after a heavy night. I did have a moment of puzzlement that there was no drawer for the powder, but in America we put the powder in the drum. So in it went. Equally puzzled when an hour later the clothes emerged (a) dry and (b) covered in powder, but I assumed it was broken. Only learned my mistake when we received a rather snotty email from the housekeeper about "Cambridge students" who "really should know the difference between a tumble dryer and a washing machine".

Such shame, I can't tell you!

Tara said...

that's the best story I've hear in...well, maybe ever. my sister used to live the high life as an American expat in the Caribbean and the housekeeper never liked the dishwasher so she washed the dishes by hand and they used the dishwasher for storage.

pleite said...

No. No. I can't leave this comment... Oh, go on then. There are all-in-1 tablets. 7 gazillion functions in one. So you don't have to get that salt and some juice or other. The tab is the only thing you have to feed it to function.

I once found an almost full packet of cigarettes in a discarded pair of jeans. Happiest moment of my life.

Erm, do say if there are any other household tips you need.

Boz said...

The defining victory in my Mum's domestic life was education her mother-in-law about the hard/soft water setting on her dishwasher.

Kirsten said...

My flat (actually a house but somehow everyone keeps calling it a flat so I don't want to be left out) has a dishwasher, but when I first moved in I thought no one used it for money&electricity-saving reasons, so I washed everything by hand (and when there are 6 people in the house there is a lot of everything), then I realised that everyone else used the dishwasher. Meh.

However, our dishwasher is evil and doesn't clean stuff very well. I am going to try to convince my flatmate-who-does-the-shopping to buy better powder in the hopes of it becoming super-duper.

Valerie said...

We ended up buying one of those really expensive Bosch dishwashers, and lo! It actually cleans the dishes. Sadly, now we are dishwasher addicts and whine every time we are back in Australia for a month and have to do it by hand. You get soft awfully fast...

Kirses said...

thats hilarious - love the 'this is just a false front' ... false fronts usually have something hiding behind them...