In what some might see as a logical extension of the trend of meeting partners over the internet and the fashion for buying-in spouses from overseas, a new pattern has emerged whereby a growing number of couples – taking a rather radical interpretation of their wedding vows – have started actually trading their partners on the popular website eBay.
‘As I see it,’ Paul Haines of Southampton, who traded his wife of fifteen years for a barbecue set and garden hose, told us, ‘these vows were originally concocted in a far more primitive age, and need their interpretation to be updated for the internet generation: to love, honour and eBay,’ he finished, with a smug smirk of self-satisfaction.
The Church of England hesitantly accepted this new approach to the concept of matrimony, allowing that the continuous trading of spouses will at least guarantee that marriage is, once again, for life - even if not necessarily with one continuous partner.
The Vatican, meanwhile, refused to give us a quote, but it is believed that, so long as contraception is kept out of the picture, they are not particularly bothered. Indeed, there is some speculation that the Catholic Church, who have never allowed divorce, is now considering actually introducing the concept of officially open marriages, with roaming charges levied according to usage.
However, some disgruntled eBay shoppers have expressed dissatisfaction at the condition of the goods which they have received.
Mr Hobbs, of Lewisham, told our reporter, ‘Felicia was described on the site as being “new, hardly used”, but when she arrived she was badly crumpled and had obvious signs of heavy former usage.’
Kirsty of Bristol was far happier, however. ‘I traded in my old man and got a Fly-Mo and a family-sized pack of AA batteries,’ she giggled.