A man in Staffordshire achieved the kind of notoriety he hadn't bargained for, today, when he became the first person in the world to sell his wife on eBay.
The man, Gerald Bodge, from Lichfield, married his wife Deidre in 1976, but their relationship had recently 'dropped-off', soured, gone stale, become strained and then unbearable, as events took their toll on the tired couple, both in their late 50s.
The pair avoided talking about their problems, until ten days ago when Gerald decided to auction Deidre off to the highest bidder.
Describing her as 'a good woman who can cook, clean, wash, iron, mow the lawn and fix DVD players', he started the auction off at a very conservative 99p, and waited, not expecting any responses, having done it merely to amuse himself behind his wife's back.
EBay regulars, however, didn't see it as a joke, and bidding on the 'Wife' was frantic. After almost round-the-clock activity, Deidre was finally sold to an anonymous bidder in the US for $513,500, a record for a wife.
On realising that he had auctioned-off the one thing in his life that was worth anything, a sad Bodge asked reporters: "Who's gonna cook me tea?"