It was pre-dawn when the request came.

The birds had not even started chirping from their roost, the sun still hanging drowsily below the horizon, and not even the pitter-patter of the early rising child echoed through the house.

My partner in household cleanliness was off for a work trip out of town, and made sure I had the instruction required: "Can you make sure you give the house a good clean today, the cleaners coming tomorrow".

Oh, how silly of me, I thought that's what we had bought the house-cleaning voucher for, but they must be coming to do something else right? Fix those wobbly drawers? Arrange the pantry in a way that doesn't require the removal of seven Tupperware containers and a bag of rice to get to the sauce?


No. They were coming to clean, and I was to do the pre-clean to make sure things were clean before they cleaned.

I appreciate cleaners in all forms, without them public toilets would be something akin to a Mad Max set, but with a much worse smell.

The streets of our towns and cities would be awash with litter and heavens knows what else. But, it seems the voucher for a house clean we had purchased was not so we could get the cleaning done, it was so the cleaner could come and admire just how clean we were before they got there.

"But honey," I tried, "that's like going to the café and pulling out your ciabatta, brie, and salami and making a roll right there on their table, thermos in hand, telling the wait staff 'I'm fine' and ignoring the counter.

"You wouldn't fix the dent in your door before taking your car, in perfect shape, to the panel beaters to show them what a good job you've done.

"Would YOU build your new garage from the ground up and then call the builders over, stroll around your structure, give the builders a pat on the back and say, 'great job, guys. Lovely garage we have here"?

Ignoring my attempts at a logical solution to my task at hand, she slid the toilet brush from behind the loo, and out to the middle of the bathroom.

I threw out ambitiously: "You giving the bog a quick tickle up before you go?"

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"Nope, I'm off," came the reply. "But make sure you don't use the loo after you've cleaned it till after the cleaner goes."

We wouldn't want them thinking we had a toilet we actually USED, gross.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to drive myself home, and call the taxi over to let them know I've done the job.

• Don't miss Adam Green and Megan Banks on The Hits Hawke's Bay from 6am to 9am, Monday to Friday