Mash Blind Date: A 48-year-old man and the 41-year-old he has deigned to date despite the age difference

HERO and feminist Tom Booker, aged 48, has agreed to date Jo Kramer despite only being seven years older than her. How did it go? 

Tom on Jo

First impression?

Really remarkably favourable. Considering she’s past 40 with the menopause ready to come down like a ton of bricks, she looked convincingly youthful. She could pass for 36, I told her.

How was conversation? 

Impressive. She knows her cars, talked a good game when it came to managing investments, and while usually my Noel’s House Party jokes get blank stares she laughed. I honestly didn’t have to dumb down my conversation at all, which is a very refreshing change on a date.

Memorable moments?

At one point, when we both discovered we’ll be mortgage-free by 2024 and we’ve both always wanted to balloon through Kenya, our hands and eyes met in the shimmering candlelight and I genuinely felt very powerfully attracted to her.

Favourite thing about Jo? 

Just the easy, flowing dialogue between us. It was like talking to an equal.

A capsule description? 

Really looks after herself, great fun, we have a lot in common.

Was there a spark? 

It’s bizarre but there actually was..? I know. I guess the heart knows no boundaries.

What happened afterwards? 

I called her an Uber, on me, and told her I’d had a fantastic evening. And meant it.

What would you change about the evening? 

Nothing. Compared to the halting conversation and frequent misunderstandings of all the dates I’ve had with girls half my age, this was perfect.

Will you see each other again?  

No. I’m dating a 22-year-old on Friday. I can’t throw that away for someone I could relate to.

Jo on Tom

First impression?

Absolutely one of those arrogant twats who got rich, got divorced and now chases every twentysomething piece of ass he gets near to make up for being unpopular at school. He has the Rolex and everything.

How was conversation? 

Exactly confirming my first impression. He told me about six ex-girlfriends all in their 20s. The figure he most admires is Leonardo DiCaprio. But he seemed inordinately pleased that I knew what Mr Blobby and the Gotcha Oscars were.

Memorable moments?

At one point I almost liked him, then he mentioned he doesn’t see his kids much because he ex-wife’s jealous of his success and he pities her. Then I hated him again.

Favourite thing about Tom? 

It has to be that, after this date, I’ll never have to be in the same room with him again.

A capsule description? 

The older man every girl dated in her 20s and which she’s regretted ever since.

Was there a spark? 

He is incapable of love.

What happened afterwards? 

He did this bizarrely regretful thing, like we were two lovers being torn apart by an impending war. ‘If only you were 20 years younger,’ he said, and almost seemed to be crying.

What would you change about the evening? 


Will you see each other again?  

No. I couldn’t bear the terror in his eyes if I’d visibly aged, the pathetic, insecure bastard. Also he’s losing his hair.

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Six ways to look an arsehole in… a scarf

OUT there it’s dark, cold and inhospitable and will be for months, so why not subliminate that nagging desire to hang yourself into knotting a scarf instead? 

Perfect whether you’re posh, don’t have a coat that keeps the neck warm or insufferably posh; if you’re into basking in the glare of others’ contempt a scarf is a must. Here’s how to wear it:

With a light jacket

Remember hurrying across the quad, scarf flapping behind you, on your way to see your professor to discover if you got a First? No? Not Oxbridge? Then take that scarf off and stop pretending you represented Gonville & Caius on University Challege, baby!

With a heavy coat

The serious scarf-wearer with echoes of West Berlin during the Cold War, knotted up and tucked in. Ready to exchange documents with a defector, protected from high and icy winds, and your new girlfriend’s parents won’t see your prison neck tattoos!


How long is a length of string? Infinite, right? Why accept less for your scarf? Whether length, width or thickness of knit, go large. Trailing 12ft behind you in traffic or piled so high you’re peeking over the top like the eyes on the poop emoji, you’ll be noticed. Isn’t that what this is about?


Scarf colours are information. Black with two yellow stripes means you went to the University of Glasgow. Black and white means you support Derby County. Green with light blue square means you’re a gay hustler specialising in blowjobs. Only the slow can’t read the codes.


The Stone Cold Stunner of twat moves is the indoor scarf, all pretence of this being a warmth thing abandoned, just straight up draping fabric around your neck like your head’s a vase and this is a still life. The means of your strangulation is right there. Will anyone have the courage to take both ends and pull them tight?

Left on a bus

The ultimate fate of every scarf, whether designer or cashmere or knitted by your gran, is to be left adorning a seat on a bus. Supple, coiled and casual, it classes up that downstairs double and is easily forgotten because it’s entirely unnecessary. Abandon yours on the 39B to Kirkcaldy today!