Mash Blind Date: 'He was almost as much of a prick about eating meat as I was about being vegan'

COULD committed vegan Flora and enthusiastic carnivore Jamie find common ground, or are they both tedious, sanctimonious twats whose date was bound to fail? 

Flora on Jamie

First impression

From a distance I thought he was pretty good-looking, but when I sat down I could smell the animal fats leaking from his pores. He had that evil, greasy sheen I associate with people who murder and consume my animal siblings.

How was the conversation?

Initially confused, as we both angrily spoke over each other trying to be the first to explain our moral standpoints on consuming flesh. Then he got stuck chewing a particularly tough bit of steak for ages and I was able to wax lyrical about the superiority of veganism, like I usually do.

Memorable moments?

When he proudly told me he hadn’t had a shit in 10 days due to constipation from his all-meat diet. I’d just hit nine days, due to constipation from compacted roughage. I suppose we bonded a little.

Favourite thing about Jamie?

He was the living embodiment of a boorish, masculine carnivore and therefore completely fulfilled my expectations of him being absolutely awful. I’m always right, you know.

A capsule description?

He ate a big chunk of flesh from a poor, innocent cow in front of me, so ‘Vile, sick freak who belongs in prison’ should cover it.

Was there a spark?

Yes, a very angry one, which I must admit did cross the line into raw, sexual passion.

What happened afterwards?

We shouted at each other in the street then ended up snogging and he came back to mine for an incredible banging session.

What would you change about the evening?

I’d have not insisted on splitting the bill. My butter bean salad was dirt cheap compared to his 20 oz steak.

Will you see each other again?

Yes, we’ve arranged to hook up for more hot sex next weekend, but don’t tell anyone.

Jamie on Flora

First impression

Just as I’d expected, from the vegan leather jacket to the felt Birkenstocks. But what I hadn’t anticipated was a strange stirring sensation in my groin.

How was the conversation?

Reasonable, pragmatic and sensible when I was talking. Total hippy bollocks when she was rabbiting on, which was a long time as I’d literally bitten off more than I could chew.

Memorable moments?

Watching her turn pale as I cut into my very rare steak. There was more blood on my plate than there was in her face. Does that make me sound incredibly masculine and tough? I hope so.

Favourite thing about Flora?

I had to admire her commitment to her cause. She accused the woman at the next table of ‘stealing, killing and dismembering the child of a loving mother’ because she’d ordered the lamb.

A capsule description?

Preachy, condescending, judgemental, smug, annoying and confusingly attractive.

Was there a spark?

Yes. Despite the Birkenstocks. And the undercut.

What happened afterwards?

We went back to hers and shagged like mad. She had a lot of stamina for someone who must have an iron deficiency and weak bones.

What would you change about the evening?

I shouldn’t have let her pay half the bill. It made me look like a weak metrosexual feminist who doesn’t eat meat at every meal.

Will you see each other again?

No. At least not in public anyway.

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Let's move to the home of black pudding and a not-world-famous market! This week: Bury

What’s it about?

Sir Robert Peel’s legacy consists not only of founding the much-loved Metropolitan Police, but also the continuing excellence of his hometown, Bury. What other town has both a market and a limited range of high street shops? None, you’ll find.

Bury’s unique charm and pizzazz was highlighted by none other than Rishi Sunak. Despite Bury Market’s ‘world famous’ status being verified by absolutely nobody, Rishi gushed over ‘world-famous Burnley Market’, confusing it with Burnley. Actual shoppers in Bury have been less enthusiastic, complaining about too much black pudding and ‘OAP clothes’.

Any good points?

Black pudding. Bury is very proud of its black pudding-making, and may even have invented the British version. Going on and on about one basic foodstuff never looks desperate.

Settle down in Bury and you’ll discover it’s the town everyone’s talking about, at least for three days a year when some f**k-up makes it half a story on Facebook. There was, for example, the new RSPCA charity shop that opened to the joy of millions. Their slogan? ‘Helping Bury Animals.’

Or when Bury South MP Christian Wakeford hit the headlines briefly when he decided to leave the Tories to join Labour, purely to avoid being dragged down by ‘partygate’. Quickly forgotten, but Keir Starmer looked pleased to have another bland careerist MP onboard, so that was nice.

Wonderful landscape?

Bury has everything you could ever want, a 20 to 30-minute drive away. It really is a great selling point: it’s pretty close but not that close to places that you’d actually want to go to. Whether a trip to the city of Manchester or a pretty northern village, any option that isn’t Bury is just a medium-length car journey away.

Even the town’s prettiest feature, a stop on a heritage railway line, is designed to take you in style to a place that isn’t Bury.

However, this equidistance from the city of Manchester and the countryside makes Bury a ticking time bomb for gentrification. Experts have spotted worrying early signs, such as actual investment from the council and residents smiling. 

Hang out at…

Swinging by Gigg Lane is a great way to bond with locals. The stadium has stood empty for three years after some financial pissing about by the owners got Bury FC expelled from the league, so feel part of the community by standing outside those locked doors and tutting and sighing together.

Or take your life in your hands with a trip to the big Wetherspoons that turns into a club on weekends. With a dancefloor rammed with pissed underage teenagers, and a selection of perverts sat around said dancefloor suspiciously eyeing said teenagers, it’s got that perfect blend of unpleasantness and illegality for anyone who hates being relaxed. 

And we cannot state often enough, there’s always a trip to the world-famous Burnley Market.

Where to buy?

As with great cities like Edinburgh or Prague, you will have to make a choice between Old or New Town. Or rather, Old or New shopping centre.

Align yourself with The Rock and you’re at the cutting edge of 2010. You really do live in a time where a cinema, bowling alley and all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet sit under one roof. Pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming.

Or if you fancy yourself a more cultured flaneur of the past, live in the shadow of the Mill Gate shopping centre, which dates back in history to 1992. Step into the days of yore by marvelling at where the BHS sign used to hang, or where the Shoezone inexplicably somehow still operates.

From the streets

Lauren Hewitt, aged 22, said: “I only really visit Bury when I’m going to my Nan’s house. It’s warm and friendly, just puts me in a good mood, you know? There’s tons of good food to eat, and I’m always sad when I have to leave. My Nan’s house that is, not Bury. Bury’s a shithole.”