Mash Blind Date: 'What do I do? Recently I've been texting my exes with the less-than-ideal news they might have VD'

MARKETING executive Lucy Parry, 29, is looking for love. STD victim James Bates, 30, is looking for a cream that will make it less painful to urinate. Will romance blossom?

Lucy on James

First impression?

He seemed a bit awkward. He couldn’t still in his seat and had this nervous tic of scratching his crotch. I think it was butterflies, which is quite sweet. Also he smelt really nice, sort of creamy. He must moisturise.

How was the conversation?

Great. We talked about everything under the sun! Long-term career plans. The ending of The Last of Us. What time the pharmacist round the corner closes and whether it sells doxycycline over the counter.

Memorable moments?

James is quite the expert on chlamydia, genital herpes and gonorrhoea. Common symptoms. Chances of transmission. Which antibiotics work best. It’s a bit of a weird hobby, but it’s all relative. I once went out with a guy who was in the Sealed Knot.

Favourite thing about James?

His off-the-wall sense of humour. One minute he’s talking about the chicken tagliatelle, the next minute he’s talking about genital sores. Hilarious!

A capsule description?

Some people might find him twitchy, but I think he just has this boundless energy – like Robin Williams. But he’s got a serious side too. He’s very passionate about people practising safe sex. I really respect that.

Was there a spark?

Oh definitely. James couldn’t sit still with excitement. I didn’t know I had that effect on men. I’m clearly underestimating myself.

What happened afterwards?

I said I’d like to see him again, but it was clear I was going home that night. He looked disappointed, but also relieved. Like, really relieved. Almost ecstatic. I got a cab and he walked to the late-night chemist’s. Well, I say ‘walked’. More ‘sprinted’.

What would you change about the evening?

You know, maybe I should have slept with him? He’s quite a catch.

Will you see each other again?

I texted him and he said we can meet ‘once he’s got the all-clear’. Putting two and two together that can only mean one thing – he’s getting over a previous girlfriend. What a lovely, sensitive guy.

James on Lucy

First impression?

Difficult to tell. I was itching like fuck. There was definitely a tingling in my groin, but that was probably just the bacteria.

How was the conversation?

Surprisingly chill. When I hinted that I’ve got a dose of clap, Lucy didn’t seem fazed in the slightest. She’s either very non-judgmental or a bit thick. Sadly I suspect it’s the latter.

Memorable moments?

The wave of panic when Lucy said the Boots round the corner shuts at 11. I was willing her to eat faster, but she was weirdly keen to talk about STDs. And Robin Williams. No idea where that came from. Thankfully there was a nouvelle cuisine small-portion vibe, so I managed to get there before it closed. 

Favourite thing about Lucy?

She’s a really good listener. You’d think someone would get sick of talking about chlamydia, but she hung on my every word. To be honest, I reckon she’s a keeper. If you haven’t got the pox.

A capsule description?

Astonishingly accepting or incredibly dim woman with a refreshingly different interest in STDs.

Was there a spark?

More a burning sensation in my groin. And I definitely felt an attraction to her. Mainly the burning though.

What happened afterwards?

We had the perfect end to the evening – I got to Boots before it closed. Normally I’d have been delighted to have sex after a date, but it’s nothing compared the orgasmic pleasure of not feeling like a million demons with flamethrowers are running around your urethra.

What would you change about the evening?

Not having VD. 

Will you see each other again?

I’d definitely like to, but really that’s up to Lucy and the antibiotics.

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Dead overrated: Is 28 Days Later a bit shit?

THE praise heaped upon 28 Days Later is more appropriate for Danny Boyle actually having invented cinema, not giving zombie films a makeover. Here’s why it’s somewhat overrated.

Running zombies 

‘Ah, but what about the innovative running zombies?’ you say, if you’re as tragically obsessed with a medium-budget 2002 horror movie as this article is. They actually first appeared in 1980’s Nightmare City or possibly 1968’s Night of the Living Dead. It’s disputed, but the main problem is that it takes away their scary ‘zombieness’ and turns them into just ‘well-motivated cannibals’. 

The laboratory chimps are infected with ‘rage’

It’d be interesting to see the research grant application. ‘Eradicate the normal human emotion of anger by turning monkeys into psychotic killers with a highly contagious virus’? Danny Boyle may have reinvigorated the genre, but in mad scientist terms it’s as cliched as ‘Success! I have transplanted a murderer’s hand onto an accident victim! No harm can come of this!’

Stupidity + zombies = poor outcomes

In their wisdom, the characters decide to drive a cab through the completely dark, heavily obstructed Blackwall tunnel. Might the light-averse zombies be in here, rather than, say, having a day out at the National Maritime Museum? Maybe just drive over to Tower Bridge? It’s not far by car, as the cabbie character would know. They narrowly escape, no thanks to their ‘Let’s read this occult incantation out loud!’ horror movie stupidity.

‘The infected’ are zombies, end of

Even if characters in zombie films live in a universe where zombie movies don’t exist, any film that refuses to call zombies zombies instantly draws attention to it. It’s like sitting down for dinner and your partner saying: ‘Could you pass the sodium chloride dispersal unit?’

The army instantly turns into rapists

Only the most mental army officer would start planning to rape female captives for breeding purposes after 28 days. What if a cure is found on day 29? It’s definitely court martial territory, although the Mail and the Sun would start a campaign to get you off. And while the army doesn’t have the most spotless record on this, why do soldiers in horror movies always turn into sexual predators? Surely there’d be at least a few going, ‘You know this evil, demented breeding plan? It’s a bit evil and demented. Also, maybe we should focus on not being eaten alive, or indeed starving to death?’

It should really be called 28 Triffids Later

Writer Alex Garland is open about taking inspiration from Day of the Triffids. That’s fine, but not so much when it’s the best bits – the creepy deserted hospital and empty London streets. Plus the whole sodding idea of Cillian Murphy awaking in a terrifying, barely-recognisable world.

It’s the 7/10 pub lunch of zombie movies

It’s got zombies, escaping from zombies, gory corpses, the collapse of society and a glimmer of hope for humanity. It’s all perfectly adequate – the zombie equivalent of a pub Sunday roast which was okay but you only got one slice of beef and the potatoes weren’t crispy.