In an email Friday, the Washington Post promised “an ignominious first for Date Lab,” the Post Magazine‘s blind-date feature. And they weren’t kidding! This Sunday’s Date Lab is easily the saddest iteration yet of the feature that proves, weekly, just how hard it is to find someone bearable.

The first sign that something went wrong for daters Jack Gray (64, project manager) and Eva-Maria Pede (59, project administrator) is that only Jack is shown in the post-date picture. The second sign of trouble is that Jack, in a blue shirt and white suit, is dressed like Sonny Crockett.

More shallows lie ahead for the couple’s love boat, however. It soon emerges that Jack doesn’t know enough about horses (emphasis added):

Jack:….she brought out that she enjoys riding horses. I enjoy horseback riding, too. She said, “Well, I ride dressage; there’s no comparison.” Just trying to set it apart. I said, “Well, that’s okay, don’t you ever just get on a horse and ride it just to ride it?” And she says, “No, that wouldn’t be right.” It sounded like she enjoyed being with a horse more than a human.

Eva: He indicated he knew a lot about horses; however, he had never heard of dressage or three-day eventing.

All this would make a bad Date Lab date, but not the worst Date Lab date ever. Until this, from Jack:

After she ate her salad, she said she was going to the bathroom … and she never came back! When the waiter came — this was, like, 15 minutes later — I said, “I guess you better bring the check; it doesn’t look like she’s coming back.”

She ditched their terrible date! And the Date Lab machinery, which mashes up Washington’s lonely hearts for the rest of the city’s amusement, rolls ever onward.

Bad date photo by Shutterstock.

More from WCP