Gramsci peered out from the gleaming bookshelves. He wasn't sure if this was a trick question, or if the multiple choice answers were still to follow. "None of the above?" he ventured nervously.
Carnivorous Cow rolled her eyes dramatically and recounted a long and complex story of yet another relationship gone wrong, the fall-out from which was clearly wasting altogether too much of her limited sympathy reserves. "Besides," she added, "it was never going to work. He's younger than she is!"
Gramsci looked up, startled. Whatever did that have to do with anything?
"There's a reason that the older male - younger female pairing is socially acceptable in a way that the older female - younger male pairing is gossipworthy," Carnivorous Cow explained patiently. "Different biology. Different programming. Men go for surface - and, typically, pretty equates with young. Women go for substance - and, typically, substance only develops with experience - which takes time, hence age."
"But..." Gramsci began, "I read recently on-the-internet-so-it-must-be-true, that older women are better..." he blushed deeply. He wasn't altogether sure how old the cow was, under all that leather, and didn't want to cause unnecessary offence given the difference in their size.
"Of course!" exclaimed Carnivorous Cow. "But that doesn't mean that younger men are in a position to recognise that fact, or - even if they did - to deserve access to older women. Who wants something so gauche, so green, so self-obsessed, so... needy?"
Gramsci said nothing. He was thinking that not all younger men were needy - Mark Shuttleworth, for one, seemed quite well-off? But this was possibly not what the Cow had in mind.
But something else was bothering him. "What happens," he asked, "to all the older women when all the older men are out pursuing younger women? And the even-older men are all tied to their colostomy bags and zimmer frames and rocking chairs?"
Carnivorous Cow fixed him with a beady eye. "Their platinum cards still work, don't they? A nip and a tuck and who says she's an older woman?"