No chuckles about getting older

'Age isn't a thing,' said the otherwise charming young chap who sold me a loaf of bread and a ready meal the other evening.

Getting into deep and meaningful conversations with complete strangers is something that happens to me on a regular basis, much to the dismay of the long-suffering Mrs Tapp, as the most mundane of tasks tend to take twice as long as they ought to, given my penchant for a natter.

But this particular conversation escalated especially quickly after I casually observed that the enthusiastic youth’s rapier-quick reflexes would more than likely diminish with age - he caught the aforementioned loaf as it tumbled from the checkout, before you ask.

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It was at this point that he ever so gently rebuked me for the suggestion that things become trickier the older we get. Rather than annoy me, I found his unflinching assertion that the ageing process is a figment of our imaginations rather charming and left the shop with the kind of smug smile which simply says “you’re wrong mate”.

Youthful optimism should be cherished for it reminds us that life isn’t just about heating bills, sickly children and the daily grind.

As it was, it didn’t take long for my cynical response to be reinforced when we learned the following day that Barry Chuckle had died.

Of course, while devastating for all of his family, especially his brother Paul, the other half of the wonderfully silly duo The Chuckle Brothers, it was also a celebrity death which hit millions of us pretty hard.

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I am genuinely sad that television has lost yet another great talent, who also served as a reminder of a bygone age before reality shows and video clip programmes which feature bored comedians and minor celebrities talking inanely about footage they have just watched.

I grew up in an age when Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, the Two Ronnies and Les Dawson were beamed into our living rooms on a weekly basis.

Perhaps the saddest part of getting older is realising that progress isn’t necessarily always a force for good.

Sorry mate, age is a thing.