Cast your mind back a few thousand moons to when you were a kid - some family event (celebrating a sibling getting their 100-metre swimming badge, the arrival of a puppy, the laying of a new patio etc) was coming to an end, and it was time to kiss Great Aunty Ethel goodbye. This was about as enthralling as jaundice - but compelled by politeness (and pity), that peck on the aged cheek would always be delivered, albeit with stuttering hesitancy and an unwavering but just-about-conquerable reluctance.
When you're that young, old age and its inescapable physical reminders seem as far away as a £150 two-week package deal to Proxima Centauri. This blissful naivety continues for approximately 15 years until, as I discovered last weekend, it ends as suddenly and unexpectedly as the movement of a bowel tasked with removing days-old seafood.
There I was, sitting on the sofa minding my own business, when Mother Nature cruelly intervened by effectively slapping me in the face and reminding me of my own mortality at precisely the most enjoyable part of my week - settling down on a Sunday early afternoon after eating too many hash browns and various porcine body parts. What she revealed was shocking and appalling - my youthful, supple hands had lost some of their characteristic elasticity. The smooth radiance has been replaced by roughness, furrows and creases.
This weather-beaten appearance - usually the preserve of fishermen, farmers and gardeners - has started afflicting my innocent, weather-avoiding body. Presumably, once you're infected with the wrinkles it's a prolonged and irreversible slide into resembling a 25 year-old pug (this pug isn't really 25 - can't you appreciate a bit of hyperbole? Jesus. Besides, it's not all bad being a wrinkly pug. This one, for example, I'm genuinely jealous of. Just look at the quality of that collar - it's clearly well looked after).
Still, there may be a way of halting my slow march into wrinkledom. According to an exclusive in The Sun published on March 28th - not April 1st - a new face cream made of snail slime could be an effective way of keeping skin "plump and silky soft". Expected to hit British supermarket shelves sooner rather than later, the news has so far been met with a mixed reaction from readers. C73 said: "I couldnt thnk of anything WORSE ..ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!", while dincron16 was slightly more upbeat: "They already sell snail slime abroad and its actually really really good!!"
I'm liking dincron16's optimism. C73, meanwhile, is clearly a whippersnapper living through the blissful naivety stage. Her time will come. As will yours. Yes yours. Probably when you're sitting on the toilet. Which is definitely not when I noticed.
Pic credit: ollie T