BOSTON (CAP) - According to stunned researchers, a large percentage of the elderly population may not always have been old.
"These results have us deeply concerned," lead scientist Dr. Alvin Chambers, 34, told CAP News. Chambers admitted that he's been having trouble sleeping at night ever since his lab made the unsettling discovery.
"Does this mean I might not stay the way I am forever?" he wondered.
While many Americans admit that they know at least one old person, few say they have ever considered the idea that they might someday be old themselves.
"My grandmother is a wonderful woman," said Minneapolis resident Amy Carter, 28. "She's full of dignity and grace, and I have always admired the strength of her spirit in the face of her constantly failing health. But I would never, ever want to be old like her. Now they're saying that could happen?"
Added Carter, "If that’s the case, they need to figure out how to stop it, now."
Many have pointed out that it doesn't make sense for young people to become old, considering the way the elderly are generally treated.
"From what I can tell, old people have difficult lives," said Ed Hawkins, a 24 year old graduate student. "They live on fixed incomes and in nursing homes, they have health problems; nobody visits them or really wants to listen to them, because of how they're old."
He continued, "People my age are the future. We're attractive, we're fit, and we’re healthy. We're on top of the world - it therefore stands to reason that logically, we should always be there."
Hawkins shook his head. "The idea of young people being forced to live as old people, after having spent so much time being sexy and important - how is that fair? It's horrible to even think about," he said, his voice choking off into a sob.
In light of these findings, a few leading members of the normal-aged community have suggested that the transition between young and old, once it is properly investigated and mapped out, should be made as easy as possible for those who are unlucky enough to be forced to endure it.
"Our culture has always valued youth and attractiveness above oldness and whatever else comes with being old," said Ann Mayor, 31, a research assistant. "Perhaps it's time we took a step back from those ideals and considered the perspectives of individuals who are not young and attractive, since research shows they may once have been those things."
As of press time, further investigations were being made into whether those who became old had perhaps committed crimes or other heinous acts that brought a state of advanced age upon them, or whether oldness, as is the current fear, could have afflicted them regardless of whether or not it was deserved.
- Molly Schoemann