With the push of a button, a perfectly healthy 34-year-old museum-goer named Ugo Dumont was transformed into a confused 85-year-old man with cataracts, glaucoma and a ringing in his ears known as tinnitus.
That's what they call the ringing? I assumed it was just a righteous bonus of enjoying heavy rock. I guess the blown-out eyes that could only be cured by the devil grass is somewhat less face-melting in its implications.
Dumont had volunteered at Liberty Science Center on Tuesday to don a computer-controlled exoskeleton that can be remotely manipulated to debilitate joints, vision and hearing and shared with the crowd what aging feels like decades before his time.
Thanks to inactivity, excess sitting, a garbage diet and crushing stress that whole "decades away!" line seems quite optimistic.
The 40-pound (18 kg) suit also gave Dumont a taste of the weight gain people typically experience as they age.
Let's ignore the epidemic of stay-puff marshmallow children or the freshmen fifty and pretend the above is accurate.
"Wow," Dumont gasped as he struggled to walk on a treadmill facing a video titled "Walk on the Beach."
Please adjust your thirty-something poopy talk to the "by dickey cricky" and "what in the Sam Hill?" oldster talk to fit your new advanced age, completing the illusion.
His heart raced from 81 beats per minute to 100 as the staff cranked up the ailments, pushing buttons and levers on a control board linked to the computer backpack that he wore.
Man, crank up those ailments! I used to be into dope, but now I'm into premature aging simulators. It's a much heavier trip. Whoa, far out.
The Genworth Aging Experience is a traveling show created by Genworth Financial Inc., an insurance company, in partnership with Applied Minds, a design and engineering company, that allows museum visitors to feel first-hand the effects of aging.
This is part of our special educational campaign to raise awareness of your precarious mortality and the unbelievable weakness of the flesh.
Get off my lawn, beep boop.
Genworth "brand ambassador" Candace Hammer, who narrated one demonstration of the aging suit, said the show's aim is to build empathy and awareness of the challenges elderly people face in everyday situations.
Hopefully these extreme measures will help you develop some basic human decency.
"In our culture, we revere youth and beauty, so this is opening up the channels to have the 'let's talk' conversation," Hammer said. "It's not shameful that you should need care."
It's time to have that long talk about the normal aging process. Here, put on this robot suit.
With him was his granddaughter, 8-year-old Maggie Richards of Mahwah, New Jersey, who said the "really cool" exhibit would change her behavior, too.
I think we can all agree this entire thing is totally freaking awesome.
"You think old people are weirdos but then you understand that they don't see you and they can't hear you," she said. "I'm going to give them more time to understand what to do. I'll say, 'Can you please move?' Instead of, 'Get out of the way!'"
Another future "Clockwork Orange" teen cured by the elderly cyborg helmet technique. Sorry you can't enjoy Beethoven any more kid, just a side-effect.
Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.