“What Poppa Pills Did For Me” by J. J. Green
We’d like to present a new Feature Story here at Metro Fiction. Please check the Metro Fiction page for more information about us.
This week, we learn the lengths some people will go to to live forever.
Please enjoy our Feature Story: “What Poppa Pills Did For Me” by J.J. Green:
The New New York Times
Wednesday, October 11, 2193
OBITUARIES: Elizabeth Brown, Longest-Lived Person in the History of Humankind, Dies at 211
Ms. Brown, record holder for the longest documented human lifespan, died today at Bethlehem End-of-Life Centre, London. She was 211 years, 6 months and 9 days old when her end-of-life support machine was finally turned off. She beats the previous record holder, Yasoshomi Yuguri, by 3 months and 17 days. Ms. Yuguri had held the record for more than two years before Ms. Brown came along and smashed it.
Elizabeth Brown published several guides to living longer. Her advice included eating plenty of high quality dark chocolate and maintaining good mental health by living an easy and stress-free life. Of course, it helped to belong to a family worth trillions of dollars in stock, real estate and corporations.
There was celebration in the streets of the capital this evening after the news was announced by Ms. Brown’s daughter, Natasha, who is herself a sprightly 185 years old.
“Toward the end, Mother was adamant that she wanted to go,” said Natasha at a press conference held shortly after the announcement was made. “As a family, we’ve made it our priority to use whatever means available to extend our lives. Mother had had several operations over the years and made full use of whatever medical breakthroughs occurred. She’d had most of her major organs cloned and replaced, and I think she was on her third heart,” Natasha said. “It was hard to keep track sometimes. But she finally decided enough was enough.”
When asked what was her mother’s motivation to try to live as long as possible, Ms. Brown said:
“Well, in my family we all just love living! We all have a real zest for life. We travel, we learn about new things all the time. My husband and I have just got back from a trip to Nova Scotia. We couldn’t believe how much it had changed since we were there a century ago.
“But it isn’t only that. We’re a very patriotic family. We like to do our bit for the country. When Yasoshimi Yuguri lived to 211, well, we thought, we can beat that easily. Britain might not have its empire anymore, but we can still show the rest of the world what we’re made of.”
Did Natasha have any advice to pass on for those who weren’t in such a privileged position?
“I think the average person can do a lot to prolong their life these days,” she said. “As well as taking Poppa-Pills — Mother told me she had been taking them religiously ever since they first came out — you should get regular checkups to get any cancers sorted out immediately, and keep your brain working. All these things do a lot to increase your lifespan. Take my family: we’re learning new things all the time. I can speak four languages and I’ve just started on Mandarin,” she added.
“Of course, there still aren’t any brain transplants available; otherwise Mother would have gone for one like a shot!” said Natasha. “That’s what forced her hand in the end. She didn’t want to risk any loss of her mental faculties.”
Elizabeth Brown had been increasingly concerned about the quality of her brain function, although she was fully compos mentis when she died, according to her medical team at the hospital.
Thoughts now turn to the next in line to break Ms. Brown’s record. There are a number of contenders in both Asia and the United States, most notably Agatha Williams of Texas and Ping Yee-Ling of Hong Kong, both of whom are within one year of Ms. Browns’s record age.
For the time being, however, the record stays with Britain. Elizabeth Brown’s state funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey this Friday.
King Brian is expected to attend, as well as the Prime Minister and other heads of state. It is expected to be a joyous affair, celebrating Ms. Brown’s long life. Her entire immediate family, consisting of husband Michael (157), daughters Natasha (185) and Beverley (163), and grandson Phillip (101 and the last in the Brown line) will be seated with the dignitaries. Michael was Elizabeth Brown’s third husband after being widowed twice.
Regarding the funeral arrangements, Natasha said that her mother was delighted to hear that she will receive full privileges, including a glass gun carriage to transport her body and a service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Vijay Singh.
“We’ll also be holding a small family gathering afterwards,” said Natasha, “just for close relatives and friends. We’d like to remember mother’s life in a personal way, too. After all, it isn’t every day you have a record-breaker in the family!”
And Elizabeth herself?
“Oh, we’ll make sure Mother’s included in everything. She’ll be watching the funeral through her interface, and once we’re all home, we can talk with her through the house system so she can join in the celebration too.”
Asked why Elizabeth herself was not available for interview, Natasha said her mother was still getting used to cyberlife but that she was booked to take part in the Gene Getterby Show next Thursday, and she intended to honor that commitment.
Elizabeth Brown’s book, What Poppa Pills Did For Me, will be out in Spring, 2194.
J.J. Green has been published on many websites, and in Dark Tide Writers’ Magazine and Piker Press. Attracted to the weird and fantastic since childhood, she feeds her addiction by writing about the frontiers of scientific exploration and beyond. Living in Taiwan has also given her endless opportunities to amuse the locals by attempting to learn Chinese. Follow her reports on recent scientific studies on her website “Infinitebook
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