Many accounts of life on Mars say that longevity is unlikely, due to the planet’s harsh climate. As you peruse Martian Law in The77 comic you’ll discover quite the opposite… folks live far longer on Mars than our current circumstances will allow.
If it was imagined by scifi writers in the 50’s then it is probably true on Mars. It’s just that kind of place…
…Those creepy living brains in mad science labs? That’s basic healthcare on Mars.
Your favourite Sheriff, Herbert Clarence O’Martyan has been handing out speeding tickets and pulling space-cats from trees for more’n forty years and he’s not even looking at slowing down. Marty was a World War Two vet before he left Earth: addition and subtraction places him somewhere short of seventy. (or an eternal 77 for the sake of the magazine?)
The oldies just ain’t as old as they were back on Earth.
In The77 issue 4 we see Eugene’s granny is in her mid Nineties and still driving… albeit without a licence on account of her skipping a routine SPEX checkup. With fresh goggles in place she could easily be driving when she’s 112… it seems – with Martian gravity at just over a third of Earth’s – our familiar middle aged presbyopia can come a good deal later. Great news to cartoonists! Get your ticket before it’s too late.
HOWEVER. Teeth wear down, muscles get lazy and bones still get creaky. So what do you do when your body gives out somewhere past the century and you ain’t done with life just yet?
Well, I guess this ain’t the place for recipes, but your granny knew the principle well: Nicolas Appert’s process of hermetical sealing and sterilising can keep you young for QUITE some time to come if you do it just right.
…And thanks to SCIENCE we can now keep an oldy living life to the fullest for absolute aaaaaaaages! (There’s no accident that in New Zealand the “Mason Jar” is instead called the “Agee” preservin’ jar.)
Now, there IS a fair rate of… ‘peripheral effect’ on some oldies. Some were perhaps preserved a little late and may find their mental acuity a little bit… ‘funny,’ I think is the word.
‘Temperamental’ certainly comes to mind.
Some find with no longer being able to eat whole foods or lift dumb-bells that life is somewhat restrictive and they get a little stir crazy. Over time they may evolve habits akin to sensory overload addicts, adrenaline Junkies and thrill seeking sensationalists. It’s now been discovered many in fact enter a second adolescence, becoming likely to embarass their youngers; to enlist in the army; to say rude words and go on protest marches.
However, many a fine folk keep their brain cells popping just swell and are able to find gainful employment on this particular planet, a planet where computers are massive Valve Driven, Tape spooled behemoths.
-While Mars has ray guns and rocket ships it doesn’t have much on the side of successful cyber-automated mechanisms.
Like man’s prehistory where the ubiquitous dinosaur was used to automate the time punch, the dish washer and the bowling ball reset, these prolifically preserved brains were able to drive buses, calculate trajectories and provide “auto” opponent play on the mechanical pinball-chess tables.
Often the smartest would wire themselves together in literal think tanks.
A ‘brain box’ was often precisely that.
The Mental Unions ensure the brains get decent pay and head home at five; otherwise double/ triple/ quadruple time is calculated depending on their preferred bed time.
Of course, by the time Christmas comes these oldies tend to be LOADED with cash and hold rather extended holidays, refusing work even if Mars grinds to a halt. In the larger cities this is a terrible problem.
Not only is a Martian DAY 40 minutes longer than ours, a Martian YEAR is 667 sols* (*martian days) -or 687 earth days from end to end. Who WOULDN’T give the working world a vulgar bunchful of digits after an annual innings like that?
Marty’s final foreseeable episode is scheduled for April 2021 in The77 issue 5. Let us know you want to see more Martian Law! I would LOVE to bring it back.