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I should live so long….

© 2007 Fay Jacobs


Fay Jacobs

So, how do you feel today? I felt pretty good until I got my hands on some advice to extend my life.

Disclaimer: I believe in traditional Western medicine, but I am also open to alternative therapies. From trigger point massage to acupuncture, natural remedies to yoga, I believe there are some great ideas and great practitioners around. And I mean absolutely no offense with the following...but...

Auuughhhhh!!!!!! I have just had the living poop scared out of me by a magazine purported to represent life extending alternative medicine therapies, drugs, machines and pills the size of bagels.

I sit down to warn you about this stuff just after I tried to swallow something that promised to extend my life. By the time I got finished choking the thing down, chasing it with water, then tomato juice, then a slice of cheesecake (it was the only edible in the fridge), I'd used up twenty minutes of my life and clotted my arteries sufficiently to take two months off my existence at the other end.

Between the taste of the pill and the feeling that there's still a major league baseball stuck in my gullet, my life extension adventure is off to a rocky start.

It all started when I picked up a magazine we will call Live Longer Than Most People. That's not the name, but I hate litigation.

Purportedly, this magazine features alternative meds and natural remedies to fix everything you can possibly die from, now or in the future.

In ten minutes I learned that I have to improve the endothelial function in my arteries, better absorb Bio CoQ10 for anti-aging, take Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer, eat pomegranate supplements, use Theanine to calm my nerves, avoid benzodiazepines (eek, don't step on the benzodiazepines), shun the wrong form of Vitamin E (of course, I'm taking that one), ingest more butter extract, and keep from microwaving myself with my cell phone. And I was just on page 32 of 94, not including the Buyers Club pages in the back.

The thing is, each article makes sure you know what kind of unhealthy pharmaceutical company drug is bad for you and tells you exactly which of their own natural remedies MUST take its place or you are toast. Out with Valium, Lipitor, soap and water. You have to use Reversatrol, Sesame Lignans and Olive Fruit Extract. Hell, I already get plenty of olive fruit extract from martinis. From what I can glean from the articles and ads, if you take one pill from the greedy pharmaceutical companies, you have to replace it with four pills from the greedy Live Longer Than Most People people.

If you take even a small portion of their advice, you'll be in the bathroom every morning swallowing pills until lunchtime. I could live twice as long but spend months at a time gulping down handfuls of anti-mutagenic pills. If I have to live like this I want my life to be shorter than most people.

Then there was the cautionary article "Single Fast Food Meal Increases Blood Pressure." While I'm sure that's true, it should have been followed by "Single reading of this magazine monumentally increases blood pressure."

And how 'bout those new machines you need. Blood testers, capsule filler machines, Dr. Fung's Tongue cleaners (ick), pill grinders, and a Gauss Meter to detect radiation from my phone, photocopier and (omigod) my computer. Hell, I should be dead by now.

Did you know that premature labor is associated with gum disease? At least I don't have to worry about that, or the fact that the boswellia plant provides optimum prostate health. Of course, I could get a whole bunch of other ugly maladies if I don't use Live Longer Than Most People Toothpaste.

The magazine recommends several diets as well, with the hallmark of all of them starving yourself to death. Try the Ultra Low Calorie Diet - basically, not eating. My idea of ultra low calorie is pizza minus pepperoni.

By the time I got to the back of the book I discovered that readers are invited on a special Live Longer Than Most People Cruise. Along with a trip to the tropics, there will be anti-aging lectures, Live Longer Than Most People gift baskets, and "insider secrets to significantly extend your life span." Wow, I'm busy imagining the midnight buffet, with all-you-can-swallow capsules, pills and Pomegranate Oils.

There's even a Live Longer Than Most People Credit Card (bet there's no extra long payment terms though) with Merchandise Rewards. Don't ask.

Page after page there are questions. Are you overdosing on Lipitor? (They say I am), Can you manage stress without drugs? (probably not.) Are you swimming in radiation emissions? Absolutely.

I can't decide if I should go to the emergency room right now or suck down some olive fruit extract in a cold glass of Grey Goose Vodka. Since I gotta have butter extract I might as well just finish the rest of the cheesecake. Live and let live.
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Fay Jacobs, a native New Yorker, spent 30 years in the Washington, DC area working in journalism, theater and public relations. She has contributed feature stories and columns to such publications as The Advocate, OUTtraveler, The Baltimore Sun, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, The Washington Blade, The Wilmington News Journal, Delaware Beach Life and more.

Since 1995 she has been a regular columnist for Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, and won the national 1997 Vice Versa Award for excellence. Her columns are collected in the books, As I Lay Frying: a Rehoboth Beach Memoir and the newly published Fried & True - Tales of Rehoboth Beach.

Fay is Publisher and Managing Editor or A&M Books, the publisher of the 14 classic Sarah Aldridge novels.

She and Bonnie, her partner of 25 years, relocated to Rehoboth Beach, DE in 1999. They have two Miniature Schnauzers and a riding lawn mower.

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