Today is a Leap Day, which some people celebrate as frog day. Because, you know, of the leaping. There are actually all kinds of peculiar customs associated with this holiday.
It’s bad luck to not have sex on leap day. Also, if you plan on banishing demons, you must stand on the outside of your protective circles rather than inside, as is the normal custom. They must still be drawn in salt, but many choose something with a more festive hue, like pink Himalayan salt. If someone is born on a leap day, they don’t get to celebrate normal birthday’s, but they are allowed to drink as much as they want on 2/28 and will rarely get hangovers the next day (unless it’s a leap day, then you’re screwed).
I always thought a cool sci-fi story would be about a person born on February 29th who ages 1 year for every four years. It would be called The Leaper. This is the kind of speculative fiction idea I really like, one small odd thing happens and then you have to figure out how this special quirk unfolds in a mostly normal universe. These days all people can speculate about is how big a ‘splosion should happen when the dude from all those rom-coms saves the universe.
The fun with a story like this isn’t devising a way for this person to save the day, it’s in explaining mundane occurrences, like how does their birth certificate work? At what age can the person realistically be expected to drive (he’d only look 4 when it was time to get a learner’s permit). Do they get Social Security benefits after they make it past 65 Earth years? If someone hipped them to saving and compound interest, they’d probably eventually end up very rich if they did some simple Warren Buffet style investing. With all that wealth, would they become a villain or a hero? What would they owe society since they’d be taking about 4X the resources in their lifetime?
You might even get super careful about your diet and exercise regimen. You wouldn’t want to get cancer that lasted four times as long or go through the next several hundred years with a gut. There would be enough time to master several martial arts and go super deep into whatever you wanted. At least that’s what I’d want to do.
Would spending long periods of time with an undeveloped brain have any neurological or psychological consequences? Would anyone hire an eight-year-old looking kid with a good education from 32 years of reading great books? Imagine the languages you could learn, the experiences you’d have, the books you could read, the people you’d meet. Once you were physically in your twenties you’d have gone around the sun 80 times. That’s enough time to get pretty crafty. The next forty years of your twenties could be amazing if you had some game and maybe a nice car.
If you lived long like that, you’d probably have a very different experience of the passing of time. If you had any procrastination in you, it would probably be exponentially worsened by the realization that you have quite a lot of time to make it through the world.
The first forty years would be pretty tough for the kid’s parents. It would take over five decades just for them to become a teenager. You might even have to put the kid in the care of his or her siblings who age at a normal rate. Things would probably get interesting as soon as the child’s brain developed enough to remember things normally.
The parents would also have to make a decision about how open with the world they’d want the situation to be. You probably don’t want the government taking the kid away and running experiments on them, but he’s going to have a terrible time when he tries to go out with his 50 year old friends to a bar when he looks 10.
Watching all your friends age and die would be miserable. It would be nice to be there for them, though. If you were married, you could take care of your partner and make sure they were comfortable in their final days. I also wonder at what point you’d move on to a younger lover, if at all. When you have a functional 20 year old body and your wife is receiving AARP newsletters, you might still want to get some action.
This may or may not be what’s going o with Keanu Reeves.