Breaking Bad obsessives have long fantasized about actually eating at Los Pollos Hermanos, Gus Fring’s restaurant chain in the series. Yesterday, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan revealed that their fantasy could become a reality.
“Believe it or not…there is talk of a Pollos Hermanos becoming a real restaurant,” Gilligan said during a Reddit AMA on Thursday. “This is not an idea that I generated personally. But it’s one that’s been presented to me, through the good folks at Sony, and the idea came to them from a businessman who has an interest in doing that.”
Scenes at Los Pollos Hermanos were shot a real-life restaurant in Albuquerque called Twister, which experienced a huge boost in business thanks to the AMC series—which signals, to us at least, that there’s a real demand for the fake chicken chain.
Naturally, Breaking Bad-obsessed Redditers started putting in requirements for the real-life Pollos Hermanos, if the plans actually come to fruition. “Every store should have a Gus Fring look-alike and ask random customers if their food is to their satisfaction,” elijoker wrote. “Also a guy that looks like Walter White sitting alone eating,” Bye-girl added. “Also every purchase of a combo meal comes with a free GPS tracker installed under your car by a serial killer,” immortal 1 suggested.
Brittany Maynard, who became the public face of the controversial right-to-die movement over the last few weeks, ended her own life Saturday at her home in Portland, Oregon. She was 29.
“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love. Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more,” she wrote on Facebook. “The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers. I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”
Doctors told Maynard she had six months to live last spring after she was diagnosed with a likely stage 4 glioblastoma. She made headlines around the world when she announced she intended to die – under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act – by taking a fatal dose of barbiturates, prescribed to her by a doctor, when her suffering became too great.
“My glioblastoma is going to kill me and that’s out of my control,” she told PEOPLE last month. “I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die. So being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.”
“For people to argue against this choice for sick people really seems evil to me,” she told PEOPLE. “They try to mix it up with suicide and that’s really unfair, because there’s not a single part of me that wants to die. But I am dying.”
A Heartbreaking Choice
Arriving at her decision was a gradual one, she said.
“It’s not a decision you make one day and you snap your fingers,” she told PEOPLE.
She said she began thinking about death with dignity in January – when she was first diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor – after coming across an article on it while researching possible treatments.
“Really, from the beginning, all the doctors said when you have a glioma you’re going to die,” she told PEOPLE. “You can just Google it. People don’t survive this disease. Not yet.”
Doctors removed as much of the tumor as they could, but it came back larger than ever two months later, she said.
After researching her options, she decided not to try chemotherapy or radiation.
“They didn’t seem to make sense for me,” she said, because of “the level of side effects I would suffer and it wouldn’t save my life. I’ve been told pretty much no matter what, I’m going to die – and treatments would extend my life but affect the quality pretty negatively.”
In June, she moved to Oregon with her husband, Dan Diaz, 43, her mother, Debbie Ziegler, 56 , and her stepfather, Gary Holmes, 72, so she could have access to the state’s Death with Dignity Act, which allows physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to certain terminally ill patients.
“I still smile and laugh with my family and friends enough that it doesn’t seem like the right time now,” she said in the video recorded Oct. 13 and 14, “but it will come because I feel myself getting sicker; it’s happening each week.”
Brittany Maynard and Dan Diaz at Olympic National Park in Washington state in August
Courtesy Brittany Maynard
Her Final Months
Maynard spent the last months of her life making the most of the time she had left. She traveled to Alaska, British Colombia and Yellowstone National Park with her loved ones and explored more local attractions like Olympic National Park in Washington.
“It was breathtakingly beautiful,” she said in a statement.
The following morning, though, she had her “worst seizure” so far, she said: “The seizure was a harsh reminder that my symptoms continue to worsen as the tumor runs its course.”
Maynard said she was deeply touched by the “outpouring of support” she got after going public with her diagnosis and her decision.
“I want to thank people for that, for the words of kindness, for the time they’ve taken in personal ways,” she told PEOPLE.
“And then beyond that, to encourage people to make a difference,” she said. “If they can relate to my story, if they agree with this issue on a philosophical level, to get out there and do what we need to do to make a change in this country.”
Brittany Maynard and her mother, Debbie Ziegler, in Alaska in May
Courtesy Brittany Maynard
Maynard also talked to PEOPLE about her legacy.
“For me what matters most is the way I’m remembered by my family and my husband as a good woman who did my best to be a good wife and a good daughter,” she said.
“Beyond that, getting involved with this campaign, I hope to be making a difference here,” she said. “If I’m leaving a legacy, it’s to change this health-care policy or be a part of this change of this health care policy so it becomes available to all Americans. That would be an enormous contribution to make, even if I’m just a piece of it.”
Before she died, Maynard asked her husband and her mother if they would carry on the work she started to get death with dignity passed in every state.
“I want to work on the cause,” Ziegler told PEOPLE last month. “I have so much admiration for people who are terminally ill and just fight and fight. They are so dignified and brave. This is a different choice, but it is also brave and dignified.”
She also shared with them her hopes and dreams for their future. Upstairs in the home she shares with her family are neatly wrapped Christmas and birthday gifts for her loved ones for the next year.
“She made it clear she wants me to live a good life,” Ziegler says.
In her second video, Maynard, who is an only child, said she hoped her mother does not “break down” or “suffer from any kind of depression.”
And for Diaz, “I hope he moves on and becomes a father,” she said. “There’s no part of me that wants him to live out the rest of his life just missing his wife.”
Brittany Maynard (third from left) and her family at the Grand Canyon Oct. 21
Thomas Menino, whose folksy manner and verbal gaffes belied his shrewd political tactics to govern as Boston’s longest-serving mayor and one of its most beloved, died Thursday. He was 71.
Spokeswoman Dot Joyce said in a statement that Menino died in the company of his family and friends. He was diagnosed with advanced cancer in February 2014, shortly after leaving office, and announced Oct. 23 he was suspending treatment and a book tour so he could spend more time with family and friends.
Menino was first elected in 1993 and built a formidable political machine that ended decades of Irish domination of city politics, at least temporarily. He won re-election four times. He was the city’s first Italian-American mayor and served in the office for more than 20 years before a series of health problems forced him, reluctantly, to eschew a bid for a sixth term.
“I can run, I can win and I can lead, but not in the neighborhoods all the time as I like,” Menino, a Democrat, told an overflow crowd at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall on March 28, 2013.
Less than three weeks after that announcement, two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260. Menino, who had undergone surgery on a broken leg just two days earlier, checked himself out of a hospital to help lead his shaken city through the crisis.
At an interfaith service three days after the bombings, Menino, in a symbolic act of personal defiance, painfully pulled himself to his feet from his wheelchair to declare that no act of violence could break Boston’s spirit.
He was in an SUV in nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, at the end of a daylong manhunt when Police Commissioner Edward Davis informed him that the surviving bombing suspect had been captured. Menino’s Tweet: “We got him.”
President Barack Obama hailed Menino as “bold, big-hearted, and Boston strong.” Reaction poured in from leaders around the country, including Secretary of State John Kerry, a longtime U.S. senator from Massachusetts, who said: “Tom Menino was Boston.”
Gov. Deval Patrick ordered flags lowered to half-staff at the Statehouse and all other state buildings in Boston until further notice.
Menino was anything but a smooth public speaker and was prone to verbal gaffes. He was widely quoted describing Boston’s notorious parking shortage as “an Alcatraz” around his neck, rather than an albatross.
He often mangled or mixed up the names of Boston sports heroes – once famously confusing former New England Patriots kicker and Super Bowl hero Adam Vinatieri with ex-Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. But while such mistakes might sink other politicians in a sports-crazed city, they only seemed to reinforce his affable personality and ability to connect with the residents he served.
“I’m Tom Menino. I’m not a fancy talker, but I get things done,” he said in his first TV ad.
In an interview with The Associated Press in March, Menino said he “loved every minute” of being mayor, even during the city’s darkest days. He credited his staff and others, downplaying his own role.
“I just did my job – nothing special,” he said.
Thomas Michael Menino was born on Dec. 27, 1942, in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood. A former insurance salesman, he caught the political bug while working as a legislative aide to state Sen. Joseph Timilty. He first earned elective office as a district city councilor in 1984.
Menino became the council’s president in 1993 and was automatically elevated to mayor when then-Mayor Raymond Flynn was named U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. While that prompted some to initially chide Menino as an “accidental mayor,” he quickly proved his own political mettle, winning a four-year term later that year.
He never sought nor showed interest in running for higher office. Mayor, it seemed, was the only political job to which he aspired.
His tireless public schedule amazed and exhausted many of his closest aides. In his new memoir, Mayor For A New America, he made clear that was his greatest legacy.
“I paid attention to the fundamentals of urban life – clean streets, public safety, good schools, neighborhood commerce,” Menino wrote in the memoir, released in October 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “Call my City Hall and you never got an answering machine. People trusted government because it heard them. Because they could talk to it. Because it kept its word.”
Menino’s health was often a concern, and he was admitted to the hospital several times while in office.
In 2003, he underwent surgery to remove a rare sarcoma on his back. The following year, his doctors confirmed he has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease.
He spent six weeks in the hospital in 2012 for a series of ailments, including a respiratory infection. While he was in the hospital, he suffered a compression fracture in his spine and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
In May 2013, he was back in the hospital for surgery for an enlarged prostate.
Menino left City Hall on his final day in office Jan. 6 to thunderous applause from city workers. Later, he Tweeted: “Thank you Boston. It has been the honor and thrill of a lifetime to be your Mayor. Be as good to each other as you have been to me.”
In March 2014, Menino revealed in an interview with The Boston Globe he was battling an advanced form of cancer that had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. Doctors said they were unable to pinpoint where the cancer originated.
In a statement announcing he was stopping treatment to devote himself to his loved ones, Menino said he was “hopeful and optimistic that one day the talented researchers, doctors and medical professionals in this city will find a cure for this awful disease.”
Menino leaves behind his wife Angela, his children Susan and Thomas Jr., a Boston police officer, and six grandchildren.
See how his fellow politicians and Boston-born celebrities (like the men of New Kids on the Block) are remembering the iconic mayor on Twitter:
After being told she had about six months to live in April, Brittany Maynard, who has terminal brain cancer, has been quietly checking off items on her bucket list.
She and her husband, Dan Diaz, travelled to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; she kayaked up to the glaciers in Alaska with her best friend, then met her mother, Debbie Ziegler, in Juneau, where they took “a spectacular boat trip,” Maynard, 29, says in a video posted online on Oct. 6.
“Before I pass, I’m hoping to make it to the Grand Canyon ’cause I’ve never been,” she says in the video, which she used to launch her campaign with Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life advocacy organization, to get Death with Dignity laws passed nationwide.
“It’s her last hurrah,” Ziegler, 56, told PEOPLE in a recent interview.
Brittany Maynard (left) with mom Debbie Ziegler
Courtesy Brittany Maynard
Earlier this week, that dream became a reality, Maynard said in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.
“This week my family and I travelled to the Grand Canyon, thanks to the kindness of Americans around the country who came forward to make my ‘bucket list’ dream come true,” she wrote.
“The Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful and I was able to enjoy my time with the two things I love most: my family and nature,” she wrote.
Brittany Maynard with husband Dan Diaz
Courtesy Brittany Maynard
“Sadly, it is impossible to forget my cancer,” she wrote. “Severe headaches and neck pain are never far away, and unfortunately the next morning I had my worst seizure thus far. My speech was paralyzed for quite a while after I regained consciousness and the feeling of fatigue continued for the rest of the day.
“The seizure was a harsh reminder that my symptoms continue to worsen as the tumor runs its course,” she said in the statement.
“However, I find meaning and take pride that the Compassion & Choices movement is accelerating rapidly, thanks to supporters like you,” she continued.
“I ask that you please continue to support C&C’s state-by-state efforts to make death with dignity laws available to all Americans,” she wrote. “My dream is that every terminally ill American have access to the choice to die on their own terms with dignity.
“Please take an active role to make this a reality,” she wrote. “The person you’re helping may be someone you love, or even in the future, yourself.”
Maynard and her husband, mother and stepfather, Gary Holmes, moved to Oregon in June so she could get access to the state’s Death with Dignity Act.
She said she plans to end her own life on Nov. 1 if her suffering becomes too great.