Written by Van Derbin
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Topics: Doctors, coma

Thursday, 13 April 2006

A Beluxi, Mississippi man who recently woke up after almost six years in a coma is reportedly not happy and has requested that his doctors make him unconscious again.

Jim Peters Jr., 34, became comatose in the summer of 2000 while watching a presidential debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush when he choked on a pretzel and passed out. After repeated attempts by hospital staff at the Beluxi General Hospital to get him to come out of his coma, Peters was moved to a longterm care facility in Lexington, Kentucky.

His parents, Jim Sr. and Alexandra Peters, and his fiancé, Mabel Johnson, had been advised by medical experts that after so many years in a vegetative state, Peters was unlikely to ever regain consciousness.

However, two weeks ago while Johnson was visiting his room, Peters suddenly sprang out of bed and asked for his favourite food, pretzels.

"I was in shock," said Johnson. "I couldn't move. I never expected him to come out of his coma. That's what the doctors told us anyway. I couldn't stop crying out of joy for days. Now I'm thinking about a wedding date for the first time in six years."

Peters' parents were also overwhelmed at his sudden recovery - an improbable, odd-breaking event that left doctors at his longterm care facility lost for words.

"We are just so happy and full of hope now that Jim Jr. has woken up. We'd just like some private time with Jim Jr. and hope that the media will respect the family's wishes and give us our space. There will be plenty of time for interviews once Jimmy has become used to being alive again," said family spokesperson Edna Smith.

Peters told his family that while in a coma, he had dreamed that Al Gore had won the presidency by beating George W. Bush in a landslide victory, and had also won a landslide against presidential candidate Bill Frist in 2004. What followed had been five of the greatest years in American history. The economy skyrocketed even higher than under President Clinto, with unheard of surpluses that were used to elevate all Americans to previously unknown levels of prosperity; unemployment and poverty disappeared; peace came to the Middle East as President Gore brokered a deal between Israelis and Palestinians, and convinced the region's dictators to embrace democratic reforms; world poverty was eradicated; the world's countries got together and replaced oil with hydrogen and alternate clean fuels; and NASA built an international space colony on a terraformed Mars.

After he was told that in reality, the 2000 presidential election was contested and the presidency finally given to Bush by the Supreme Court, and of all the disasters that followed - including September 11th, the Iraq War, Katrina, the ever increasing US debt, and a general rise in worldwide terrorism and instability - Peters became extremely distraught and refused to eat.

He reportedly even begged his doctors to put him back in a coma, going as far as to crawl back into his hospital bed, close his eyes, and try as hard as he could to make himself go comatose.

"Put me back in a coma, dammit!" he yelled at hospital staff. "I'll even do it myself, just get me the syringes."

Peters is currently residing at his parents' home but is having an increasingly difficult time adjusting to his new life, according to his fiancé.

On Tuesday evening, he was about to turn on the TV to watch the new episode of "Frasier" when Johnson informed him that the show had ended several years ago. When he asked her what new sitcoms were currently on that were funny, she told him that there really weren't any but her favourite reality show, "Ugly Homeless People: The Makeover", was about to start.

At that point, Johnson said that Peters went ballistic and tried to jump out the window in order to end up back in a coma.

"I think he's having a hard time grasping the realities of Bush's America," said Alexandra Peters. "We went to the mall the other day, and he was really annoyed when the security guard insisted on a patdown and running Jim through the 'no-shop list' before we could go inside because he thought Jim looked like he could be one of those Al Qaeda people.

"When the security guard asked Jim if he was resisting the body cavity search because he hates our freedoms as Americans, or if it was because he doesn't support our troops, Jim kinda just shrugged and decide to wait for me in the car while I did my shopping. I think he's a bit depressed, if you want to know my honest answer."

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