Automotive Journalist to Receive Ground-Breaking Coma Therapy

Dangling keys in front of coma patient

Bethesda, MD – For automotive journalist Benji Wheeling, the day began like any other. After hitting snooze 3-4 times, he rose to a little ‘wake & bake’, following by reruns of the George Lopez Show and a half-eaten (pizza) Lunchable for breakfast. With his wife (a registered nurse) long-since departed, arriving at the hospital after dropping their two children off at school, Benji proceeded to sit down at his laptop in his underwear and tackle a comparison piece which he had long procrastinated the completion of, measuring the 2019 Chevy Silverado vs 2019 GMC Sierra 1500.

Wheeling’s managing editor, Art Reilly recalls a conversation that made it clear that the writer had no interest in taking the topic. “They’re the same damn truck, he insisted. He claimed it was like trying to compare right and left Twix. Then he went off on a weird Hollywood tangent claiming that it was ‘Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton all over again! Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney!’ That he might as well compare Peyton List, Kate Mara, and Mara Rooney.” Reilly paused, took a drag from his cigarette and leaned in discreetly adding, “Listen, I don’t care what you’re into, but once an automotive journalist starts naming obscure Hollywood actresses, it’s a little bit of a red flag. I mean, seriously, we don’t exactly write for the ’27 Dresses’ crowd around here. I know it’s a tall order to measure two GM trucks against one another, but the job needed to be done.”

And with the deadline fast approaching, Benji Wheeling seemed intent on completing the task-at-hand. To his credit, Wheeling had managed to complete 794 words against the 2,000-word assignment. Unfortunately, his work seemed to consist of the sentence, “All Work and No Play Makes Benji a Dull Boy” typed over-and-over-again. Also, the act of completing those 794 words, painfully comparing two nearly-identical vehicles as if they were different, seemed to have forced his brain into some sort of shut-down, rending him comatose. 

“I didn’t know what to think when we got home that night,” shared Sharon Wheeling, Benji’s wife of seventeen years. “It’s nothing new to come in and find Benji lying on the floor, pacing the room, or doing wall-stands in order to battle writer’s block. That’s par for the course when you’re married to a freelance journalist. But I found him tipped over backwards in his chair, eyes wide open, unresponsive and staring at the ceiling. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say staring through the ceiling.”

Following a physical examination, bloodwork, CAT scan, MRI and EEG it was confirmed that Wheeling was in a deep coma. 

“There are very few limits to what the mind is capable of,” explains Dr. Mae Jertahm, Wheeling’s neuro-specialist, “but such a mundane writing assignment might be a breakthrough in understanding where we need to draw the lines. I mean, they’re basically the same truck, right? It’s like looking at that meme where they merged the features of Zach Braff and Dax Shepard, and it still comes out looking like both of them. The mind isn’t designed to recognize that kind of redundancy.”

So what kind of treatment options are available to Benji Wheeling?

“Well, we’re currently using cutting-edge sensory treatments to prompt a response from him. Treatment is specialized, with unique recordings employed to create an immersive experience tailored to the patient. In this case we compare the 2019 Chevy Silverado to the 2019 Ford F-150, and the GMC Sierra 1500 to the Honda Ridgeline. It’s a great way of forcing a divide into the mental loop he is currently trapped in. It’s risky. Especially if it programs his subconscious to buy a Ridgeline once he recovers. That’s pretty much the worst case scenario of course.” Jertahm pauses thoughtfully. “Well, maybe him not waking up at all is the worst case scenario…then again, we are talking about the Ridgeline, so I’m not sure.”


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