Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Jimmy Lewis

About two months back an acquaintence of mine, Jimmy Lewis, whom I worked with for a week last year came up to me at the bar to say hi. I'd been busy talking to someone at the time and I hadn't recognized him at first, but then I remembered and we spoke a little before he left.

Over my (single) G&T earlier tonight I learned that he had been in a traffic accident at the weekend and is now in a coma in Cheng Kung University Hospital.

Jesus Christ...

I put a couple of notes in the donation box for him and I'll go and see him in the morning.

I don't know for myself what happened, but what I heard tonight was that Jimmy had been driving home drunk at some daft hour of the morning, swerved without warning to make a left at an intersection and was hit straight on by a car. It may well be that there are important omissions from this version of events.

Driving is such a serious act that I demand extreme competence from myself at all times - and it seems to me reasonable to demand a similar level of competence from other drivers. Fatigue and alcohol can seriously retard the cognitive constituents of this competency, and it is therefore incumbent upon me as a driver to ensure that I keep my fatigue and alcohol consumption within well-understood limits before driving. Alcohol consumption tends to get the most attention, but I think fatigue can in some cases be the far more powerful factor. Sitting on my desktop waiting to be re-written is a very large essay on the subject of driving in Taiwan - but it will have to wait some more. Tonight is not the time for that.

I understand Jimmy's parents are arriving in Tainan sometime tommorow, and it may be that I see them at the hospital in the morning. I don't know him that well, but he's a good lad and he doesn't deserve to have his life ruined for what seems to have been an act of insufficient thoughtfulness and care on his part.

Thanks to RD for the text earlier tonight confirming it was "our" Jimmy.


  1. Man, that guy was one of the best. Do drop by if you get the chance. Talk to him, rub his hands, let him know you're there. Doctors say its helpful.

    BTW, visiting hours are 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM. Bring a face mask as it's required.

    I like to be optimistic here but there's really little to go on. It's up to him from now on.

  2. Cheers Robert - I was told visiting hours start from 10am? Anyway, 10.30 will do. Face mask, gotcha.

    Actually, if his family are there in the morning, it might be best if I leave them alone and come back another time. I'll go anyway and see what's what.

  3. Michael: If you go I'd advise not sharing the full extent of your story or your saintly views of yourself. They have enough to worry about.

    Actually, your original post pretty much sucks and you come across as a jerk!! If you don't know the facts, and you stated you did not, then you probably should not contribute to spreading something that is potentially harmful to his reputation and extremely hurtful to his family. Even if it turns out to be true, c'mon man...have some empathy!!!

  4. @gadawg1966 "Even if it turns out to be true, c'mon man...have some empathy!!! "

    I'm not sure why Mike (or I) should have any empathy for a drunk driver (*if* it turns out to be true). I don't drive drunk, and I despise the cretins who do. The utter LACK of social responsibility that these people have for their actions when they drink and then get behind the wheel is profane.

    Vehicles should be treated with the same respect as weapons. If I got shitfaced and then accidentally shot myself with a firearm you'd probably laugh at me and say I deserved it.

  5. Steve: Thanks for being Michael's mouthpiece! Good post..very well thought out and says a lot about you! Don't worry, you will eventually mature emotionally.

  6. gadawg1966:

    I understand you are upset about what's happened to Jimmy - I went to see him myself and wish him a full and quick recovery. I let your original comment stand because you had a fair point, but I will not take anymore of this from you.

    FYI, I don't know Steve, and he speaks entirely for himself as you can see by earlier disagreements with me on driving in Taiwan here.

  7. A good friend of mine drove himself into a ditch and wound up dead because he thought driving while drunk was fine. I miss him very much, but you know what? He deserved it and I'm just glad he didn't take out anyone else with him.

    Wait, that's not true. He also took out his best friend, equally shitfaced, and seated in the passenger side without a seatbelt on.

    Again, if I shot myself in the face with a firearm because I'd been handling it while drunk, I'd deserve it for not showing the weapon the respect it deserves. Furthermore, I'm sure you and all your boozing buddies (you do drink and drive, right?) would get a great deal of laughs out of seeing the story on The Darwin Awards.

    Of course, all of this is operating under the hypothesis that your friend was drunk-driving ("Even if it turns out to be true, c'mon man...have some empathy!!! "). I hope you have more emotional maturity than my ex-wife and can understand the meaning of "if" and the hypothetical, because if he hadn't been drinking then naturally I wish your friend no ill whatsoever, while still retaining my feeling that drunk drivers are reckless, irresponsible scum that I refuse to pity when they hospitalize themselves.

  8. Mike, sorry for starting a flame war like this on your blog.

  9. Steve: I did not condone drunk driving in my post. If you need it to be pointed out to you, the empathy I spoke of was for a mother, father, and sister, who will be burying a son and brother, whatever the circumstances. I do not and did not condone drunk driving. Michael seemed to understand my point.

    You have a great deal to learn. You seem to be a sad and angry person. Good luck to you...I hope you find the emotional maturity you so desperately need. You will look back and see the cookie cutter approach to life and it's problems does not work well.

    Michael: sorry for lumping you in with Steve.

  10. Gadawg1966, you're a troll. All your posts have been patronizing, and your later posts have attacked me personally with your amateur pseudo-psychiatric bullshit. You've clearly got problems of your own.

  11. Enough - this is disgusting. I'd have stopped this sooner had I not been busy down in Kaohsiung.


    Steve: I largely agree, but the question of just deserts for driving under the influence is a discussion for another time.

    Gadawg: Perhaps I ought not to have published Jimmy's name. Other than draw my attention to that point, all you've done is emote all over the place. If you can't control yourself, then don't bother coming back.


    #1 and #3

  13. Your point was made and noted. Enough.


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