It was a sunny Autumn morning and a sparrow was fluttering outside my study window trying to pick off a spider from the web that had been growing out there for some weeks. Got it! Funny how you remember details like this, because at that exact moment, I logged on to my computer and downloaded the day’s emails: a request for me to complete a Nespresso survey … an offer to join an unmissable cruise to the Caribbean with amazing on-board credit … a confirmation of my order with the Kiwi Sock Shop … and the following email:
We have received information that Mr Derek Lynn John passed away December 16, 2020. As a result of this information, Mr John’s Superannuation payments have been suspended from 12 May, 2021.
Ministry of Social Development, New Zealand
Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora
Now, my name is Derek Lynn John - so they got that correct. I’m a male: correct. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org: correct: I normally receive (d) Superannuation payments from the New Zealand Government: correct. But that’s where their winning streak ended, where they started to go wrong.
I mean, “passed away” … not correct.
Not yet anyway.
But my first and immediate reaction to the news that I was dead was not shock or anger or disbelief. It prompted me to voice, out loud, some very simple questions:
Posted: Wednesday 22 March 2023
A major American newspaper once printed the obituary of another writer, and when author Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was told about this by a reporter, he quipped:
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. Glad to hear yours is exaggerated and premature. "Live long and prosper"Posted: 2023-03-23 13:01 by Orson Karte