She rang me a few days later.
Let’s call her Person P, my friend from the Ministry of Social Development, Wellington, New Zealand.
‘So,” I said, “you now accept that I’m alive then, and that I am him, Derek Lynn John. Correct?”
“Correct. We made a mistake. And we apologise.”
“Good to hear, and very reassuring.”
I waited. Silence.
“But how did you come to that conclusion?” I asked.
“Did you unearth a witness?”
“I mean, first you pronounce me dead,” I said, “but won’t tell me who told you I was dead, now you pronounce me alive, but once again won’t tell me how you know that.”
“All I’m allowed to say is to inform you of our decision,” she said. “Our sources must always remain confidential.”
“Confidential! You’re kidding me!”
“We will be reinstating your superannuation payments immediately, and will include any missed payments, of course.”
There was another long silence.
“Is that it?” I asked.
Again, no response.
“So, it’s bye-bye! Sorry and all that – but no explanations?”
She audibly sighed. “All I will say,” she said, “is that the information that you had ‘passed away’, was posted onto a database that we share with Australia.”
“Are you saying Australians were the source of my ‘passing away’ declaration?”
“No, I’m not saying that. I’m simply saying that your ‘passing away’ appeared on our shared database. Perhaps you’ve been in contact with an Australian institution recently.”
“No… no… except for an incident a few years ago when they contacted me and asked me if my wife had ever lived and worked in Australia – something to do with pension contributions.”
“That could be it then.”
“No, it can’t be it then. There was nothing about me or my health in the conversation. What’s their phone number please?”
“Australia, you mean?”
“Yes, Canberra, Australia. I’ll ring them.”
“I can give you their email address rather than a phone number.”
“No, too easy to ignore an email, or shunt it down some blind alley. I want to talk to a real live body. Heard of those?”
“I can’t see how that will help you…”
“I’ll be the judge of that, thank you,” I said. “Phone number, please. Now.”
Posted: Wednesday 5 April 2023
In 1789, Benjamin Franklin said, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes.Posted: 2023-04-05 23:01 by Orson Karte