John Corboy

One of my old friends, John Corboy, from Otago University, and Carrington Hall, passed away (leukamia related) a few days ago and his funeral was in Auckland today.  Sadly I couldn’t make it up for the service or the wake.

I think John is the first of my friends to die of natural causes. All too many from accidents and a couple of heart breaking suicides, but the first “natural” one.

John had a superb sense of humour, and the memory I will always have is the correspondence between us after he was co-editor of the hostel magazine one year.

In the magazine they did a full page sketch of me, taking the mickey out of some of my habits, and labelling various parts of me, including pockets full of money “embezzled from CHSA”.  It was all in good humour and I laughed louder than anyone.

However I can never resist the urge to play mind games with my friends.  There were around five co-editors of the magazine, so in December of that year, a 20 year old DPF drew up some impressive looking (but fake) legal papers suing the five co-editors for defamation, and posted them out from a fake lawyer I invented.

Three of the five editors figured I was taking the piss, but phoned up just in case to check I wasn’t really suing them.  A fourth had the misfortune to be overseas for three months and when she got home she found her parents, who of course has been handling her mail, had already hired lawyers to defend the lawsuit.  She immediately worked out it was me taking the piss, and thought it hilarious.  Her parents were less happy with the costs they had incurred!

John though had the best response.   He responded to my fake lawsuit from the fake lawyer with a claim of temporary insanity supported by an impressive report from a fake psychiatrist.  His fake psychiatrist and my fake lawyer exchanged a few more letters until we got bored 🙂

I wish I had had more friends like John – we must have spent hours doing our fake letters just for the thought of the amusement it would cause when received by the other person.  Farewell and rest in peace.

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