plagiarism

8 Nov

My very close affiliation with plagiarism was when one of my oldest friends died. This was someone I had known for sixty years – a long time. He was also best friends with Robin who had worked with him on his first West End play. He was a member of our luncheon party. The Round Table, where we all met once a month. He was a heavy smoker and he had the same disease as Robin – now known as COPD.

When he became ill, he was given a few days to live, but he was in the hospice for ten weeks and I visited him three or four times a week.

When he died, the editor of the local paper asked me to do an obituary. I said of course.

I did the obituary and sent it to her by email.

When I opened the paper I saw that my piece had been reproduced almost word for word – just a few paragraph changes and had somebody else’s name attached to it.

I tried to call the editor but she was on leave and the man in the office – whose name was on my piece just laughed about it.

I was heartbroken. I had written about an old friend. Someone I had been close.It was not a good time to make a fuss. His ex wife read the piece and liked it very much. It was only the words she cared about, not who had written it.

I went to the funeral of course. There were only about eight of us there. The memorial was at the Actors Church and I was not involved in it. It was as if our friendship had never existed.

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