Dom Joly: Down and out in Paris and Twitterdom

Related Topics

I died last week. A comedian of whom I had never heard but with a fairly decent number of followers tweeted that I was dead. It was apparently as an aside to some half-baked joke about a mobile phone but, as I have learned, twitter is not the place for subtlety.

I started to get hundreds of tweets asking if I was really dead? This seemed peculiar as, if I was, I wasn't quite sure what sort of response they were expecting: tweets from beyond the grave? I tweeted back that I was very much alive and enjoying a holiday in France, but this was not enough for twitterers.

They wanted proof. How did they know that this was me tweeting and not some PR lackey? I explained that if I were dead I would be unable to pay said PR lackey and, therefore, it had to be me. This was still not enough. Logic does not go down well on twitter.

Requests came in for photographic proof of my "aliveness". I wrote: "I is not dead" on a piece of paper and photographed myself using my computer's inbuilt camera. I had forgotten that, for reasons unbeknown to me, it takes a mirror image of you so the words came out backwards.

This immediately started another storm of protest with one person even equating my message to Paul McCartney not wearing shoes on the cover of Abbey Road.

I eventually managed to take another picture with the words in the correct configuration. Back came the pedants. They now wanted a photograph of me with that day's paper; otherwise, no dice. I realised, rather late in the day, that for a truly relaxing holiday, I need to be offline.

This is not the first time that I've been dead in France. In fact, I think that legally, I am still so.

After university, I moved to Paris and shared a flat with somebody I'd known at school. Paris being Paris I met a girl and decided to move in with her. My flatmate was very cool about it all and assured me that he had a new person waiting to move in and that he would take care of the paperwork. High on life and love and a newly acquired addiction to pastis, I packed up and cycled over the Seine to my new life in La Bastille.

All was well for six months until I attempted to withdraw some money from my French bank account. I was unable to do so and, upon asking why, was informed by a very austere bank manager that I had been declared dead. I showed him my passport and jumped up and down a bit to show my "aliveness", but to no avail.

The bank manager was very sorry but French bureaucracy had declared me dead and this had to be respected. I made some enquiries, and it wasn't long before I discovered the cause of my demise.

My ex-flatmate, a laid-back fellow at the best of times, had become very relaxed about paying any bills that were still in my name. Every time somebody rang to demand payment he simply parroted the words"tristement, il est mort". This apparently did the trick for him, as he didn't pay any bills for quite some time.

For me, however, life became very difficult. I was unable to access any funds and was refused employment twice after bemused employers discovered that they were interviewing a ghost. In the end I took the only job I could get – waiter at the Chicago Pizza Pie Factory. This was not exactly the idyllic Bohemian Parisian experience I'd imagined.

Offline in the real world of the Dordogne, however, the only "claret" currently being spilled may indeed be mine, but it is coming from a rather special bottle of Saint Sulpice.

Vive la France!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Neo-Nazis march in London  

I'm taking my Jewish kids to a vile neo-Nazi rally in London this weekend – because I want them to learn about free speech

Richard Ferrer
A police officer carries a casualty to safety  

Tunisia attack proves we cannot stop terrorists carrying out operations against Britons in Muslim countries

Robert Verkaik
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map