The Blog

The Day I Found Out I Was Dead

Most people would die if anyone knew they were Googling themselves. It's surely up there with trolling celebrities and masturbating in work office toilets as the most shameful thing we do when alone. Me? I Googled myself and found out I was already dead. Had been for 86 years, in fact.

The top hit on Google for my name was Edward Dyson's Wikipedia page, along with a mortifying picture of me taken years ago on the Isle of Wight, shortly before I was banned from the festival for my, ahem, behaviour. (Don't ask...)

Initially I thought this was great news. Finally, someone out there has recognised that I need my own Wiki page, and I can, after all these bleak years of online anonymity, tick that off the ol' bucket list. However, before I began popping open the discounted Prosecco, I realised that wasn't actually what happened.

Upon closer inspection, I saw the page stated that Edward George Dyson (not my middle name - first clue) was an Australian journalist, poet, playwright and short story writer.

Now, I am called Edward Dyson, as I mentioned, and I am a journalist, (although having spent several years as a showbiz reporter, I do use the term loosely...) and I have also been known to write poetry and short stories over the years - even winning an award once for the latter; hence why I've been privately confused about not having had a Wikipedia page created in my honour already.

However, I am categorically not an Australian. I have a brother who lives in Perth and love bingeing on Summer Heights High, but that's as far as it goes. I am British. Additionally, I've never written a play in my life, as of yet, although I'm not going to lie, I have toyed with the idea of a Schindler's List musical - but so far finding investors has been problematic, to say the least.

This information, matched with the incorrect middle name, (it's Michael, in case anyone's dying to know) began to make me suspicious that this wasn't in fact my Wikipedia page at all. There was another, more successful, 'dead-er' Edward Dyson, to whom this page belonged, and my picture had been mistakenly uploaded next to it, with the kind of explosive online sloppiness surely not seen since 2012, when a pictorial mix-up had rock paedophile Ian Watkins confused with H from Steps (also, unfortunately, called Ian Watkins).

Has the internet learnt nothing from that scandal? Do people no longer check before they post a picture next to someone and recklessly claim it's them?

Surely, whoever uploaded the picture of me next to the Wikipedia page of late Aussie poet Edward would have noticed a few tell-tale signs that something was amiss? Firstly, the picture of me is not an oil painting or, crucially, in black and white. Secondly, I'm wearing a dinosaur T-shirt from Topman, because, you know, I'm cool. Still, although I'm sure Sir Philip Green was very prominent in the 30s, probably celebrating his 21st or something, I doubt very much that he had his menswear empire up and running during that time.

Obviously, I decided the best course of action was to contact Wikipedia immediately, and find out how on earth such a mistake occurred on their watch.

So far, I've yet to hear a response.

Until I do, I guess I'll just have to live with the fact that currently whoever Googles me (and although I can't say for sure, I estimate this could be in the tens, possibly even hundreds of thousands of curious web-users, in all honesty) are going to be left perplexed, and yes, perhaps, even distraught when they see that I am not who I led them to believe I was.

They will learn that I have actually been dead for more than eight decades, (although not looking too bad on it, if I do say so myself) and additionally left a secret legacy of poems and plays - most likely all about the Aussie outback. I was also, unbeknownst to me, the elder brother of two talented illustrators, Will and Ambrose. Maybe they helped illustrate my poetry books? Maybe I died laughing at the fact our Australian parents decided to call my younger brother Ambrose? Who knows.

Until I find out more I'm going to go about my business as best I can, looking over my shoulder, and treading carefully wherever I go.

For now I know how it feels to be... (gulp...) a dead man walking.