Jeremy Bass is alive and well and living in Moscow, Idaho. Or at least he says he is. The 25-year-old resident has been placed in the impossible dilemma of proving he’s not dead. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be a problem. After all, you’d think just talking to him would end any doubts once and for all.
But bureaucracy is an immovable object and the Moscow man is anything but an irresistible force. So you can imagine his consternation when he received a letter last month declaring him deceased. Things got worse when he got a follow-up call from the local sheriff’s department inquiring about how he ‘died’.
“They went and said ‘We’re sorry to inform you about your son being in a horrific four-wheeler accident’ and I was like, ‘I’m sorry I’ve not been,'” the ‘late’ victim remembers. “And they go ‘Well are you Jeremy Bass?’ and I said ‘Yes’ and they said ‘Are you Jeremy Lee Bass?’ and I said ‘Yeah I am.'”
So what happened? It turns out another man named Jeremy Charles Bass died at an area medical centre on August 18th. The younger Bass had been a patient there before and quickly figured out that some files had been mixed up. “What ended up happening was that the death process that happens when someone dies happened to me and not to him. So he was legally alive where I was legally dead.”
He was ready to laugh it all off until a new form of grim reaping appeared – the hospital sent his family its condolences and a bill for the treatment used to try and save the other Jeremy Bass’s life. The cost: $5,000. “I’m thinking I’m screwed,” he recalls. But try as he might, he simply can’t get the computers or the powers-that-be to reverse the ruling.
And so, for now, he remains officially deceased. He’s hired an attorney to help him resolve the problem but for the time being, in the city of Moscow, he remains a dead man walking.