It starts, like many a good story, with a quiet pint.
But 19-year-old Luke Harding could never have predicted that his “one drink” with a friend after work in Manchester last Saturday, would end at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and bring him overnight internet stardom.
One or two quiet ones turned into a foray to Tokyo Project nightclub in Oldham for sheet-metal worker Harding and his pal.
After what he told Manchester's Key 103 radio was a “bog standard night out” there, however, the intrepid traveller found himself “a bit bored” and looking for some more adventure.
Apparently forced to accept his fate, Harding got in a taxi and headed home at around 2.30 am.
It could have all ended as another damp squib of a Saturday night, if Harding hadn’t had his mobile phone switched on.
While in the taxi, he got an alert from an app that advertised cheap flights to Paris. Inspired, he ordered the cab driver to bring him to Manchester airport, told him he was a junior doctor on his way to a conference, and used his debit card to book a flight.
Doing his finest impression of a sober medic, Harding checked in for his 6am flight, tweeted a photo of the plane to his friends, and promptly fell asleep as soon as he got on board.
“The next thing I know I’m in a toilet in Paris, waking up to the sound of a Frenchman taking a crap in the cubicle next to me,” he told Key 103.
"I thought, 'Jesus Christ, what have I done?'"
With news of his drunken odyssey fast spreading throughout Oldham and beyond, and with a day to kill before his return flight on Sunday evening, the no doubt badly hungover young Englishman decided to at least see what the City of Light had to offer.
And so it was that a “bog standard” Saturday evening in Lancashire, ended with Harding sharing selfies in front of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower, to the eternal amusement of his friends back home.
The story went viral in the following days, but the fallout has been mixed at best for Harding.
While he can revel in the thousands of messages of awe from his legions of new Twitter followers, the sheet metal-worker claims to have been fired by his employer, allegedly for spending too much time on the phone, talking to journalists.
In response to one of the many tweets hailing him as "an absolute hero" and calling for him to be given a knighthood, Harding replied: "My mum disagrees. Thinks I'm a pillock."
— Luke Harding (@LukeHarding1994) November 18, 2013