Guys, I Really Am in Europe and I Really Did Have All My Money Stolen, Please Help

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Vienna!

As most of you know, I decided to take three weeks off to bum around Europe. I know a lot of you were jealous about it, but I had saved my money and I had a lot of paid time off I had to burn this year, and I’ve always wanted to see more of the world than just central New Jersey. You probably saw my Instagram of me with the Eiffel Tower, right? Or my Facebook post about visiting the site of the Berlin Wall, right? What I’m saying is, you know I’m in Europe. I’m not making that part up.

See! See! I really am in Europe, honest.

I say this, because everyone’s gotten one of those e-mails that’s from their friends, and the friend says that they’re trapped in Europe, and all their money has been stolen, and they’re desperate. You know what I mean. I think that happened to Brett once, right? We all got this email from Brett, saying he was in Ankara, and he had been robbed and beaten, and needed a few dollars to tide him over until his flight left for Newark? Remember that? And remember that it turned out that Brett wasn’t in Turkey after all, but had gone to the Poconos for the weekend with Marcie from Accounting?

So, you see, it’s a very common online scam that people use to fool you and say that your friend is in trouble, and you should wire them money to this PayPal account so they can get home safely. And it’s really annoying, and we can all agree that it’s a terrible thing and you should be very suspicious of anybody who sends you that kind of e-mail.

Having said that, I am stuck in Vienna, and I have no money, and I would like very much to get home, so I’m asking all of you to loan me twenty bucks, which I will totally pay you once I get back.

It’s just twenty bucks, really.

I know what you’re saying. “That Dan, he’s such a kidder, this is all an elaborate practical joke.” Well, the joke’s on me this time. I took the train down from Berlin, and it arrived a little later than I thought it would, and I couldn’t find a cab at the train station. So I decided to walk to my hotel. Sounds reasonable, right? I bring up Google Maps, and it says if I take this one dark alley, I can knock ten minutes off my walking time, and that turned out not to be a good idea. Somebody snuck up behind me and hit me in the back of the head with something very hard and blunt.

It was a really awesome bag, too. I miss it already.

I woke up in the alley, and promptly threw up. Whoever-it-was took my phone and my wallet and that amazing Prada black leather messenger bag that I was carrying all my stuff in. I went straight to the police, who sent me to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with a concussion. The hospital was nice enough to agree to send me the bill, so there’s that. The police said they’d try to track my credit cards, but also said it was kind of a lost cause. I spent the afternoon in line at the American Embassy, trying to get a new passport, and they said to come back tomorrow.

Luckily, the concierge at the hotel took one look at my Bundespolizei report and was able to honor my reservation, so I got to spend the night in a real bed and not wandering the streets. But the Europass people wouldn’t issue me a new pass until Monday, so I’m stuck in Vienna without any money or any credit cards through the rest of the week. And it’s cold, and I can’t wear my jacket because it smells like vomit.

I am writing this from a cyber cafe near Beethoven’s house. The guy who was using it left fifteen minutes on the timer, so I have just enough time to send you this quick e-mail asking all of you to send me twenty bucks. I haven’t eaten all day and I am starving. I am probably going to have to start rummaging the Dumpsters behind bakeries trying to score some stale Sacher torte if I don’t get some kind of money.

You guys, this is totally where Beethoven used to live, you gotta believe me.

Look, okay? I know how this sounds. Believe me. But I really really really really really am injured and starving in Austria, and I would kill for a schnitzel right now, and I will totally pay you back once I get back home, all right? Seriously.

Since I don’t have access to a camera, or a scanner, I can’t really send you the police report or my CAT scan or the business card of the guy from the Embassy that wouldn’t give me my stupid passport today. So the only way I can prove to you that this is really your old buddy Dan, stuck without any money in Vienna, is to tell you something that only I would know, something that you could check. Right?

Look! It’s totally there.

So here goes. Behind my office door, there’s a hook. There’s a dry-cleaning bag hanging on the hook. Inside that dry-cleaning bag is Marlene’s cashmere sweater — the one she said was stolen, the one that she’s been complaining about for weeks. I confess. I borrowed it one day when the air conditioning in my office was just unbearable, and she was gone to that continuing legal education thing in Philadelphia. I accidentally spilled hot chocolate on the sleeve, and I took it to the dry cleaner, and it got lost there, and when she freaked about it, I was too scared to put it back in her office. I was waiting for the whole thing to kind of die down, after I got back from vacation, but I never got the chance to. Sorry, Marlene! But at least you got your sweater back.

Recap: I am in Vienna and my PayPal account is tied to my e-mail address. If you could please send me twenty bucks, that would be great, because I am cold and starving on the mean streets of Vienna and I will pay you back when I get home. Thanks!