Whether or not it feels like it, autumn is coming. And with it, Yalies. Everywhere. Wandering into the streets. Filling coffee shops. Adjusting their rounded glasses.
And with them, comes another year of Yale warning them about the very, very dangerous areas of New Haven. (Or as we call it, “off campus.”) But anybody can tell you what areas to avoid.
But what if you wanted to be the victim of a crime? Like the bra-less Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, sometimes you just want to do something really dumb for some plot-related reason and probably you’ll end up falling in love anyway. Right? Right.
So I present: How To Lose a Wallet in Ten Days.
(This article idea was suggested by a clever Russian reader. Thanks, E!)
Day One: Wear that Cardigan
The first step is to look like a Yalie. If you have a cardigan, great. If you have a jacket with elbow patches, even better.
In fact, just throw away anything that isn’t made by Vineyard Vines or plastered with a Yale logo. You want to make sure that your random passer-by knows you go to Yale, and you’re probably loaded.
Day Two: Noise-Canceling Headphones are a Must
Not only will a giant pair of noise-canceling headphones make you look like a great target, but you won’t be aware of your surroundings at all. Not only is that great for attracting potential muggers, but you get the added bonus of possibly being hit by a bus when you aren’t paying attention.
Walk signals are for Townies, am I right?
Day Three: Definitely Do Not Look Up From Your Cell Phone
Listen, I get it. The world is full of temptations. Cool street art and pretty people walking by. Do not be tempted.
Do not avert your gaze from your glowing master. Maybe Facebook has changed in the last 30 seconds?! How many people have checked your Insta story?
The important part is, you do not, ever, ever check your surroundings. That’s the sort of thinking that keeps wallets in your pants or that cute skirt which actually has pockets.
Day Four: You Are a Lone Wolf
Buddy System? What, are you in middle school?
You’re too cool for that. You don’t need friends. They’ll probably just disappoint you, or walk too slow, or whatever.
If you do recognize somebody in the street, it’s important to keep the conversation as short as humanly possible. The most efficient way to end conversations, is when someone asks how you’re doing, actually tell them.
Day Five: Try To Look as Foreign As Possible
The important thing here is, when someone looks at you, they should think, What planet is that person from?
Actually, you might want to dial it back a little, cause you’ll probably just end up looking like a hipster, and half of them are barely-employed baristas, so they don’t make good targets.
No, you want to look like your entire life revolves around showing your friends slideshows of the Grand Canyon.
Maybe you should just go ahead and hop on a Segway. That’s bound to scream, “I cannot defend myself.”
Day Six: Gucci Sunglasses? Hell yeah.
Sure, wealth can be used to buy stuff, but its most important purpose is status. Why bother being incredibly wealthy if you can’t use it to show other people you’re better than them?
Wear those designer glasses. Show off that Cartier braclet. Yeah, you have a Rolex. Now everyone knows. And that’s the whole point of a Rolex.
And don’t bother locking that Lexus. I’m sure the Yale police will keep an eye on it for you.
(Believe it or not, that picture was not actually taken in New Haven.)
Day Seven: Try to Look Confused
Which way are you going? Left? Right?
Hmmm better check this Yale map. Might as well unfold it in this busy intersection. That way, everyone gives you a nice, wide berth, while you get your wits about you.
Sure, you could probably discretely check your phone (which you shouldn’t haved looked away from anyway), but you want to look really confused. Wait, am I on Whalley Ave? Is that bad? Ooh, a Popeye’s! I wonder what else is down here!
Remember, when in doubt: Just cross the street without looking. It’s the Yale way.
Day Eight: Let’s Take Some Pictures!
You know what? Nothing makes you look more local than taking photographs of everything. Sure, the locals might just see a regular tree, but you know better. The folks back home have never seen trees. Record this. Record everything.
You better get a picture of all the trees around it as well. For context, you know?
The Canon DLSR with the lanyard is a surefire way to tell prospective criminals, “I carry valuables with me everywhere, and I am not afraid to attach them to my vulnerable neck.”
Day Nine: Maybe Dress Like a Doctor?
This is a surefire way to get it done. Doctors are rich, right? And they’re so sleepy! And they’re very obviously doctors.
I mean heck, when I see a doctor, there’s a small part of me that’s like, “I should rob that doctor.” I don’t know why. I guess it’s just in my New Haven DNA now.
Must. Rob. Doctors.
Especially in Wooster Square. It’s just such a scenic area for a Doctor Robbery, you know?
… I’m sorry.
Day Ten: How Do I Still Have this Wallet?!
Well gosh. You’ve tried everything. You barely pay attention to the world around you, you are clearly overdressed for this neighborhood, you just pulled a 16-hour shift at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Yet your wallet remains firmly entrenched in your pocket. Maybe… maybe it’s possible that this city isn’t quite as terrifying as you imagined?
Nah. It must be. Yale says so. And when have they ever been wrong?