Twenty-seven thousand pedestrians use the Liffey Bridge—also known as the Ha’penny Bridge—on an average day in Dublin. In other words, it’s a terrible place to execute a successful mugging. Also, last year, it’s where I spent a sunny afternoon during the week of St. Patrick’s Day.
My parents told me to carry around a fake wallet for muggers, but I never listen.
I walked to the center of the bridge, pulled out my camera, and started taking pictures. As I put the camera back in my pocket, a tiny Irishman came up to me and said, “I have men planted on both sides of the bridge watching us.” He gestured towards both ends and continued, “Give me your wallet and your money.”
I was shocked. I certainly didn’t want to give him money. Clueless to how I should respond, I said, “Excuse me?”
“I have men planted on both sides of the bridge watching us—give me your wallet and your money.”
I looked around and noticed that no one was near us on the bridge. Still shocked, I repeated, “Excuse me?”
“Give me your money now.”
At this point, I realized if I played dumb and kept saying “Excuse me?” the mugger might think that I didn’t speak English and give up. In an accent that sounded like none that has existed or ever will exist on Earth, I said, “Excuse me?”
“Give me your money.”
“You don’t speak English?”
At this point he acted out the motion of me giving him my wallet and my money. Again, he said, “Give me your money.”
As people began to crowd us, the mugger gave up. “Never mind.”
I gave him a confused look and walked away.
For the most part, Dubliners were all nice people—except for this particular guy. So, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, here are eight surefire ways to avoid a mugging:
- Play that children’s game where you just repeat everything he says until he gives up.
- Point at something behind the mugger and say, “Oh my god, a giant sea mugger who’s trying to mug both of us!”—and then run far away.
- Ask about his childhood and dig deep to find the root of his current lifestyle. When he starts crying, give him a hug and say, “Now you can be a hugger.”
- Try to make him play Simon Says. When he agrees—because it’s an awesome game—say, “Simon says don’t mug me.”
- Pretend to be a robot, because robots don’t carry wallets. If he says they do, robopunch him in the face.
- Do the robot, and perhaps the mugger will find it to his liking and let you go.
- Make him play hide-and-seek. Hide in the police station.
- And, of course, don’t speak your mugger’s language.