What To Do If You Get Drunk And Lose Your Phone And Wallet

Illustration for article titled What To Do If You Get Drunk And Lose Your Phone And Wallet

Alcohol is a cruel mistress. It fuels great conversations and nonsensical arguments and bleary admissions of totally thinking that all of your friends are just the best ever, you guys, and you seriously like for real love them so much — but it also can lead to elevated stupidity. Reality is no less real when you're drinking. And sometimes you will lose things that you should not lose. But even in your intoxicated, tearful despair, all hope is not lost. It's time to dry your eyes, clear your head, and MacGyver your way out of your vodka-soaked predicament.


If you know where you lost your valuable item, half the battle is won. Leave your name and number with a bartender and check back the next day. Provided no other drunk person noticed your valuable thing laying around it and, morals all jangly and relaxed, decided to pocket it for themselves, someone will probably turn it in by the end of the shift.

Actually, forget it. You probably forgot where you lost it, whatever it is, and even if you didn't, someone probably found it and kept it or tried to pawn it for PBR money. Your drunkenness combined with peoples' dickishness means that your lost item is probably gone forever. Kiss it goodbye. From here on out, this is a reputation salvage mission. Stop crying. Crying will solve nothing at this point!

One of the biggest pain-in-the-ass things to lose is your phone, especially if you're like me and you're a dumbass who doesn't password protect her voicemail and believes that people are good and kind, like a bunch of phone-rescuing Disney Princes rather than pawn shop-frequenting minor characters from Trainspotting. The first thing you should do when you realize your phone is missing is to try to call it. If someone picks up and offers to return it, great! You've found a human unicorn! If there's no answer or it goes straight to voicemail, borrow someone else's phone, call your provider immediately and suspend service on your line. This isn't the same as cancelling; you can always restart service again if you find your phone. This will just prevent the person who stole your phone from doing what they did when they stole mine on Friday, which is delete all of my voicemails, check my email, and play on the internet. Fuckers. Next, just to be on the safe side, change all of your passwords to any service that you access on your phone: Twitter, Facebook, Myspace (ha!).

You can check Craigslist for the asshole who stole your phone trying to sell a wiped version of it, but don't count on it. That shit's going on eBay. Don't expect your cell phone provider to be able to locate your phone for you even though most phones have GPS in them, either; they need a subpoena or a direct order from Dick Cheney in order to do that, unless you've installed an anti-theft app that allows you to track the device yourself.

Next, write a super cranky Facebook update about it and riddle it with misspellings, because remember you're not only drunk now, but also mad. That'll show those thieves! Unfortunately, if you didn't buy phone protection service, you'll likely have to buy a new phone or upgrade your existing service. Maybe wait until you're sober to do this, lest you end up with some sort of crazy hot pink business phone or a bare bones brick model. In the meantime, expect to feel weird and naked without your cell phone, and also expect to feel bad about how you're mourning the loss of a piece of technology. And stop crying. It's only a phone.

A lost credit card isn't the end of the world, although it is probably the end of your fun for the evening. I've had better luck recovering lost debit or credit cards than I have lost phones; often, they're left at bars with the tabs open and you can just sheepishly pick it up the next time you're in that neck of the woods. Waiting to see if you left your card at a drinking establishment can be a gamble; however, because when it comes to lost cards, time is often of the essence. You should call and report your loss as soon as you're pretty sure the card's been stolen or if it's in the Magical Land of Lost Things, a mysterious planet in another dimension that houses every abandoned card, hair tie, earring back, and sock ever lost. Luckily, if your missing card is a credit card, the maximum amount of fraudulent charges you'd be liable for is $50. ATM cards are another story. If you report the card missing before the unscrupulous rapscallion who stole it tries to make any transfers or purchases, you can't be held responsible for any of it. If you report it stolen within two business days of it going AWOL, you'll be held responsible for up to $50 of unauthorized purchases. However, if you wait more than two business days to report it lost or stolen, you could be held responsible for 500 bones worth of thief jollies. Being really not-on-the-ball and failing to report unauthorized charges within 60 days of getting your statement can result in your being responsible for all of the money stolen from you. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And finally, if your ATM card is stolen when there's only like $30 left in the account, you should still report it stolen, but laugh ruefully while doing so. Stupid thief. Have fun filling your gas tank about ¾ of the way! But before you do any of these things, stop crying or punching things.


What did we learn from our drunken misadventures? First, it turns out that much can be blamed on the alcohol. If you must drink, try not to be an idiot. Shell out for insurance on your phone and download an anti-theft application if you have the capacity to. Don't carry too much cash or every credit card you own when you go out. Don't store naked pictures in your portable technology (adhere to the Polaroids-Only rule, and even then, show either the skin or the grin; never both). And for the love of Pete, stop with the panicked drunken crying. It solves nothing.



I think I was a pickpocket in a past life or something, because I have had a terrible run of losing/having stolen valuable objects in the past year or so. I will say that acting fast is your best bet of getting anything back—first my wallet was stolen at a laundromat and I cursed humanity. Then I left an iphone in a cab in Vegas and eventually the driver picked up and brought it back to me. I ended up forking over about $75 as a reward to him, which was probably unnecessary, but it felt right to me at the time. Flash forward about 10 months and I left the same phone in a portapotty at Coachella and thank Jesus for the blessed magical Canadian unicorn who found it, picked up when I called it from a friend's phone and returned it later. I had to twist that dude's arm to even let me buy him a beer. Wherever you are, Andy the Canadian Unicorn, I hope that you find everything you ever lost. So yeah, lots of people are assholes you can't trust, but there are some decent humans out there. If one finds your stuff, do something nice for them in return.