Dearest Neighbors,

You may have noticed the new Vespa motor scooter that has been parked outside my house. I had asked my wife Connie for a motorcycle for my birthday, but she said they’re too dangerous. On the morning of my birthday she surprised me with a brand new Vespa scooter instead. If I don’t use the Vespa she takes it personally and gets very upset, so I’ve had to drive it to work everyday. It is humiliating. I have “accidentally” left the Vespa un-chained, with the key in the ignition, in my front yard every night for the past three weeks and none of you have stolen it. I appreciate your moral decency in that regard, and your neighborliness means a lot to me, but I am giving you the go-ahead to please steal my Vespa.

I really don’t want to hurt Connie’s feelings. I don’t want to return the Vespa or sell it or lie to her in any way, but if one of you were to steal this glorified sidecar out of my yard so that I could tell her honestly that it was stolen, I’d be forever in your debt.

I don’t know what else I could do to make this Vespa any easier to steal. Last weekend I left a big bag of money (clearly labeled with three dollar signs: $$$) on the seat of the Vespa hoping it would lure one of you over, and then after you took the money maybe you’d say to yourself, “I may as well take this Vespa too.” When I woke up, the money was gone but the Vespa was still there. I am not mad about the money. I don’t even care to know who did it. How about this? Whoever the culprit is, just put the money in my mailbox tonight and I won’t ask any questions. Just please, take the Vespa.

Maybe you guys are hesitant to steal my Vespa because you don’t know how to drive one? I promise you there is nothing to it. Honestly, if you can ride a carousel you can drive a Vespa. Nevertheless, I’ve purchased an instructional book called So You Bought a Vespa, which I will leave on the ground next to the Vespa tonight. 

I’m also willing to pour some money into the Vespa and really soup it up if it’s not good enough as is. NOS, decals, whatever you want. I will put a jet engine in this stupid thing if you’d be more inclined to steal it. Even if one of you could just steal a wheel off the Vespa that would be good enough. I wouldn’t be able to ride it with just one wheel. You’re all smart and creative people and I’m sure one of you could think of something cool to do with a free Vespa wheel.

Time is a bit of an issue here. Connie is talking about going to a Vespa convention together next week and if it’s not stolen before then I might have to “accidentally” crash it into a tree or building. The only other idea I had would be to get a DWI on the Vespa and lose my license to drive it. As some of you know I’ve been sober for 14 years and it would truly kill me to intentionally relapse just to lose my Vespa privileges.

I almost forgot—Connie started to notice that I was leaving the Vespa outside unchained to anything, so I had to start locking it up to keep up illusions. It’s a simple number-combination lock and the code is 1234. And let me repeat once more—I will NOT report the theft to the police!!

Thanks for your help with this. I hope you know that I would do the same for any of you. And I hope this goes without saying but please do not tell Connie I’m making arrangements to have my own Vespa stolen.

Yours in friendship,