It's not easy to be an American abroad these days. Not only is your government unpopular -- the US embassy is also worried you'll be hurt by rowdy enthusiasts of a strange, no-hands-allowed sport.
Fan miles are best attended in a helmet -- or some silly headware
The Euro 2008 has been a great tournament, but if one believes a warning issued on Tuesday, June 24 by the American embassy in Germany, the upcoming match between the Germans and the Turks could also be hazardous to your health.
American diplomats are apparently worried that innocent Yanks could be injured if they blunder into public viewing areas with their guard down.
"Because of the high fan interest in this prestigious semi-final elimination game between Germany and Turkey, there exists the possibility that disturbances, including violent disturbances may occur before, during or after the match, which begins at 20:45," wrote the embassy.
They may look harmless and/or portly -- but they're not
Diplomats particularly cautioned against public viewing areas in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich.
"At a minimum, post-game celebrations will likely result in traffic congestion in larger cities," read the embassy statement. "Crowds celebrating previous German and/or Turkish victories have blocked streets and rocked vehicles attempting to pass through them."
In other words, stay on your toes, or you could get rocked.
Danger, danger everywhere
"Beer: the cause of and the solution to all of life's problems" -- H. Simpson
The embassy's statement makes downtown Berlin sound a bit like Falluja or the Gaza Strip, but DW-WORLD has learned the potential threats run far deeper.
Many of the viewers at the so-called fan miles, it turns out, are hopped up on a liquid intoxicant known as "beer."
This substance has been known to lead to outbreaks of mirth, loss of equilibrium and unintended and later regretted coupling among users.
In addition, soccer fiends have been reported to consume things called "bratwurst," which, depending on quality, can emit streams of hot fluid, known in street lingo as "grease," when improperly chomped upon.
In the face of such manifold soccer perils, all American tourists can do is follow their embassy's advice and "exercise caution…and be aware of their surroundings at all times."
And those planning vacations for the future might well consider staying home.
After all, there's nothing like the absolute safety of places like Detroit, South Central L.A. or the Nevada Nuclear Test Site -- where any unruly European sports fans can be dealt with quickly, before they threaten American lives.