Photo: Francis Dean (Corbis via Getty Images)

This item from the Northwest Florida Daily News’ police blotter—about a man stealing grapes from a grocery store—is full of so much overreaction and drama that it’s worthy of a stage adaptation. (Good thing the title The Grapes Of Wrath isn’t taken.)


ACT I, SCENE I. Okaloosa County, Florida. A grocery store.

Enter FLORIDA MAN, two store managers, and various other shoppers.

STORE MANAGER 1
Sir, you’ve been instructed not to return to the premises after you stole that bag of green grapes last week.

FLORIDA MAN
I do what I want.

STORE MANAGER 2
Sir, we really have to ask you to leave the premises. Remember, you don’t want to make me angry.

FLORIDA MAN (narrows eyes)
Try me, asshole.

FLORIDA MAN loudly consumes multiple green grapes from a bag he’s holding.

STORE MANAGER 1 (dialing phone)
That’s it, pal, I’m calling the fucking cops.

FLORIDA MAN continues chewing, holding the managers’ gaze.

BYSTANDER 1 (wailing)
Oh the humanity!

FLORIDA MAN flees the store, grapes in hand. Sirens wail in the distance. Stage fades to black.

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ACT I, SCENE II. Fort Walton Beach, Florida. A parking lot.

FLORIDA MAN and two sheriff’s deputies stand outside FLORIDA MAN’s car. Two police cruisers are parked nearby. FLORIDA MAN is in handcuffs.

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DEPUTY 1
No one steals grapes on our watch, buddy.

DEPUTY 2
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand these rights?

FLORIDA MAN (narrows eyes)
You can take my grapes, but you can’t take my freedom.

DEPUTY 2
Get in the squad car, asshole.

Fade to black.

-Fin.-

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