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This story about stolen shrimp fried rice will keep you on the edge of your seat
Ernesto Andrade/Flickr (CC-BY-ND)
The storyteller tells us he had no idea this would go viral.
Comedian Zak Toscani, like the vast majority of working comics, also has a day job, but that doesn’t mean that he leaves all the drama and the mystery of show business behind when he gets to work in the morning.
On Thursday, Toscani became embroiled in a tale so twisted it would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud. A tale of shrimp, lies, and video. A crime story where the criminal has been identified but remains unpunished, her motives completely unknown.
It started when a man’s lunch went missing from the communal work fridge.
Co-worker got his lunch stolen and they’ve agreed to let him watch the security camera tape. This is the most excited I’ve ever been at any job ever. Ever.— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
The lunch in question was shrimp fried rice which means this escalates from a misdemeanor to felony no doubt— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
Case facts:— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
Lunch was in fridge for less than an hour before it vanished. No shrimp smell remnants in the microwave or kitchen area. This was a professional hit no doubt
HOLY SHIT. He’s back. He watched the tape. He knows who did it.— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
It turns out that Toscani was not only in the office with both the alleged criminal and the victim, but literally in the middle of things.
So the man who’s lunch was stolen sits across from me. The person who stole his lunch sits RIGHT NEXT TO ME! She left for the day before the investigation started— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
Then came the puzzling twist no one expected.
According to the video, this psychopath DIDNT EVEN EAT THE FOOD. She took it out of the fridge and threw and buried it in the trash— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
What?! Why? Was there a personal rivalry? Did she mistakenly think the food was old and needed to be thrown away? As of right now, no one knows, since the man who was deprived of his delicious shrimp fried rice decided to let the matter drop.
Her motives remain completely unknown. In lieu of what he saw on the tape he has decided to not to press the matter anymore. I can’t say I blame him. We don’t know what this women’s fully capable of— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 29, 2018
Points to clarify: he bought the shrimp fried rice around 11:30am (carry out) and put it in the fridge to chill until he takes lunch at noon. So she had exactly a 30min window of time to do what she did. There was no intention of microwaving the food— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
Update: Ok so when dude watched the video with HR they asked “what do you want to do about it?” he told them he was solely interested in who did it and that he didn’t want to be responsible for someone getting fired— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
Things only escalate from there.
After charges were dropped, HR sent a company wide email about not stealing people’s lunches. She is scheduled to arrive at work in 20min. My blood is on cocaine— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
She has walked into the room. And the room is dead silent. Dead fucking silent yet there is a palpable explosive energy pulsing through everyone but her— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
From the moment she walked in, I’ve just been staring at her. Watched her open her email and now she clicked on the goddamn HR email! Holy fuck strap in - here we go!— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
I can’t move. I simply cannot move, anything could happen right now— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
Anything indeed, but again this woman remains unpredictable.
!!!! After seeing the HR email she says out loud “woah. Someone stole a lunch? Who would do something like that?” !!! I may have to run out of this room— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
After she said that, shrimp guy responds “well yea it’s not ok to throw someone’s food away” we’re all about to start screaming— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
This shits about to get crazier. After he says that she goes “oh it was your lunch?” BEAT she continues “well why would you go to HR about that?!”— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
Dude just sighed and went back to work after she said what she said. She looks frightwningly calm— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
I’ll keep updating if anything else occurs but all I can say is that EVERYONE in the office from the janitor to the founder knows what she did. She now carries an invisible scarlet letter— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
This is when Toscani’s comedian side took over. While most people would be content to sit back and watch, he couldn’t help but get involved. Taking a page from Hamlet, he tried guilting the thief into a confession.
Unbeknownst to the guy and the woman, I just ordered 3 shrimp fried rice plates for lunch and will be hand delivering them— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
But it turns out that this time the play was not the thing.
She took the fried rice from me with a big smile on her face. She’s eating it and loving it. This is utter ruthlessness— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
“I LOVE shrimp fried rice” - the thief— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
Unfortunately, that leaves the situation unresolved… for now.
I wish I could close this up with a neat little bow, but, it appears that we may never know why she did it. Maybe she doesn’t know she did it. Either way I’m now forced to work 40hrs a week next to a cold blooded individual— Zak Toscani (@zaktoscani) March 30, 2018
“It’s an ongoing story in terms of that when I come back into work on Monday morning I fully expect co-workers to bring it up quietly.” Toscani told the Daily Dot via email. “I have no idea if the thief will see it or mention it to me.”
Of course, he had no way of knowing the story would get the viral attention it has. In addition to being retweeted and liked hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter, the story has also been picked up by every place from Buzzfeed to the BBC, and everyone is clamoring to know what will happen on Monday.
Omg that’s it?! Wtf!! I need to know why she threw his lunch away!! Why didn’t he get her fired? Did they date? Did he dump her?? What is the backstory?— grandmanochickens (@catlady2627) March 31, 2018
Honestly I'd like to know too. I can't seem to come up with a good enough reason 😢— Cynical Optimist (Love me 3000) (@ShedzR) March 31, 2018
We need a closure. We need to know why she did it. Please find out and update, thanks.— Salman. (@SalmanNaseer) March 31, 2018
With all the viral attention, it seems likely that the thief will end up having to explain herself, but Toscani, much like his co-worker, doesn’t want to see anyone lose their job.
“I feel like I would have acted in the same manner as the victim,” he said. “You wanna know who did it, but I (like he) aren’t interested in like getting someone fired.”
Clearly, Toscani has a knack for storytelling, and if you’re interested in hearing more from him you can check out “All Fantasy Everything,” a podcast where he’s a regular guest. Although no matter how fantastical that podcast gets, it will probably never compare to the strange goings-on at a typical office during the work week. Makes you wonder why no one has ever made a show about that.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.