The Most Gripping Suspense Story of 2018 Is This Twitter Thread About a Stolen Lunch

The Most Gripping Suspense Story of 2018 Is This Twitter Thread About a Stolen Lunch

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Elizabeth Licata
Apr 2, 2018
(Image credit: IrinaK/Shutterstock)

Move over, Hitchcock. Sure, Psycho and Strangers on a Train were suspenseful, but for nail-biting excitement, nothing beats the gripping tale of a stolen box of shrimp fried rice that had all of Twitter on the edge of its seat this weekend.

It all began when writer and comedian Zac Toscani announced on Twitter that a lunch had been stolen at his office. And it wasn't just any lunch, either — it was a brand-new container of shrimp fried rice that had just been purchased a half hour earlier! The internet was horrified that someone would steal such a thing.

Everyone has either had a lunch stolen or knows someone who has, and the worst part of having a lunch stolen is that we normally never find out who did it. Which of the ostensibly human people around us is really a cold-blooded lunch thief in disguise?

Toscani's tweet promised satisfaction, though, because there was security footage of the lunch room, and the coworker with the stolen lunch was actually going to be allowed to watch it! That's the dream. And justice for Toscani's coworker felt like justice for everyone who's ever had a lunch stolen.

His first tweet has been liked more than 550,000 times and retweeted more than 173,000 — you can practically hear the entire internet leaning forward to watch what happens next.

Only the victim was allowed to see the tape, but the entire office knew it was happening. It's just like in the end of a murder mystery when the detective assembles all the suspects and finally reveals the killer. Toscani said he had no idea who it was, only that it wasn't him. Everyone waited on the edges of their seats until the man with the stolen lunch came back.

"He's seen the tape. He knows who did it," Toscani wrote.

Toscani is our narrator, and he seemed thrilled to find himself right in the middle of the drama. The victim sat across from him; the perpetrator sat next to him. Toscani had the best seat in the room for this drama.

And then, as with any great suspense, there is a shocking twist: She didn't even eat the food!

She just took the brand-new fried rice out of the fridge and threw it away! Somehow, that makes the crime seem even worse, but the drama even better. Why did she throw it away? She buried it in the trash, so she clearly knew she was doing something unacceptable. Now it's gone from a classic whodunnit to a psychological thriller.

The victim told HR that he just wanted to know who did it, and that he didn't want to be responsible for someone getting fired over fried rice — even if it did have shrimp in it. So nothing bad was going to happen to the woman. But she was out of the office when the drama went down; when she walked back into the office, everyone knew what she had just done (but she had no idea they knew).

The next scene needs to be printed in literature textbooks and taught in schools.

"She has walked into the room. And the room is dead silent," Toscani wrote. "From the moment she walked in, I've just been staring at her."

The victim might not have wanted her to be fired, but there's no way a human being could sit quietly and listen to her say, "Who would do something like that?" He has to let her know that he knows. That we all know.

The situation is about to get even more bizarre.

"After he says that she goes 'oh it was your lunch?' BEAT she continues, 'well why would you go to HR about that?!'"

The victim's lunch was gone and his faith in humanity shaken, but he just sighed and went back to work. But everyone knew! Everyone in the office knew, and more than 550,000 people on Twitter know too, now.

Toscani, no longer content to be the narrator, gets involved in the denouement and orders shrimp fried rice for all three of them.

She just grinned as she ate the shrimp fried rice! I feel chills. This is like that old Roald Dahl story where a woman murders her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, then cooks and serves it to the police officers investigating the crime.

Toscani felt bad that there wasn't a neater ending with a little bow, and we'll probably never know why she threw her coworker's lunch away. But as much as everyone wants to know those answers, Hamilton writer Lin-Manuel Miranda says he thinks the ending is perfect the way it is.

This might be the first time that I've ever disagreed with Lin-Manuel Miranda — I really do want to know why she did it. Why would she throw away the shrimp fried rice, then eat the second one? The mystery of the stolen office lunch is going to haunt me for the rest of my life.

What do you think of the saga of the stolen shrimp fried rice?

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