Maria: What’s going on here? I came as soon as I got your phone call. Why are you holding onto my son like that?
Storeowner: I am restraining your son because I caught him shoplifting. I thought you’d like to be here when I called the police.
Maria: There’s no need for that. He’s not a delinquent.
Storeowner: He is from my standpoint. Theft is a serious crime.
Maria: I know it is and I’ll make restitution. Please give him a second chance. Please don’t call the police.
Storeowner: Well, it’s not the value of what he’s stolen that’s important. It’s the fact that he committed an offense.
Maria: Please let me pay for it and I’ll make sure he never enters your store again. What did he take and how much do I owe you?
Storeowner: I told you that it’s not the cost of the item. It’s the principle.
Maria: What exactly did my son take?
Storeowner: He ate a grape.
Maria: One grape?
Storeowner: Yes, before I stopped him. He could have eaten the entire fruit stand if I hadn’t been vigilant.
Maria: All this over one grape?
Storeowner: You should be thanking me for alerting you to this behavior. As a parent, you know you need to nip these things in the bud. Today it’s a grape; tomorrow it’s a car!
Maria: [sigh] Okay, how much do I owe you for one grape?
Script by Dr. Lucy Tse
Category: Daily Life
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