Name: Kevin Grinnell
Alleged crimes: Petit larceny, misdemeanor criminal mischief.
Fatal mistake: Not being able to find three lousy dollars.
The circumstances: As everyone who has ever seen a beer commercial knows, American men will go to great lengths to acquire the inexpensive domestic malt beverages they crave. But there’s harmless beer-commercial stupidity, and then there’s depressing real-life beer-product-related stupidity. Bryan Fitzgerald at the Albany, N.Y., Times Union brings us the sad story of Kevin Grinnell, an upstate New York man whose thirst for a Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita tallboy was allegedly matched only by his inability or reluctance to acquire that product legally.
What is a Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita? is the question you are probably asking, because you are not a 19-year-old sorority sister with underdeveloped taste buds. As Fitzgerald notes, the Anheuser-Busch website describes the Straw-Ber-Rita as a “flavored malt beverage that blends the refreshment of Bud Light Lime with the taste of an authentic strawberry margarita.” Authentic! Basically, this is the perfect drink for someone who dislikes wine coolers because they are “too bitter.”
There are apparently a lot of those people, though, and Grinnell was allegedly one of them. Recently, Fitzgerald writes, Grinnell allegedly “not only smashed through a convenience store cooler to grab a 25-ounce Straw-Ber-Rita, but was found by troopers sitting outside the store sipping the sugary beer-margarita mix.” The Times Union story does not specify whether Grinnell allegedly smashed through the cooler because it was locked, or simply because he did not understand how to open the cooler door. I like to think it’s the latter, but I guess it’s unimportant: State troopers hauled Grinnell off to jail, where the doors are not so easily smashed through.
As I was writing this story, I wondered if perhaps I was being unfair to both Grinnell and Anheuser-Busch. After all, I had never actually tasted a Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita. I’m no beer snob, and I drink Anheuser-Busch products by choice, fairly often. Maybe the Straw-Ber-Rita wasn’t as bad as I assumed; maybe the drink was actually worth stealing. I went out this afternoon and bought a $3.00 Straw-Ber-Rita tallboy in order to see for myself. (Look for that receipt in my next expense report, Slate accountants!) Friends, I can tell you that the Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita tastes like neither beer nor a strawberry margarita. It tastes like dulled wits and tooth decay, like a xenophobic child’s vision of Mexico, like a dumb criminal’s rotted-out cerebrum. I did not finish it, but I will likely do so later tonight, and I’ll hate myself for it.
How he could have been a lot smarter: Gone to a convenience store, opened the door, selected and purchased a beer, and consumed it in typical human fashion.
How he could have been a little smarter: Taken the Straw-Ber-Rita home and enjoyed it there, preferably in the dark, so that nobody could notice and mock his terrible taste in alcohol.
How he could have been a little dumber: Stolen an expired can of Straw-Ber-Rita that no longer had that smooth Straw-Ber-Rita taste.
How he could have been a lot dumber: “You know what’s even better than a stolen Straw-Ber-Rita? This Straw-Ber-Rita dipping sauce I’m brewing up for the seven-layer burritos I also stole.”
Ultimate Dumbness Ranking (UDR): Sometimes, dumb criminals are dumb because their crimes are ineptly executed. Sometimes, dumb criminals are dumb because the items they steal have no value. Sometimes, they are dumb because they do things that make you want to grab their shoulders and yell, “Get yourself together, dude! Show some self-respect!” This story qualifies under all of those rubrics. Grinnell isn’t the dumbest alleged dumb criminal I’ve featured thus far, but he might be one of the saddest. 5 out of 10 (and one half-finished Straw-Ber-Rita tallboy) for him.
Previous Dumb Criminals:
Dumb Criminals Don’t Get Much Dumber Than This Bumbling Burglar
Honk if You’re Bagging Heroin With Intent to Distribute!
The Burglar Who Left His Rap Sheet at the Scene of the Crime
A Texas Policeman Said He’s Never Seen Anything This Dumb in 27 Years
The Guy Who Allegedly Tried to Rob a Gun Shop with a Baseball Bat
The Three Guys Who Accidentally Butt-Dialed 911 Mid-Crime
The Alleged Burglar Who Fell Asleep on a Bear Skin Mid-Burglary
The Guy Who Gave the Cops an Absolutely Terrible Fake Name
The Job Candidate Who Told the FBI about His Child Porn Stash