Shame, Shame!

5 Sep

Well, I didn’t catch any fish, just in case you were wondering.

Ok, I know, bad joke.

So here’s the thing. The real danger involved in taking a “blog ferie” is that you just might never come back. I almost didn’t. But then I thought, who will lead the charge in posting the random and ridiculous things that are to be seen around this great city? Things that are probably funny only to me, but yet…who will carry on the torch? You see? And the photo in today’s post was lurking on my camera’s memory card, taken in August, and certainly fits the criteria of random and perhaps only funny to me. Thus, no big “welcome back” post. Simply a little sign that made me laugh.

Students of the Italian language, here’s your chance for extra credit. While wandering a supermarket in Subiaco (small town about an hour outside of Rome) last month, my husband spotted this sign on the air freshener shelf, right next to the good ol’ Padre Pio candles:


Here’s what it says:

They stole this air freshener yesterday.
The day will come when I will find you all
in fragrante
and that way you’ll pay for the old one and the new one.

Oh, man. I’m thinking we’ve got us some comic gold here. First of all: the supermarket in the first person? Love it. Like Big Brother or something. And, the random use of “they” as the culprit. Was it a band of foul-smelling maniacs who roam Subiaco, striking supermarkets at random to find and steal all the Oust in sight?

But most of all, am I the only one who spotted the subtle irony to be had in the misspelling of “in flagrante”? Let’s review, shall we?

Flagrante delicto.
adv. In the very act of committing an offense; red-handed.

Fragrante. adj. Having a pleasant odor.

Now, I asked Alessandro if Mr. or Mrs. Supermarket could have *quite possibly* purposely wrote in fragrante instead of in flagrante as a clever verbal wordplay to entertain those of us who can find humor in the fact that the item stolen was an air freshener. But he assured me that this hypothesis was pretty much next to impossible. (Already the fact that the supermarket knows how to type and print out a sign in Word is pretty amazing, so let’s not take this too far, right?) So I really don’t know what to say except that this must simply be a lovely freak of verbal nature.

But, oh, people. Is this what it’s come to? Me posting signs about stolen air fresheners? I have a confession to make: I am fresh out of ideas. (No pun intended.)

I know! Can you believe it? From the girl who used to happily post every day. Per favore, help me out here. Instead of a personal shopper, why not a “personal blogger”? Just send your requests through the comments section about what incredibly interesting things in Rome you want to see on the blog, and maybe we’ll start a reader-generated post fest. Just don’t ask me to go stand in line for the Vatican Museums or anything.

Think about it, folks: if you don’t help me, there’s the risk that my site might turn into the Roman version of this. Which probably wouldn’t be half bad, considering how sinfully funny it can be. But they’re already doing such a good job, I figure, let’s stick to Rome for now.


42 Responses to “Shame, Shame!”

  1. Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy September 5, 2007 at 8:48 am #

    Excellent first photo back!!!! πŸ™‚ Most of all, I love that there are not one, but TWO types of Padre Pio candles available at this supermarket. HAHAHAH. Thanks for starting my day great.

  2. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 5, 2007 at 8:54 am #

    And Sara, thanks for being my first commenter. I was worried that everyone would have abandoned me, but luckily I can always count, on you, Ms.!

  3. Gil September 5, 2007 at 8:57 am #

    Glad to have you back. You didn’t catch a fish, but maybe you’ll catch the thief!!! That shopkeeper has a great sense of humor.

  4. Jul September 5, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    Rolling on the floor. Who steals room deoderant? Repeatedly? Vergogna indeed!

  5. Giulia September 5, 2007 at 10:21 am #

    Welcome back! Hope you had a pleasant blog ferie. Now, don’t leave us again! :p

    Already the fact that the supermarket knows how to type and print out a sign in Word is pretty amazing, so let’s not take this too far, right?”

    LOL, that’s the first thing that came to mind as soon as I saw the note!

  6. Farfallina ...a roam to Rome September 5, 2007 at 11:16 am #

    The Roman version of “”? Naa, you’re doing fiiiiine! Welcome back!!

    Hehe, is that really all they hope for? That the thief would steal the same deodorant twice so they’d charge him (or her) for both of them? πŸ˜€

  7. Paolo September 5, 2007 at 12:11 pm #

    welcome back Shelly , i hope the heat didn’t affect you.:)

    Well maybe you can do something for me to animate your blog, kill the gladiator in the spanish steps, the one with the beard, i have seen him once last January, now i’m starting to see him everywhere, even on Tv, i can’t stand him anymore. Ah and then post the photos here:)

  8. sebs September 5, 2007 at 1:12 pm #

    Bentornata! Io sto ancora ridendo! E’favoloso!in fragarante lol
    un abbraccio

  9. Heather September 5, 2007 at 1:28 pm #

    Welcome back, you were missed!

    Whatever you choose to post is awesome… maybe just stories of your day, or how you came to be in Rome. How about stories from learning to speak Italian?

  10. qualcosa di bello September 5, 2007 at 1:41 pm #

    so glad to see you back!!!

    whatever you choose to post for this italian-starved american will be just fine…food, more gelato, any sights…

  11. TNP September 5, 2007 at 2:15 pm #

    More pictures, please. I miss Italy so much! Your stories are great, too. I love hearing the tongue in cheek descriptions of the locals and their lives.

  12. Karen Cole September 5, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    Anyone who loves Italy and is not there doesn’t really care what you post. How about an Italian word of the day…..any bead stores in Rome?….great art supply store? …local artists that are not named Michaelangelo. ….a neighborhood a day…. I’m new, so if you have done this before please forgive me.

  13. Jeff September 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm #

    I love the big “vergogna”. I can hear them yelling and shaking their finger through the sign.

    Watch “1 contro 100” on TV and tell me what you think. I watched the same program in the States and I was amazed at the stupid pop culture questions they had in the States. What do you think of the questions they use here? I know it’s not great idea but it’s a start…wait it’s not Rome but anyhoo…

  14. jaytee September 5, 2007 at 3:53 pm #

    Hi Shelley,

    I’m glad you’re back too. I’ll be in Trastevere for a month starting Saturday, and I’m looking forward to visiting the places you’ve written about. You’ve given me a sneak preview of what to expect. I hope to see you in the neighborhood!

  15. sognatrice September 5, 2007 at 4:37 pm #

    Bentornata! When I first read the sign, I, too, thought that was a clever play on words. Still funny, regardless πŸ˜‰

  16. Jen September 5, 2007 at 6:12 pm #

    Ciao bella, welcome back!

    There’s many everyday things I’d love to hear about, most of which I imagine would be different from what we have in the States:

    * Roman potties, ancient and modern.
    * Street musicians
    * Pet stores
    * Where does everyone play soccer?
    * Hair salons/barbershops
    * Dry cleaners/laundromats
    * National religious holidays (All Saints, Epiphany, the Assumption, etc.)
    * Public gardens
    * Public transportation
    * Local superstitions
    * School uniforms, dress codes, bags
    * Nuns! Nuns! Nuns!
    * Porn stars (Parliamentary experience optional)
    * Tenors
    * Weather forecasting
    * Traffic reporting
    * Birthday traditions

    And of course there’s that oldie-but-goodie, retracing the location shots seen in “Roman Holiday” with Audrey and Gregory.

  17. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 5, 2007 at 6:44 pm #

    Wow! Thanks, everyone! This is exactly the motivation I needed to get back into the swing of things. Thanks for the encouragement. Keep the ideas coming… I will file them away and then get to work!

  18. Buda September 5, 2007 at 6:57 pm #

    Glad you are back Shelley! This is one of my favorite blogs and always makes me smile, that is, when you are not making me outright belly-laugh.

    I like Karen’s idea to post about different neighborhoods, maybe highlighting one or two hidden gems in them? How about local events or festivals? Or funny/interesting stories or perspectives that your guests have shared? Maybe you could explain things that don’t make sense to new visitors to the city, but you are used to by now?

    I hope you find your inspiration – you have a great writing style, and I always refer friends here when they say they are visiting Rome! Sometimes all it takes is breaking a habit. Walk home down a different street, take a different bus, stick your head in the odd little museum or gallery that you’ve walked by 100 times.

  19. Delina September 5, 2007 at 6:57 pm #

    Welcome back! I hope you’re well rested and ready to blog like you’ve never done before πŸ™‚

    That photo is funny. I can only imagine it was taken in quite a small supermarket becasue in the bigger stores I’m sure they have lots of stuff shop lifted…Perhaps not taking it out of the packet though. Why did they take it out of the packet? Maybe it looks less nicked that way. Mah.

  20. Buda Baby September 5, 2007 at 6:58 pm #

    Er, that comment ^^^ is from Buda Baby, not Buda, and definitely not Buddha! πŸ™‚

  21. Delina September 5, 2007 at 6:59 pm #

    BTW, I just noticed that this supermarket has a good stash of Padre Pio candles. Now I know where to go.

  22. nyc/caribbean ragazza September 5, 2007 at 9:27 pm #

    Welcome back Shelley. That sign cracked me up. I can see the shop owner typing while furious.

  23. Wanderlust Scarlett September 5, 2007 at 11:23 pm #

    Welcome back!!!

    Stolen deodorant.
    How funny is that?

    You always find the greatest stuff.

    There are several things about Rome (and Italy) that I am very interested in knowing… and this site, your wonderful site, is one of my favorite places to come learn – PLEASE – do not give up on it.

    I love hearing about all the people, the culture, the food, the secret places and funny ways.
    The guy who comes around on the bike to sharpen knives? Favorite. The gelato stores and coffee shops? I love. The hot priest calendar was of course, way up on the list. Your wedding was a special one to read and see too. Thanks for that.
    Doing what you have been doing, but maybe a little deeper, a little more specific, would be great.
    Shelley the detective. Double OOOOOOH Shelley. What will she uncover today? What little secret will she have up her sleeve this time…
    You always present Rome as an American insider getting the goods… and can I tell you how helpful that is!
    And funny!
    This site is my little reality window into a place I cannot wait to visit, perhaps live in one day (or near) and as such, it has become THE link for those in the know.

    And I’m SO glad that I know.

    Keep up the good work.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  24. Nella September 5, 2007 at 11:42 pm #

    Commenting on corruption is always fun. What’s up with the baggage handlers at the airport? πŸ™‚

  25. Jeni September 6, 2007 at 12:04 am #

    Ben tornata! You were missed. Like everyone else, I loved the post and found it a hilarious glimpse into Italian’s funny ways. Keep it up.

    Also, like most everyone here (especially Scarlett, Heather, Qualcosa di Bello, TNP, and Buda) I would love more of what you already have offered us – more on neighborhoods of Rome, funny stories of the city and its people, unusual things to do or see, photos, etc. Just keep up the good work you already do.


  26. finnyknits September 6, 2007 at 1:53 am #

    I am ashamed to be, like, 26th on the list here to comment, but believe me, I’ve missed your posts. They are what keep me from forgetting the lovely that is Rome between visits.

    Plus, I’m glad to hear that Subiaco is keeping it weird. Last time it was “Oh no we don’t have any chestnuts! Of course not! It’s jovedi!” Well then.

    So, ideas ideas…
    1. Any commentary, reviews, tours, photos, musings on the thousands of gardens around that place.

    2. Holiday season coverage – hello one million nativity scenes. I’m sure there are other Only in Rome kind of holiday things. Or you can talk about The Legend of Pumpkin Cake. That is always good for a laugh.

    3. What it’s really like to go to a soccer game and how it’s different from an American sporting event. I remember Ale’s recounting of this phenomenon which was funny and also made me never want to go to a soccer game.

    4. Any more celebrity visits and how ridiculous they are.

    5. Food. Always food.

    6. Best day trips.

    7. Rome’s most common souvenir. You know.

    8. Shopping – fancy and non

    9. Rome vs US Stores: Grocery, clothes, drugstores, coffee shops, etc

    10. Music on the radio (You remember)

    11. I’ll think of more. Just ask.

  27. Christina September 6, 2007 at 2:03 am #

    Sort of joining onto Jen’s suggestion- when I was last in Rome- our guide told us that the best place to go in Rome to the bathroom was the Vatican washrooms. Really, the Vatican ones weren’t *that* great… so are the Roman public bathrooms actually that bad?

    Welcome back!

  28. jessica September 6, 2007 at 6:10 am #

    welcome back.
    i think anything you write about from there is so very interesting.
    even the stolen aroma sign…you made fun and interesting.
    keep on writing shelley.

  29. gillian September 6, 2007 at 8:20 am #

    welcome back…i missed you! an idea…the charming/exasperating clocks around town..the digital ones in the tunnel between piazza del popolo and the lungotevere are a particular treat…3 clocks 3 completely different times!

  30. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 6, 2007 at 10:56 am #

    Grazie, grazie, grazie! These are all excellent ideas and now I can fill a notebook with plans for my future posts. Whew! What a relief! I just needed a little cheerleading to get me back on track.

    Stay tuned!

  31. Maria September 6, 2007 at 3:09 pm #

    Hi, I like to read your website. Welcome back from your vacation.

    Since Pavarotti just die, how about being our reporter from Italy? what are the feelings? any pictures? what are people talking about?

    Just an idea. I will be in Italy next year in June, I cannot wait!

  32. Britt-Arnhild September 7, 2007 at 8:14 am #

    I ecco Maria’s idea about telling about the Italians and their feelings concerning Pavarottis death.

    I just posted a blog about my (Norwegian) feelings………but that is not quite the same of course.

  33. Bree September 7, 2007 at 7:46 pm #

    Glad you are back! I have an idea for a blog posting. There is a famous bakery in Trastevere (I can’t remember the name, but it is down the street from the English language Almost Corner Bookstore). They have the best foccacia. But if you blog it, you have to promise me you will get a photo of the super-hot baker who works there!! He has dark hair, kind of roundish race..sort of an Italian Dave Matthews. Aaaahhh…

  34. Jen September 7, 2007 at 10:20 pm #

    Oh no, I mentioned tenors and look what happened…

    More ideas:

    Can you blog about the Italian Voldemort (and Harry Potter) when the translation is released?

    Also, something you probably take for granted, but I’d love to hear about, it how American movies are shown in Italy. Voiceovers? Subtitles with possibly egregious errors? To audience members doubled over at some of our completely unselfconscious foibles? (Like picking up dog poop, which the French cannot fathom.)

    Italian rap music.

    Ah, and bicycles, of course.

  35. Bree September 8, 2007 at 7:14 am #

    I meant, face, not race.

  36. Jessica September 8, 2007 at 9:23 pm #

    Ben tornata, Shelley! Glad you’re back. One thing I’ve been wondering lately is what the rough equivalents are between popular American or British musicians and the Italian ones. For instance, who’s the Italian Britney Spears? The Italian Bob Dylan? The Italian Coldplay? I love Italian pop music, I’m just afraid that one day I’ll find out I like the Italian equivalent of someone I’d never be caught dead listening to in the U.S. πŸ™‚

  37. John Rauchert September 10, 2007 at 9:25 pm #

    I am disappointed you are willing to hold a spot for me until I return to Rome.

    This is as far as we got to the Vatican Musuem on our last day in Rome.

    I was getting sick by this point and we didn’t want to pay the line sitter’s cost.

    Maybe next time.

  38. John Rauchert September 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm #

    I meant, are not, not are.

  39. Janavi September 18, 2007 at 2:53 pm #

    How about a hunt for the best carciofi judea nel ghetto? I’m crazy about them-haven’t had much luck making them,but I haven’t given up. The Valentino photos were great-wish I could make the show.

  40. Shelley, At Home in Rome September 18, 2007 at 7:14 pm #

    Janavi: In my opinion the best carciofi alla giudea aren’t actually in the Jewish Ghetto, but here in Trastevere at Da Enzo. If you try I think you’ll agree. The restaurants in the Ghetto tend to be a bit overrated. I wrote a post on Enzo here.

  41. Rachel November 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    This is probably the best sign I have ever seen in Italy. The “fragrante” bit is just too perfect! I wish the Milanesi over here were as hilarious as the Romans (That’ll never happen).

  42. Shelley Ruelle December 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    I know! Wouldn’t move from Rome, just too much to love about the Romans.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: