Italians Have Lazy Intestines

4 Mar

I know, right? Totally TMI! I could have titled it “Italians Are Constipated” but I just love the expression they use instead, this whole “lazy intestine” thing, it seemed far more culturally appropriate.

Hey, if you don’t believe me, as always, I offer you photographic evidence:

2012-09-06 15.49.28

It says: Lazy Intestine? (great headline, btw. Wish I would have thought of that back in my advertising copywriter days. Or rather, wish I had had an excuse to use it.)

And then goes on to propose the ultimate herbal solution titled, “10 Herbs” (creative, I know).

Seriously people, I’ve never lived anywhere in my life where the functions of the intestine and constipation in general are discussed with more enthusiasm and vigor, and remedies traded freely over the dinner table. Bleh. Honestly. Is it just me, or is this like the Italian obsession with the “febbre”? Why is there such a constipation problem in this country? Do we lack fiber in our diets? I don’t know. I personally haven’t ever said anything as mortifying at dinner or any other meal as I’ve heard way too often “Non riesco ad andare al bagno” (“I can’t go to the bathroom.” It’s like, thanks for sharing!) but somehow it seems to be a major point of discussion especially among women. I’ve heard it all in terms of remedies, from the tried and true prunes (um, grossness) to disgusting green smelly “tisane” (herbal teas) purchased at monastery pharmacies, to nature’s own kiwi, stewed apples…you name it. As we say in Italian when something totally perplexes us and leaves us without any adequate response: BOH.

Of course it’s always fun when hubba hubba bombshell Roman Alessia Marcuzzi shares the magical “bifidus actiregularis” (loving the psuedo-latin name making it sound so medicinal and functional) with scientific animated diagram, to help her friend feel less bloated as a red balloon:

Oh man, that frog is really suffering. Get some 10 Herbs in here like right now!

2012-09-06 15.49.36


23 Responses to “Italians Have Lazy Intestines”

  1. maria March 4, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Ciao Trisha,it is so funny!!!
    leggo il tuo blog da un po` di tempo.Quello che e` funny e` che lo leggo da NYC dove vivo con mio marito e due figli adolescenti.Siamo Italian Expatriats,in giro per il mondo da anni.
    Condivido tutto cio` che dici sugli italiani,la maglia della salute,la febbre, le mamme ,le suocere,il dress code…quello che ` funny e` che io devo spiegare tutto cio` ai miei figli,che come se fossero stranieri non capiscono molte cose.Devo suggerire di leggere il tuo blog.
    Per esempio loro non capiscono perche` la gente dichiara pubblicamente di essere costipata,intendendo che e` raffreddata!! conosci questa forma dialettale!!
    Ridono quando lo sentono dire,perche pensano alla CONSTIPATION in inglese.E mai nessun americano direbbe di essere stitico in pubblico!!!
    Ormai sto per tornare in Italia,il prossimo anno, e i tuoi post mi aiutano a riabituarmi a Roma.Partiro` da NY con una bella esperienza salutando le mie amiche mamme-americane.

  2. Catherine March 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    You are hilarious. Ti senti gonfia?? It’s so insane. My household just cracks up. And any foreign visitors who pass by just cannot believe these national obsessions. Try a bit of exercise luvvs!

  3. March 4, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Thanks! I needed a bit of humor on this gloomy afternoon.

  4. triciatierney March 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    It’s all the white pasta! This is hilarious. I love the hilarity you capture. I miss it – although without the language, most of it lost on me. Thanks for translating on so many levels.

  5. Kristen March 5, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    Oh we are not safe from constipation commercials in the US!

  6. Taryn March 5, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    Hahaha Better than Jamie Lee Curtis at least!

  7. Un'americana a Roma March 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Che bella cosa! Infatti pure i miei figli sono biculturali e spesso mi trovo nella situazione a contrario, dovendo spiegare a loro le cose americane, per es. “Vincenzo non si dice Deesnay si dice Dizknee! (Disney)” ecc. Certe volte dico a loro “Che vuoi essere oggi, americano o italiano, visto che siete tutti e due?” perche’ delle volte cerco di mettere un t-shirt a marzo quando fa bel tempo, e lui mi rimprovera dicendo che “tutti gli altri pero’ mamma hanno le maniche lunghe!!!” 🙂

  8. Un'americana a Roma March 5, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    The funniest part is that it totally reflects reality. how many times when I was married did I have to listen to wives of my hub’s friends go on and on to me about their problems with constipation, while I nodded and smiled and tried to look all simpathetic. Meanwhile folks I’ve had two pregnancies. Just eat fiber cereal for breakfast and be done with it geez!

  9. Un'americana a Roma March 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Good! I always have an eye for the ridiculous and silly. Keeps me sane.

  10. Un'americana a Roma March 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Aw, you’re sweet! I totally agree. Something funny, when my son is sick, now he says to me “Mamma I have to eat white, right?” because that’s what they say here, even the pediatrician, “Signora deve mangiare in bianco per qualche giorno.”

  11. simcek March 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    This is really just a woman thing. Never ever heard a man complaining about not going to the loo… I guess we just enjoy the whole experience more than you girlies.

  12. aekt March 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    so very true! it’s a very “digestion-driven” culture and the answer to everything ( from the fruit at the end of a meal to the numerous caffe) is because “it helps with digestion.” well-done. that activia commercial gives me pause each time i’ve seen it. 🙂

  13. Un'americana a Roma March 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    This is absolutely true, although, ok, yes, I have heard Italian men complain about it. Especially about “not being able to go unless they’re at home.” What IS that? And, this obsession with reading in the bathroom, although I think that’s a universal man thing. And, Sim, you’re showing your British side. (the loo!)

  14. Un'americana a Roma March 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

    There are numerous variations on the Activia. God bless Marcuzzi, she’s making a healthy income off of people’s digestive misfortune!

  15. simcek March 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm #

    If everybody read in the bathroom the Activia people would go bankrupt honestly.

    ps. yeah, I guess having worked for the Brits, and above all having married one has marked me for life

  16. Un'americana a Roma March 7, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Do you speak English at home?

  17. simcek March 7, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Yeah mostly. Apart from when I get really pissed off or while I’m watchin football. Most of the times the two things coincide anyway.

  18. Crystal King March 10, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I don’t think it’s just a woman thing…I’ve got piles of books and magazines in the bathroom! A lot of my female guests always comment on it, how I have the best magazines to read in there. 🙂 Grazie per un articolo molto buffo!

  19. Un'americana a Roma March 11, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Fabulous! I’m coming to your bathroom next time! 🙂 Prego!!

  20. Jano Janotech March 14, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    No, in Italia si dice Disney 😛
    come in Usa dite: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples e poi spageti (senza GH e doppia T), fetuccini (la E non si dice I) salami.
    La pepperoni pizza vostra ha il salame piccante, la nostra…..i peperoni…
    quindi rassegnati 😀 le storpiature rimangono per tutti 😉

  21. Dani March 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    tears in my eyes from this. Thank you! I always thought I was just too uptight on account of my rearing in waspy Connecticut. My 3 year old niece in the states refuses to go in public. Maybe she’ll wind up with an italian too

  22. March 28, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    My wife reminded me that this sure isn’t true on airplanes and how shocked I was to see lines the length of the plane waiting for the bathrooms within ten minutes after we ate. We were on an Alitalia flight from JFK to Rome and the passengers were nearly all Italian.


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