Bon Cumpleannu a Cheli du ’92

status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage

At 6 o’clock this morning, after a night punctuated by the bat thumping round her box like a stroppy adolescent, the dog padding incessantly back and forth from the sofa to his water bowl and odd snatches of half-sleep where I dreamt that my pillow was covered in spiders, my room was full of people and from which I eerily woke myself laughing, I just gave in and got up.

And this is the bewildering sight that met my eyes…

Whoopee! I’m Always Up for a Bit of Anarchy

But What Can It Possibly Mean?

The Thot Plickens…

The Mayor! (apparently I don’t warrant a mention even though it’s my street too, sob)

The intrigue was exacerbated by the fact that all this unexpected graffiti was in dialect, rendering most of it incomprehensible to me.

So, unable to resist the lure of potential scandal, and after a restorative cup of PG Tips, I pulled on my togs, grabbed my camera and headed for the strada in search of enlightenment…

…and it transpires, that according to a village tradition going back several generations, all those turning 18 get together once during the year and write rhyming messages in chalk outside the local businesses and other buildings of note. The rhymes usually serving to highlight some quirk or other of the patron or indeed the establishment.

Outside the post office was written: When it is time to pay you, she is on the phone, and when it is time to serve you she has gone.

Outside the only bar I have never been into (and apparently with good reason): They are always shouting here, so the customers have no option but to disappear.

There were others of a more friendly nature, but let’s face it, brutal controversy beats namby pamby affection every time.

Local opinion is divided between those who think they are the harmless high jinks of youth, and those that consider it an outright abomination. One gentleman in particular was very vocal on the subject, as back in his day it was a thing all the village boys did to mark their departure for military service. Now that is no longer the case, he considers it to be a frivolous, as well as meaningless, gesture.

I, however, find myself falling into the pro-graffiti camp. I can’t remember what I did to celebrate my eighteenth birthday, but as I was in England at the time, it almost certainly involved getting very drunk and possibly also peeing on a war memorial or something similarly antisocial.

Surely a bit of cutting edge, yet strangely philosophical poetry on the street is a distinct improvement… 😉

This is Status Viatoris, wishing the youngsters a very happy 18th. Make the most of it Kids, for soon you’ll be decrepid and cantankerous. And despite going to bed long before midnight, sleep will remain elusive; chased away by your dog’s insatiable bladder, your pipistrelle’s disco moves and the early onset of dementia.


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11 Responses to “Bon Cumpleannu a Cheli du ’92”

  1. Gabriele Says:

    …e pensare che il mio paese è anche vicino, tutto sommato, a dove vivi tu, ma di alcuni ho capito il concetto, uno rimane oscuro per me e molte parole non so cosa significhino; e pensare che ci dividono solo gli appennini.
    I graffiti del mio paese, al momento, sono un coacervo di obbrobri grammaticali :asd:


    • statusviatoris Says:

      Ma i dialetti italiano sono tremendi. A meno di 10km c’è un altro paese con un dialetto diverso, si riescono a capirsi, ma ci sono tante differenze…. Non ti posso dire se questi frasi sono pieni di obbrobri grammaticali, perché non capisco neanche la metà!


  2. Mrs F Says:

    Oh! To have such wonderful rites of passage! Though the roads would have to be resurfaced at home to achieve this particular one. Perhaps the felling and splitting of a tree, the engraving of your message and the placing of it outside the property of choice would have to do… and perhaps we could adopt it as a 35th birthday ritual, or on the occasion of your first born, or the misplacing of one’s virginity….


  3. wageslavea Says:

    Reminds me of the tradition of people chanting messages between pieces of music at the Proms! Harmless fun. However, what do they use and who cleans it up, or does it just wear off with the passage of traffic?


  4. Romesecret Says:

    I really do believe this type of commentary is sadly absent from the pavements of England .I mean all that clean flat, well maintained pavement and nobody uses it. I’m taking some chalk next time i go back!


  5. Fern Says:

    Here we get prenuptial ‘witticisms’ spray painted on the roads. They last forever, and are not very clever, usually amounting only to a pair of names – not like the rhymes you get in your village. The best we had was several years ago – ‘Francesca, urlo per te!’ I always liked a fellow who would urlare for me!


  6. statusviatoris Says:

    Reblogged this on Status Viatoris and commented:

    Flashback Friday


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