No stealing, please!

N' arrubat

Sorry for the picture’s low quality… I think it’s worth being included in my gallery, though.
It was taken during a popular feast that takes place in May in a village near Salerno, my hometown.

The sign above is written in a halting dialect (they use to speak it, not write it), and reads more or less: “NO STEALING, WE’RE ON OUR BEAM ENDS ALREADY”.

In “normal” stores you may come across signs reading something like “Thieves will be prosecuted”, which is the typical, neutral, courteous threat in order to discourage stealing.
These stallholders made a different choice: win the prospective thief’s sympathy through an unctuous instance of self-pity.

Yes, because what the text implies is: “C’mon, we know you are a poor devil, otherwise you wouldn’t be pacing up and down in front of our ramshackle stall to muster up your courage and steal our shoddy stuff. And yes, we are poor devils, too! We are companions in misfortune, my friend! We should team up, not fight each other. Go your own way, aim high, and may God be with you!”.

Last but not least, who the hell would ever want to steal goldfish and feedstuff?

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