I went to the bathroom while I was at the opera in the ancient Verona Arena. I realize this may not constitute news in the traditional sense, but it was kind of interesting to me. While I was doing my business I noticed that there was some writing on the wall—strange writing in languages I did not understand. I wondered if I had stumbled on some artifact of the forgotten past, words of a poet or soldier seeking immortality on the walls of that ancient edifice. After all, I was in Italy, and so much there is very old. Here is what the wall said to me:
“Suche nicht nach witzen an der wand, weil Sie halten es in der Hand!”
Could this be another Goethe, I wondered? And there was another message, this one in Italian:
“Veronese di merda, succhiare il mio cazzo.”
What romantic meaning did these words have, I wondered? Oh, Italy! Oh, Europe! If only we in the United States had half your culture!