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Where cursing thieves with crippling violence has a 2000-year-old precedent

October 4th, 2011 · 28 comments

Spotted by Vicky at an antiques shop in Bath, England: a modern twist on the ancient local tradition of curse tablets. (To quote Wikipedia: “About 130 curse tablets have been found at Aquae Sulis, now Bath in England, where many of the curses related to thefts of clothes whilst the victim was bathing.”)

Notice, to all prospective Shoplifters: We strongly recommend that prior to committing your despicable act you purchase one, or maybe two, of our very reasonably priced walking sticks (only £2 each) because if we catch you they will be a vital aid to you for at least 6 months. -Rolfey's P.s We also have a multi camera CCTV system

related: Law & Order: Social Media Unit

extra credit: Curse tablets of Roman Britain

FILED UNDER: not-so-veiled threats · retail hell · stealing · U.K.

28 responses so far ↓

  • #1   ElbieSee

    “Keep Calm and Beat Hell Out of Shoplifters.”

    Oct 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

  • #2   Kelly

    We, in the store will have tasers and brass knuckles to beat the living hell out of you!

    Oct 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   The Elf

      It’s England. Isn’t there taser and brass knuckle control over there?

      Oct 5, 2011 at 7:17 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Canthz_B bang

      Elf, tasers and brass knuckles are protected rights under the 2nd amendment to the Magna Carta.

      Oct 5, 2011 at 8:05 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #3   Quite Contrary

    How would Rolfey’s position it if the walking sticks were not reasonably priced?

    “We strongly recommend that prior to committing your despicable act you purchase one, or maybe two, of our newly discounted walking sticks (£2 each, save 60%!) because if we catch you they will be a vital aid to you for at least six months.


    Oct 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #4   Dianne

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    Oct 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #5   Brittany

    I think a well placed threat always ALWAYS gets the job done!


    Oct 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Grant

      Yeah, I didn’t get a picture of it but years ago there was a portable x-ray bed kept in the basement corridor of the hospital where I work. The sign saying ‘DANGER Please don’t mess with the controls’ never worked. The replacements which read ‘Go ahead and have a fiddle – we are low on bodies for dissection class.’ and ‘Please take and complete a donor card (below) before fiddling.’ worked a treat.

      Oct 5, 2011 at 4:03 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

  • #6   QBALL

    RIght, so let me throw you a couple of quid and you bash my brains in with your walking canes, beats getting a good flogging from my mates in the pub

    Oct 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #7   JetJackson

    Why on earth would a shoplifter pay for a walking stick?

    Oct 4, 2011 at 5:44 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #8   Nack

    It worked for King Tut.

    Oct 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   The Elf

      It’s good to know that passive-aggressive notes has such a rich and lengthy history. Makes you wonder if some Sumerian left a cuneform stone tablet for their roommate about not doing their share of the chores.

      Oct 5, 2011 at 7:20 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Jimmy James


      Hey! I know I’ve been busy and we haven’t seen each other much lately! I want you to know I’m not mad you started worshipping Marduk, even though we agreed we were both *all* about worshipping Anshar when we signed the lease! But could you do me a solid and make sure you clean up after you do a sacrifice? I know sometimes the goat entrails prophecy something that applies to both of us, but really, you can just read them yourself and tell me later!

      Love ya!

      Oct 5, 2011 at 9:12 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Inspectah Deck of the Scotland Yard

      Hi Gilgamesh!

      If you “ash” on this floor after your burnt offerings to “Ashnar”, I am going to sweep up the ashes & distribute them inside your nice clay pot or primitive chariot- if you have one!! So use the “ash tray” and don’t be an “ash-hole”!! j/k

      I <3 U!

      Oct 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #9   Canthz_B bang

    Notice to Rolfey’s:

    Either install more CCTV cameras, or post someone to watch the CCTV in real-time, because I cleaned you out yesterday. Even picked myself up one of your fine walking sticks!

    Oct 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #10   SeeYouInTea

    I absolutely love this!

    Oct 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #11   TinyBallOfLight

    Now that’s some aggressive advertising right there — forget the passive part!

    Oct 5, 2011 at 1:53 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #12   Graham

    Have you even been to Bath? The reason they even have walking sticks is because of the prevalence of crusties going about their business. And shoplifter would face a barrage of walking sticks, zimmer frames and assorted shopping trollies as they try to escape down the road.

    Old people are dangerous when roused. Do you not recall the letter on the broken fence?

    They don’t need CCTV, they have the pensioners network – more effective than twitter or facebook combined.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 3:10 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   The Elf

      Crusties? British English cracks me up.

      Oct 5, 2011 at 7:22 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #13   Nunavut Guy

    Good thing it’s not a gun store.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 6:24 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Canthz_B bang

      I always think it would be a great news story if a gun store were robbed at gunpoint by a guy they’d just sold a gun.
      He’d have the drop on them after all…”Sir, can you please show me how to load my new gun? Thank you…stick ‘em up!”

      Oct 5, 2011 at 8:12 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   GhostWriter bang

      I believe that this story, while not exactly matching your description, does represent a realistic outcome of such an event.

      Oct 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #14   divaandwriter bang

    Speak softly and carry a big walking stick while cursing the tourists.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 11:47 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #15   The Elf

    Well, I speak LOUD and I carry a BIGGER stick, and I use it too! *whack*

    Oct 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   FeRD bang

      Thus making the snipers’ job almost too easy! Not that anyone’s complaining… not even the recently departed T’Elf! *sad,sad*

      Oct 6, 2011 at 12:43 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #16   Scott

    Oh that’s nothing. We used to have a place in Fort Worth called CD Warehouse (most locations have closed since then, including this one) and there was a sign on the door that said shoplifters will be RAPED.

    And that’s coming from a place that sold bootlegged CD’s with cheaply printed artwork.

    Maybe the reason they went out of business is some ugly, fat woman read the sign and accused the employees of raping her. “YOU JUST RAPED ME! Where’s the nearest MacDonald’s?” LOL

    Oct 7, 2011 at 12:39 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Canthz_B bang

      I’d take that sign seriously. If they sold bootleg CDs, they ARE rapists.

      Oct 7, 2011 at 3:15 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Scott

      Being a music collector, I totally agree with you on that!

      The majority of their music and DVD’s were the real deal. But a lot of their rap was bootlegged (and I’m not talking local artists and their generic CD’s) and a lot of “mixtapes” and compilations (rap and non-rap like best hits of the 80′s).

      There was another location not far from that one that actually got investigated and I assume that’s what done ‘em in. And that sucks because used music stores buy and sells out-of-print music that I’m especially looking for, so that killed a lot of options for me. Only 1 location still exists here and I’ve seen a few bootlegs there too! They’ve allegedly been investigated in the past too so they’ll be gone one of these days. Fortunately we have a huge record store and all their stuff is legit.

      Oct 7, 2011 at 5:36 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up


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