Southern Italians, including immigrants residing in North America, are often labeled as having a present time-orientation. This notion, in turn, has been used as an explanation for diverse phenomena commonly attributed to southern Italians--such as 'arriving late for appointments'; 'seeking immediate relief from the sensation of pain'; and, generally displaying 'a high degree of emotion and expression in their illness behavior'. Labeling an entire group of people as having a particular time-orientation, however, may generate stereotypes that affect negatively the type of medical treatment patients receive. In this paper, I challenge the unsubstantiated notion that southern Italians are present time-oriented. The data I have collected among Sicilian-Canadians indicates that there are alternative explanations for the phenomena people commonly attribute to southern Italians. I will support my contention by examining: (1) Sicilian-Canadian conceptions of punctuality; and, (2) the communicative dimension of the pain experience.