If you’re really old, you may remember the days when Burma-Shave signs festooned the rural roadsides of America.
Between 1927 and 1963, Burma-Shave used to advertise their shaving cream by placing signs along the road. As you drove along, you would read one sign after another, with the signs combining to form a clever verse culminating in the words “Burma-Shave.” An example:
If you neglect
Your face each day
This is all
We have to say
The signs came down in 1963, the victim of those new-fangled freeways and modern highway speeds, but plenty of folks remember them fondly. There were over 600 different Burma-Shave jingles, most of them remarkably clever, all of them little windows into the pop culture of the day:
Like she useter?
Perhaps she's seen
A smoother rooster!!
And some are just plain pun-tastic:
My job is
Keeping faces clean
And nobody knows
Quite a few had a safety theme, appropriate for the two-lane environment:
They don’t pay you
But here’s one that never appeared on any roadside, my own contribution to this Great American Icon of Days Gone By:
Postscript: Even though Burma-Shave signs per se have vanished, the term “Burma-Shave” is now used to refer to that style of roadside advertising sign. So, for example, an advertising director may place an order for 200 Burma-Shaves...to plug anything from politicos to pot roast. Crazy, innit?