Tag Archives: Burma Shave Signs

Punching Out

One month of retirement in the can! Wow. This is good stuff, folks. Who knew?

Recently, I drove to Bandon, Oregon, for our annual family reunion. It was lovely to be so relaxed! No rushing back for work. Could this be heaven? Traveling along Hwy 42 W, between Dillard and Coquille, I knew the scenery was heavenly. As my little Mazda zoom-zoomed over hill and dale, I saw something that tickled my inner amusement aficionado.

Anyone remember seeing Burma Shave signs dotted across most of America years ago? (You’d have to be of retirement age, I expect.) Plentiful from 1925 forward, they disappeared in 1963 when the company sold to Philip Morris. The Burma Shave advertising series (usually) consisted of six signs placed along the roadside, sequentially, with the punch-line at the end.  As a child, I remember seeing them along pastures in Central Oregon as we drove to see family in Prineville. We anticipated each one until the end. And that last sign often made us laugh out loud.

Here are a few of my favorites from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave):

  • Every shaver / Now can snore / Six more minutes / Than before / By using / Burma-Shave
  • Does your husband / Misbehave / Grunt and grumble / Rant and rave / Shoot the brute some / Burma-Shave
  • Within this vale / Of toil / And sin / Your head grows bald / But not your chin – use / Burma-Shave

On my drive to Bandon, I didn’t see any Burma Shave signs, of course. Rather, some sequential signs posted in a field, reminiscent of the old ads. Only with a very important message.

  • Keys?/Wallet?/Phone?

And then the punch-line:

  • Eternal life?

Important things to have near when one travels on a journey. Especially critical was the last sign, for life’s journey. And I had them all. How blessed is that? When I read it, I didn’t laugh. But I smiled.

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