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Writings: Burma Shave Signs, My Way!

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Before there was the Interstate, when everyone drove the old two-lane highways, Burma Shave signs were ubiquitous. They were smallish red signs with white letters. There would be five signs, about 100 feet apart, each of the first four containing one line of a quatrain. The fifth sign advertised Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream of the period.

The poetry on the signs was doggerel, but it was catchy and memorable. Sometimes, as a public service, a set would make a point about driving safety. I’m old enough to remember those signs, and I’m also crazy enough to invent some Burma Shave-style doggerel of my own. You’ll be driving past the signs at about 45 MPH (73 km/h), and — just as it was back then — you won’t know what set of signs will be coming up. (It’s not as if there were only one!)

Whose Signs
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