T. Texas Drives the Back Roads (aka Burma Shave)

If you happen to drive some of the more rural stretches of highway in the midwest, you may come across a sequence of five or six signs just between the shoulder and the barb wire fencing keeping the corn in its place–each sign a line of a verse with the last line/sign urging you to own a gun.  Hip! Hip! NRA!  Or not.

The ploy dates back to the 1920s, when the Burma Shave company used humorous poems on road side signs to pitch what was then a novel product–a shaving cream that didn’t need to be lathered with a brush.  Each set of Burma Shave signs, read as they rolled past the car window.  The campaign and the signs flourished for several decades, then gradually disappeared, as did the company, as Burma Shave lost out to new brands of brushless shaving cream.

When I was a boy in the late 1950s, there were still some stretches of road on up into Lake County in California where a few Burma Shave signs could still be found along the road side, weathered and no longer standing quite straight but still readable as I watched from the back window to see what the next turn of the road would bring.  By and large I didn’t get the humor.  At seven or eight the double in the (mild) entendres were entirely over my head, but I did sense how the rhymes led to a final close and turn and enjoyed the distraction as we drove along to see great aunt whomever or cousin so and so.

The B.S. jingles that follow mime the form of the Burma Shave jingles, but (I confess) these bring the discrete innuendo of some of the originals a bit more (or a lot more) to the fore.  They are not profound.  You will not see these posted along the side of the road.  They do not propose that owning a gun will solve all your problems.

I want to thank my buddy T. Texas Twiddle for gathering these and passing them along.  T. Texas, as it happens, only drives the back roads.


T. Texas Drives the Back Roads Collecting Rural Advertising

Keep yer chaw

and skip the quibble.

Clean shave that jaw

and wipe the dribble.

All ya need is



If to the mountain

you done been and she

still won’t let you in,

it’s cause your chin’s

a sin. Better buy



Drive for show, putt

for dough, so the golfer’s

claim to know but

if your really want

to stroke her butt get



If you’re all alone,

just you ’n yer iPhone,

buddy that’s a sign

all’s not fine.

Better get some



Mr. Clean

was never mean

cause he loved

that special sheen

he got from



Ladies, if

your boy toy

ain’t slick,

scape that man

and take a lick



When Allen did Howl

the critics did scowl.

It wasn’t the yowl

they found weird.

It was the beard.



Jack K liked shirts

of plaid and Old

Grandad but what made

him really sad was on

that road he couldn’t find



When yer out

a Karma ’n’ can’t

find the Dharma,

put your faith

in the Pharma.



On safari in

the Serengeti

Teddy the Yeti

feasted on spaghetti

but alas could find no



If her saddle

she won’t let you

paddle, stop all

that fiddle faddle,

skedaddle and get some



Young King Tut

had a scrawny butt

but what did him in

was the scraggle

on his chin.



The Yeti in the Alps

did hide his hide cause

his hide evoked no pride,

and alas he lacked a Sherpa

guide to lead him to the



If your cookie

won’t share her nookie

cause your hairy

like a Wookie,

time to buy some



When Betty Lou wanted

to screw she went downtown,

and bopped around

until she found a likely rube

and squeezed his tube of



If with Saundra you’d

double your entendre,

to the store better zip

and be sure you strip

it all from your upper lip



When yer hockey momma

gets out her lipstick,

drop the puck and

grab yer dipstick

and don’t forgit yer



Uncle Bill kept a still way back

in the hills ’n’ couldn’t buy

Burma Shave, but Rev’nooer Dan

stayed in town and Aunt Alice

happ’ly raised her pretty blue gown



If phone sex

is your thing

then a ring a ding

ding that thing

cause you don’t need



If after the dancy

yer a hopin

to tickle

her fancy

better buy ya some



Cap’n Ahab away did sail

hopin to score with a big white whale.

If he’d a stayed ashore

and slicked up his chin

his tale of tail woulda had a different end



If to your importuning

she won’t cave

and it’s back seat spooning

you do crave,

better get yourself some



When I sit’er

on the shitter

and it comes

to Twitter, I ain’t

no quitter



When she fiddles

yer pair a dice,

rosin your bow

and play real nice

and don’t forget your



If indeed in Eden you

would troll for that sweet

and sacred jelly roll,

be sure that first you

to the store do stroll