The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Bob Huber 

Billboard slogans return


January 20, 2006

I opened a box of Pandoras a couple years ago when I wrote about those good old days of Burma Shave signs — you know, the little red billboards on every highway that kept us awake, clean shaved, and the children from being bored. (It didn’t take much to entertain them in those days.)

But ever since I wrote about them, hardly a month has gone by without favorite Burma Shave quatrains arriving from faithful readers. They range from the importance of Burma Shave Cream to safe driving tips, from snotty retorts to clever consorts.

But if you mention Burma Shave signs to anyone born after l960, you’ll probably send them into blind staggers. That’s because they were done away with a half century ago. (The signs, not the persons born after 1960.)

So I gathered up the latest additions to my growing Burma Shave file, because I’ve taken up a new quest — the edification of youthful but ignorant folks. They should all memorize this one: “Peanut on a railroad track, heart was all a flutter. Round the bend came No. 10 — Toot, toot, peanut butter.”

Pop quiz on Thursday.

Here are more:

• Hardly a driver is now alive who passed on hills at 75.

• Trains don’t wander all over the map, because nobody sits in the engineer’s lap.

• She kissed the hairbrush by mistake. She thought it was her husband Jake.

• Don’t lose your head to gain a minute. You need your head; your brains are in it.

• Drove too long, driver snoozing. What happened next was not amusing.

• Brother speeder, let’s rehearse. All together, “Good morning, nurse.”

• Cautious rider to her reckless dear, “Let’s have less bull and lots more steer.”

• Speed was high. Weather was not. Tires were thin. X marks the spot.

• The midnight ride of Paul for beer led to a warmer hemisphere.

• Around the curve lickety-split—beautiful car, wasn’t it?

• No matter the price, no matter how new, the best safety device in the car is you.

• A guy who drives a car wide open is not thinkin.’ He’s just hopin.’

• At intersections look each way. A harp sounds nice, but it’s hard to play.

• Both hands on the wheel, eyes on the road. That’s the skillful driver’s code.

• The guy who drives when he’s been drinking depends on you to do his thinking.

• Car’s in a ditch, driver in a tree. The moon was full, and so was he.

• Passing school zone, take it slow. Let our little shavers grow.

• If you don’t know whose signs these are, you can’t have driven very far.

• Ben met Anna, made a hit, neglected beard, Ban-Anna split.

• Statistics prove near and far that folks who drive crazy, are.

• Cattle crossing means go slow. That old bull is some cow’s beau.

• At school zones heed instructions. Protect our little tax deductions.

• When the stork delivers a boy, our whole darn factory jumps for joy.

• College cutie, pigskin hero, bristly kiss — hero zero.

• Don’t take a curve at 60 per. We hate to lose a customer.

• Listen, birds, these signs cost money. Roost a while, but don’t get funny.

• Our job is keeping faces clean. Nobody knows the stubble we’ve seen.

• Remember this, and you’ll be spared: Trains don’t whistle because they’re scared.

• At crossings don’t trust to luck. The other car may be a truck.

Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. He can be contacted at 356-3674.


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