Burma-Shave Signs Stage Comeback



If you're reading this special senior issue, you no doubt remember the old Burma Shave signs.

They were a succession of four or five roadside signs, each bearing part of a poem that usually concluded with "Burma-Shave":

Although insured

Remember, kiddo

They don't pay you

They pay your widow


A plug for shaving cream, they kept countless drivers occupied as they plied the nation's mostly two-lane highways in a slower era before freeways made them obsolete:

A whiskery kiss

For the one you adore

May not make her mad

But her face will be sore


Begun in 1925, many were testaments to values that today seem, at best, quaint:

The place to pass

On curves you know

Is only at

A beauty show


And to a time when humor was unadulterated corn:

Her chariot

Raced 80 per

They hauled away

What had Ben Her


As a group of civic-minded citizens launches a fund-raising campaign to create a gateway to Payson right in the middle of the roundabout on Highway 87 at Tyler Parkway, it seems to us that maybe the town might also want to consider revitalizing the Burma-Shave signs concept to provide visitors with some important information as they approach town. Here are a few off the top of my head:

On the Beeline approaching Payson from the north:

Please don't scream

Please don't shout

But you're coming up

On our roundabout


On the Beeline approaching Payson from the south:

Put away that Bic

Or to jail you'll go

Unless your name's

Valinda Jo


On Tyler Parkway:

Slow way down

Or face gunplay

You're driving on

The world's slowest parkway


On 260 east between Payson and Star Valley:

They talk a good line

They're cute like an otter

But don't turn your back

'Cuz they want your water


On 260 west approaching Star Valley:

Don't ask her for help

You'll just get her ticked

For she's Shirley Dawson

Queen of the gerrymandered district


On Highway 188 just before the Beeline:

They head back down south

Gila County dudes rude

With their booty from up north

Once again we've been screwed


On the Beeline near Best Western Payson Inn:

We all cry meow

But we're not out for food

We just want you to buy

From the Cat Condo dude


On the Beeline near the southern town limits:

You might call us unfriendly

But we just want to warn ya

We don't cotton to folks

Who hail from California


On Airport Road near the industrial park:

Welcome to Payson

A friendly little town

As long as you agree

To keep your decibels down


(And from Carol La Valley)

On just about any road you choose:

60 churches

10 gas stations

How many do we need

In the town of Payson


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