NEWS of the death of Allan G. Odell, author of Burma Shave...

salmagundi

February 02, 1994

NEWS of the death of Allan G. Odell, author of Burma Shave jingles, sent one of our middle-age colleagues to his diaries from the 1950s.

On a trip with his family from Montana to the Southwest in 1953 (when he was 12), he recorded 31 Burma Shave jingles, no doubt sensing that one day they would interest posterity.

Here are some of them (all followed, of course, by the last sign saying, simply, "Burma Shave"):

* We made Grandpa look so thin, the local draftboard's after him.

* Is he lonesome or just blind, the guy who drives so close behind?

* Why is it when you try to pass, the guy in front steps on the gas?

* Pedro walked back home, by golly. His bristled chin was hot tamale.

* Better try less speed per mile. That car may have to last a while.

* The wolf is shaved so neat and trim, Red Riding Hood is chasing HIM!

* Five star generals, privates first class look the same in a looking glass.

* Around the curve lickety-split. Beautiful car, wasn't it?

* Spring has come, the grass has ris' where last year's careless drivers is.

* These signs are not for laughs alone. The face they shave may be your own.

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

* Substitutes are like a girdle; they find some jobs they just can't hurdle.

* Substitutes can do more harm than city fellers on a farm.

* It gave MacDonald the needed charm. Hello, Hollywood, goodbye farm.

* If Crusoe'd kept more tidy his chin, he might have found a lady again.

* His tomato was the mushy type until his beard grew overripe.

* We can't supply you with a date, but we do supply the best darn bait.

* A beard that's tough and overgrown is better than a chaperone.

* Relief for faces chap-red and sore keeps them coming back for more.

* His Rose is wed, his Violet blew, sugar is sweet, but he took his cue.

* She put a bullet through his hat, but he's had closer shaves than that.

* We're widely read and badly quoted. But it's shaves, not signs, for which we're noted.

* Men who have to travel light find the two-bit tube just right.

* Feel your face as you drive by. Don't you think it's time to try . . .

* A shave that's real, no cuts to heal, a smooth and velvet after-feel.

* When you lay those few cents down, you've bought the finest shave in town.

* The wife who keeps on being kissed is always on our shopping list.

* A chin where barb-wired bristles stand is bound to be a no-man's land.

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