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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Wednesday, May 29 2002


The interest in the current series of Burma Shave signs appearing in our humor corner suggests that not all commercial messages are as despicable as many of us tend to think. David Caldwell some time back shared a collection of commercial memories from our common past, if we're of a certain age, and television hour-long special programs comprised of collections of "funniest commercials" have often proven more worth watching than the competing fare.

Is Burma Shave still marketed? Does anyone still buy shaving cream? Having received a Norelco as a gift before beginning to shave, I’ve never shaved with a blade, so I'm not a keen observer of such data. But if my daily hours of TV tuning-in is indicative, the advertising of any shave creams or shaving soaps has gone the way of the roadside Burma Shave signs.

The interest in the Burma Shave series is primarily nostalgic. They're generally not so clever or profound as to arrest our attention for longer than it takes to read them, but those of us who remember stopping our conversations in the car to read the signs aloud on finding them on the highway like being reminded. There's something of Glenn Miller's music and Alfred Hitchcock's movies, not to mention the Jack Benny radio shows, about them.

Lots of my commercial memories go back to radio days. Duz washing detergent was so ingrained in our family's awareness that my brother Gary got a nickname, "Guz," from it. I can almost hear the jingle still, though it was probably when I was four or five years old that I last heard it. The jingle spelled out D-u-z repeatedly, as was often the case of network radio commercials. A-n-a-c-i-n was most likely the first word I could spell. Lifebouy was pink, sweet and unique smelling, the number two bath and face soap after Ivory, at least in commercial exposure in radio days. Unlike Proctor & Gamble's Ivory, Lever Brothers' Lifebouy didn't seem to make the transition to television. Like the shaving creams, it also fell by the wayside, now supplanted by Unilever by Dove and Lever2000. But so much was Lifebouy a part of my childhood that by the time of my first trip to Europe, where it was then still marketed, finding it again was a treat.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Burma Shavers (continued)

***Burma Shave***

  —Sent by Bob Kennedy

Thought for the day

Bumper sticker: The one who dies with the most toys, wins.
Rejoinder: The one who dies with the most toys, still dies.
Revised bumper sticker: The one who dies with the most toys should put me in his will.

Seen en route

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