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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Burma Shave Law


So, sometimes, just before the Lovely Carla and I fluff up our pillows, turn lights out, and head for dreamland, we encourage each other to "get an answer." You see, we believe in prophetic, or visionary dreams, eventhough, they are a rare commodity, few and far between.

Well, last night, I had one. Or at least that's how I'm interpreting it this morning. It was a real Moses/Burning Bush moment. I was bathed in light, and in conversation with a faceless, bodyless being. Or no, I can't really say it was a being, it was just a voice, a big booming voice (sort of reminded me of Charleton Heston's voice when he played Moses in Cecil B. Demille's campy classic "The Ten Commandments"), and this voice boomed out above my head, and at the same time a placard, a big, bright, shiny placard with one line, appeared before me, which read as follows: THE BURMA SHAVE LAW: NEVER LOOK BACK!

That's it. I looked at the placard, did a double-take, repeated the words to myself, and then it vanished, the placard and voice were gone, and well, I was left to fend for myself.

Now I realize the message itself isn't really all that prophetic or visionary, I mean, there's nothing radical, or new, or mind-altering about it. And well, I actually rarely do look back. I do my best to live in the moment, it's there where we are truly alive, but the manner in which it was delivered was quite impressive, very theatrical, and well I guess it's the whole presentation that had an impact on me.

Plus, to call it the Burma Shave Law, that's clever. I mean, Burma Shave was a product that had a unique marketing approach that kind of became famous in the 1950's. There were a series of road signs spaced along a highway, each with a few words and then finally the payoff. You cannot read these backwards. You must always be looking ahead. Or well, you must always be present, in the moment to make any sense of anything. Anyway here's two examples, in a way, they're little Burma haikus:

SOAP
MAY DO
FOR LADS WITH FUZZ
BUT SIR, YOU AIN'T
THE KID YOU WUZ
BURMA SHAVE

A WHISKERY KISS
FOR THE ONE
YOU ADORE
MAY NOT MAKE HER MAD
BUT HER FACE WILL BE SORE
BURMA SHAVE

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