Callista, Zeeko, and Burma Shave

I keep politics off these pages, but this morning over the Sunday Times, Larry said:

“I don’t usually read the Style section, but I have to find out what Callista’s hair style means.” Apparently, it means that she is more interested in control than beauty. I was intrigued, because I can’t remember Larry’s ever opening the Style section before. He’s not alone. Search for Callista Gingrich hair if you doubt me.  This was from The Stir, via Robin Givhan of The Daily Beast:

“Already, media estimates have put Mrs. Gingrich’s hair-care time at anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes a day.”

And that doesn’t include the time everyone spends thinking about her hair.

Callista’s process and hairspray are the subject of many articles, no need to link them here.

As for Larry’s hair, he has it cut by the Ukrainian barber, Zeeko, who finishes the process by turning Larry to the mirror and saying, “Now you are movie star again.”

Because you won’t find this information elsewhere, Larry uses a little Alberto VO5 after washing. He uses about a tube every two years. Talking about Alberto VO5  got us talking about Brylcream, (a little dab’l do ya) and the great Burma Shave jingles. The jingles were placed on signs, one line at a time, so you read them as you drove by. Larry used to see one growing up that was on the way to his home town:  He tried / To cross / As fast train neared / Death didn’t draft him / He volunteered / Burma-Shave.  A catalog of these jingles is available at Wikipedia. Many poets earned their living in advertising, including Lew Welch (mentioned earlier in these pages), whose most famous contribution was “Raid kills bugs dead,” succinct and poetic.

But all this talk about hair and advertising slogans gave me an idea for the Obama campaign: forget about the issues. Everyone’s bored and depressed. Run a contest called “Dressing Michelle,” in which common folk and designers compete to create the perfect outfits for a set of public events. Now that would generate some interest. They should submit jingles with their designs!

3 thoughts on “Callista, Zeeko, and Burma Shave

  1. Earlier this year I wrote this poem about my family’s first trip from Montana to Florida back in 1953. Not everyone who has read it ever heard of Burma Shave!

    Leaving Montana

    Behind the prairie sunlight
    steep black lines of the hills
    harsh, ancient, traced by heat waves
    sparse roads where
    sounds disappear into the dust.

    Dust so gritty, grey, a dry mist
    billowing behind us – its smell
    penetrates nose, eyes, sinuses
    lingers lingers
    as we head south
    with no plans to return.

    In those days, only Burma Shave
    offered relief in the form of silly poems
    spaced sentence by sentence,
    rhymed to make a perfect
    verse at 55mph.

    Cattle bones, greasy diners
    arrowheads, rattler skins along the macadam,
    all disappeared into that dust while we
    shouted out the lines whose product
    minty, cool, white, clean, somehow promised
    what Florida might give.

    Maureen Solomon

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