You’ve heard about Paul Bunyan, the greatest lumberjack of all time. And you’ve heard about Pecos Bill, the greatest cowboy.
Now let me tell you about Slappy Hooper, the world’s biggest, fastest, bestest sign painter.
You’d better believe Slappy was biggest! Why, he was seven feet tall with shoulders to match, and he weighed three hundred pounds, even without his cap and coverall and brush and bucket.
And fastest? Just give him an eight‑inch brush. Slip! slop! slap! The job was done—and so smooth, you’d never see a brush stroke.
And you bet Slappy was bestest! That was on account of his pictures. No one else ever made them so true to life.
In fact, some folks said they were too true to life.
Slappy’s trouble started with the huge red rose he painted on the sign for Rose’s Florist Shop.
“Slappy, it’s so real!” said Miss Rose Red, the owner. “Why, I can just about smell the fragrance!”
But a week later, Rose Red fluttered into Slappy’s sign shop.
“Slappy, that sign of yours was too good. The bees got wind of it and swarmed all over that rose, trying to get in. They scared away all my customers! That was bad enough, but wait till you see what’s happened now!”
When they reached the florist shop, Slappy saw that the bees were gone. But the rose had withered and died.
“No one buys from a florist with a withered flower on her sign,” said Rose Red. “That’s the last thing you’ll paint for me, Slappy Hooper!”