Maybe some of us in 2017 are really just too clueless to care.

Maybe that’s why we have idiotic government warnings and almost-rhyming messages and idiotic governments to match.

Just consider some of those annoying rhyming mantras perpetuated into our brain’s dark side – those chants we wish we could erase from memory, but simply cannot.

One of the latest that I’ve heard is something that goes “Don’t lie for the other guy.”

This clearly gender offensive slogan is aimed (pun intended) at those who would purchase firearms (and, presumably, ammunition) for a man convicted of a crime – and thus on a firearms disability.

In this present era of political correctness run amok, “Don’t lie for the other guy” is a most offensive message brought to you by your government. (At taxpayers’ expense, naturally.)

“Don’t lie for the other guy” assumes that only a man would ask someone to buy a gun illegally.

The very least the bought-and-paid-for bureaucratic poetasters could do would be to mix up the message with a rotating “Don’t be shady for the other lady” commercial. Is that too much to ask?

Some of the very worst of these Longfellowian lyrics come from the various state departments of transportation. They include:

• “Click it or ticket.” Whoever dreamed that one up probably received a free blacktopped driveway in addition to his government pension – both at someone else’s expense.

• “Ice and snow, take it slow.” The first submission was “Snow and ice, let’s be nice.”

• “Don't crowd the plow.” The earlier option was “Don’t plow the crowd,” but the higher-ups didn’t have much of a sense of humor.

• “Don’t drink and drive.” (Don’t even chip or putt.)

Not to be overshadowed by the highway departments, the natural resources folks have their own little ditties, such as “Don’t burn during the day in March, April and May,” otherwise known as “Light at night,” “Spark at dark” and “Fire in the sky only in July.”

These slogans don’t stop at the state and federal levels, either. There’s even one called “Think globally, act locally” or "Think global, act local.” As near as I can figure, this is to suggest that if you “burn during the day in May, someone in a beret might cough in the Bay of Biscay. Can’t have that, don’t you say?

Sadly, these government and industry warnings didn’t just happen last night when some of us were trying to sleep. Almost 17 years ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote that “Corporate America covers its hindquarters by making the world safe for stupidity.”

Government follows in much the same fashion. So do voters, which explains a lot.

Meanwhile, there is, however, one government warning for motorists from an Interstate highway message board in Iowa – courtesy of USA Today – that I do appreciate: “Get your head out of your Apps.”

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HHS freshman twins
playing for All-Ohio team

On a more positive note, we learned last week that two Hillsboro High School freshmen girls have recently qualified for one of the All-Ohio elite basketball teams.

Twin sisters Kayden and Kira Watson are playing in the All-Ohio Wolves program, according to Courts 4 Sports Director and Coach Jay Etter.

The current team roster includes the Watson twins and Sydney Carter, Sydni Reeling, McKenzie Avery, Isabell Hathaway, Hannah Carlin, Bella Dunn, Allison Grake, Emily Adams and Kaylah Forland.

According to Courts 4 Sports ( “It is the mission of the Wolves Elite AAU Basketball Program to provide quality leadership, instruction and competition for student-athletes in a non-recreational, tournament style program. Athletes will get the opportunity to play with and against the highest level of competition, playing time will be earned during practices, those who work hard and show they have the ability will get playing time.”

Sounds like a good program. All the best to the Hillsboro freshmen.

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• In closing on a more serious note, longtime HCP columnist and Hillsboro High School graduate Jim Thompson will be suspending his popular weekly column for the first time in years.

I spoke with Jim today. He was in Emory Hospital in Atlanta, beginning yet another round of treatments to combat lymphoma. This is the third time Jim has had to undergo these treatments. He’s done well thus far, and I hope to report the same in a few months.

Jim will not be happy with me for reporting on his present predicament. But as a believer in the power of prayer, I am asking for yours for my friend.

In spite of what a few readers have inaccurately surmised from Jim’s occasional irascibility on all things politic, I can assure you that Jim Thompson is a scholar, a gentleman and a class act. He truly is. For Jim, I have nothing but appreciation and admiration. Except for the time he ate my apple pie at the Hillsboro Frisch’s. I think he planned that little episode.

Get well soon, my friend.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.