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Bicycles, traffic circles, cats and fellow passengers

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

To put the following in the proper framework, realize I long ago said, “A bad day in Atlanta traffic beats the best day I ever spent in a hospital.” I am here to affirm that, but every once in a while a few things get under my skin.

First up are adults on bicycles on the highways. They are particularly bad where I live. They travel in swarms and violate the traffic laws everyone else follows. I would put an age limit on bicycles – no one over 12 is allowed to own one.

Now, if I remember correctly, already long ago I wrote about this. At the time, a reader from Lynchburg rode his bicycle all the way to The HCP headquarters in beautiful downtown Hillsboro in protest of my viewpoint, which has hardened since those days.

Now, lest my dear Mennonite friends think I am going to transfer my angst here to their horses, fear not. You, dear friends, obey the traffic laws to the best of my knowledge and your ability. These bicyclists are insolent, overbearing and defy an automobile driver to get within 100 feet of them. Plus, they convince our government to have all of us pay for their stupid bicycle lanes.

Traffic circles – these symbols of liberal progressive thinking are making me sick – literally. I was in Appleton, Wisc., a couple of weeks ago. It is not uncommon there to encounter three traffic circles ("roundabouts") in a row.

If you have ever ridden those blasted “teacups” at any Disney property, the sensation is the same. Note to self – pack Dramamine for next trip to Wisconsin. I would stop going, but we have some excellent clients (all clients are excellent) there. If your mayor gets the bright idea to put a traffic circle at the intersection of Main and High, tell him that is an impeachable offense.

We had a neighbor move into our subdivision a couple of years ago and immediately turn a big old tomcat lose in our neighborhood without asking anyone. I hate cats.

This thing saunters across our front porch as if he owned the place. I have had evil thoughts about a special treat but thought better of it. My next best hope is the hawk that has invaded our neighborhood. He has been seen snatching squirrels out of the trees. Perhaps he’ll set his sights on a bigger prey.

I come by this one naturally. In his old age, my dad lived in Springboro and was trying to raise a garden, except the squirrels were eating better than he was. Things got better after a while. I found out he had been feeding the squirrels D-Con.

On the way to aforementioned trip to Appleton, I was sitting in my seat, minding my own business, when an arm reached around between my seat and the plane’s fuselage and pulled down my window shade. I could not believe it.

You need to understand I am very territorial (more later). I select window seats so I can control the window shade; if you want to control the window shade, you pick a window seat. I quickly turned around and faced a young mother who said the sun was shining in her child’s face. Have you ever noticed the entitlement attitude first-time mothers have about the care of their children? I am sorry, your child is beautiful, but I didn’t have anything to do with the decision or actions necessary to have and raise your child. This village is not responsible for raising your obviously beautiful and highly intelligent offspring.

I am old. Get off my grass.

I have had requests that I write about my trip to Singapore in February. That’s coming. Fairly soon. I promise. As a preview, the items I have mentioned above would likely have resulted in caning of the offenders in Singapore. A great country.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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