This story has been updated.
On Monday, Aug. 21, as millions of Americans within the path of the rare total solar eclipse tune in to the celestial spectacle, one Georgia sheriff warns onlookers to prepare for the end of the world.
In a hilarious Facebook post shared Thursday, the Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office shared a special announcement from Sheriff Scott Berry likening the eclipse to “the end of life on this planet as we know it.”
“As your Sheriff I expect each of you to begin panicking today. There is no need to wait til Sunday night to buy bread and milk,” Berry said. “If you wait, the only thing left will be potted meat and knock off brand cereal with such names as ‘RaisinO's’ and ‘CheeriBran.’”
While Berry’s comments are hysterical (and mostly nonsensical), there’s a bit of truth in some of them.
No, the world isn’t expected to end and no, smoking and drinking while pregnant (during the eclipse or ever) won’t prevent swollen ankles or “grouchiness.”
But as Berry said in the post, your sunglasses will certainly not protect you during the eclipse.
Instead, make sure you grab a pair of NASA-approved eclipse glasses or solar viewers to enjoy the magic safely.
This isn’t the first time the Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office has posted witty comments on Facebook to make readers chuckle.
In December 2015, Berry’s office heeded this piece of advice for coping with the sleety streets:
“If you intend to drive the speed limit on ice covered roads, please go out and run your car into a tree now instead of waiting to do it AFTER it snows and my deputies have to stand in the ice to work your crash.”
Around the same time, Oconee’s Chief Deputee Lee Weems posted an important message to help folks understand what really constitutes “immediate” attention.
But while Sheriff Berry and the Oconee department have been lauded for their humor, Berry shared a controversial post in May after Montana Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte allegedly body slammed a reporter ahead of the May 25 special election.
“To paraphrase Augustus McCrae, it ain’t much of a crime whacking a surly reporter,” Berry wrote.
Augustus McCrae is a major character in Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove,” a 1985 western novel following the adventures of a group of retired Texas Rangers.
To his credit, Sheriff Berry debated back and forth with critics on his Facebook page.
“Invade the personal space of most folks, even from Montana and find out how they react to it,” the sheriff wrote. “It didn’t rise to shooting or stabbing him, but he got shoved on his ass and that solved the issue.”
But it all turns out, according to the audio recording and witnesses in the room, that the congressman’s initial story was what covers much of Montana — BS! Even the Fox News people who witnessed the incident were horrified.
The congressman was the bigger jerk. And the (alleged) criminal.
Still, the sheriff remained undeterred, saying the only thing the reporter “had to do was be prepared to accept the consequences of NOT getting out of the congressman’s grill. As expected he is whining and complaining about it.”
Well, I’m not whining. But Berry, as a lawman, needs to be a bit more like someone who supports … um, The Law.