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1. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 17
May 04, 2020


The Mirror Rearview: Special Report # 17 An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye, a Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous sixteen reports. Sales tax collections from businesses in Laicos County have quickly evaporated, as well as taxes on lodging, car rental, local wages, and the deferral on payments for homeowner properties. Trey Easurer, the Laicos County Auditor, confirmed the County is hemorrhaging its operating reserves as staffing increased in the County, coupled with the signifi... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

2. COVID-19: A Micro Godzilla
April 30, 2020


COVID-19, certainly not to be taken lightly, has interrupted life as we know it including the international economy and other things interesting like visiting relatives, eating out, and other forms of socializing. Typical of people in crisis we’ve developed a herd mentality. The media and politicians, who as long as I can remember, have had 20-percent integrity, believability and credibility ratings exaggerate and spread panic; and suddenly we believe everything they bloviate. Go figure. To be more precise, the scribes insist on being called journalists, which they are NOT—in any sense of... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

3. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 16
April 13, 2020


The Mirror Rearview; Report # 16 An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye, a Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous fifteen reports. (April 13, 2020) This investigative reporter has learned that Laicos County Executive Alice N. Wonderland has ordered all television and radio stations in the County to focus coverage on “feel good” stories and avoid any reference to the number of deaths, hospitalizations, and confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Violations are subject to a $100,000 fine for the fir... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

4. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 15
April 03, 2020


Special Report # 15: Stephen P. Bye, correspondent for the Mirror Rearview. An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye, a Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous 14 reports for further background. (April 3, 2020) I’m back on the beat as an unpaid reporter for The Mirror Rearview after a twelve-month absence, while serving my sentence in prison. Thankfully, my attorney, Sue Yourbutt, took my case to the State Supreme Court, who ruled I was inappropriately arrested for expressing free speech ... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

5. ROLLER DERBY, POLITICS, and the NBA
March 02, 2020


This essay is about quality, or rather about the disintegration of quality in certain aspects of my life, much of it occurring since the end of the 1980s. I admit “quality” is in the perception of the beholder; that is, it varies from person to person. However, no matter how you cut it, QUALITY has two aspects. The first aspect is CONFORMANCE TO REQUIREMENTS; that is, whatever the product or service is; it must conform to whatever standards one requires as an individual or customer. To fall short of one’s expectations is to NOT have “quality”. The second aspect is DESIGN FEATURES. These ... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

6. Ballad of a Retired Goof-Off
February 01, 2020


Once again the sun defeated the moon as night gave way to dawn, which was the 29,088th time since my birth. Better still, I blinked awake (yes!), and joyfully realized I had another day to mess around. You see, I no longer take waking up for granted, especially since a friend, artist Ed Manetta, went to bed and never stirred again, and Uncle Kenny, fully dressed, sat in a chair to wait for Aunt Phyllis to get ready to go out for breakfast. That was the last time he closed his eyes. I wonder if Ed and Kenny even know they’ve left the domain of the quick? You know, they just nodded o... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

7. METAMORPHOSIS: Transformation of an Opinionated Man
January 10, 2020


AS GREGOR SAMSA AWOKE from unsettling dreams one morning, he found himself transformed into a monstrous vermin. --Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis Ever know anyone who has experienced a life-altering metamorphosis? Come to think of it, that’s probably a rhetorical question. Chances are we all have. The experience may not have been as extraordinary as that described by Franz Kafka, but to me, my particular creeping transformation is just as unwelcome as turning into Kafka’s giant bug. Read on… So, things being what they are, I’m in a brooding and reflective mood, y’know? Just between u... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

8. Political Correctness in Professional Team Nicknames
December 23, 2019


Political Correctness in Professional Sports Team Nicknames With the groundswell of political correctness rising from multiple tribes and polarized camps involving gender equality, politics, age discrimination, religion, and other mainstream issues, there is growing pressure to change the nicknames of several professional sports teams. Politics: Republicans vs. Democrats…Red vs. Blue. Several teams must change their colors or nicknames in order to avoid protests from opposite party voters. These include the St. Louis BLUES; Boston RED Sox, Washington REDskins; Detroit REDwings... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

9. KICKIN' IT ON ROUTE 66
November 10, 2019


So, I’m relaxing by listening to the George Shearing quintet, sipping an Old Fashioned, and recalling a telephone conversation I had several days ago with a lifelong friend who lives two hours away in Tucson. We reminisced about a time more than 50 years ago when we made the trip west to what was then the paradise of Southern California. The place has since turned into a colossal septic tank that continues to reek, deteriorate, and levy tax upon tax on its citizens to support illegals, crooked politicians; and anyone else who claims they need a (whine) sanctuary. I mean, the place catche... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

10. The Washington Nationals and DC Politics
November 01, 2019


The Washington Nationals and DC Politics How about the inspiring performance of the Washington Nationals, who “stayed in the fight” to become World Series champions? I must have missed Donald Trumps “Tweet” informing the world that he was solely responsible for the Nationals’ victory, claiming their success was solely derived from his political theme of “Nationalism.” Two former Major League Baseball teams in Washington were called the Senators. Although they did win the World Series in 1924, the adage about the former team’s record was “first in war, first in peace…and last in the A... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

11. LAST DANCE with the (faux) IRS
October 22, 2019


Recently, I wrote an essay entitled, SLIPPING AWAY, which was published by this online magazine. You know how you get those “I should have said” moments? Well, this blurb is one of those; that is, perhaps happenings I should have mentioned in that essay. There’s a Ben Sidran song performed by the NO NAMERS BAND called “Last Dance”, which is a metaphor for life’s conclusion with a pleasing jazz tune. Here’s the first and final verses: It’s your last dance / Your last chance / Find the one you came with / Make some romance / It’s your last dance, baby / Pretty soon we gotta go / We are here... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

12. Airplane Toilet Challenges (Part IV)
October 20, 2019


Airplane Toilets-The Future of Airplane Travel (Part IV) Further down the runway, the airplane industry will change the use of toilets as follows: 1) Airlines will soon charge a fee for using restrooms in the coach section by selling tokens in the gate waiting area. 2) In the toilets, three thin sheets of toilet paper will be released twice. The amount of soap allotted will be a small drop. The faucet water will be limited to one strike of the handle and only one tiny napkin will be dispensed by an automatic sensor. 3) Ultimately, toilets in coach section will be eliminated comple... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

13. SLIPPING AWAY
September 13, 2019


It had been one of those bad days; a day so bad you might not brush your teeth just to project halitosis on those around you. You know the kind I’m talking about; one of those out-of-kilter days when everything rubs you wrong; the kind of day that puts you into a greasy, black funk, and momentarily you don’t care whether or not you exist. Yeah, it was like that. For me that experience is extremely rare, yet there it was; the kind of day that double crosses in style, and forces you into a smile so it can kick you in the teeth. I was one step away from punting puppies, going around stepping on a... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

14. Airplane Toilet Challenges (Part III)
September 08, 2019


Airplane Toilet Challenges (Part III) After a long delay due to turbulence, a trip to the toilet in the rear of the plane can also be an adventure. After the seatbelt sign goes off, here’s what to do: 1) Act cool and roll your eyes when twenty people immediately rise and jostle for position in the toilet queue line. 2) Nonchalantly make your way back to the toilet twenty minutes later when the line subsides. 3) Curse at the clueless passengers who attempt to return to their seat and block your way to the toilet when they could simply duck into a vacant aisle seat. 4) Avoid touchin... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

15. Where Have the 58ers Gone?
August 06, 2019


I met Susan Joan Black Bacon in the sixth grade when she was just plain ol’ Susie Black. She was uncommonly tall with short black hair, and like many adolescents (myself included), a bit gawky. At that period in time, parents in my hometown got bamboozled into entering kids my age, and a year or two on the other side, into a weekly ballroom dance class called Cotillion. Boys had to wear coats and ties, and girls, nice dresses. Parents also suggested we pop Clorets in our pie holes (radio jingle: Chew Clorets, the gum delicious. It makes your breath kissing sweet) to avoid offending our partner... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

16. Airline Toilet Challenges (Part II)
August 02, 2019


Airplane Toilet Challenges (Part II) How often have you had the urge to pee on an airplane when the attendants block the aisles behind your row with service carts? Obviously, the only option is to use the first-class toilet. However, one problem…the purser has drawn the curtain that separates the cabins. Here are the recommended steps: 1) Tug the curtain aside, acting confident like you’re a first-class passenger. 2) When the purser becomes confrontational, point at the service carts blocking your path to the rear restrooms. 3) Patiently listen to the purser’s lecture about the pri... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

17. LIGHT ANOTHER CANDLE
July 08, 2019


Happy Birthday to me! (Well, that was almost a month ago, and I’ve been procrastinating about writing this essay ever since.) That’s right, June 12 was the big day, and I ponder the miracle. Not the marvel that I’m still alive. I chalk that up to good genes, and a healthy and active lifestyle. I seem to be a pretty robust dude—so far anyway. No, I’m thinking of the miracle that I was even born—had a birthday. Think of it. Parents had to feel amorous at just the right time, and one of 100,000 to 400,000 eggs that contained future me had to be selected. Nine months later I saw a white light... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

18. Airplane Toilet Challenges (Part I)
May 30, 2019


Airplane Toilet Challenges (Part I) Most of you have flown on an airplane at some point in your life and probably had to use the toilet facilities on a flight. Most of the older planes were better designed for travelers, however, as time has passed, the airlines have added more rows, shrunk the seat widths, eliminated a potty or two, and shrunk the size of the restroom. They might as well post a sign outside the toilet door… “skinny folks only”. Have you ever rushed to the gate to board a plane and didn’t have time for a last restroom stop? And then, how often is your plane held in t... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

19. Baseball...America's Favorite Nap-time
March 31, 2019


Baseball…America’s Favorite Nap-time The long, boring Major League baseball season has started and once again, the old fogies who control the rules rejected ideas about speeding up the sport…so baseball still barely edges out watching paint dry or grass grow in a list of most exciting events. The committee has some new concepts, but use Spring Training games or the minor leagues to test the ideas. I predict that one minor change will be adopted over the next twenty years. Team owners, however, are very content to maintain outdated rules to ensure that games continue at an excruciatingly s... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

20. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 14
March 17, 2019


Report # 14: An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye, a former Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous thirteen reports on the seven-month history of the transformation that has occurred in Laicos County. March 17, 2019: I now write as an independent blogger, as I was terminated last week as a correspondent for the Mirror Rearview by their backward-looking ownership group. The Mirror Rearview readers supposedly indicated that my reflective columns violated the paper’s motto, “The Mirror neve... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

21. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 13
February 14, 2019


Report # 13; An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye; Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous twelve reports on the six-month history of the transformation that has occurred at the three Laicos County public golf courses. (February 14) After several days roaming the streets of Laicos County I gathered candid comments about the recent decisions by the Laicos County Commissioners on the golf course operations and the new adopted tax measures. The following are direct quotes from answers to a fe... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

22. SOCIALIST PARADISE?
February 09, 2019


Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others have stepped up as crusaders in advocating that our constitutional republic (No, it’s not a democracy!) become a socialist economy. They spin it as “Democratic Socialism”. Now there’s a combination of two bad ideas. Like that’s really worked well over the centuries (snicker). I doubt that there’s a more shining example of governmental failure than socialism and its big brother, communism. However, in light of the so-called progressive (actually regressive) elitists and their fawning cadre, recall Nikita Khrushchev said in 1... (read more)

Author: Gene Myers

23. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 12
January 31, 2019


Special Report # 12; An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye; Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous eleven reports on the six-month history of the transformation that has occurred at the three Laicos County public golf courses. (January 31, 2019) Yesterday afternoon, Alice N. Wonderland held a press conference to announce the steps the Laicos County Commissioners approved for dealing with the on-going losses at the three County golf operations, as well as recapturing the twenty million doll... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

24. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 11
January 12, 2019


Special Report # 11; An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye; Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous ten reports on the five-month history of the transformation that has occurred at the three Laicos County public golf courses. (January 12, 2019) The Laicos County Commissioners held a public hearing earlier this week at the Laicos County Auditorium after an audit revealed that over twenty million dollars have been spent by the County on improvements made at the three public golf courses. It w... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye

25. The Mirror Rearview; Report # 10
December 23, 2018


Special Report # 10; An on-going series from Stephen P. Bye; Correspondent for the Mirror Rearview, a fictional newspaper in Laicos County, an imaginary USA municipality. Please refer to the previous nine reports on the five-month history of the transformation that has occurred at the Laicos County public golf courses. (December 23, 2018): The Laicos County Commissioners held an emergency meeting last night to discuss several measures to stem the rapidly declining revenues at the three County golf courses. Operating losses have also mounted recently, especially since the implementation of... (read more)

Author: Stephen Bye



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