Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo has been down the past day or so with some kind of stomach bug.  In my opinion, there is no worse combination than feeling hungry, nauseous, and stopped up all at the same time.  Bleh.

I mention this not out of self-pity, but so that I can raise a glass to Sleepy Beth, who, in commenting on my recent post griping about Mrs. R hustling me into getting the flu shot, said, “Oh, you may *think* her “I told you so” has been nullified, but you’re likely wrong. Instead, if you get sick, it’ll be the “Just think how bad it could have been if you didn’t get your flu shot.”

Damme if that isn’t exactly what Mrs. R said this morning.  Cheers, Ma’am!

Anyhoo, to while away the time, I’ve picked up Stephen W. Sears’ Chancellorsville (As of now, it’s late afternoon on May 2 and Jackson is about to launch his flank attack on hapless Otis Howard.)  While I’ve read it several times before, it’s been a few years, and I’m finding the book crisp, clear, and insightful in ways I’d forgotten.

I’m also finding myself entertaining a question, buried deep down in the recesses of my braims but nonetheless clearly present: What if Hooker WINS this time?

I’m not talking about Alt History and its useless yet pleasant debates about What Might Have Been.  I mean that as I read this book about this particular factual occurrence, part of my mind is given over to the slim possibility that the words on the page might somehow be different than they were before.

This fancy isn’t reserved for historickal works either.  I frequently experience the same thing when rereading a piece of fiction, too.  (To give but a single example, I’m always afraid that Théoden, upon seeing the siege of Minas Tirith, really might turn around and slink off into the hills.)  And as I think about it, I also get the same sensation when re-watching a favorite movie.  (Curiously, I never, ever think a piece of musick is going to suddenly go off in some different direction the Nth time I hear it.)

On the one hand, this sensation annoys and slightly worries me, since it’s pretty close to somebody or other’s definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

On the other, Ol’ Robbo has the habit of reading and watching his favorites many, many times (else they wouldn’t be favorites), and it does keep things fresh and entertaining.

Well, you can call it willful suspension of disbelief or else creeping madness.  (The Old Gentleman used to make snide comments about “fuzzy-headed English majors” and the Mothe often flat-out told me I’m a loony.) I suppose if it confines itself to reading for pleasure, it’s harmless enough.  If I show signs of trying to apply it in Real Life (“That red light is actually green; I now identify as a fourteen year old girl”), then somebody please summon those nice young men in their clean white coats.