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Same as it ever was . . .

You know that thing that happens in science-fiction, where somebody goes through a portal and ends up in a parallel universe? It happens in Stargate all the time. You walk through a wall of blue jelly and there you are, back home, except it’s not really back home at all, is it? You may find yourself behind the wheel of your large automobile, outside your beautiful house. There’s your beautiful wife, the very same as when you left, but something isn’t quite right. Your stereo is a little different and you ask yourself, How do I work this? Your garage seems to be in the wrong place and you may ask yourself, Where is that large automobile? Or the colour of the kitchen wall is a little off, a little different than when you left, and you say to your beautiful wife, Honey, did you paint this? Your beautiful wife says, Why no, Honey, I didn’t. And you may tell yourself, This is not my beautiful house!

Letting the days go by, it all seems so idyllic, yet you can’t escape that nagging feeling. Letting the days go by, sometimes you wonder, Am I right, am I wrong? You begin to wonder where that highway goes. You stroll out to your beautiful fish-pond with its thousand-year-old Koi carp, and you stare into the silent water under the rocks and stones.

The little clue that gives the game away is when you see your brother, Gronk, reflected in the water and now you remember. You don’t have a brother called Gronk. You don’t have a brother at all, and certainly not one who is half man, half turnip.

My God, you cry, what have I done?

I’m having that sort of experience lately. I seem to have arrived in a strangely familiar, but unnervingly different reality, and I think I might have wondered through one of those jelly portal things without realising it. In my home world, you couldn’t imagine the Provos voting to support the Peelers. The Flintstones would never tolerate anyone singing God Save the Queen in Croke Park. But here’s the real clincher for me: in this ludicrous universe I’ve blundered into, Scunthorpe United are at the top of League One.

Ah, come on now. Gimme a break!