Last night I read the real, adult (not XXX, but grown-up) version of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle. I had a revelation about this vintage story that falls into the category of “pentetrating glimpse into the obvious.” That’s not my term, but a former school teacher’s, Thomas Cooke. My term is “a cucumber moment,” named after my own discovery, very late in life, that pickles are pickled cucumbers.

So here’s my latest insight into the universe: Rip Van Winkle was Dutch. For some unknown reason the character’s last name, “Van Winkle,” never tripped any alarms in my head. As long-time readers of this blog know, I keep a close eye on the pernicious influence of Dutch.

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