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Driving down a country road, you run into a swarm of bees. You don’t just duly take note of it; the whole situation is immediately placed in perspective by a swarm of “replays” that crowd into your mind. Typically, you think: “Sure I am lucky my window wasn’t open!” — or worse, the reverse: “Too bad my window wasn’t closed!”. “Lucky I wasn’t on my bike!”; “Too bad I didn’t come along five seconds earlier”. Strange but-possible replays: “If that had been a deer, I could have been killed!”; “I bet those bees would have rather had a collision with a rosebush”. Even stranger replays: “Too bad those bees weren’t dollar bills!”; “Lucky those bees weren’t made of cement!”; “Too bad it wasn’t just one bee instead of a swarm”; “Lucky I wasn’t the swarm instead of being me”.

What slips naturally and what doesn’t — and why?

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