“You never know what you’re gonna get.”
There is room for argument in this statement, because the first thing that I do when I get a box of chocolates is read the map. However, I don’t know if I’m going to like any of the flavors. Plus, if for some reason I am distracted, I am likely to lose my place and forget which way to hold the map. So really, you might THINK you know what you’re going to get, but you really don’t. And what if for some reason the machines were malfunctioning that day and all the chocolates were filled with the same disgusting toothpaste flavor? Then you’re totally screwed.
So is life really like a box of chocolates in the sense that you cannot predict what you are going to get when you pick something out of the box? Yes. There are too many factors at play to make an accurate prediction of what’s going to come out of the box and into your mouth.
But what if we could control the outcomes with 100% certainty.
Say, for instance, we were able to actually label each individual chocolate piece with some kind of edible writing to make sure that we know for a fact what flavor each one was before we ingested it. That sounds like a great idea, right? No need for that flimsy map that has the potential to rip while you’re fighting over it or getting lost by a negligent cousin who doesn’t understand its importance and never puts things back where they go. Things have their place! Anyway, the edible writing sounds great in theory, but it just gives way to more problems. What if you can’t read? What if your sweetheart is also your literacy coach, and he or she has a busy schedule and doesn’t have time to walk you through each chocolate before it’s time to return to work at the steel mill? Well this just puts you right back at square one where you’re playing Russian roulette and in one of those chambers . . . there’s the toothpaste one.
So the edible writing is out. But what if all the chocolates where all cut in half before they were boxed? Surely that would work. You can view what’s inside each chocolate so you’ll successfully avoid the toothpaste one AND there are two pieces to share so you can taste test together when your sweetheart gets off from working a double (plus you know they’re not going to wash their hands before, even though you have asked them on several occasions to be considerate of your feelings and how you don’t like the taste of metal on your food). But sadly, this attempt at a solution just creates more problems. The cost of chocolate will go up, for sure. Cutting each individual piece in half is not an easy job, and if you’re going to meet the demand for boxed chocolates especially around Valentine’s Day, you will need to hire more chocolate cutters and pay them well. Unions will likely become involved, demanding better working conditions and more affordable insurance for the cutters. Obviously you’ll try to outsource to other countries where chocolate cutters are willing to work longer hours and for different types of income like cattle and firewood, but then you have to worry about shipping the chocolate to and from these places. That can get dangerous. Between airplanes randomly going missing and pirates attacking the chocolate trade throughout the Pacific, it’s really not worth it.
So as we think back to this famous quote, we really shouldn’t overthink it. With life as with a box of chocolates, you never REALLY know what it is you’re going to get when you reach in for a bite. The thing is that sometimes, to your own horror, you’re gonna pick the toothpaste one, and you’re going to bite into it gleefully thinking it was the caramel one. And that visceral reaction, that look on your face, that’s what it’s all about, because when you do find that one flavor, that one that you hoped to find before your sweetheart does because it’s your favorite and there’s only one of that kind in the box, all the toothpaste chocolates will have been worth it.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Silver Screen.”