Life is Not Like a Box of Chocolates – Gump Reconsidered

January 1, 2017.


So a week or two ago, in the afternoon, I attended a CLE at PLI (continuing legal education at the practicing law institute) and on the way over I passed by the tourist restaurant Bubba-Gump Shrimp Co, and it occurred to me that life is not like a box of chocolates. Really nothing at all like a box of chocolates.

Gump claimed that life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get. People have insisted to me that in the past it WAS true that you never knew what you were going to get in any box of chocolates. This is not true now (everything is well-labeled, even a box of chocolates), but even if it were truer back then, you’d be mostly guaranteed to get something pretty Good nearly all of the time, which is not at all like Life. Maybe life is like a box of chocolates because if you hang onto a piece of chocolate for too long, it goes bad and rots, and it’s not good for anything anymore, and then it disintegrates into nothing. But really, that’s true of everything.

I thought about the guy who wrote the book on which Forrest Gump was based. His version of the character was roundly rejected by America. The movie version was beloved. I wondered how that made him feel. I assume he made a lot of money, so maybe it didn’t bother him.)

The law firm partner who ran the seminar showed us a film that he had written, directed and starred in, a legal thriller that illustrated various concepts about legal ethics. He was an ok actor most of the time. The direction and cinematography lacked pizazz. But it was impressive that he’d directed his own legal thriller while also working as a law firm partner and that he gave an ok performance. The framing device of the movie involved a lawyer who was always working late at the office who calls his little son at home and tells him a bedtime story about the big fraud case he’s working on. His little boy is a big fan of Russian classic literature, so the lawyer gives all the characters and corporations in the story Russian names. Then the action unfolds.

Thought I would tell you what I’ve been up to and what I’m thinking about.

Someone told me Christmas just came and went, but I don’t believe it. There doesn’t seem to be much peace or goodwill in the air. Maybe it’s just late this time.

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