Isn’t that what life’s about, a good mix of the usual and the unusual ? (with a little preference for the latter, as far as I am concerned – but you don’t have to share my views on that). This is not about opposing the planned and the unexpected, as you might think it is ; rather, and however paradoxical it may seem, it is about merging the unusual with the planned. Planning the unusual ; that’s the challenge. If you are able to do it, then you can have a real taste of good life.
That’s indeed my idea of a good life. At least, that’s the one I offered Sam, my childhood friend and an unconditional adherent to the eternal recurrence of the same, one afternoon of last week. I was trying to convince him to take, from time to time, a jump into the unknown, so as to add some spice to his admittedly humdrum – though reassuring – lifestyle, when he retorted: “A jump into the unknown with indeterminate contours; is that your definition of pleasure?” No, I said; that’s exactly what it is not. On the contrary, I sustain that the secrets of pleasure are in our capacity to plan for the unusual.
Such an assertion calls for backup to take it from rhetoric to fact. Which is not an easy thing to do with a true skeptic like Sam. Exceptional things he has seen only on TV (he knows little about cinema, and nothing about theatre!) And what’s more, he mixes up plan and forecast. “The unusual is by nature unpredictable”, he said triumphantly; and he added that “chances were equal for the surprise to be nice or dreadful”. However much I tried to explain that plan and forecast did not mean the same, he wouldn’t see the difference. It just wouldn’t do.
I had to quickly come up with a compelling argument to beat his skepticism. Some example that would serve as a good demonstration. And I finally found one.
Hey, I told him, this is what we’re going to do. Do you know Le Tremplin (The Diving-board)? No, he says; he thinks he’s heard someone mention it but he doesn’t know it. Le Tremplin is a trendy joint, if a little strait-laced, that serves good food and the music’s cool. How about going there tonight with, say … and I serve him the names of three guys and five gals – all life lovers -, one of whom I know he has a soft spot for, and propose to go there and shake the bourgeois. “Drop it, he says ; nice try, but can’t do”. Why not ? Because, he says, can’t do on such short notice. Never mind, leave that to me.
Like a shot, I pulled my smartphone and logged into my fetish app, TipMeOut, then sent a geolocated message to all concerned. Ten minutes later, all except one had confirmed, and our table was booked. To cut it short, we had a wonderful time, peaking with a totally mad karaoke session, with all the customers singing on the tables. And the bourgeois were not the least excited of all. Needless to say that this was an evening Sam will never forget.
And by the way, he called me earlier today and told me that tonight he’s dating the girl of his dreams.
Plus he has downloaded TipMeOut.