Le système D.
luh see-STEM DAY.
The “D System”.
Let’s say you succeeded in accomplishing some near-impossible task–tickets for a sold-out concert (or the crosstown classic, Cubs vs. Sox), or a brand-new Gucci purse for $5, or the new impossible-to-find toy everyone wants for their kid. People want to know, Comment tu as réussi ça? (kuh-MAH tew ah ray-ew-see SAH? How did you pull that off?) You have a secret. But you don’t want to give it up. What do you say to explain yourself?
Le système D. Accompanied by an apparently modest shrug of one shoulder, a self-deprecating little upside-down smile…Body language tells the rest of the story!
The D stands for débrouillage (day-broo-YAZH), figuring it out, or some such meaning. And it’s oh, so French. Being highly independent as a people (if one may make a cultural generalization that many French people are proud of) and not necessarily feeling bound by laws and rules that get in the way, le système D is a popular way of getting things done. You find a way. You pull some strings, break minor rules, jaywalk, find a rummage sale, barter…whatever it takes, as long as it isn’t seriously illegal.
The goal is not to get into trouble (quite the contrary), but to get things done. The joy of the hunt is in the chase!