Lagniappe in Suspension

A few years ago, my wife introduced me to a term I’d probably heard before, but did not quite understand: amuse-bouche. She introduced the term to me as we sat in a Mexican restaurant and were served a very nice snack before we had even seen the menu.  It was a first for me; well, a first in a Mexican restaurant.

When I learned the phrase for that little surprise, a term that referred to a complimentary bite-sized hors d’œuvre, I equated the phrase roughly with another term, lagniappe, which arose, as I understand it, from a Louisiana French bastardization of an American Spanish term, la ñapa. La ñapa is, like lagniappe, a little something extra or a bonus.

While amuse-bouche  is a term whose usage is, as far as I know, limited to food, I can imagine (rightly or wrongly) that lagniappe may have at one time (and perhaps still does) referred to precisely the same thing.  Considering that lagniappe is a term I always associate with New Orleans and, especially, with Mardi Gras, and considering Mardi Gras is a heavily focused on food and drink, it just makes sense.  But this is just supposition; I haven’t researched it and don’t plan to for the moment.

Now that the old pickup has gone on to greener pastures, I’m taking the Camry in to another garage this morning; I’m trying a different Toyota dealership.  I’m no longer quite as enamored as I once was with my trusted mechanic, because the clunking noises in the front end have never really been “fixed” despite the expenditure of a small boatload of money on the car.   I tried another Toyota dealer, figuring their mechanics have been trained to find and fix Toyota problems; after a quick test-drive, that dealership said I needed new parts that I just had replaced, PLUS I needed a bunch of other stuff…for only $4950, my front suspension would be as good as new!  Ha!

So, I’m trying another place.  I drop the beast off at 7:00 a.m. and they promise to give me a ride home.  It will be up to me to make my way back later in the day (or whenever it’s fixed). Fortunately, there’s  a bus route near my house that will  take me to within half a mile of the dealership, so getting back won’t be too much of a problem.  I just hope the Toyota mechanic doesn’t have any other “little extras” to tell me about, beyond the suspension issues.  And I hope to have the car fixed, once and for all, without laying out the cost of a late model replacement.

There are many words I could use to describe my experiences with auto mechanics of late, but amuse-bouche and lagniappe aren’t among them.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Lagniappe in Suspension

  1. juan says:

    There’s always “little extras”! 😉

  2. Larry Zuckerman says:

    Interesting and amusing.

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