Do you know the word lagniappe? It’s an American French (think Louisiana) word. From my perusal of dictionary definitions it refers to a bonus “something” given to a customer when they are making a purchase. It’s now used in broader terms and refers to any unexpected bonus that comes with something else.
I’m glad I looked it up! I’ve liked the sound of the word since first hearing it and sometimes it’s just floating around up there in my head for no reason. But now I realize that my understanding of the definition as simply “an unexpected gift” was somewhat incorrect.
On Thursday afternoon, J.B. headed out with the sanctuary truck to pick up the weekly produce, which was much needed because the fridges were looking quite bare with the glowing exception of a particular fruit that I believe Anthony will be writing about tomorrow.
I want to say that the filling up of our fruit fridge was a lagniappe, but that would be using that unique word incorrectly – it was just a wonderful and unexpected gift.
In the middle of a zoom call after J.B. had left to get produce, I got a call from him on my phone. I decided I should answer it because it was strange that he was calling me just 20 minutes after leaving. I rudely existed the view of my computer camera with no explanation and took his call. Indeed, my intuition was correct. The truck had an issue and he was parked on the side of the highway. There would be no produce run that day.
Instead, after the truck was towed and I picked up J.B., he made a quick jaunt to the local grocery store to hold the chimps’ over until the truck was fixed and he could do the full produce run this afternoon.
To my surprise, one of the produce items he brought back was corn. Corn! In February! This was indeed a lagniappe. Oh wait, no – that’s using the word incorrectly again.
Nevertheless, the chimpanzees were delighted with this unexpected gift:
Jody got two ears because Jamie was at first very focused on the mini sweet peppers at lunch, putting her ear of corn down near the watchful eyes of Jody. Jamie was okay with Jody taking it, but decided later she did in fact want some (maybe the sounds of all of the delightful crunching by her friends made her change her mind). If you are on Instagram, go to our page to see a little video clip of Jody crunching her double lagniappe gift.
Everything worked out in the end because Foxie rejected her corn full stop. So, I gave Jamie Foxie’s ear of corn and I gave Foxie Jamie’s carrot.
Jamie took her corn up to the top window for some private dining.
Honey B, Mave, and Willy B got their corn for dinner and it was very much appreciated by all three of them. Here’s Honey B:
Thank you for all of you Produce Patrons out there who help provide the chimpanzees with much loved and unexpected gifts of fresh fruits and vegetables!
Side note – if anyone knows of a word that actually means “unexpected gift”, I would like to know! I might send you something as a thank you for your linguistic prowess.