Saturday, November 5, 2016

Toots and the Camry

I've driven my Camry for twelve years. I bought it at 46,000 miles, and it now has over 163,000, and has always been flawless. Literally nothing has ever broken. It does have one quirk, however. My Toyota is super into Toots and the Maytals.

Anytime anyone plugs an iPhone into the stereo system, it opens the Pandora app and chooses the Toots and the Maytals channel. It seems annoying, but the funny thing is that the Toots and the Maytals channel is so great (it's not just Toots; they cover a wide range of soul and reggae) that whatever you were trying to play quickly fades from your mind. You sit contentedly back in your seat, realizing the car knew better. You just can't beat its great musical taste.

Toots is currently touring, for the first time in years, and I went to see him Wednesday night in Williamsburg with my friend John. As he got in my car, John forgetfully attached his phone to play some music. As usual, the car ignored him and went straight to Toots. John, in turn, raised a worrisome point.

"Do you think it's gonna be pissed off that we're seeing Toots live?" he asked. "Jesus, yes, it might refuse to start," I answered. We plotted for a while about how we might back up to the stage door and ask them to prop it open a little so it could hear.

We caught the concert, it was amazing, and on the way home, I noticed the pickup wasn't quite right. The six cylinder monster of an engine hesitated when I hit the gas. I asked whether John had gained weight.

We finally made it back, and the next day I drove back to the city, where the car refused to re-start. I had to have it towed, and eventually learned that the starter was fried.

The new starter did not improve the power problem, though. It just got worse and worse. I'll know for certain on Monday, but at this point I'm pretty sure the engine's blown. Again, it was riding as good as new two days ago. It's been meticulously cared for, the engine is shiny and strong, and has never consumed even a drop of oil.

I do have an idea. Toots plays Boston tomorrow night. If I can get the car up there, and somehow move it close enough to enjoy the show, I feel my Camry might regain the will to drive.

See also the tale of my supremely high-maintenance television.

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