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Noted in Sorrow

September 29, 2011

“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black” ~ Henry Ford


"Shot through the heart and you're to blame, you give cars a bad name."

A 1997 Toyota Camry died suddenly on Wednesday morning, September 28th during a commute to work. She was 14 and had traveled over 135,000 miles  (112 in car years).  A gallant attempt to transport her to the Intensive Care Unit of a local mechanic by AAA Roadside Assistance was carried out, but sadly she was pronounced dead at the scene due to a blown engine which tore a large hole in her heart, scattering body parts across the rural landscape. The beloved vehicle, known to friends and family as Catherine’s Chariot had lived a full life, affording her original pilot (my mother) trips all over the country, including vacations and drives to visit relatives. In later years, she was mostly spotted on treasure hunts, trips to the senior center, movie theater, or Dutch Neck Village. She will be missed. A closed hood viewing is being held at the Fairfield House. In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted for a replacement vehicle (preferably a late model Ford Thunderbird convertible; after all, the Camry would want me to carry on driving).

In an entirely unrelated development, a variety of gently used Camry parts have suddenly become available on Craig’s list of Southern New Jersey. Used car parts experts are baffled by the remarkable coincidence. According to Deborah of Fairfield House Auto Emporium, purveyor of fine pre-owned Camry accessories, the sudden surge reflects the keen interest of automotive enthusiasts in just this year and make of automobile. Deborah of Fairfield House Home Decor (no relation) also noted a recent rush of interest in stylish interior design involving vintage Japanese car parts, primarily Toyota branded. “These parts will undoubtedly go fast and are a bargain at any price,” she remarked.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Marilyn permalink
    September 29, 2011 8:54 pm

    I almost fell out of my seat laughing. This is one of the best blog posts I have ever seen! Your humor and writing are second to none.


  2. September 29, 2011 9:04 pm

    You are too funny Deborah!! And I’m a bit frightened now! Why you ask?? Because this happy traveller is quite attached to her white and gold counterpart…a 1998 Camry…and is not ready in any way to witness her untimely demise. So…with that said, I will slip out in the a.m. and pray for her, whose owner can’t afford to replace her now either!! ACK!!

    Hugs to you!!
    You’re a joy!

  3. ain't for city gals permalink
    September 29, 2011 9:06 pm

    135,000 miles is not near enough for a Toyota Camry!!..good luck on those donations and that Thunderbird !

  4. September 29, 2011 9:07 pm

    RIP dear Catherine’s Chariot. May your replacement bring as much joy as this obituary brought to The Sphinx and I.

  5. September 29, 2011 10:37 pm

    Hilarious! But, my condolences on the loss of your beloved Camry.

  6. September 29, 2011 10:54 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. However, I’m tickled pink with your post!!!!!!!!!!! “closed hood viewing”. Hysterical!!!!! I have a 1999 Camry…..yikes.

  7. September 29, 2011 11:34 pm

    Yes…by far one of your best posts…..I thought those Japanese cars could go hundreds of thousands of miles…..This is why I buy German….or as the late FIL used to call my Mercedes…..
    “The Nazi Box”……my new neighbor has a thunderbird convertible….Maybe I can steal it for you….she would never find it in South Jersey…..

  8. September 30, 2011 12:30 am

    Really sorry to hear that, Deborah.
    Very similar to what happened to my son’s car on his way to work in May.
    Good luck finding a replacement!

  9. September 30, 2011 3:47 am

    Well you certainly got a laugh out of me. Are you sure you weren’t a writer in your former life? I know my ford explorer is on it’s last leg but with the odometer stopping at over 245,000 miles about 4 years ago, I no doubt got more than my moneys worth. I just know nothing else will be so trouble free.

    Thanks for making me giggle. Hugs…Tracy 🙂

  10. September 30, 2011 6:14 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss! 🙂
    You crack me up girlfriend! I guess you’ll have to find another vehicle to get your momma to her matinee and shopping trips..oh dear!
    Hope you find something reliable and cheap! 🙂
    Love ya lady

  11. Jennifer permalink
    September 30, 2011 6:56 am

    may she rest in peace…but I guess she still lives on in others, right? 🙂 we had to lay our camry down a few years ago; 225,000 miles! my parents finally bit the bullet and traded their camry in on a newer model; she had 355,000 miles. still drove great but the body was falling apart. 😉
    I love love your writing, Deborah. Way to start the Friday with a smile; hope you find a lovely replacement soon!!

  12. September 30, 2011 6:58 am

    great post! so sorry for your loss, but thanks for the laugh!

  13. September 30, 2011 7:15 am

    My condolences!! I have a 12 year old Lexus with 185,000 miles on it and it scares me every time I hear of another “oldster” dying. The dealer told us many years ago that she would live to be 300,000 with good care, so I’m hoping. Anyhow, very funny post!!

  14. September 30, 2011 7:21 am

    RIP to your poor car. As heartWRENCHing as it is, your DRIVE to move forward and SHIFT GEARS with another car is encouraging. If you decide to make your car a PARTS donor, I think it only honors it by helping it live on in other ways.

  15. September 30, 2011 7:37 am

    Oh I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Over the summer we unintentionaly bought a lemon to replace our daughter’s car lost in a crash. It has been in and out of our good friend and mechanic’s shop.

    Recenlty, after 3 hours and several hundred dollars later he proclaimed “You need to get rid of it. I am a honda technician, not a honda magician.”

    That was 6 weeks ago. She’s still driving the heap and will have to until it completely dies.

  16. September 30, 2011 7:40 am

    I really do know how to spell unintentionally. 🙂

    May the free car replacement fairy grace your home soon. 🙂

  17. September 30, 2011 8:01 am

    Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved Toyota Camry. While I am sure that T. C.’s passing will leave a big hole in your life — and space in your driveway — remember all the good times and celebrate each mile on that odometer.

    Were you remembered in T. C.’s will? Just wondering ….
    If we see a shiny late model T-bird, all tricked out and slutty, parked in poor T.C.’s space, we will know why.

    How quickly they forget ….


  18. September 30, 2011 11:28 am

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a very long time!
    You should definitely be writing in some sort of professional capacity…books, editorials…SOMETHING!
    You are wayyyyyyyyyyyy too talented!!!!
    LOVED this…along with all of your posts.
    Thanks for this much needed laugh today, Deborah!
    Enjoy this amazing weather today (is FALL here yet???)

    Bilancia Designs

  19. Rob permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:58 am

    Great post!!! But 135,000 is far too short of a life for a Camry. What happened? Is this just life in Jersey? Did it anger one of the local union bosses? Try its hand in the sanitation business? Or out bid a concrete contractor on a highway project? This is very suspicious.

    My Sequoia is running strong at 205,000 and counting.

  20. October 7, 2011 10:57 am

    I, too, send my deepest condolences! Poor, poor, old car. 😦

    {That was hilarious, Deborah! Thank you for making me smile today! I love your sense of humor and way of looking at life!}

  21. October 7, 2011 1:48 pm

    Deborah my friend, you are a riot! So sorry about Catherine’s Chariot, but love this post! Thanks for the good laugh this afternoon!


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