200,000 Miles

If you are a regular Tenor Dad reader (ie, my mother) then you know that I am slightly obsessed with numbers, and none more so perhaps than the numbers on my odometer.  To be fair, I got this particular numerical obsession from my father, but whenever I drive I watch carefully for palindromes (107701), numbers that are the same if you spin them upside down (96096) and any generally cool looking number (123123).  I love me some odometer readings, so I was super excited to watch the car approach the awesome number 200000.

Two hundred thousand miles.  A fifth of a million miles.  Awesome.  Except for one thing.  As March passed and April slowly ticked by, I realized that I was going to miss it.  We drive a maximum of 30 miles a day in that car (a 2002 Mazda Protege), and by the time I realized what was happening I was 7 days and 350 miles away from leaving for Florida.  Leaving in the other car!  My wife was going to drive the Mazda back and forth to work for a month while I was singing in St. Pete, and she would have the pleasure of watching the car pass that magic milestone.  Alone!  Clearly I needed to hatch a plan.

I realized that I was going to have to drive at least 50 miles a day, every day before I left for Florida.  Over the weekend I managed to drive about 80 miles, leaving me 20 miles behind my goal on Monday morning.  Something had to be done.  Luckily it was laundry day, so we drove up to my mother-in-law’s and I took the long way.  On the way home I purposely missed our exit and drove home the even longer way.  I got my 50 miles in that day, but I was still 20 miles behind schedule.

On Tuesday I again drove all over the place and out of my way, but still putting only another 50 miles on the car.  This was not looking good.  Luckily, my sister-in-law’s car broke down, and she needed to borrow our car on Wednesday evening to get to her class that she teaches.  Perfect!  I only drove about 40 miles on Wednesday, knowing that she would easily put another 30 on the car, plus we would have to drive her home.  But then, tragedy!  My wife told her to take the other car.

Here I was in conflict.  I told her to take the Mazda.  I begged her to take the Mazda.  I said it had more gas in it.  I told her anything I could think of.  But I didn’t tell anyone the real reason I wanted her to take the car.  Somehow, it seemed on the verge of insanity to speak my plan aloud.  Telling people I wanted them to drive my car so that I could watch the mileage change to 200,000 by the end of the week seemed absurd, and slightly embarrassing.  So she took the other car.  And when my wife drove her home, they took the other car.  I was now 30 miles behind.

Do you know what I did on Thursday?  I went to the store.  I went to the other store.  I went back to my mother-in-law’s.  I missed exits.  I took back roads.  I got within 50 miles of my goal.  The car was sitting at 199950 on Friday morning, the last day I would have access to it for a month.  We went out again on Friday, but it was at this time that I came up with my brilliant plan: we would go out for dinner!  I was leaving the next day; it made perfect sense!  My wife was happy with this plan, so after putting the normal daily 30 miles on the car, I waited for her to come home from work.

This was the best of both worlds, because now we not only got to go out to dinner, but we would both be able to see the exciting mileage!  And it was exciting.  We were both a little excited!  I drove, and she took a picture.  History was made.  And I was there.

I am a huge nerd and I need help. 

Posted in Car, Numbers.

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