Driving By The Numbers

I’ve picked up several new followers lately, many of whom are NOT vitamin bloggers (but if you are, I take a LOT of vitamins so welcome!), and I thought it might be time to let you all know what to expect when you follow this blog. Today’s entry is short and sweet because I’m one chapter away from finishing my new book—it’s the denouement so it needs careful thought and a few solid hours of writing time, which I’ll be doing the second I wrap this post up.

So this is me.

In 2015, I bought a cute little car. It was a 2013 model but it had only been used for car shows and demos, so it had very low mileage; in fact, I think when I got it, the odometer (I just googled “thing on car that tells you mileage” in case you were thinking I was super-knowledgeable about cars) was below 2 000 kilometres, which is like 10 000 US miles or something, and I thought that was really cool. As I was driving it places, I would look at the ODOMETER every once in a while to see if I’d hit a mileage milestone and if I did, I would pull over and take a picture. Here’s the first one I took at 11 111:

Here’s 12 345 from a few months later:

There was a lull in my odometer fascination for a while, but then I reached this milestone:

All those 4s look really cool, I think. Although the number 4 is apparently unlucky to some cultures, it isn’t to mine—I’m half English and half Scottish, so 4 is simply the time we have more tea and haggis.

Then I reached a more scary number—notice that I didn’t drive the extra 5 kilometres to round out the shot, on the off-chance that it might stir up some kind of negative universal energy (as an aside, I participate in a Zoom group occasionally and the password for the room is 666, and whenever I see that number, my first instinct is to yell, “Ah! The number of the beast!” But I don’t do it out loud, just in my head and usually to an Iron Maiden song. The first time I entered the password, I was worried that I would be transported into one of the 9 circles of hell, but no, it was just a group of friendly Asian people, so Dante was way off there).

Anyway, last week I was driving and I realized that my odometer read 79, 972. “That’s so close to 80,000,” I said to myself. “Only a little more than a thousand kilometres to go and I can get another cool picture.” And if right now, you’re saying to YOURSELF, “I think the math is really, really wrong here,” you would be absolutely correct.

So I got to my destination, glanced at the odometer and gasped in dismay to see that it read 80, 007 and my first instinct was to yell “What the f*ck!” And I did that out loud, not in my head. I was well and truly furious with myself for once again being completely stymied by mathematical calculations, and I drove home in a snit. At least for the first 5 minutes, because my odometer, as you can see, is digital. The 8 looks like a capital B, and the zeros look like capital Os, and the 5 looks like a big-ass S and I realized, with a sudden thrill, that if I waited another seventy-some-odd kilometres, I could spell out the word BOOBS and that made me smile all the way home.

So, to sum:

I’m terrible at math.
There will sometimes be swearing.
I’m a 54 year-old woman with an adolescent sense of humour.

Welcome to my world.

(Update: I finished my new novel, The Seventh Devil, yesterday. 177 pages and 51, 370 words. Now those are some numbers!)

39 thoughts on “Driving By The Numbers

  1. Odometer numbers have fascinated me since I was a kid watching the little manual odometer in my parent’s car roll over to some big number (And the digits would always be misaligned for a while after that happened). When my late, beloved Neon hit 100,000 miles nine years ago, I made sure to commemorate the occasion with a photo…… which I took while driving 65 mph (probably 800 kmh) down the highway. Who has time to pull over for things like that?

    Coolest odometer thing I’ve seen…. our little family car that I shared with my sisters back in the day, I was driving when the odometer hit 111,111 miles. That was on September 9, 1999 (9/9/99)!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, well, well, speak of the devil.
    At least you’re good with words, which, really, is more impressive than being good with numbers. Numbers are inflexible while words are ambiguous and rarely specific. You can have nine cats (although that’s dangerously close to hoarding) and you know that’s a specific number but they could be very different kinds of cats. One could even be a tiger and one a lion and one a cougar and then you’d be doing much more than just hoarding. You’d be building a zoo.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hahaha! Aahhh… you’re bonkers and I love you for that 🙂
    I’m up to about 180,000 miles in my 16 year old Toyota Celica (I think that’s about 290,000 km) – I would be a lot closer to 200k but I’m not driving much anymore – because I’m working from home due to stupid Covid-19. The thing I really miss is singing to loud music on my commute so I really relish popping out to my nearest town for a bit of shopping and just perhaps going the long way round.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on finishing your book!!!!!! Thank you for admitting that you have taken odometer pictures as well. most people think I’m crazy (they are probably correct, but not because of my odometer)
    A message to anyone reading this….. call a friend, send a link…be sure to share mydangblog with someone, not only because it will make you popular, you will appear smart too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I notice this kind of thing too, but not with the careful study you apply. Slacker here. Congratulations on completing your next novel. How exciting for you, Suzanne! I can only imagine the pride you must feel. I can’t wait to read it.


  6. Lol. Of course, this post got me giggling. I have a 7-year-old grandson, so we do juvenile very well here.

    And congrats on the book! Now, I must ask, why don’t I see anything about your books on this site? Where’s the menu item? Ahem…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Numerologists are in touch with their inner Golden Ratio. I tend to point out what would happen if humans only had eight fingers?

    7734 has been my PIN since one could have PINs. (Oops, nobody read that… Ah, that’s OK. So, I live in Clovis NM. And my address is…)

    8008S is nice, I kinda wish PINs had five numerals now.

    52k words and that’s a novel? You gonna pad it with adverbs or something?


  8. Well done on getting the novel finished (except for all the rest of the process) dangly.
    I must admit that I do notice the odometer readings when they’re pretty and lined up noticeably for some reason. Last one I remember seeing on mine was 66666 though, so that’s something like 101 times more evil than 666. Which is about right.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RE: Novel…

    Are you one to call it done and reject systemic changes? Copy edits, line edits are fine. Maybe a few logic issues that can be easily rectified with pre or post shadowing or allusions. But, the story is the story. Period.


    Are you up for massive reconstruction?

    Just curious. I doubt I could entertain the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I massively reconstruct as I go, so by the time I’m done, it’s just the minor stuff. Probably why it takes me two years to finish a book. But if someone looked at it right now and said “None of this makes sense”, my response would be “Well, my family likes it and that’s good enough for me.” I hope my publisher feels the same way as my mom!😁

      Liked by 1 person

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