Pet Please #33: Odometer Benchmarks

The other day I happened to glance down at my Camry’s odometer when it flipped to 110,000. I was delighted. It’s like I got to witness some rare, important event, like a comet that only swings by Earth once.

And really, these odometer benchmarks are completely arbitrary (unless your warrantee runs out). It’s like New Year’s–flipping the calendar from December 31 to January 1 doesn’t change anything. But I think it seems important in cars because we consider our cars part of ourselves. They’re the friends that we get to be inside twice a day, every day. (Wait. That sounds really dirty.)

Wouldn’t it be cool if cars played you a little congratulatory jingle when you cross these thresholds? It’s like leveling up in a video game–you get to the 25,000 level and you get to unlock a new jingle (or even cooler, a new feature in the car). I bet people would drive their cars like crazy if you got to unlock little Easter eggs.

Of course, there would be a downside to that. I recently read about a system that either BMW or Mercedes tried out that pitted different drivers against one another for the best fuel efficiency. There was a leaderboard for all drivers who were a part of this game. Technically, the game worked–fuel efficiency skyrocketed. But the drivers were so motivated by the game that they started to drive in really unsafe ways. They’d coast into red lights just so they wouldn’t have to bring the car to a full stop. They’d draft behind other cars on the highway. Things like that.

So an odometer-related game might not be a great idea. After all, I already feel like I win when I witness a new odometer benchmark. Next up: 111,111!

Daily Quickie: For chili at a friend’s house tonight, I was offered a big spoon or a little spoon. I didn’t know other people thought about spoons this way. Slow eater that I am, I’m a little spoon kind of guy. What about you?

15 thoughts on “Pet Please #33: Odometer Benchmarks”

  1. I like the odometer game! If I were a car manufacturer, I’d snatch up this idea…more miles means the need for a new car faster. The only downside I can see would be if the car played a jingle that startled people and caused more accidents (and the car manufacturer was sued). I guess I could also see an uptick in people tinkering with their odometers to falsify readings…but overall it sounds like fun!

    • That’s true, you don’t want the jingle to startle people. But I think you could signal that it was coming with normal car sounds, like the gas light on sound (which, admittedly, startles me and sends me into a panic in which I start to scan the road for gas stations or weaker people around me from whom I can procure gas by crashing into their car, finding the wreckage, and siphoning gas from their tank into mine).

      • Ah yes, the old Stegmaier siphon. Remember that one time a few years ago when there was a 6-year-old on a small moped put-put-putting along on the sidewalk? You pulled over, lept from the car, and tackled the child with catlike prowess (I’d say you get that from Biddy, but I think this was pre-Biddy). You kicked her in the stomach a few times for good measure and ONLY THEN realized that it was an electric moped. We sure had a good laugh about that!

  2. I am in total agreement! I am approaching 100,000 myself. My extended warranty will end, though. I took pics of the odometer at 6,666, 30,000 (officially broken in), and 66,666; I’m cool like that. 🙂

    • I hadn’t thought of the better type of spooning! I’m particular about this. I generally like to be big spoon, unless the lady’s hair is all up in my face. But when I’m falling asleep, I like a tiny bit of little spoon action. Nothing wrong with that.

      • There are big spoons (soup), little spoons (teaspoons) and then itty bitty spoons. It would take a long time to eat with an itty bitty spoon and that is why I like them for such treats like ice cream.

  3. I was really looking forward to hitting the 100,000 mile mark on my last car, but then it ended up all mangled on the side of the highway at about the 90,000 mile mark. So much for that!

    I like the big spoon for cereal so that I can eat it fast enough before it gets too soggy. But otherwise I am fine with the little spoon.

    As for the other type of spooning, I feel like I’m too short to be an effective big spoon. My body never lines up the way it should and my knees end up in my partner’s back instead of where they should be. So then I have to go back to being the little spoon–oh darn! 🙂

    • Big spoon for cereal makes sense. I’ll have to try that.

      Sorry about your big spoon “shortcomings.” Pun intended! 🙂

  4. big spoon for soup and cereal, micro spoon for tea, little bitty sample spoon for ice cream, and regular ‘teaspoon’ for everything else.

    My four year old car is just getting up to 13K, so I have a long way to go before I get to six figures.

    big spoon with stuffed animals, little spoon with people – hair in braids.


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