Back in the day, the point just short of this mileage saw everyone piling into the car to drive that last little bit, hanging over the back seat to get a good view as all the nines rolled upwards with a series of soft clicks (Did we really hear them, or just imagine them?), to be replaced by all-zeroes on the odometer. I mean, how satisfying was that?
What a moment! It wasn’t like we were going to see it happen again anytime soon. And woe to the driver who missed the great rollover. Imagine glancing at the speedometer and catching sight of this in passing.
Ah, the good old days. Or were they? Modern youth may find these stories pathetic. Surely only a complete lack of access to real entertainment could explain such hokey behaviour. Yikes!
This past weekend our KIA’s odometer–now displaying puny kilometres and integers only–slid silently to this.
Nice. Not, you know, spectacular, but nice. At highway speeds a kilometre doesn’t last long, so I scrambled to take a picture. But just a hair slow to decide to do it, slower to disentangle my purse from my feet, and slowest still to extricate my phone from my purse: I was just too slow all around. By the time I was ready to take the photo, the moving odometer, having written, moved on.
It wasn’t a moment that demanded an Argh, I guess, but it was a moment that warranted a Sigh. But wait! Given the afore-dissed puniness of those kilometres, something even better was in reach.
Now it was a the-Lord-giveth moment. Maintaining my focus for all of 130km was the biggest challenge: the only challenge, really. And so it came to be that I didn’t just see the transition, I captured it.
What a moment! The lack of any sense of motion in the numbers downgraded the thrill a little bit. It was one number–131130–and then it was another number–131131. Just like that. So, not exactly the thrill I remember. I guess the “good old days” is right.
But wait! Six decades ago I wasn’t capturing the moment on video to share online or even just to relive when I’m feeling down. Modern youth may find this even more pathetic, but here’s the thing.
Like the inexhaustible odometer the moving finger writes and, having written, moves on. Things that thrilled me as a child can’t be replicated: the thing is not the same, and I am not the same. But even though the finger never writes in exactly the same way twice, it always writes the same thing about these moments of, well, innocent enjoyment.
It’s all good.
And anything good is not pathetic. So there.