28 April 2010

It's not the years, it's the mileage. No, seriously, what's up with the mileage?

Ladies and gentlemen, I have lost my mind.

I think.

A week ago, I noticed that the odometer in my car was at 123417. Sort of random, but in my odd little mind I realized that I would soon be rolling over 123456. Which would, of course, be awesome. I made a mental note to keep an eye on my mileage so I could properly document this momentous event.

And then, promptly, I forgot all about it.

I have a receipt from the gas station that proves that I put twenty dollars worth of gasoline in the car a week ago Monday. $20 buys a little more than half a tank. Two nights ago, I got in my car to go to the mall. The gas gauge told me I had less than a quarter of a tank left.

I was puzzled. By my calculations, I should have had between 1/4 and 1/2 a tank left. I decided I must not be getting the MPGs I once enjoyed - the car is, after all, thirteen years old. I briefly glanced at the rest of the dash, just out of habit. What I saw shocked me.

I had missed 123456. I had missed it by a lot. The odometer read 123722. That would, I knew, account for the missing gasoline. But I was deeply puzzled. Because I did not put those miles on my car.

I've gone back over the past week or two seven or eight times. I can account for 80, maybe 100 of those miles. Which still leaves me with 200 miles I can't account for. 200 miles.

My first thought was that perhaps one or two of the neighborhood miscreants had taken my Camry out for a little joyride. That would explain the miles and the gasoline. But that can't have happened - I Club my car every night. Unless said miscreants had spent hours driving back and forth in a straight line, that wasn't my explanation.

I know of at least one instance in which I have sleepwalked. I wasn't very adventurous at the time. I organized my sock drawer. Driving seemed unlikely.

I asked my mother if she'd been dosing me with Ambien. She plausibly denied it. So I'm stumped. All I can conclude is that I must have gone somewhere in that car and been traumatized horribly enough that I've blocked it out of my mind. That can mean only one thing: the mafia is after me, and I am in serious danger.

So if someday soon I call you up to report that my kneecaps have been broken, don't panic, I knew this was coming. But do be kind enough to drive me to the hospital. In your car, not mine. Because mine is out of gas.