The Mysterious Event

May 23, 2020

RAY: This puzzler came from a fellow named Lee Hull, from Westfield, Indiana. He writes:

After an enjoyable Saturday of tooling around town in my old Lincoln Mark V, listening to Car Talk and running errands, my wife and I were preparing for bed. I said to her, "I saw something happen today that I haven’t seen in probably ten years."

"That’s great, honey! Good night," she said, rolling over.

But I was persistent. "You know, now that I think about it," I said. "I’ve only seen this happen maybe four or five times in my life and every time, I’ve been on the road, driving." I could tell that her snoring was faked. I went on: "In fact, I knew when I left the house this morning that it was going to happen, I just didn’t know exactly where."

She opened one eye to glare at me.

"It happened just as we were passing over the Main Street bridge," I added.

"Well, why didn’t you say something?" she asked.

"Oh, you’re old enough to have seen it a few times yourself, I bet. It really isn’t that exciting."

Now I had her full attention. But still, I wouldn’t tell her what I’d seen. Come to think of it, it’s happened a few times and I didn’t even notice it myself.

The sad thing is, I’m pretty sure our son will never see it happen, and most kids today never will, either. What happened that day?



RAY: What Les saw that day was his odometer go to all nines, and because he has an older car -- it then went to all zeros.

That doesn't happen anymore. Because all the newer cars have six-digit displays, and they can go to 999,999 before they turn over, and that's why no one's going to see their odometer get to all zeros again. 

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