I've been teaching people to drive since 2005. For one reason and another, it's a high mileage sort of job. Now that I'm busy, I'm doing almost 30,000 miles a year. When I was struggling for work, I'd take clients who lived a fair old drive away from home, because I needed the work. Although I was struggling to make ends meet, I was still putting in a lot of miles.
Point being, that at some undefined time, I will have traveled a distance equivalent to driving to the moon in the course of doing my job. I reckon that's some time about now, although those miles include driving that has nothing to do with teaching.
Robert Heinlein, in his book, Job: A comedy of Justice, sets his protagonist washing dishes in a Mexican restaurant, to pay off a debt. The guy works out the combined height of the dishes and plates he's washed, and when they reach the height of the local lighthouse, he celebrates.
Mazatlán lighthouse, in the book, is a monumental edifice. It's destruction, in an earthquake (2 earthquakes really) is a potent image. In reality, it is poised atop a high promontory, but is in itself, not particularly impressive.
It may be that Heinlein intentionally made the lighthouse an imposing structure to increase the vividity of the imagary when it was destroyed, but it may be he never visited Mazatlán. It looks as if he fell victim to a common misconception.
After learning that the Mazatlan lighthouse holds the title of highest in the world, visitors often start searching the coastline for a magnificently tall structure and after finding none, wonder where the lighthouse is. In fact, the ranking comes from the lighthouse’s high elevation atop a nearby hill.
So if a poorly researched work of fiction can triumphantly trumpet an arbitrary achievement, I reckon I can announce, with equal validity, that in the course of my work, I have now driven a distance equivalent to driving to The Moon.
I'm now working on driving back again.
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