ON GOOD BEHAVIOR
Remember back before the start of your grade school class when loud and unruly kids promptly turned stone silent once the teacher walked in? Or what happened at summer camp when your counselor neared the bunkhouse after lights out? His expected arrival sent everyone back to bed under their blankets, supposedly asleep.
Fast forward and there you are out on the highway, when out of nowhere you spot a police car in the rear view mirror. It’s not a comforting sight. On the contrary, you’re sure he’s targeted you. What driver after all ever feels entirely innocent? You’ve committed some infraction and he’s spotted it.
You are, you note, over the speed limit – but not by much. Applying the brake is not an option – that would give you away. Did you change lanes without signaling? That can’t be It. Did anyone toss garbage out of the car? Is a tail light broken? Who knows? Is your registration expired? How would he know that? So why is the patrol car still there, right on your tail?
You’re on your best behavior now a model driver. You’ve got both hands firmly locked to the steering wheel. Your speed is down below the limit. You’ve checked – your seatbelt is on. You’re keeping right to the middle of the right lane. Nothing seems amiss, so why are you still so nervous?
The police car now speeds up, comes alongside. Pretending not to notice, you look straight ahead, nonchalant and innocent like. It passes on by and soon is well down the road. False alarm or close call? You’ll never know. Gradually your pulse rate begins to slow down while your foot firmly depresses the accelerator and quickly you’re back up to speed and free to resume your normal driving habits.