Yes indeedy, the rest of us law-aspiring citizens immediately slow to a speed limit cruise when we spot cops silently swerving behind our bumpers. We’re the jittery school of fish with jumpy eyes and they’re the silent shark swimming over to our lane.
With our hearts drum-thumping and our white-knuckled hands gripping the wheel we temporarily become Super Drivers — using our signals, leaving space, and checking our mirrors every two seconds.
We don’t know if the cop is eyeballing us, about to flick its flashers, or typing our license plate into its computer, so we’re in a heightened state of driving. And sometimes the cop sort of sits behind you for a while, too. Seconds tick like hours when Yourtown’s Finest stick to your heels and force questions through your brain: Was I actually speeding? Should I change lanes? Does he want me to speed up?
Everything slowly and slowly builds and builds to a bigger and bigger feeling of tension and pain…
… until he finally just zooms off into the distance, never to be heard from again.