Driving down a stretch of highway, you see flashing red and blues in the distance ahead. Reflexively, your foot comes off the accelerator, and you glance down at your speedometer, allowing it to spin back to 65 before engaging the cruise control. Your mind wanders back to events of the past fifteen,
maybe twenty miles of travel.
"I wonder," you say to yourself, "Will that be the green minivan that waited patiently for me to let him pass a few miles back? Or the black muscle car that flashed his lights as he flew up behind me, honked as he blew past me on the right, and then cut swiftly back in front of me at a perilously short distance?"
As you approach the scene of the traffic stop, you know that if it is the former, your will honk your horn in a single continuous note that, to the officer's ears, will fall in tone, as if to mourn the punishment of the courteous (however, guilty) driver.
If it is the latter, though, your horn will punctuate the air with a series of shorter blasts, like derisive mechanical laughter as it Dopplers into the distance.
Sitting in his patrol car, waiting for the dispatcher to return information based on the speeder's plates, the trooper listens to the cacophany of horns coming from passing motorists. The dispatcher informs the trooper that the license tag has no wants or warrants out on it. He makes his decision. He gets out of his cruiser, speaks to the driver of the green minivan, and issues him a warning.
As the trooper is walking back to his vehicle, a red sports car passes at about the posted speed limit. Its driver is thankful he enrolled in that anger management course. His struggle to maintain his patience has paid off, and there will be no repeat of that embarrassing ticket some months ago, where hundreds of horns barked their contempt for the full twenty minutes it took the officer to write the citation.