Clover Taxonomy III

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Just as entomologists are always discovering some new species of beetle, new forms of Clover are constantly being identified and cataloged.

Here, fresh from recent field research, are a few of the latest finds:Clover 1

* The Deferential Clover –

This well-intentioned Clover has a politeness fetish that turns out to be rather rude. He will stop his car in the middle of the road and then wave another car waiting to make a right turn onto the road ahead of him. No doubt he feels good about his generosity – and probably, the driver waiting to merge is happy to have been given the opportunity. But what of the drivers behind Clover whose travel was interrupted? And what of “the law” – which Clover worships like a pagan idol? The law that says stopping in the middle of the road (absent a red light or pedestrians crossing) is illegal? Why, it is dismissed as blithely as the laws which state one must yield to faster-moving traffic and numerous other laws besides. It is a defining taxonomical characteristic of homo Cloveronis that “the law” (paraphrasing the Humpty Dumpty) means just what he chooses it to mean – nothing more or less.

* The Won’t Move Forward Clover –Clover signa;

This Clover will tailgate the car ahead when it’s moving, but when traffic stops – as at a red light – Clover will typically leave half a car length between himself and the car ahead. Usually, this is just enough to prevent the car(s) behind Clover from accessing the left turn lane that bleeds off from the main road. And Clover – being Clover – will rarely deign to look behind him and thus, notice the guy behind him is trying to angle his car through the space – and do the decent thing and move up some so that the other driver can make the light. Sometimes, Clover will notice – and still won’t move his car up. Even when the driver behind gestures or taps his horn. Clover takes this as an aggressive act – and reacts passively aggressively, by deliberately blocking the space.

It is rather amazing that the species survives to reproduce. It may not realize the debt it owes to the forbearance of those it habitually tortures with its inconsideration.

* The Pacer –Clown Clover

We’ve all encountered this common form of Clover. You’re driving on a road with two lanes in each direction of travel. Up ahead, two cars, one in the left lane, the other in the right. Clover’s the one to the left. The one who exactly matches the speed of the car to his right – such that None Shall Pass. This iron law of Clover Conduct  holds regardless of the speed of the car in the right lane. It might be doing the speed limit – or more. Or less. It does not matter.

Clover will pace him – in order to thwart you.

* The highway back-up Clover –

When Clover misses his exit (having failed to pay attention/anticipate) he will sometimes simply back up. Right there, on the shoulder of the highway. It is almost a mathematical axiom that there will never be a cop around to witness this. They are busy manning radar traps, enforcing the speed limit Clover venerates above everything else.clover back up

Except, of course, when he himself happens to be “speeding.”

* The gas station Clover – 

So, you’d like to fill up. But, you can’t – because Clover is filling up. More precisely, was filling up. He finished about 10 minutes ago, but did not move his car before heading inside to get Cheetos and Fanta (part of Clover’s staple diet). He just parked there, oblivious to the possibility that other people might be waiting to fuel their cars. It goes without saying, of course, that Clover didn’t pull up to the pump  farthest down the line, so that the other pumps are accessible. Clover likes to conserve his energy, so he always, invariably, pulls up to the first available pump – even if there are two or three pumps down the line. Forcing you to go around (if you can) and back up.

* The block-your-view Clover –

You are waiting at a signaled intersection (yield on green) in the left turn lane, looking for an opening to proceed. Across the street – opposite you – is the left turn lane for opposing traffic. A Clover – often driving a monstrous SUV – will pull in. And pull wide (huge gap between his vehicle and the curb) such that now it’s hard, if not impossible, to see oncoming traffic in the travel lanes.  So, you’re stuck – until Clover clears the intersection and you can see what’s coming again.   Clover 3

* The cRapper Clover –

He loves his music so much he wants to share it with the whole, wide world. He will usually be the guy – it’s almost always a male of the species – in a car worth $1,800 with a $5,000 stereo capable of projecting sound waves that can be physically felt as they reverb into your space. But, that’s the key. Clover cannot conceive of your space – or anyone’s space, except his own. The world is Clover’s space.

That’s what he’s  trying to convey by radiating his “music” for a quarter mile in every direction.

For further research, please see Clover Taxonomy II and also for videos of Clovers in action.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  201 comments for “Clover Taxonomy III

  1. Tennis Addict
    May 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    So still no serious discussion on the non clover way to merge at a lane closure, just various descriptions of body parts.

    Does anyone have a serious opinion on merging at a lane closure?

    1) As soon as you see a lane closure sign, get in the long line, at the end do everything you can to not let anyone merge.

    2) Stay in the open lane and take turns merging where the lane ends.

    Again, based on random body part references, I think Tor is one of the clovers that blocks the open lane and will not let anyone merge where the lane ends.

    • May 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      Hi Tennis,

      I’ll take a stab at it.

      For me, it’s not unlike the situation you’ve got when a crowd is working its way toward an entrance. It’s a dick move to just try to butt in near the entrance without waiting your turn; but it’s also a dick move to not let anyone in line.

      For me, the Clover is the guy who:

      * Stops on the merge ramp – and just sits there with his signal on, expecting to be let in.
      * Races to the very front, the last point before the two lanes merge into one – and tries to butt his way in.
      * The guy who won’t let anyone merge, even those who are clearly not trying to bully their way to the front of the line, who have signaled intent and are driving such that their merge will not force the other traffic to slow drastically in order to accommodate the merging car.

      As I see it, proper form is to try to match the speed of traffic, signal, and slot in.

    • Ed
      May 9, 2013 at 1:21 am

      “Again, based on random body part references, I think Tor is one of the clovers that blocks the open lane and will not let anyone merge where the lane ends.”

      No way. I beat Tor hands down with the body parts references. You’re being unfair. Those weren’t even my best body parts, either.

  2. Tennis Addict
    April 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm


    I haven’t found an article where you cover the proper time to merge when coming up to a lane closure. Who’s the clover, the one who mergers immediately into the long line before the lane closure, or the one who stays in the open lane and merges at the end? See the following video on the “zipper merge”.

    • Tor Munkov
      April 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Trick question? The Clover is whoever watches those two tax cows for even five seconds. Moo! Listen up sheeple, massa’s costumed house niggas gonna learn you to drive co-rectly. Stay tuned for follow-up videos on lubrication and ass-raping safety also so you can better submit to asset forfeiture and live taser free. Stay safe out there.

      Fire Marshall Bill – A Heroic First Responder

    • BrentP
      April 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      The clover is the one who requires other drivers to take evasive action.

      • Handsome Jim
        April 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm

        Or, the clover is the one who has to ask.

    • Ed
      April 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm

      ” the “zipper merge”. ”

      Just wondering, did you find that through that ‘art of manliness’ site?

      • Tennis Addict
        April 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        Yes. I’ve wondered for a while if Eric was ever going to write something on this and call me a clover for staying in the open lane. If you read the article in the art of manliness site, whoever wrote that article thought he was being gentlemanly for merging early, but learned that he was being over gentlemanly, i.e, a clover.

    • Tennis Addict
      April 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      Judging by the smart remarks instead of real points on either side, it looks like someone learned that they were being a clover for merging early.

      • Tor Munkov
        May 3, 2013 at 2:53 am

        Sorry, I’m only attacking the concept that USSA public service messages deserve anything but ridicule and out-of-hand dismissal. What video should I watch next, how best to hold crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon pose during TSA Proctology Exams?

        – This is only pathetic Propaganda Zipper Merge To Fill Your Head With Statist Bullshit.

        -Don’t cough into your elbow, or slather Purell Bath Salt on yourself, and then accept a free Homeland Security High Speed Train Ride to the Big Sis National Free Lunch Showers – Health Spa and Joe Biden Bed and GMO Frankenbreakfast, gnomesayin?

        How to Zipper Merge in Russia

        • Ed
          May 9, 2013 at 1:27 am

          “How to Zipper Merge in Russia”

          Hey, that looks like the Powhite Parkway where it suddenly turns into Old Hundred Road. ‘Course those Russians drive waaay more courteously than the DC transplants who take the Powhite to Old Hundred. 😉

      • Ed
        May 9, 2013 at 1:13 am

        “it looks like someone learned that they were being a clover for merging early.”

        No, what happened was that there was a site migration and several posts were lost.

        The zipper merge is the idea of someone at the federal DOT. It’s the kind of merge that is practiced in very slow traffic situations such as traffic leaving a large, multi-lot parking facility after a sports event or concert.

        It does not work and cannot work at highway speeds, regardless of what your idol, Brett McKay, tried to claim in his typically retarded and pointless post to his incredibly boring blog.

        Why did you frame your question the way you did at first, appealing to the blog post as your authority reference?

        Oh, here are a few body part references for you, just to make you happy:

        Butt, bush,armpit,dick,tit,middle finger, twat, tennis elbow.

  3. ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
    April 27, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Oh yeh – I haven’t read all replies but there’s another clover – the ambulance anal-thermometer, that won’t move out of the way and blindly enforces the speed limit as more important than an emergency vehicle up his arse.

    • Handsome Jim
      April 27, 2013 at 4:03 am

      What about the incapable of merging at over 30mph clover, or I-have-no-idea-what-yield-means-clover? Or guy who sits at the red light that never tuns green clover at 130 am? What about truck driver clover who gets over to pass going up a hill in a 70 speed limit and doesn’t even get close to 70 until ten miles don the road, downhill…or four way stop sign clover who doesn’t nudist and that if he is turning right he doesn’t have to wait for guy who is going straight, and two other people…he can turn right at anytime as long as its not when guy to his left is going…

      • DownshiftFast5to1
        April 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        “guy who sits at the red light that never tuns green clover at 130 am”

        That’s a toss up. Could be he’s had a drink and doesn’t want to chance an encounter with the goon squad.

        Or he’s one ticket shy of being placed on high rate insurance, or one ticket shy of losing his license, or has already lost his license and cannot afford another encounter with the goon squad who could be lurking and hiding waiting for prey.

        I don’t see those people as clovers, they’re just ‘forced’ into clover-like behavior by the state. Kind of like with having eight foot in front of you at a stop light: if a person hits you from behind forcing your car into the one in front of you – you – are responsible for the damage to the guy in front of you. That tends to ‘force’ people to want to keep eight feet or more in front of them while stopped.

        Shouldn’t the person who started the chain reaction be responsible? Or maybe I just needed a lawyer?

        • BrentP
          April 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm

          if a person hits you from behind forcing your car into the one in front of you . you . are responsible for the damage to the guy in front of you.

          Perhaps not in the state where I live, or perhaps under that mouth-to-mouth passed thing that for here I call ‘the clover law’, but having been the last in line of such a collision I can say for a fact the answer of who is responsible is the person who started the chain of events.

  4. ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
    April 27, 2013 at 3:35 am

    ” It may not realize the debt it owes to the forbearance of those it habitually tortures with its inconsideration.”

    Thanks Eric – wonderful quote and yet again a fantastic article.

    They all owe us – big time. I think the only word I can really use to describe them at this second is “inconsiderate”. I bet others can do better.

    My worst enemy over the years has been the “I AM THE LAW!” Judge Dredd Clover.

    These feckers will hold you up at every opportunity, “pacing” until you finally get past, then they speed up to pass you and pull up in front and slow down again because they think their speedo is more accurate at 10k under the limit.

    This game can continue for several rotations. They usually drive expensive cars like Beemers or Mercs. Too bad. ALL of them have lost a tail light thanks to my motorcycle boot. One even lost his side window thanks to my gloved fist.

    Then I crank the throttle and see what happens. I’ve even had a few try to keep up.

    Heh. They’re a sad speck in the mirror when I get my CBR1000 to 300..

    • April 27, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Thanks, Rev!

      On the bike/Clover thing:

      I own a pinball machine. Extra pinballs can come in very … handy.

  5. dom
    April 27, 2013 at 3:18 am

    I find there are two things that minimize the impact clovers have on my life:

    1. Drive a motorcycle
    2. Stay out of the city

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      April 27, 2013 at 3:48 am

      dom wrote, “2. Stay out of the city”

      I often said, after I moved to a medium sized city, “You gotta have a death wish to drive a motorcycle in this traffic.”

    • April 27, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Amen, mang!

      Though there are Clovers in the country, too. But, the upside is you can almost always just maneuver around them. In the city/suburbs, as soon as you escape one Clover, there’s another!

      • dom
        April 28, 2013 at 1:30 am

        Dood, when I ride the bike it’s not even an issue. I just slide on by and keep on my way. Had a guy the other day line up beside a bus and lock down the left lane for a few miles. Shit pissed me off pretty good, so I gave him a salute as I passed. He must have lost religion or something because he instantly went from 10mph under to 20mph over just to hang with me. He pulled up beside me at the next light. I flipped my visor up on my 3/4 helmet just so it would be more clear when I said “What’s up pussy?” He just had a blank stare. Once we started rolling again he decided to tailgate me up to about 80mph in a then 70mph zone. While in hand to hand I think I could hold my own. But when car vs. bike I know better. Long story short, I got to work early that day.

        • April 28, 2013 at 9:48 am

          Yeah, mang – I have done the same thing many, many times.

          I use the bike as my Willie Wonka golden ticket to get me away from anything annoying – and to a better place. Nothing – nothing – beats a speedy bike for this. You’ve got the acceleration capability of a Bugatti Veyron in a package that’s no wider (or hardly wider) than you are. This lets you slip and dodge and bob and weave like Ali in his prime. Clovers are especially easy targets because they have no clue how immediately you can jump from 20 to 80. Before they can even think about reacting, you are gone. All you need is the tiniest opening. If they give you a half car length of air as they’re pacing the car in the next lane, you can exploit that with a quick twist of the wrist – and savor the pure joy of watching the enraged Clover receding fast in your rearview.

          If one of these sons of bitches is on my ass, I just … lose him. Left-right, shoot forward, pass a few cars. I’m gone. He’s still back there somewhere.

          A car – no matter how powerful or fast it is – is limited in what it can do by the space available, by the space it needs to maneuver.

          On a bike, you have shaved the space needed to maneuver by two-thirds or more. Remember the arctic scene in The Empire Strikes Back? The Imperial Walkers vs. the speedy little rebel fighters? It’s a lot like that. Only, better – because the typical cager is not nearly as competent as the commander of an Imperial Walker. Malicious, sure. But utterly unaware of the capability of motorcycles. Clovers don’t ride. It’s almost a mathematical axiom. So, they have nod clue what you can do on that bike. They have no frame of reference. Their concept of acceleration – and thus, what it will take to box you in – is as far off the mark as estimations of the competence of the Saddam’s Elite Republican Guard. It’s not a fair fight – thank god.

  6. liberranter
    April 26, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    I notice that no one has mentioned the “scared to pass a cop driving below the posted speed limit” Clover. For some bizarre reason, people driving on a two or three-lane highway WILL NOT pass a porkmobile driving in the right lane at 5 to 10 below the limit, even when the passing lane(s) is/are clear. Having passed more than a few of these in my time, I can assure all of these Clovers that there is NO punishment for doing so.

    • skunkbear
      April 27, 2013 at 1:12 am

      Lib, don’t forget this clover’s equally idiotic twin the “slam on the brakes because a cop has someone else pulled over” clover. Clover will see a cop has someone pulled over and they will slam on the brakes as if the cop is going to stop writing the ticket on that hapless motorist and jump into his squad car to pursue them for going five miles over the speed limit. And half the time they are not even speeding at all or the traffic stop is on the other side of the highway going the other direction. And it is not a matter of slowing down for safety reasons as they go past the traffic stop either. This clover will be in the farthest left lane and still slam on his brakes to immediately drop to 20 miles under the speed limit.

      • liberranter
        April 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        the “slam on the brakes because a cop has someone else pulled over” clover

        Yep, good catch. And these clovers don’t just slam on their brakes when they see a cop pulling someone over; they slam on their brakes when they see a cop, period – even if they’re doing the speed limit or below it and have no reason to believe they’ll be pulled over for anything.

        Now to be perfectly fair, I can’t fault these clovers entirely, because they’re reacting instinctively to a perceived danger. What’s especially hilarious about this is that it constitutes an admission on the clover’s part that they agree with our (freedom-loving critical thinkers’) perception of cops. In other words, what these clovers DO instinctively when they see a cop while on the road clearly contradicts what they love to TELL US about cops (i.e., that cops are kind and self-less heroes who “protect and serve” and who do no harm or wrong).

        • skunkbear
          April 28, 2013 at 1:12 am

          Great point, lib. If these cops are such noble heroes as the clovers claim they are then why are the clovers also so afraid of them too!

  7. Tor Munkov
    April 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    If Clovers Would Only Follow Rules That Three-Year-Olds Understand

    [Stefan Molyneux]

    • Eightsouthman
      April 26, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Back in the latter 80’s Texas financed a study of traffic flow at intersections, done, I think, by A&M. One conclusion they came to stuck in my mind. They found the fastest way to clear an intersection was when every vehicle had a one vehicle gap front and rear. It makes sense and I always wanted Texas in the commercial making frenzy about how to drive to use that example but alas, it was never to be. That was about the time that DWI were becoming the stop du jour of the LEO.

  8. BrentP
    April 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    Since others are proposing new types, I will suggest one.
    This one I came up with years ago. The slotherator.

    The slotherator is that driver who takes forever to notice the light is green and then accelerates slowly. Very slowly. sometimes agonizingly slow when I am bicycling slow. But the slotherator accelerates until another red signal or vehicle blocks his progress. If the distance is long enough the slotherator will do 20mph over the speed limit. I have gone around and passed slotherators only to have them pass me down the road because I stopped accelerating and they did not. Then had the same issue at the next red signal.

    • Eightsouthman
      April 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      BrentP, you just hit my sore spot. I have a one ton diesel pickup with manual gearbox and have had to very quickly clutch and brake hard to not run over people when I was only “idling” and hadn’t touched the go pedal yet after the clover in front of me began to move. They’d be moving but barely and with no one in front of them. Naturally they’ll get to the intersection just in time to catch a “pink” green and you get to wait another round. I’ve noticed wrecks in turn lanes before and wondered every time if it wasn’t caused by one of those special breed who can’t find enough power to accelerate when the light goes green.

    • skunkbear
      April 27, 2013 at 1:23 am

      “The slotherator.” I love it Brent!

      This is one of the worst clovers. The light changes to green and the speed limit is 45 or whatever and it takes them a mile and a half to get up to the posted speed limit. This is especially maddening when traffic is backed up. If everyone would take off and “punch it” to quickly get up to the speed limit (or faster) then the volume of traffic would flow more quickly and smoothly. This holds double for coming out of bottlenecks like closed lanes and through an accident area.

  9. Dan
    April 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    In addition to what you’ve mentioned, I get annoyed by the “Stop on the Line Clovers.”

    When waiting in the left turn lane with a green light, they will wait on the line, rather than pulling out into the intersection. This is perfectly legal, but Clovers have to impede traffic and inconvenience others. At a big intersection, if you pull out into the middle, 1 or 2 other cars can get through if the oncoming traffic clears just before the red light. By waiting at the line, the Clover is the only one who gets through if the oncoming traffic doesn’t clear until the light turns yellow or red. It’s very frustrating to have to wait through another traffic light cycle because of people like this.

    • Rooney
      April 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      LOL…I’ve had smoke coming out of my ears at that one too Dan. Especially when I look down the road and see them pass up gaps that are literally big enough to drive a truck through.

  10. damon
    April 26, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Angle Grinder Man. For a fee, he’d come and cut off your “boot” in the uk. He wore a red superman outfit and cape.

    • Tor Munkov
      April 26, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Angle Grinder Man – a real superhero

  11. Handsome Jim
    April 26, 2013 at 3:49 am

    I must say this thread has sparked quite a bit of outrage inside me, so much so that I wrote a whole new piece titled Who are the Real Cowards and Terrorists? Understanding Definitions of Terror. I would enjoy it if some of yall, including you Eric, could make your way over and let me know what you think?

  12. Steve
    April 26, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Don’t be so quick to judge clovers who allow other cars to enter a line of traffic. We’ve all been in the position of wanting to enter a line of traffic. If we don’t let others in when they’re waiting, we’re hypocrites for expecting others to do for us what we would never do for others.

    Even if nobody’s let us in a line of traffic, we’ve all got off easy somewhere, from the cop who didn’t write a speeding ticket to the bank that waived the late fee or the store who let us sneak in just as it was closing. It’s only fair that we return the favor or pay it forward. Remember that the next time you want to enter a line of traffic or you have the opportunity to let someone in.

    • Handsome Jim
      April 26, 2013 at 1:15 am

      I don’t let anyone in who is a bad driver. I also don’t need someone to “let me in.” I take the spot. I just spotted a new clover. The justifying clover.

    • BrentP
      April 26, 2013 at 2:36 am

      I don’t put myself in positions where I have to have someone ‘let me in’. The goal is to drive such that it is like I am not even there. The problem is that few people strive for such a goal and instead impose themselves on others.

    • April 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Hi Steve,

      It’s one thing to be stopped in a line of cars waiting for a light – and “wave in” a car just ahead of you that’s obviously trying to get in line from a sidestreet/driveway.

      I’ve got no issue with that.

      But what I was talking about is the guy who slows to a crawl or stops his car in the street – traffic moving – to “wave in” another car.

      Holding up traffic/interrupting the flow of traffic is a Clover move, period. How about remembering the cars forced to slow/stop to accommodate the “helpful” Clover?

      • BrentP
        April 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

        I have an issue wrt waving someone in from a side street or driveway.

        I am waiting at red signal in queue behind someone. Another driver approaches from gas station driveway and the light turns green. The driver in front of me sits there so the person approaching from the driveway can get in. They stare at each other for awhile deciding who will go… the light is ticking. Finally the driver exiting the gas station goes. Then the driver in front of me slowly figures out where his accelerator pedal is and gets moving. The light turns yellow. The driver in front of me goes through the intersection and there I sit for another red cycle.

        This is american courtesy. It’s done at the expense of a third party.

        • Handsome Jim
          April 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

          I highly agree with this “third party” line of thinking. These guys believe they are being “such good Samaritans” by letting this guy cut in line, when in fact people behind him are now way more pissed than the guy who got to cut is happy. I don’t know where letting people in became such a friendly gesture.

  13. Michael DeLoatch
    April 26, 2013 at 12:10 am

    This month I had my first experience driving across the country in the I 80 corridor.

    I swear on 3 different occasions near Omaha, truck drivers were conspiring via CB to play the pacer game for 20 miles or so at a time. And of course a good 10 mph below the posted limit. And don’t tell me they were bogging on the Omaha mountain range.

  14. April 25, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    I have another annoying clover for you. The clover in the left turn lane who just barely edges over the first line of the crosswalk while he waits for his chance to turn. There are usually several opportunities for him to do so, but he waits until just before the light turns red, leaving everyone behind him to have to wait until the next light.

    • Eightsouthman
      April 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      No one has mentioned the Clover who causes the most wrecks, the guy who has to come to a nearly complete stop to turn right off a road. I was reminded of this just Monday as a fool in a pickup did just that even though there was room in the form of a paved shoulder that transitioned into an open parking lot about 3 blocks long. This guy brings a whole line of traffic that had been doing the speed limit or above(45mph)just to turn into a parking spot 40 feet from the traffic lane. I get on people who do this I’m riding with even if it pisses them off. I tell them they and others who do that are the #1 cause of accidents in town since most people who see you are going to turn a block away from you or further get surprised to look back from checking their rear-view and find you STILL there, barely moving. Get the hell out of traffic and then zone out. No, that would be too safe.

      • April 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

        Excellent, Eight.

        I am chagrined to have omitted that species of Clover from my list.

        Well-said, sir!

        • Eightsouthman
          April 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm

          eric, that brought to mind another clover tactic….that of getting right to a planned turn and then hit the turn signal at the same time you hit the brakes. I actually broke a friend of doing this when I explained how it looks from the back, brake lights, then one brake light goes out and then back on as you’re turning. Of course getting someone to use their turn signal well in advance has always been a tough sell even though it’s the law in every state I’ve been in and other countries as well. What the hell do you want to hit the signal for when you’re already turning? The friend I broke of doing this didn’t take it easily and asked “So when should I give a signal Swami?” to which I replied “The state of Texas says you must signal a turn at least(this has been 40+ years ago)150 feet before the intersection”. I’d already seen he was going to take me to task over it and was prepared for it. He then started asking me every time he turned(like I say, he didn’t take it well)how far we were from the corner when he turned his signal on. I let it go on a while and then pointed out the most important question was how far away his nose was from my fist the next time he asked. I don’t remember having further discussions on the subject.

  15. Ed
    April 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    ” I welcome you to step out of your car and discuss it with me.”

    Cyber tough guys are so funny. You’re as tough as a $2 T-bone, ain’t you? Sofa King.

    • Eightsouthman
      April 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Ed, Len may be a badass. Trouble is, no referees and no rules on the road. That guy he’s offering to whip may be a runt with a Desert Eagle and that narrows the odds by a goodly amount.

      • Ed
        April 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        “Ed, Len may be a badass. ”

        Yep, ya nevvah know. Some people go around begging somebody to put them down. 😉

        • Handsome Jim
          April 25, 2013 at 10:41 pm

          If he fights the way he drives I’m sure Ed will be aight.

  16. Len
    April 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Eric, gotta take take exception to one of your cloverisms, and that is the “won’t move forward” clover. I don’t tailgate for one (not a dangerous a-hole), and I don’t owe anyone any favors to move dangerously close to the person in front of me. Let’s say the odds are a million to one of my being struck from behind after moving up for someone’s 2 minute convenience, that’s still enough for me to not endanger someone else’s property or mine, and enough to not have to be ticketed as a result of that and have my rates get jacked up. As for all the a-holes that need to continually lay on the horn because dear God the universe hasn’t taken their side I welcome you to step out of your car and discuss it with me.

    • Handsome Jim
      April 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      Haha. Really. Cuz I will. Do these guys read what they’ve written before they’ve submitted it? Come on dude. Here’s a summary of what you wrote. “I can’t drive well, so I don’t put myself in a position where I could mess up my car by putting myself in a tough position. People honk at me all the time, but it is their fault not mine. I’ll even get out and fight em because they are better drivers than me. I like to just go out and cruise on the streets, unaware of my surroundings, following only the law.” The whole original point of the law was to create safe driving boundaries, not create law following robots. The light does not turn red so you can show your allegiance to the state. The light is red so cars from the other side can go. If no cars, no stop is needed. Same as stop signs. Get a life dude, and learn what thinking means, not rationalizing and justifying which is what you do.

      • Ed
        April 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

        “The light does not turn red so you can show your allegiance to the state. ”

        AHAHA!! Got-damn, Jim. That’s fuckin’ PRICELESS!

      • Len
        April 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        Your reading comprehension is rather abysmal. I maintain a safe distance, about 8 feet when stopped, and do so not because of a law, but because it IS safe, and it is respectful. Again, I don’t owe you shit jackass, and your honking a horn at me is a signal to me that you want to escalate something unnecessarily (if done continually), and if you think your such a badass please try me. I’m tired of jackasses like you who think life owes them every convenience and want me to get right up on someone’s bumper just so they can shave some time off their commute.Clover

        • April 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm


          Please refrain from childish name-calling (and threats)… ok?

          Also: You do owe other people common courtesy. We all do.

          That includes moving your car up (when there’s a large gap between you and the car ahead) to enable a car behind you to get into the turning lane. Why would you not do this? Why would you deliberately block the car behind you when you can see that merely moving up a little will allow him to get by? Why do you take it as an aggressive act when the driver behind you taps his horn, which is just a signal asking you to do what you should have done already – that is, pull forward. Not inches off the bumper of the car ahead of you.

          But not eight feet back, either.

          Think about it. Eight feet is half a standard-sized car length. If say eight cars in line at a red light follow your practice, they are using up an additional four car lengths of space. Put another way, it would take just a few cars to block off a left turn lane unnecessarily – forcing drivers who are trying to access the turn lane to wait multiple cycles.

          That’s obnoxious – and needless.

          The two things that most define a Clover.

          • joeallen
            April 29, 2013 at 11:39 am

            Clovers are NOT courteous or respectful people. Some of their intelligence circuits have blown fuses.

      • methylamine
        April 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

        I’ll have that discussion with you, Len.

        Because at 5:30 every afternoon, at one of the busiest intersections in Houston there’s a very short left-turn lane at a very short light.

        Every selfish prick like you, overly concerned with some imaginary notion of “safety”, leaves a huge gap in front of his car. That effectively blocks access to the left-turn lane; leaving everyone turning left through multiple cycles of the light.

        So that you can feel more “safe” with your prudish stand-off distance.

        How about you consider that traffic behind you is at a standstill; that your chances of being struck are infinitessimal; and that maybe a little common god-damned courtesy might be returned to you one day.

        And I’m betting you, stuck in a similar situation, fume and rant about that “extra 2 minute convenience”.

        You sound like a prick.

        By the way, it’s not wise to threaten people in traffic in Texas. We’re well-armed and well-trained.

    • Rooney
      April 25, 2013 at 10:16 pm

      I find that a good rule of thumb in traffic is to move forward until the line of sight angling down from my eyes to the edge of my hood to the road is intersected by the bottom of the rear tires of the car in front of me. This distance is usually eight to ten feet.

      This also has the added benefit of giving me just enough room to pull around that car in case it has mechanical trouble.

      • Rooney
        April 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm

        Having said that, let me also state that the distance I use is certainly adaptable to traffic conditions. I have no problem snugging up to the car in front of me if it helps traffic flow.

        It’s called driving…

        It’s about showing some adaptability given changing traffic loads and conditions. It’s also about being aware and recognizing that conditions in your driving environment ARE changing and having the situational awareness to notice those changes. Having the skill set to fit into the traffic flow smoothly as to NOT impede anyone else’s travel is a big help also.

        It’s about driving, remember?

        It’s not about adhering to arbitrary rules just because it’s “da law”.

    • BrentP
      April 25, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Len, do you complain about traffic congestion? Do you complain about more land being paved over for roads? If so at least part of the source of your complaints is in your mirror.

      Once again on my way home tonight there were about a half dozen drivers like you causing me to be blocked out of a turn lane that is already much longer than it really would need to be. I squeezed through anyway with an inch or so to spare. But hey, what’s a little more congestion on the roads?

      PS: did you ever notice that these how to drive teachings of the government (which aren’t in the actual law BTW) keep changing to cause more congestion over the years? One of my illinois favorites is that the first person in the queue should wait three seconds after the light turns green to proceed. Then the guy after him should wait three seconds after the first driver started moving, then the third guy should wait three seconds… and so on until the light turns red again. This teaching is now settling in and I see people practicing it to some degree. (most aren’t up to three seconds yet) the agony of backups it causes… only takes three cycles to get the same number of vehicles through that should get through in one.

      • Handsome Jim
        April 26, 2013 at 12:17 am

        Brent!!! Get out of Illinois before you spend your life waiting 3 hours to get somewhere that should only take 30 min!,,,

      • April 26, 2013 at 1:34 am

        The #1 cloverism that drives me mad is when clovers slow down approaching a green light. That is entirely insane, but apparently the government is in fact instructing people to drive that way now. Ridiculous.

        • Mike in Spotsy
          April 26, 2013 at 1:43 am

          Hi Darien. A related cloverism that I’ve been noticing more and more is stopping before making a right turn when there is a green right turn arrow. Been wondering what’s up with that.

    • April 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Hi Len,

      It is not tailgating to pull your car to within a couple of feet of the car ahead of you at a light. And it is a dick move to block access to a turn lane by leaving a car length between your car and the car ahead of you in line.

  17. tom
    April 25, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    What about the “diesel-pickup-guy-leaves-his-stupid-engine-on-while-getting-fuel” clover????

    • Eightsouthman
      April 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      tom, there could be several good reasons. Letting his turbo cool along with the engine. Nowdays they have to run hot as hell like everything else just for a few nano-grams of soot/cu ft. emissions. As long as it’s running everything is cool including the cab where my dog resides under the a/c which doesn’t work with the engine shut off. The big old diesel will sit there and gain heat like crazy if you just pull in and shut it off, not good for any part of it. Diesel delivery is about 4 times or more as fast as gasoline so it only takes a couple minutes to fill up(3/4″ to 1″ or more, do the arithmetic, 1″ pipe delivers 4 times as much anything at the same pressure as does 3/4″ and gas nozzles are less than 3/4″). Diesel starters are mucho expensive just to save a halfpint of fuel while refilling. And finally, just go over to my driver door and pull it open while I clean my passenger side windshield and find out just how many inches of muscle there is on each side of my dogs jaws since he thinks it’s his pickup and anyone besides me getting in means him harm(he’s right too). And then again, there may be other people in the back seat who don’t want to have the a/c cut off and with my blacked out windows, you can’t see them and you certainly wouldn’t want to open the door to a .45. Just some thoughts by a “stupid diesel guy”.

  18. mithrandir
    April 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I do not think most attendants would bother with a motorcycle rider. I am not sure what the law says regarding motorcycles.

    Diesel is self serve in New Jersey.

  19. wa_state
    April 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    We recently had a variation on the “highway back-up clover” in the Seattle area when this knucklehead took the wrong on-ramp and after getting on the highway, turned around and went west on the eastbound lanes and then went head-on with a lady. Killed her. He was drunk enough not to be too badly hurt.
    This happened on one the few toll roads we have in the state so I am sure this idiot freaked when he realized he was going to have to pay $2.30 twice for his error when, if he went the way he intended, would have avoided the toll all together.
    A glaring example of Clover’s lack of awareness of the world around them.

  20. April 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Don’t it all boil down to being selfish and inconsiderate? I have known drivers who knew they were not the best drivers, yet had an attitud3e of not wanting to be more of a problem to other drivers than was necessary. Being inconsiderate makes any driver a bad driver, whatever their technical skill.

  21. graham
    April 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    The long distance follower clover… This is the guy in the left lane who follows the car in front of him by 250 ft thus allowing all the cars stuck behind a slowpoke in the right lane to constantly get in front of him. Rather than closing this distance and simply passing the slowpoke, this long distance follower will ultimately force you to pass him on the right after the entire right lane bleeds through into the left lane in their efforts to get passed the slowpoke. Then after that you will pass him on the right and try to change lanes back to the left but he will unconsciously close the distance so you cannot get in front of him to get back to the left lane after he let a dozen cars do that very thing.

  22. JB
    April 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Some of my faves:
    Deferential Clover to the extreme – I recently had someone stop in front of me at a GREEN light so the person who wanted to pull out from the RED light could go.

    We have an on-ramp in my town that doesn’t have any stop sign, yield sign or anything else that would indicate you might need to stop. It is a separate lane for people turning right onto the ramp, and that separate lane extends down the ramp. No reason to stop ever. There is, however, a signal light for traffic proceeding through the intersection (not turning onto the ramp.) Clovers believe that whenever this light is red, the appropriate thing to do is pull onto the ramp and stop. I usually just drive around them an laugh at their reaction while they sit there parked on the ramp.

  23. Mike in MI
    April 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    This article hits home for me. Clovers everywhere, and never a cop in sight while their screwing up traffic.

    I’ve had the Pacer in the left lane just barely pass the car in the right lane, probably by mistake, after leading a parade of cars in the left lane for miles and miles forever, all just waiting for Pacer to pass. Then when I try to execute a right lane passing maneuver, they actually speed up to prevent anyone from passing on the right. This is beyond a Clover, it’s malicious. Apparently they don’t believe the left lane or the right lane should be used for passing (them).

    Thanks for publishing this…it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    Moron drivers should be removed – they’re dangerous.

    • April 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      You bet, Mike!

  24. jjb
    April 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I was skiing last week with a couple friends and got cloverised in the lift line. Man, they just don’t go away! So the maze goes from six lanes to the final one just before you go to load the chair. This fukwit, in his 60’s, stops in the single lane and starts asking the ticket checker about the dining options at the resort. Then he starts asking about menus and prices while clearly hes holding up traffic. I go and put my skis around his and pull up so theres no way he cant see I am on his ass. His wife was clearly embarrassed at what a moron she has to live with. Finally I just forcefully go around him (still asking about cheeseburgers)and the ticket checker says good and lound “sorry about that”. I looked at clover and not a single sign of him “getting it”. My anger subsided after we loaded the lift and we went on a rant about cloverism.

    • skunkbear
      April 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Eric, I think jjb has opened up a new thread topic: free range clovers (FRC).

      I have a FRC I hate – the “oblivious to being in the way of others” clover. Every time I go to the grocery store I run into these clods. They push their carts down the middle of the aisle instead of one side. Then they leave their cart blocking the entire aisle and holding up the other shoppers while they look at stuff on the shelf. Maybe I am just a whiner but can people just show some awareness that there are others around them?

      And maybe I am a dick but I have no patience either for those lard-asses who have to ride around on those motorized shopping carts. They expect everyone to get out of their way as they plow through the store.

      • Ed
        April 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm

        “I have no patience either for those lard-asses who have to ride around on those motorized shopping carts.”

        Yeah, those ‘handicapped by way of obesity’ people who take the scooter that is intended for someone who is unable to walk due to an injury or illness. It’s sad, but it also shows a basic self absorption.

        • BrentP
          April 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

          Don’t you know that life is a series of purely random events not probabilities based on cause and effect? Certainly not outcomes based on the choices people make.

          These people were just dealt a bad hand. Like the people who found out they really couldn’t afford a McMansion when everything didn’t go perfectly. That’s why people have to pay taxes and get zero on their savings. So the hapless can have a safety net. To help them. Don’t you want to help the hapless Ed?

          (before anyone takes this as anything but sarcasm, poke around for my ‘help for the hapless’ rants)

        • Tor Munkov
          April 26, 2013 at 12:20 am

          Cartman gets a mobility scooter

      • DownshiftFast5to1
        April 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

        The term, ‘free range’ applied to clovers seems very wrong. ‘Free range’ is a good thing. What you’re describing is simply a case of being: inconsiderate, oblivious, and lacking in manners and culture. Imho. In other words, clovarian behavior.

        Might I suggest the term, ‘Indoor Clovers’ (IC) instead?

        • skunkbear
          April 26, 2013 at 12:20 am

          I used the term free range to denote clovarian behavior beyond the roadways. I don’t care what it is called but I think Indoor Clover doesn’t cover it too well either. Help from other posters as to what to use to describe it?

      • April 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

        Oh lawdy…. yes, indeed!

        My favorite free-range Clovers include the old coot in line at a supermarket checkoput – and it’s always an old coot – who brings forth a clutch of out-of-date coupons and then argues with the clerk over each one. Then, the coot verrrrrrry slowly writes a check. Not until everything is already done. The groceries scanned and bagged – the coupon issue resolved. Only then will the old Clover finally bring forth its checkbook and begin to write. Never, ever, will this Clover begin writing out the check while the groceries are being scanned/bagged. Oh no. It will just stand there, rheumy eyes vacantly staring into the distance. After all, it has nothing better to do. Nowhere else to be. So, why hurry?

        You can just wait.

        • joeallen
          April 29, 2013 at 11:32 am

          Major food, department and petrol outlets here in Australia, do NOT accept cheques. It’s either cash or bankcard. I guess only a dickhead clover would carry cheques with them.

  25. April 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Another clover – slows down to pass.

    We’re all going the same basic speed, which happens to be above the speed limit but whatever. It’s an interstate, so you have the right lane and the left lane. Slower traffic is in the right lane, faster is in the left lane. All is good, and you don’t realize the guy in front of you is a clover.

    Then you start to pass a semi going much slower. Still all is good, people are changing lanes to pass the semi. Then you discover the guy in front of you is a clover. He cannot maintain speed while passing. Everyone was driving 75, the semi is going 55, he slows down to 60 while passing.

    I’ve seen the accidents this causes as everyone has to suddenly slam on the brakes to adjust to going from 75 to 60.

    The ironic thing is you don’t know this guy is a clover because without the semi he’d be driving the normal speed.

    • dom
      April 26, 2013 at 1:35 am

      I think this might be the most dangerous clover!

      • April 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Yeah. Because when I wrote that everyone was driving 75, I was understating. I’ve seen it on the I-10 where everyone was going 85 until the semi. Slowing from 85 to 60 very quickly is very dangerous and DOES cause accidents. Massive ones.

  26. mike
    April 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Here’s some I see everyday:

    1. 2 lane road, clover jumps in front of me after a rolling stop,
    then immediately wants to turn left
    2. 4 lane road, clover merges suddenly in front of me, in hasty preparation for his left turn 3 miles up ahead

    3. 2 or 4 lane, clover stops suddenly in preparati.on for illegal u-turn

    4. in rush hour, clover fills intersection, inevitably capturing his red light. Now no one can go.

    By the way: Led Zeppelin, turned up to eleven, will take care of the cRapper. I know, now I’m a clover, but at least a tasteful one.

  27. Rex
    April 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Well, Father Eric, I’m not here to confess but to add to the list. Scenario: I’m driving down the freeway in the right lane, cruise control set. I notice that I’m closing distance with the car ahead of me, so I move to the left lane. As soon as my front bumper comes even with the rear bumper of said car, I’m no longer going faster than it. The Clover has sped up to match my speed. Now I either become a pacer, or I have to speed up to pass the moron. It might be a subconscious reaction, but many of them are yakking on cell phones and not paying attention – until they notice that they are being passed.

  28. mikef
    April 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    There is a subspecies of Pacer Clover, non-passus bussus. They will NOT pass a school bus under any circumstances thus forcing everyone behind them to stop every time the bus stops.The line can grow for miles.

    • freak
      April 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

      And related to that guy, the Clover who gets alongside a tractor truck and becomes terrified, refusing to pass. They don’t realize that they’re in an even more dangerous position if the truck jackknifes.

    • liberranter
      April 25, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      I’m actually waiting to run into the Clover who sits behind a parked car waiting for it to move. It’ll probably be the same tard that Jason Calley encountered.

  29. Gamble
    April 25, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Install a loud horn, use it. Don’t break a sweat. Make it their problem.

    I have also thought about installing digital sign boards and other devices that allow me to vent and place the problem where it belongs. Freedom of speech you know…

    • Eightsouthman
      April 25, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      Back in the 60’s I had a ’67 Malibu. There was nothing but black paint between the two tail lights. That was when I first began trying to figure out how to make a message board back there. It was the electrical load and the vast amount of wiring(and light bulbs) that held me off. Easy to do these days though.

    • liberranter
      April 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      It’s probably illegal in some (most?) states, but I’m actually considering installing a train horn (I’ve seen them on eBay) on my Dodge Ram 2500 V8. It’s a big enough truck (V8 Diesel) that I don’t usually have to use the horn (most Munchkins usually have enough common sense not to get in the way of the Jolly Green Giant), but for those few especially dense roadclovers out there who just don’t “get it,” I’ve noticed that the standard car horn doesn’t really do much to change their minds. A train horn would most certainly get even the most detached roadclover’s attention very quickly.

      • Eightsouthman
        April 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

        liberranter, you have a V-8 diesel in a Dodge 3/4 T pickup? I have never seen such or even heard of it. Dodge introduced their inline 6(Cummins) back when they had the old body style that parodied GM’s and have never looked back engine wise. That big old valve cover right in the middle of the engine bay covers six cylinders, not 4 on each side. If anyone wants to use a train horn, just be sure to have the receipt for it with you and the serial number of that horn on receipt so you can avoid a federal offense after you crank it up and an LEO pulls you over. Only the RR’s could make it a federal offense and they did many years ago, just like wiring around your electric meter. Don’t take on the power companies or RR’s. I used to know lots of truckers with train horns, no longer though, they were all stolen at one time or another more than likely. Who wants to go through that hassle even if it was bought legally(and those truckers I speak of bought their horns but had no idea of their source((but horn company and RR do)) ).

  30. G3ken
    April 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm


    Love your writing. It’s a great start to mybday. You left out the “gawking at minor accidents clover” or “rubbernecking syndrome”. One day, stuck in miles of Long Island traffic, I finally got to find out the cause: a two car rear-end accident without a single dent. Never mind that it wasted an hourof my already lengthy commute, but the clover in front of me came to a complete stop in the middle of a three lane highway to gawk. I tapped my horn and he became enraged. He proceeded to give me. The bird, which I promptly returned. This infuriated this massive man in the car. He literally punched his rear view mirror off his car, smart, huh? Then he began to try to get me to pull over. When I wouldn’t, he tried running me off the road. At that point, fearing this irrational fool, I upholstered my lawfully carried .40 caliber H & K pistol and placed it under my left thigh, making it accessible if this fool was successful in forcing a stop. Fortunately, I reached my exit and made a quick exit before the dimwit could react and he missed me completely.

    I would not want to shoot anyone, but I will not roll around on the shoulder with a 260lb man , either. He doesn’t realize how close he came to harm. Road rangers beware.

    • G3ken
      April 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Sorry for the typos…..old(ER) eyes have made reading a bit more taxing. LASIK made my distant vision awesome. Small miracles.

      • April 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        No worries!

        It happens to me, too….

  31. Otown Right Guy
    April 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    The Won’t Move Forward Clover

    Glad you mentioned this. I encounter this one more and more. These people are utterly self-absorbed and oblivious to who they might be blocking, especially when there’s a left tun lane next to them. And, yes, if you honk and try to get them to move, they did in their heels and do not. How much of other people’s time do these complete a**holes waste?!

  32. Fred
    April 25, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I think “loud music kid” is more ignorant youth than clover.

    I would add to the list the idiots who pull into an intersection when there is not enough room to go through. Then the light changes, And there they are, a total douc…, sorry “clover,” blocking the intersection and staring straight ahead trying too hard to be oblivious to the rest of the world.

  33. April 25, 2013 at 9:11 am

    A few months back, I came to an intersection on a secondary road, turning left onto a highway. I was behind another car — a car which was about seven feet behind the stop line. You see what’s coming already, don’t you?

    Sure enough, the light has an induction loop. Clover in front of me is too far back to set it off. My wife, who is driving — and who turns into a giant clover whenever Violating The Law is at issue — abjectly refuses to go around this doofus. And so we sit at this intersection, doing nothing, for about fifteen minutes before Clover gives up and turns right.

    As for me, well: I was pretty displeased. Never quite displeased enough to get out of the car into the freezing Alaskan winter to teach Clover how stop lights work, but not too happy!

    • April 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I like to demonstrated for Clovers that lightning bolts will not descend from the sky if one takes the initiative and exercises one’s own good judgment – in violation of “the law.”

      Example: Every Sunday morning, after hitting the gym, the wife and I hit Starbucks for coffee and (for me) a sausage biscuit. To get there, you have to take a left turn at a signaled intersection. There is usually no traffic, or very light traffic – and I see no reason (other than blind, Cloveronian obedience to “the law”) to sit at this light for 5-10 minutes waiting for it to cycle when it is is clearly safe to proceed. So, I do. And I always watch for the reaction of the driver behind. Whether he will follow my example – or shake his fist at me in Cloveronian fury!

  34. Ross Nelson
    April 25, 2013 at 6:13 am

    You’ve got to check out those Russian drivers on Clovercam, as well as the rest. What a goldmine.

    • liberranter
      April 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      I think I’d have to cut Russian drivers a little bit of slack. Russians have probably only started driving in great numbers within the last 15-20 years, so they don’t have as much practice at it as most of the rest of the Western world.

  35. Dan M
    April 25, 2013 at 5:44 am

    The type of clover I hate more than any other is the person who will pull RIGHT OUT in front of you on a two lane (one lane in each direction) road, then proceed to go ten miles per hour UNDER the speed limit. You can flash your lights at them, honk your horn, tailgate them, whatever. They won’t get it no matter what. They are “setting the pace.” I detest this sort of clover as the absolute bane of my existence while behind the wheel, rating about a 9.9 on a scale of 10 as dreadful motorist we can all live without for all eternity.

    Of course, the road will be a solid double yellow divider all the way down the line, so passing is out of the question if you don’t want a christmas tree in the rearview mirror.

    • liberranter
      April 25, 2013 at 6:10 am

      Is it just me, or has there emerged a nationwide trend of roadclovers buffaloing their way out into traffic from parking lots or side streets? I’m talking about clovers who won’t wait for an opening, but will edge their snouts out into the right lane just DEFYING you not to stop and let them out, just DARING you to make them t-bone you. It might be something that was always there, but I’ve noticed it becoming much more common over the last five years or so.

      • BrentP
        April 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

        Yes. and they don’t just nose out around here. They pull out with full expectation that others will accommodate them. Over on clovercam, our Clover will defend them.

        • liberranter
          April 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm

          It’s more aggressive in some places than others, but, as I said, I’ve noticed it all over the country over the last five or so years.

    • freak
      April 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      It’s bad enough that they pull out right in front of you, but what is worse is when they pull up with PLENTY of time to enter traffic, but wait… And wait… And wait… Until cutting you off at the last moment.

    • April 29, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      I had that happen, but there was a happy ending to my story.

      Because this jerk kept my blood pressure up as every time I thought “here’s my turn I’ll get out from behind him” he made the same turn. ALL THE WAY TO THE PARKING LOT! But when I realized we were going to the same parking lot I smiled.

      I carefully watched where he parked, and when he left his vehicle I wrote him a letter and placed it on his windshield.

      “Dear Penis,
      What kind of idiot always goes 35 in a 45 zone?”

      • DownshiftFast5to1
        April 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm

        Ha! Good one, Ayn R. Key. And smooth too.

  36. Jason Calley
    April 25, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Everyone has a story. Here’s mine.

    It is an early Sunday morning, almost zero traffic, I am driving down a four lane road, two lanes in each direction. I am in the right lane. A man pulls in behind me, tailgating so close that I cannot even see the hood ornament on his car. There is no other traffic in either direction, just myself and this man right on my bumper, maybe three or four feet behind me. I give him a minute to either fall back or pass me, but he just keeps on my bumper. I did not speed up or brake,I just took my foot off the gas and let the car coast. He stayed on my bumper. I coasted… all the way to a dead stop… and he stopped right behind me, still on my bumper. I sat there, parked in the middle of an empty road with just myself and this non-moving tailgater. And I sat. After perhaps three or four minutes, he slowly backed up a bit, cut his wheels and pulled around me.

    • liberranter
      April 25, 2013 at 6:07 am

      Now THAT was truly a once-in-a-lifetime “Clover Encounter of the Third Kind.” You must have come across the only licensed mentally retarded driver in your state.

      • methylamine
        April 25, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        If that’s the only licensed mentally retarded driver in that state–I want to move to THAT state!

        Even here in Texas, we have a vast number of miscellaneous retards issued licenses.

        I say “retards” to be derogatory, fully relishing the un-PC-ness of the term.

        Truth hurts.

        • liberranter
          April 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm

          Generally speaking, I agree with you, but I still think that what Jason encountered was the “real deal.” I mean, I have NEVER had a driver slow down to a dead stop, on an empty two-lane road, just because I stopped, the thought never having occurred to the brain-injured driver to P-A-S-S (and believe me, I’ve encountered just about every other conceivable form of road stupidity that there is). What Jason experienced is truly the hallmark of someone with an IQ of about 30.

  37. Billybob
    April 25, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Here’s a Clover sub-type I encountered recently but which apparently has not yet received proper taxonomical identification: A woman who is out getting her mail decides to play traffic cop with an oncoming car, deliberately standing in the middle of the driving lane with her hand stuck out, screaming about the speed limit. The oncoming car simply went around her in the opposite driving lane, but I was seriously worried that she would try to move into the other lane and carry on her apparent act of suicidal lunacy. Therefore, I propose the term “Suicidal traffic cop wannabe” for this Clover sub-type.

  38. Mike in Spotsy
    April 25, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Came across the ultimate gas station Clover at a service area on the PA turnpike a couple of years back. Lots of traffic, cars backed up at all pumps. The guy in front of me, in his late 60s or early 70s, finished filling up. Then he started cleaning his windows. Slowly and carefully. As he finally put the squeegee away, I thought he was ready to drive off. No such luck: he got a paper towel and cleaned his rear license plate!! Luckily, another pump opened up, so I didn’t have to stay to see what other lunacy he might have engaged in.

    • Ed
      April 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

      Mike, what’s really funny to me is to watch an inexperienced traveler from Jersey trying to figure out a self service pump. One guy, at Delaware House on I95, turned to me and said, “Help me out, here, I’m from Jersey”.

      • dom
        April 25, 2013 at 1:26 am

        Oh mang Jersey sucks! I lived there for six months and had spent a lot of time there over the years (had some family there).

        Four things come to mind:
        1. Can’t turn left
        2. No alcohol on Sunday
        3. No alcohol at regular stores
        4. Can’t pump gas

        Oh mang I hate that place!

        • Mithrandir
          April 25, 2013 at 1:58 am


          1. Depends were you are located. Usually the no left turn restriction occurs at locations with high traffic volume.

          2. One can buy alcohol every day of the week and twice on Sunday. (This may have been an old law or a law in some communities. Alcohol was always available where I grew up any day of the week.)

          3. Stores need a liquor license to
          sell/distribute alcohol. These licenses are limited in supply and expensive to acquire.

          4. Only true for gasoline. Diesel is self serve. I usually have no issues pumping my own
          gasoline. Depends on the gas station.

          New Jersey has high taxes, corrupt politicians (are there any other), and high population density especially near New York City and Philadelphia. As one gets further from these cities, one can find nice rural areas. Otherwise it is not a bad state for one to live. It is not for everyone. If I did not have family here, I am not sure if I would stay.

        • Ed
          April 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

          Dom, one thing I like about Jersey is the pork stores. I used to drive from Wilmington across the bridge into Jersey and go out to a little farm that had a great pork store, fresh milk fed pork, uncured bacon, chops, smoked sausages, etc.

          On the other hand, some of the cities are just really depressing.

      • Mike in Spotsy
        April 25, 2013 at 2:00 am

        Actually, Ed, I think the guy did have Jersey plates. But by the time he started cleaning the rear plate, my blood pressure was about 250/180, so memory doesn’t necessarily serve me well from that point on.

        When I pull into a gas station in Jersey, my instinct is to get out of the car and start pumping. But that is, of course, verboten. Is the gas pumpers union really powerful there or something?

        • Ed
          April 25, 2013 at 2:52 am

          I don’t know if it’s some union behind the regulation or what, but I was really surprised the first time I pulled into a gas station and started to pump my own gas. An attendant came out and acted terrified that someone would see me handling the pump myself.

          It was really weird. He practically begged me to get back in the car and let him pump my gas. When he told me it was a state law I was kind of shocked.

        • April 25, 2013 at 10:35 am

          What will they do if you dare to pump your own gas? Arrest you?


          I have to keep reminding myself. This is the USSA. Land of the cowed, home of the Clover.

          • Ed
            April 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

            “What will they do if you dare to pump your own gas? Arrest you? ”

            I suspect so, to judge by the terror of the attendant. Of course, since it was New Jersey, arrest is secondary to being beaten down or shot by the donut addicts. The old “Keystone Kops” silent films were a great putdown of cops, made in an era when police forces were fairly new, and very much resented by the general population.

            The Kops were always shown doing something completely ridiculous, and dangerous to the populace such as insane driving in car chases. Their chases sometimes ended with the Kops grabbing up the wrong person and beating him about the head and shoulders with nightsticks.

            I think they were Philadelphia police in the films, with Philly being the butt of jokes made by “sophisticated” New Yorkers. Maybe the NYPD was supposed to be much more serious (and dangerous) than the Philly cops, since New York was already a “gun-free” city.

          • mithrandir
            April 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm

            I think the station will be fined a certain amount of money.

      • liberranter
        April 25, 2013 at 6:05 am

        “Help me out, here, I’m from Jersey”.

        Now THERE’S a bumper sticker/t-shirt/coffee mug/poster that will sell MILLIONS.

        • Ed
          April 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

          “Now THERE’S a bumper sticker/t-shirt/coffee mug/poster that will sell MILLIONS.”

          Great, liberranter. My troubles are over…..Uh, how do I cash in on this? Help me out, here, I’m from SC….


          • liberranter
            April 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

            Ah, sorry Ed, but you’d probably have to 1) move to Jersey (NOT recommended) and 2) adopt the Jersey chip on your shoulder (had my dad not moved us out of there when I was ten, I’d probably BE one of those wretched creatures today).

            You sure you still want to make the investment? :)~

      • Dan M
        April 25, 2013 at 8:47 am

        Yeah, we can’t pump our own gas in Oregon either. Some left wing do gooder politicians decided that eliminating self service gas stations would “create jobs” in the state. Don’t *even* get me started. But too late now, so here goes with my story about Oregon gas station attendants.

        Some years ago, I pulled into a gas station in my Jeep (which I no longer own) and gave the attendant my keys to take off the locking gas cap. Well, this genius broke the key off inside the lock, took what was left of the key OFF my key ring and discarded it, filled my tank, and handed the keys back to me without telling me what happened. I didn’t notice anything amiss until the NEXT time I had to get gas.

        I had to call a locksmith, who was barely able to get the cap off and pull the broken key out.

        • April 25, 2013 at 9:47 am

          They do that in New Jersey, too.

          I could not abide it.

          I’d move – or never move there in the first place.

          Does this also apply to motorcycles? Do you have to let some gas station guido spill fuel all over your tank?

          • liberranter
            April 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

            New Jersey: positive proof that God has a very sick sense of humor.

          • Larry
            April 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm


            Motorcycles are exempt from this Oregon Law. I used to live in Oregon but the state of Portland clearly controls the state of Oregon, ruining it for everybody.

        • NotApplicable
          April 25, 2013 at 6:56 pm

          My first trip to Oregon… “WTF, why are all of these people in reflective vests standing in the way of everything?” Then I had to wait on a guy to tell me I had to go inside and prepay, then come back out and wait for him to remember to come back and wait on me. It took me close to half an hour by the time I left.

          • Larry
            April 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm

            Are you sure the guys in reflective suits weren’t elk hunters? 😉

  39. liberranter
    April 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    There’s also the “cyclover,” the two-wheeled clover who, usually as part of a cluster of same, rides in the middle lane of a winding two-lane road where safe passing is impossible.

    • Dan M
      April 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

      Or they will ride two abreast down the middle of the street. I think that some bicyclists out there are just itching to use their organ donor cards or something.

      • liberranter
        April 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

        I think that some bicyclists out there are just itching to use their organ donor cards or something.

        That’s my general thoughts too. I really think, though, at least in these parts, that most of them think that they’ve been conferred “special road privileges” that exempt them from the rules of the road. Here in Tucson that’s probably true, given that the envirolibtard city and county councils consider anything “green” (i.e., non-mechanical) to have rights ueber All Else, particularly those nasty ICE-engined thingees that clog the roads.

  40. Ed
    April 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    What about the “Gangster Lean Clover”? I’ve been waiting and he never gets mentioned 😉

    Maybe you’ve encountered him. He reclines his seat to the halfway point, lies back, leans over sideways, and hangs one wrist over the top of the steering wheel. That driving style is known as “the gangster lean” (as in leaning over sideways, which maybe they imagine gangsters do) He can only see the road ahead through the top half of his steering wheel’s circumference, and can’t see his mirrors at all.

    It’s best to get as far away as possible from anyone driving this way. They are an accident waiting to happen.

  41. skunkbear
    April 24, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Great article though it gets my blood boiling remembering all the times I have experienced them all.

    I would suggest though that as for The Won’t Move Forward Clover it would be wise to make an exception for when a semi is stopped in front of you. You do not know what is inside the trailer and if it is secured properly or not. Case in point, a trucking company I worked for had a 6′ reel of electrical wire weighing 7,000# break loose when the driver took off from a stop light and it crashed through the trailer’s doors onto the road. Had there been a car behind him it would have smashed it flat. (I tried to find a link to the pic of this but could not find it.) I have always left a car’s length since seeing that photo.

    • NotApplicable
      April 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      Well, I’d say there’s always safety exceptions for any scenario. I gave a pretty long space at an intersection once to a city garbage truck that had his lid flipped up. I even pulled to the left so he might see me flashing my lights while honking at him. Watching the overhead stoplight explode was a sight to see.

  42. Handsome Jim
    April 24, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    “It is rather amazing that the species survives to reproduce.” Where else would the bureaucrats come from? They are clovers!,, but seriously most clovers are just leaches. And I really like how you put the scenario when you honk at a clover, they take it as aggression, and react passively-aggressively and do nothing still, like they are wearing their oil Junior G man badge.
    I can honestly say I do not understand the mentality of people who drive, it’s like I don’t know what the big deal is about being in the right lane? Why won’t they just get the hell over? It’s the same concrete, it’s paved the same. It’s on the same angle. And what is it with people that NOW won’t even turn right on red when there is no sign!,,,
    Anyways…it makes me crazy!,,
    Check out my newest stuff, the Non-Aggression Principle:

    • BrentP
      April 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Thank red light cameras for no right on red. I will not turn right on red at any intersection with camera if I know it is there. Why? Because I have seen them malfunction too many times. Fighting one bad ticket successfully is more than a life time worth of time saved by right on red. I got sick of being the lone nut bothering to write one elected office holder after another on these things.

      When the speed cameras come to Chicago I’ll be driving 15mph most everywhere when I go into the city. Too bad. they want these cameras, fine. I’ll drive slow and they’ll have to deal with it until the cameras are removed.

      The speed cameras will be ‘safety zones’ that by law can be just about anywhere in the city. In Chicago a driver is just supposed to know what the speed limit is. There are rarely signs. The safety zones are 20mph. So 15 to be safe. To have some margin.

      • DownshiftFast5to1
        April 24, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        “I will not turn right on red at any intersection with camera if I know it is there. … When the speed cameras come to Chicago I’ll be driving 15mph most everywhere when I go into the city.”

        Seems like they’re slowly turning you into a Clover ala Pod People style. I cannot understand why anyone would want to live there or even go there.
        Wouldn’t they just give you a ticket for impeding traffic if your drove 15mph?
        I cannot understand why anyone would want to live there or even go there. The whole state gives me the creeps. But anymore they all do.

        As John Fogerty sings: “Just got home from Illinois, lock the front door, oh boy! Got to sit down, take a rest on the porch.”

        • Handsome Jim
          April 25, 2013 at 2:11 am

          I love a good John Fogerty reference!!! As for Chicago, the tax rate is astronomical, it stinks, there is this mad rush for nothing, the sports fans there are lower zombies, worshipping balls and d-fences and losing streaks, and everyone is scared. What is this old mans problem? I mean that was some sad stuff? Did he read that before he submitted it?

        • BrentP
          April 25, 2013 at 2:54 am

          At a certain point the way to protest a system is to obey its rules and let the system clog up.

          Building a system that can only work if nearly everyone violates its rules is how the clover law operates. It’s about being able to selectively enforce. I’ve been selectively enforced upon enough so now I’ll punish the clover majority around me with obedience to the asinine rules they wanted and supported. The rules they decided the cops wouldn’t enforce on ‘good people’.

          They wanted this government? They wanted this? Now they can live with some of the consequences.

          • Handsome Jim
            April 25, 2013 at 3:22 am


          • DownshiftFast5to1
            April 25, 2013 at 3:31 am

            “I’ve been selectively enforced upon enough so now I’ll punish the clover majority around me with obedience to the asinine rules they wanted and supported.”

            Been there, done that. It didn’t do jack.
            Didn’t feel good about it in the end either.
            Couldn’t believe how much it transformed my thinking and behavior when I stopped.

            I understand your position though, it’s along the same lines as that Russian in the Gulag long ago I forget the name of.

            I’ll try to think of you or John Gault having a bad day when I come up behind you.
            Oh, wait. I’m Never Ever going back to Chicago, so we’re good.

          • BrentP
            April 25, 2013 at 4:35 am

            Yes, it’s about using the system against itself. I just point at the photo enforcement sign.

            A clover thinks the system is fair. I know it is not. Where I can reduce my risk of being caught up in it, I do. I’ve fought selective and imaginary (laws that do not actually exist but the clover majority thinks exist) enforcement and lost enough times. It’s not worth my time so screw ’em.

            Now Illinois wants to make school zones 24/7. Guess what? These clovers want to do this ‘for the children’? Well then they’ll just have to suffer the consequences of it.

            I am tired of all these laws they want and then none of them obey. They just want cops to enforce them on ‘bad’ people who are those who don’t conform. As one of the ‘bad people’ (well when driving three out of four of my cars), the hell with them.

    • Qwibqwib
      April 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      They don’t “get the hell over”, because it is their job, no, their life’s calling, to make sure you drive at a rate acceptable to them.

      • Handsome Jim
        April 25, 2013 at 2:14 am

        I know. I can’t believe they actually can do it with consciousness though. I have driven by them before, passing on the right, then getting in front of them and they actually get mad? It is this most irrational behavior, and confusing as he’ll to me, to watch very poor and dangerous drivers get upset over having their poor skills pointed out. It only makes me wonder how dull their lives must be, and how they most surely have to be unskillful in every other area of their lives?

    • freak
      April 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      Or this one: 2 straight lanes going into a red light. I’m approaching in the left lane. 2 cars ahead in the right lane. Just before I get there, the second car cuts over into the left lane. On green, this car paces the car in the right lane, blocking anybody from passing. God forbid they be behind somebody at a light.

      • Handsome Jim
        April 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        I run lights, especially when no one is coming, so I hate it when some clover pulls that maneuver!!!!

  43. Brandonjin
    April 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I’m a “cRapper Clover” whenever I pass the house of a Clover that lives near me. No regrets.

    Deferential clovers are simply dangerous.

    Getting an SUV would alleviate many of my problems with clovers, and I debate getting one.

  44. Eric_G
    April 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    I deal with the “the pacer” just about every day out where the speed limit on I-70 goes up to 75MPH. Since I tend to drive the same roads for work all the time I have a fairly good feel for what the speed limit feels like, and make good use of cruise control to save my right knee. In good weather it’s almost a given that someone will begin to pass me, but then proceed to sit right next to me in my (fairly large, given I drive an F150 with a topper) blind spot. They then will cruise along, I guess forever, but I’ve gotten to the point that I just slow down and try to force them to pass. Of course, this also backfires about once a week, and they’ll just slow down too. I guess the next step is to just pull off into the break down lane.

    Because I drive a vehicle with my companies’ name (and a “how’s my driving” sticker) plastered on the side, I have to be very careful about doing anything that could be considered road rage. I don’t think it’s intentional, but maybe they just look down at the speedometer and realize they are going “too fast” (even though most speedos read high these days because of lower profile tires) and then don’t know what to do next.

    • freak
      April 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      My version: 4 lane highway. I’m cruising in the left-middle lane. Car comes bombing up in the right middle lane, overtaking me by 10-15 mph. Once they get abreast of my car they inexplicably slow and pace alongside.

      We travel like this, sometimes for miles, until we overtake a vehicle in their lane. Only when the distance has closed to about a car length do they realize the situation, but rather than slow down, they attempt to floor it and cut over in front of me.

      This situation is so common that when I see it developing I will preemptively speed up to mitigate the hazard.

  45. Matt
    April 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    The clover I despise is the one who will wait to the very last second to merge when a road reduces from 2 lanes to one, speeding to try and get in front of as many people as possible, almost hit you when they cut in then proceed to slow down to 5 below the speed limit… only to speed up to 5 over when a passing zone occurs.

    • Qwibqwib
      April 24, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      In reply to the first part of your comment, what about the clover in the right lane (who must yeild) when 2 lanes turn into one, but refuses to do so? Of course, this guy will pace someone in the left lane, and attempt to “merge” in front of them at a slower rate than the speed limit (at the last minute). He thinks that faster traffic should slam on their brakes to avoid being hit by him.

      I think it was Yale that did a study where they tested peoples ability to judge the speed of another car. They found that for every year that a person was over 50 years of age, they over estimated speeds by an average of 3mph. So, a 60 yo man could potentially be off by as much as 30 mph in their guess at how fast another driver is driving.

      Most people have a speedometer which is 5mph fast. People who follow the speed limit religiously are really going 5mph under the speed limit. So, those of us who cruise at 5mph ABOVE the limit (and know their speedo is off) would appear to be travelling at 15-20mph above the limit. A 70yo man(present company excluded, of course 😉 ) could misjudge that speed by 45-50mph!

      I heard that the jap cars have their speedos set 5mph fast at the factory so they can claim higher gas mileage numbers. So, by that logic, a 60yo clover driving a jap car (they all do) would misjudge speeds by an average 35MPH!!!!!!! That is assuming the Yale study was not flawed.

    • Me2
      April 24, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I have had about 20 vehicles in my driving years and I have found that some vehicles are damned near clover-proof.

      The one that made it seem like I owned the road was the 1980 1-ton 4×4 Suburban. I bought it from a guy in the middle of a field where I suspect it had resided for at least several years. Primer grey, rusty, dented and about the ugliest thing I have ever seen but mechanically probably the best vehicle I have ever owned.

      Anyway, people could not get out of it’s way fast enough. At 4-way stops, nobody would move until I had. The idiots who race to the end of the merge lane never dared to cut in front of me. On the highway, the left lane cleared like magic.

      There is something to be said about driving a vehicle that just screams “GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, YOUR VEHICLE IS SHINY, MINE WEIGHS SEVERAL TONS AND I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT MY SHEET METAL”.


      • Just Dont Get In My Way
        April 25, 2013 at 7:35 am


        ‘There is something to be said about driving a vehicle that just screams “GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE WAY, YOUR VEHICLE IS SHINY, MINE WEIGHS SEVERAL TONS AND I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT MY SHEET METAL”.’

        With that, you gave me the biggest and best belly laugh of the week. I love it. thanks.

        • April 25, 2013 at 9:53 am

          A True Story:

          Back in the early ’90s, when I was working in DC at The Washington Times, I had a ’73 Super Beetle that was brush-painted with Home Depot’s finest (on sale) sea-green exterior Latex. Well, one day, I am driving home toward Northern Va. At one point, the road narrows from three lanes to two – just before you cross the Potomac River. I am in the middle lane. A guy in a new or nearly new E-Class Benz is to right and fails to apprehend the imminence of the end of his lane. He brushes up against my battered VW. We pull off. I point out that the situation is clearly his fault, but that I’m not concerned about the new dents or the flaked Home Depot Green – and am ok with each of us just dealing with our own damage and leaving it at that. He agrees – and thanks me – and I leave him looking at probably $3,000 worth of body damage to his car… while my car just has some more “personality.”

      • April 25, 2013 at 9:57 am

        The late Kenny Everett had a British TV show that had a sketch in which he was doing a fake advertisement. As a bemused commuter was looking for a place to park, Kenny was standing at the side with a microphone saying, “Trouble parking? Solve all your parking problems with a [an almighty crashing sound, as through an adjacent wall there burst…] a Sherman tank!” The tank then rolled over the parked cars, crushing them and settling on top of them.

    • joeallen
      April 29, 2013 at 11:12 am

      This is where horsepower comes in handy, such as a top of the line hemi engine. V8 with lots of torque. The illbillies in kentucky and tennessee do this coming off freeway entrance ramps any chance they get. My brother ran one of these clovers off the road, as did the motorist coming behind us.

  46. Ferret
    April 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    One of my (least) favorites are the ones who have no problem holding up the rest of the free world just to avoid being slightly inconvenienced.

    You know the type: The one who doesn’t realize they want to make a left turn at a red light until they’re well past the already-packed left turn lane. Even though the light turns green for all lanes in that direction, they will sit and block the straight lane until the left turn lane is clear.

    What is really galling about this behavior is that at times I’ve had this happen to me, I just go forward until I can pull a U-turn and get back on track. That is, after passing by seventy-five (or so) turn lanes, all of which have a no U-turn sign at them (and a tax feeder assigned to watch them for revenue-enhancement opportunities).

  47. liberranter
    April 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    * The highway back-up Clover –

    When Clover misses his exit (having failed to pay attention/anticipate) he will sometimes simply back up. Right there, on the shoulder of the highway. IT IS ALMOST A MATHEMATICAL AXIOM THAT THERE WILL NEVER BE A COP AROUND TO WITNESS THIS.

    That last sentence is what makes me want to firebomb the nearest pigpen I can find. While I haven’t encountered many instances of a clover backing up to an exit, I have witnessed many a clover on the highway doing equally reckless and stupid things (zig-zagging in and out of lanes on a crowded freeway, nearly sideswiping other cars; suddenly cutting across three lanes of a highway from the far left lane to exit, nearly t-boning another driver in the process, etc.). There has NEVER, in all my five decades of driving, EVER been a badgethug in the vicinity to catch these morons in the act. NOT EVER. As you point out, they’re too busy extorting revenue from other drivers who have harmed no one to be bothered with actually “protecting and serving” other innocent drivers from reckless clovers.

    While it is well known that I detest swine of all stripes, I could possibly at least tolerate their existence if they would at least occasionally do something remotely resembling their ostensible raison d’etre – like catching reckless clovers in the act of actually endangering other drivers.

    • DownshiftFast5to1
      April 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Pardon me. I didn’t know backing up on the shoulder was wrong or illegal. It’s ok to backup one foot if the ground is too soft to change a flat? How about two feet? If two feet is ok, why not twenty feet? I don’t see the harm or the foul in backing up on a shoulder, especially if there’s no other traffic and so long as you don’t affect other traffic in any way.
      Enlighten me on this one please.

      • liberranter
        April 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

        If you re-read my post, you’ll see that what I’m upset about is not backing up on the shoulder per se (stupid as that might be, especially in heavy highway traffic). Rather, I’m upset at the fact that when a roadclover does something clearly reckless, something that clearly endangers other drivers, no matter what that action might be, there is NEVER, EVER a copthug within five miles to catch them at it.

        • dom
          April 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm

          Cops love clovers! They generate chaos, anger, and revenue. Without clovers traffic would flow free and easy therefore remove the need for most of the taxfeeders, oops I mean pigs, dang it assholes I mean. Ah forget it. What I’m really trying to say… It would remove the need for all the pieces of shit in funny uniforms.

          • DownshiftFast5to1
            April 25, 2013 at 12:22 am

            Funny, dom.
            liberranter, I get what you’re angry at. I was just asking.
            As I re-read my own comment I see it might come across as snippy or something, That was not my intent.

            Also, one of the multiple reasons there’s no cops around is because they’re too busy following guys like me around town as I innocently drive or walk.
            Seems like I can’t go three blocks without seeing one, every stinkin’ day. If I was the paranoid type I might begin to wonder.
            One cop had to really go out of his way to follow me as I went for a walk today. I wonder if it was because of the black backpack I wore? Ha. He must’ve thought there were doughnuts in it? I wonder if he would have chased me if I started to run? Just like dogs do.

      • mithrandir
        April 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm


        It may depend on the state and the road of travel.
        I guess it also depends if a LEO see you commit the action.

        In NJ on the NJTP and the GSP there is:
        27:23–29 Moving against traffic

        On other roads one can receive the following:
        39:4–127 Improper backing or turning in street
        39:4–85.1 Wrong way on a one-way street
        39:4–96 Reckless driving
        39:4–97 Careless driving

      • BrentP
        April 25, 2013 at 3:08 am

        1) You want to take the same exit and find someone backing up at you.

        2) You’re driving along in the right lane when the drivers in front of you start braking as one or more of them who wanted to exit has to brake because someone reversing on the shoulder is headed right at them.

        3) A clover is backing up to make his exit on the left shoulder.

        4) You’re coming down an entrance ramp only to find a clover backing up the on ramp.

        5) The backing up clover can’t hold a straight line and keeps veering into the right lane.

        Those are the ones I can remember thus far.

        However, it is a clover move primarily because it’s lazy. It’s someone who can’t suck it up and find a way to double back. It’s the same sort of person who at a red signal decides he wants to go a different direction than the lane he is in so he holds everyone else up or just jams his way in cutting someone else off instead of going the direction for the lane and finding a place to turn around.

        • DownshiftFast5to1
          April 25, 2013 at 3:41 am

          This “backing up at you” I don’t get that. Is that something to be fearful of? I suppose it depends on the driver?
          I can backup in a straight line. I know many cannot.
          I can’t see the difference between a car parked off the road on the shoulder with all four wheels on the shoulder, and someone backing up with all four wheels on the shoulder.

          “Oh Shit! A car’s backing up! Hit the brakes!” ???

          Note: the only question I had about it really, is if backing up didn’t get in the way of the other drivers. Obviously, #3, 4 and 5 don’t apply here.

          • BrentP
            April 25, 2013 at 4:25 am

            Clovers often don’t stop because someone with right of way is there. They expect the other person to stop for them. Just look at our Clover’s arguments here and on clovercam. Always demands that other people compensate for them. Now in this back up to an exit situation most do stop, but some don’t.

            If the people in front of you are also clovers they will brake/stop for the one backing up on the shoulder. Why? That’s their natural order. They think such an assbackwards way of doing things is the right way. To them it courteous to hold up traffic so the first one can back up to the ramp.

    • freak
      April 25, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Worse is when a cop IS right there, whether in a speed trap, sitting at a traffic light or in the same flow of traffic, but simply ignores the violation.

  48. Tor Munkov
    April 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Statist solution to nuisances? – No Rights / Total Police State

    Fat Ass Code Enforcement Pig Enters Lady’s Home

    (Jimmy Vowell of Martinez, GA lied about the incident, was fired, and then later was fully reinstated in his position)

    Delaware DOT removes basketball hoops to appease anonymous Clover

    (Homeowner retrieved pole and reinstalled it)

    Skateboard Ban Protest from 1988

    (Kids are now issued tickets and have criminal records for “illegal” skateboarding)

    • dom
      April 25, 2013 at 12:04 am

      That is some sick shit!

  49. April 24, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    The view blocker:

    When I lived in Chicagoland this almost never happened to me. Now that I’m in Nashville it happens to me constantly!

    I wonder what it would take to assemble a map of the country showing which clovers are prevalent in certain areas, so that we can plan road trips around them. :)

    My 13 year old son was in the car with my wife and I a week ago and called someone a clover. “Oh no! there’s a curve in the road! the clover has to slow down to 30 in a 45 zone!” 5 minutes later… “Oh no! We’re going downhill and nobody is in front of him! Must slam on the brakes!”

    I had to explain to my wife the definition of clover at that point.

    • Matt
      April 24, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      “I had to explain to my wife the definition of clover at that point.”

      Hahaha I had to explain it a few times as well… Shout ‘Damn Clover” a few times and the people in your car start looking at you like you are crazy :)

  50. mikehell
    April 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm


    Major edit: ento-mologists study insects; etymologist study word meanings. Damn spell checkers.

    • April 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      Thank you, Mike!

      Just fixed!

  51. BrentP
    April 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    The view blocker…. I want to turn left from a stop sign while the SUV, van, or other tall vehicle driving clover is turning right. I move up to see around clover’s behemoth and what does clover do? Moves forward to block my view. They can see clear over my car, but that’s not good enough… so I move out a bit more… clover moves out again. I can’t see traffic coming from the right. A gap appears in traffic from the left and clover moves… oh it was clear for me… but I had to wait to see it and now the opportunity has passed. Wait for the next one… oh great sally soccer mom in her mini van has pulled up to turn right to block my view again….

    The short stopper who blocks turn lanes… I’ve seen them do it upwards of three and four car lengths. Then there is the short stopper who doesn’t stop on the traffic light sensors. They don’t understand how the traffic lights work. Aggrivating when I am first in line on my bicycle (which often cannot trigger them). When I am driving I have been known to go around them and stop at the line on the sensors to trigger the light.

    • Boothe
      April 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      BrentP, it not just Chicago. I see the same things you do right here in a small midwestern town. There is no way the moron in that Expedition to my right needs to pull a half length past the stop bar to see over my Miata. But they do just what you’ve described almost every time. I am told these people also believe their vote counts and the police are there to protect them. 😉

      As far as the embedded traffic light triggers go, sometimes even my motorcycle won’t set them off. And there’s one here in town that’s only about 50/50 with my Miata. What usually happens to me is the “Overly Cautious of Motorcyclists Clover” pulls up about 1.5 to 2 car lengths behind me in the turn lane. They just refuse to come within 50 feet of my bike and don’t trip the light either. After another light cycle, if the intersection is clear, I simply run the light.

      The root problem as I see it is that so few people really think about what they’re doing. It has been my experience that there are two basic classes of people in this world: do-ers and drifters. The do-ers think about things, take action and learn from the results. The majority seem to drift around in a cloverian daze bumping into things and gumming up the works without any forethought, consideration for their contemporaries or even any lessons learned. As the Mogambo Guru would say, “We’re freakin’ doomed!!”

  52. Tor Munkov
    April 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Minor copyedit:

    In “The Pacer”, (paragraph to left of the clown car)

    I think lawn should be lane?

    “This iron law of Clover Conduct holds regardless of the speed of the car in the right lawn. It might be doing the speed limit – or more. Or less. It does not matter.

  53. SlaveDjango
    April 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I used to have the same perspective of all drivers who displayed these exasperating, moronic driving traits until my daughter began driving a few years ago. I realized that, somehow, there’s a damn gene that makes a BAD driver and she got it from my mother, who is one of the worst drivers I’ve ever seen!

    My daughter is a very good person and an outstanding student (now in college) but a VERY bad driver. I’ve tried everything I can think of and I shudder every time she gets in the car. Even the simple things like starting the engine and releasing the key at the right time elude her. However, she has a job and commutes to college and we live in a very rural area with no other transportation options. She plans her day around trying to drive when the challenges will be the least and avoids certain routes, etc. It’s pretty challenging for her and scary for me. In certain conditions (fog, heavy rain, snow, etc.), she calls me and I go get her and drive her home.

    So, while some of the complaints listed here are not excusable, many of them might, in some cases, be caused by the sad defect my daughter was cursed with. Now, whenever I encounter one of these seemingly moronic Clovers on the road (all too often…), I think of my poor daughter and it helps me deal with the anger.

    • Jacob
      April 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Maybe convince her to take a motorcycle safety course. Learning how to ride a bike made me pay a lot more attention at driving.

      • April 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm

        A motorcycle safety course helped me see the road from other perspectives. I agree that taught me more than a driving school did.

  54. harry p.
    April 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    i have seen “the pacer” clover many many times, growing up in northeast PA we referred to them along with the car in the right lane as a “Jersey Wall”.

    • Brian
      April 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      I’ve heard it called a “Mormon Roadblock”

  55. Ryan
    April 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm


    I would like to use this space as a confessional, and ask forgiveness for my cloverian sin as a youth, as I almost perfectly fit the definition of cRapper Clover when I was 16.

    To clover is akin to sin. We may have clover tendencies at times (and we may even act on them), but as long as one recognizes the error of his ways and repents, may they be forgiven!

    • April 24, 2013 at 3:53 pm


      You are forgiven, my son!

      • Nobody
        April 25, 2013 at 2:15 am

        If clover confessions are being taken, I feel obliged to speak up.

        As a teenager I was a clover, a super clover really, in nearly every sense of the word (I blame public school and, though I hate doing so… ignorant parents), and it really showed in my driving.

        Long story short, after causing a few accidents (and having a few epiphanies about the true nature of the world) I wised up. In my late teens, around 18, I became decidedly nonclover, and by 21 I was full of hate and rage at a world I believed was filled with nothing other than clovers.

        I have come a long way since then, thanks in large part to web sites such as this one, which informed me that I am not the last sane man in the world, and so much more.

        Anyway, thank you for speaking out Eric, and helping the rest of us to do the same.

        Perhaps I will start Clovers Anonymous:

        Hello, my name is ***** ****, I am a recovered Clover and ex-sociopath.

        • DownshiftFast5to1
          April 25, 2013 at 3:22 am

          HA! “Hello, my name is ***** ****, I am a recovered Clover and ex-sociopath.” Well said.

          You should start up a Clovers Anonymous.

          Might do some good.
          Might be good for kicks.

          I’m not sure on this, but that you could say, “I wised up” May mean you were never really a clover in the first place, you just thought you were one? Or something like that. I’m no clover expert though, especially having done clover-like stuff in the past too. I may even occasionally slip up and do a clover now and then. Oh, it hurts when I catch myself doing that.
          A mistake, does not a clover make?

    • April 25, 2013 at 9:20 am

      I also must confess. I was once the utter epitome of Clover. Virtually every cloverism I was guilty of. I set the One True Speed. I paced cars to my right to box other people in if their driving displeased me. I accelerated to prevent people from passing if their driving displeased me. For verily I was created King of the Road and was determined to enforce The Law upon others!

      My philosophical development eventually cured me of the Clover curse. As I developed a keener moral sense and an appreciation for non-aggression, and as I shed some of the indoctrinated veneration for The Law, I began to drive more like a person and less like a really inconsiderate robot. I still have the occasional moment of cloverness — come on, it happens to all of us now and then — but I’ve come a long way.

      • April 25, 2013 at 9:25 am

        Hi Darlen,

        We’ve all sinned (cue Ernest Angley voice) but clearly, you’ve put your hand on the TV and been heeeeaaauuuhld!

        Good to have you with us!

      • NotApplicable
        April 25, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        I’ve found that some Pacers can be gamed by adjusting your following distance, as many are also militant against tail-gaters (though I would never get close enough to actually put either of us in danger).

        If I time it right, they’ll slow down enough (trying to brake-check me) that it leaves them too far behind their partner car to block me from passing.

  56. geoih
    April 24, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I think your naming convention is not decriptive enough. I prefer a more descriptive term like “rude self-righteous a**hole”.

    • Dave
      April 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Agreed and amen.

      The “Dodge the Truck Clover” is the knucklehead who as they pull up to a red light (and not paying attention to the road)
      notice that there is a truck in front of them in the right hand lane. They then quickly jump into the left hand (PASSING LANE) to avoid the slower moving truck.
      As the light changes to green and all traffice begins moving again, the truck they were trying to avoid drives faster than they do and they hold up all cars who are ready and witing to pass the slower vehicles in the right hand lane. Why in the hell did they move over anyway?
      I see this EVERYDAY in my 60 mile commute.

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