* The Cop-Bedazzled Clover –
He’s the one who will slam on his brakes and slow to 20 below the speed limit if there’s a cop up ahead – even if he’s on the other side of a divided highway – writing someone else a ticket. Because to a Clover a cop is a figure that inspires awe on the order of remote Pacific islander cargo-culters venerating their straw totems of airplanes and control towers. That cop might leap into his car – and come after me! So frets the Clover. But of course, Clover never “speeds.” Still, better to be safe than sorry. For Clover, safety is paramount. And what could be safer than slowing to 20 below the limit?
* The stops-before-he-turns Clover –
You’re driving behind someone who will shortly reveal his Cloveritic tendencies – by signaling a turn, then slowing . . . coasting, really – often for 100 yards or more – until he finally, agonizingly comes to a near-stop in the middle of the road before beginning his turn. He most typically will do this when turning off the main road onto his driveway.
He’s home – so why the hurry?
* Mailbox Clover –
This guy is often the same guy who executes the stop-turn maneuver. He finds it convenient to stop his car in the middle of the road, so he can get out to get his mail. It saves him a few steps, you see. Sometimes, though, Clover has trouble. Because the mailbox is on the wrong side of the road relative to the driver’s side of the car. Easily fixed. Just swing the Clovermobile around to the other side! Hey, no one’s coming – and if they are, they should have been paying attention, or slowed down.
One of the things Clover has trouble with is spatial relationships. It’s why he can’t (or won’t) pass a bicyclist without crossing over the double yellow and hanging half his car in the opposite lane of traffic. It’s also why he has issues with the concrete barriers often put up at construction sites (to prevent Clover from inadvertently running over the construction workers). Clover must have at least six feet of air gap between his car and the barrier to his left. So he crabs over the double yellow – or he takes up two lanes of space, such that no one behind him can pass. Obstructing other drivers is of course the apotheosis of all Cloveritic conduct, so for him it’s a double whammy.
On Sundays. In summer. Even when the yellow lights aren’t flashing. Even when it’s clear school is not in session. Even though it’s legal to drive the normal speed when school is not in session – Clover will drive as if it were in session. He’ll both-foot the brake pedal and – being a Clover – drop his speed not merely to the 25 MPH limit in force during school hours. But to 20 – or even less. And, he’ll anticipate the school zone – sometimes slowing to walking speed well before actually getting within an astronomical unit of the actual school – and leaving a similar margin as he leaves the orbit of the school grounds.
After all, the children.
* Drive-thru Clover –
The reason there are drive-throughs is to save time. But this concept is unbeknownst to Clover – or, he is actively hostile to it. Because Clover is in no hurry, neither should others be in a hurry. Thus, Clover will not be ready to order until he actually gets to the speaker box – even if he’s been in line for 5 minutes and had a super-sized menu staring him in the face the entire time. Or, if at a bank drive-through, he’ll only begin doing his check-signing and deposit slip filling out once he’s actually at the window. He will invariably have multiple, complex transactions to complete. And many questions to ask the teller.
This subset of Clover is also frequently encountered at grocery stores – at the express checkout – with 37 items instead of the posted maximum of 20. With lots of out-of-date coupons to haggle with the clerk over. Then to pay by check – only beginning to write out the check after the groceries have been scanned, bagged and placed back in the cart.
What’s your hurry, after all?
Throw it in the Woods?