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Thread: The Clover Test

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    The Clover Test

    Could you be a Clover?

    Maybe you don't even know what a Clover is?

    Here's how to know :

    * Do you use your rearview mirror?

    Clovers tend to be oblivious to their surroundings - and in particular, of their fellow motorists. They don't notice that their rear bumper has grown a tail six other cars long. The true dyed-in-the-wool Clover does notice - but doesn't care. Either he's "doing the speed limit"- or the other drivers are "speeders."

    Those other cars stacking up behind him can wait. What's their rush, anyhow?

    * Back into parking spaces?

    A behavior peculiar to Clovers is the reflexive need to back into parking spaces - after multiple attempts and always at an angle that makes the adjacent spot useless or (if another car is already parked there) forces its owner to enter his vehicle Dukes of Hazzard style, through the window - because there's not enough space to open the door anymore.

    * Need two lanes to pass a bicycle?

    Clovers have much worse than average depth perception and sense of spatial relationships, so when they roll up behind a bicycle, they will slow to the bike's 10 mph crawl and Hold until they have at least another car width's worth of room to attempt to pass by. This may not become possible for many excruciating miles. . .

    * Apply the brakes at random?

    Just like the blipping bioluminescence of a firefly, the Clover will signal his presence in the area by tapping his brakes for no reason, at random - even on open stretches of road.

    Related: See-saw slowing and speeding up. The Clover never quite masters the High Skill of maintaining a given speed without the assistance of cruise control.

    * Slow for School Zones even when school's obviously out?

    The Clover is born with a hinge at the base of his spine, near the pelvis - to facilitate reflexive genuflecting before any and all laws - even when the law at issue isn't even operative. Thus, to a Clover, one must always slow to a Moped-like crawl when within a 5 mile radius of any school, open or not.

    * Wait for the green light even when right on red is legal?

    Clovers by definition lack initiative. Thus, they will park at traffic lights and wait - even if right on red is allowed and even if it's infuriatingly clear to other drivers trying to get where they're going that there's no oncoming traffic. The Clover will wait.... and wait. And then wait some more. And thus, so will you.

    When the light finally does go green, the Clover will invariably not notice for several seconds, long enough to make sure that at least two or three cars behind him that might otherwise have made the light won't.

    * The stop-merge

    This is a Cloverish specialty de la maison. When entering a busy highway, stop on the on-ramp; then creep directly in front of traffic running 70 mph at no more than 15 or 20 MPH. It's up to the other cars to make room for you. If another driver almost wrecks or spills his coffee all over his lap trying to avoid you, well - he shouldn't have been "speeding." So there.

    * Refuse to move right -

    Perhaps the signature characteristic of Clovers the world over is their adamant refusal to yield to faster-moving traffic. Ever. This act is what distinguishes the Clover from the merely slow/cautious driver. It is understandable that some drivers - the elderly, for instance - are not comfortable driving faster than the speed limit, or even at the speed limit. We may all end up like this someday. But the problem here isn't the slow driving. It's the obnoxious, passive-aggressive determination to force everyone else to drive slowly, too. The non-Clover will notice that others are trying to get by and will pull over, or move right to let them do so. We wave our hands in appreciative thanks. The Clover, however, will cling to his position like a leg-humping Lab. Flashing your lights will only egg him on; he'll drive even more slowly. Some particularly vengeful Clovers will even use their Clovermobiles (typically, older Buicks or late-model SmooVees plastered with those little stick figure fambly icons) to physically try to prevent you from passing if you dare to try.

    The true Clover, you see, is not merely a bad driver. He is a bad driver on a tear; angry at the world and in particular, anyone who who doesn't view the world in through Clover-colored glasses. That would be anyone who doesn't automatically worship The Law (any law; every law) or who isn't consumed by a desire to make sure everyone else obeys The Law.

    Hopefully, this isn't you. And if it is you, why not just move over?

    It's not very hard - and you'll feel better in the morning.

  2. #2
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    None of the above but here is another one the clover awakening. Yesterday driving behind a boat loaded clover mobile the granda jones was going about 5 mph under the speed limit. So I pulled into the right lane at first opportunity to pass gray head up. The Clove in the left was up to no good I can tell. I saw the geezer lower his Cubs baseball cap and kept looking straight ahead like he's not letting anyone pass him by. Light turned green and we both floored it. However I kept it on the pedal longer and barely got past the Cub homer.
    Old boy decided he was going to show me a thing or two about driving and pulled into the right lane at next intersection. This time he cranked it up and wheels were screeching. Too bad I was turning left he didn't see my left turn sig. I woke the clover up but before long they go back to sleep doing what they do best slow down traffic.

  3. #3
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    May I add:
    1. breaking when going up hill
    2. accelerating at about 5 mph from a traffic light
    3. confusing everyone, by not taking the right-of-way
    4. standing in the street, with car door fully opened while puting on coat.
    There. I feel better.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    May I add:
    1. breaking when going up hill
    2. accelerating at about 5 mph from a traffic light
    3. confusing everyone, by not taking the right-of-way
    4. standing in the street, with car door fully opened while puting on coat.
    There. I feel better.
    A corrolarry to the last one:

    Sitting at the mall parking lot space, reverse lights on. Nothing happens. Schmuck still there after you have circled twice.

  5. #5
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    I've been pondering this idea for a while now, but think I would get in trouble doing it.

    Anyhow here it is..

    You know those scrolling teleprompter things, the smaller ones. Well, I was thinking about installing one at the top of my back window. When not using it to tell people to fuck off I would just have a setting for it to act as a fourth brake light.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  6. #6
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    I've been pondering this idea for a while now, but think I would get in trouble doing it.

    Anyhow here it is..

    You know those scrolling teleprompter things, the smaller ones. Well, I was thinking about installing one at the top of my back window. When not using it to tell people to fuck off I would just have a setting for it to act as a fourth brake light.
    I have long wanted one of those, too!

  7. #7
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    In my experience, the people who back into parking spaces are almost always "ethnic". And/or people who have expired tags (we're a rear-tags-only state) trying to hide their stickers from the cops.

  8. #8
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Oh goody....a Clover test.
    Let's see now...Yes; Sometimes; No; No; No; No; Definitely not; and No. I guess I'm about 10% Clover because sometimes I do back into parking spaces...because I want to avoid parking facing the sun.

    Can we add something to the Clover list?
    * Move into the fast lane and drive 50 mph so you can talk on the cell phone?

  9. #9
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    LMAO! My husband always backs into parking spaces. Now, I get to tell him he's "ethnic" - he might get offended. He's a big ol' Georgia redneck~ Maybe I'd better not tell him that.....

  10. #10
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    LMAO! My husband always backs into parking spaces. Now, I get to tell him he's "ethnic" - he might get offended. He's a big ol' Georgia redneck~ Maybe I'd better not tell him that.....
    Your hubby has my support, Erin. In many instances backing into a parking space/driveway is the best option as it provides maximum field of view when leaving the parking space. If someone is going to hit my car and drive off I want to be able to get a good view of their number plates, also, with a better field of view I am significantly less likely to pull out in front of someone.

    FWIW.

    Ken.
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    Ken.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    These are relevant questions for all drivers. Unfortunately clover will not get the message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Could you be a Clover?

    Maybe you don't even know what a Clover is?

    Here's how to know :

    * Do you use your rearview mirror?
    Sometimes i think people get their driver license from a box of Cracker jacks.

    * Back into parking spaces?

    I will back into a parking space when practical. It is easier to leave the space and less chance of hitting something when I leave. Although some people appear are not able to back into a space without making a big production out of it.

    * Need two lanes to pass a bicycle?

    This is annoying. On most roads (11 ft wide lanes), it should be possible for someone to pass a bicycle and still be on your side of the road while passing. At most, you may need to be about 2 ft over the dividing line of the road.

    * Apply the brakes at random?

    Some things I will never understand.

    * Slow for School Zones even when school's obviously out?

    Some things I will never understand.

    * Wait for the green light even when right on red is legal?

    On intersections with RLC I will wait till the light turns green.

    When the light finally does go green, the Clover will invariably not notice for several seconds, long enough to make sure that at least two or three cars behind him that might otherwise have made the light won't.

    This can be annoying at times. When I drive, I primarily focus on driving.
    Other people seem to be in a haze.



    * The stop-merge

    I agree with this. You need to speed up to flow of traffic ASAP. This is not the time to dawdle. I give some allowance if they can get to PSL by the time I get there. If possible, I try to leave right lane open when passing by to make it easier for someone to merge into traffic.

    * Refuse to move right -

    Keep right pass left is less stressful for all involved and promotes better traffic flow.

    When I was younger and more immature I at times would speed up/slow down to impede the travel of others. Thankfully I matured and leave others alone unimpeded to their travels.

    Hopefully, this isn't you. And if it is you, why not just move over?

    It's not very hard - and you'll feel better in the morning.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony

    'Many are my names in many countries,' he said. 'Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Drarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South Incánus, in the North Gandalf; to the East I go not.' Faramir

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  12. #12
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    In my experience, the people who back into parking spaces are almost always "ethnic". And/or people who have expired tags (we're a rear-tags-only state) trying to hide their stickers from the cops.


    Hmmmm......ethnic? I'm afraid I'm a plain old WASP. With all my wheels, I make sure the registration is up to date and squeeky clean. It's too easy to forget one. I often back into a parking space, or pull through the the one on the other side, mostly because of back and neck problems. It's extremely painful to twist around at times and due to limited movement, I can't always see very well. Add in people who drive 40 mph through parking lots and I feel it's just a prudent course of action.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    I find it much, much easier to back out than back in -- backing from a large space into a small space is harder than backing out of a small space into a large one. Backing in requires a certain level of obsessiveness that I just don't possess. People who back in either "care too much" or have something to hide. Or are preparing for a quick get-away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    I find it much, much easier to back out than back in -- backing from a large space into a small space is harder than backing out of a small space into a large one. Backing in requires a certain level of obsessiveness that I just don't possess. People who back in either "care too much" or have something to hide. Or are preparing for a quick get-away.
    When parking on the side of a street parallel to the traffic, less length of space is needed if you chose to back in rather than drive into it.
    Trevor

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    Its interesting, there a lot of people here in Texas who back into their parking spots, but they do it quickly and are very good at it. The majority of people who back in are driving large trucks and SUV's.

    Cloverish tendencies do not come out on Houston surface streets. They come out on the highways. Wheras people exceed the speed limit by 10 to 15 mph on surface streets, they are well within 10 on the freeways. The 85th percentile on the 65 mph highway 290 leaving Houston is around 70-72 mph. On the feeder side roads, the speed limit is 50 mph, but the 85th percentile is around 60-65 mph.

  16. #16
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    Your hubby has my support, Erin. In many instances backing into a parking space/driveway is the best option as it provides maximum field of view when leaving the parking space. If someone is going to hit my car and drive off I want to be able to get a good view of their number plates, also, with a better field of view I am significantly less likely to pull out in front of someone.

    FWIW.

    Ken.
    I'll tell him that, Ken. He drives a big truck, and that is exactly the reason he backs into parking spaces: so that he can improve his field of vision when he is leaving the space. Seriously, you cannot see much when you try to back out of a space in his truck.

    I think he's getting spoiled in his mature years, though....This is the first truck he's had that has backup sensors...and he loves to play with all his gadgets~

  17. #17
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Its interesting, there a lot of people here in Texas who back into their parking spots, but they do it quickly and are very good at it. The majority of people who back in are driving large trucks and SUV's.

    Cloverish tendencies do not come out on Houston surface streets. They come out on the highways. Wheras people exceed the speed limit by 10 to 15 mph on surface streets, they are well within 10 on the freeways. The 85th percentile on the 65 mph highway 290 leaving Houston is around 70-72 mph. On the feeder side roads, the speed limit is 50 mph, but the 85th percentile is around 60-65 mph.
    Ditto. Now that we live near I-10, I travel it frequently. I do not travel during rush hours, and I'm sure its a crawl at those times, but during the day between Beltway 8 and Grand Parkway, the traffic is moving about 75-80...with a good number of drivers exceeding 80. But, there are some clovers, too....

  18. #18
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcolby View Post
    When parking on the side of a street parallel to the traffic, less length of space is needed if you chose to back in rather than drive into it.
    Yeah but then there's a curb on one side of you and tons of free space on the other. That's very different from backing into a slot in a parking lot.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    May I add:
    1. confusing everyone, by not taking the right-of-way
    There. I feel better.
    New here, and by God my first post has to agree with this one. I can't stand those idiots, and it happens here in NY all the time. You pull up to a four way intersection with a two way stop in front of you, and the shmuck who has the right of way creeps up to the intersection, stops where there is no stop sign, and then impatiently waves you through. As if you're supposed to psychically know and be able to determine if he was: just a dipshit; being cautious but eventually taking the right of way; or as he did, stopping to let you go first for some inexplicable reason. All of this would be avoided of course if he would just go through the God damn intersection as he was supposed to...

    Good Christ, living in NY and commuting here is hell. Inrix put my commute in the top ten worst in the nation, and I can't ever encapsulate or communicate in words how frustrating it is when you realize how much of it is due to sheer and utter stupidity. These last few days especially it's taken me 3+ hours to get home for a drive that is just over 60 miles jut because of a drizzle. Not even heavy rain. And that's on the LIE and the Grand Central, two roads that are relatively straight and have no frigging stop lights and three lanes each for most of their length. One day someone has to explain to me how in Christ's name traffic comes to a complete and total stop on such roads, and how an average speed of 15-20 mph is even possible, barring an accident or other obvious obstruction.

    I would also pose a law of traffic: The speed of traffic is dictated by the slowest clover on the road at the time, and his sphere of influence increases exponentially relative to traffic volume.

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