Road Clovers

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Charles Darwin categorized the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. My job is to provide a taxonomy of Cloveris Americanus – the various sub-species of atrocious “driver” who makes driving miserable for those of us who can:

* The Bracket Racer –

This type of Clover likes to go fast when the road is straight but will mash the brakes at the first sign of even the gentlest of curves – creating an accordion effect as traffic speeds up, then slows down. This Clover has the urge but not the skill to drive fast, so he drives fast erratically – a sure sign he’s in over his head and ought to be given a wide berth. Of limited intelligence, this form of Clover will continue to drive above his abilities rather than simply pull off to the side (or move right) to allow the cars stacking up behind him to get by. The Bracket Racer, like all Clovers, is fiercely territorial and will defend what it considers to be its territory ruthlessly.

* The Bumper Rider –

This is a Clover of contradictions. It is known for rigid adherence to the speed limit, which to it is a sort of god or golem whose speechless diktats must be obeyed as Holy Writ… yet is frequently the cause of rear-ender wrecks as a result of hanging inches off the bumper of the car ahead. The Bumper Rider is a simple creature and so has trouble with math and physics, especially as they pertain to the concept of following distance. This type of Clover will do the speed limit, all right – inches away from your bumper. And its aversion to transgressing the speed limit notwithstanding, if you speed up, it will speed up – closing the distance you’re trying to establish in order to maintain the remora-like closeness that apparently makes this form of Clover feel “safe.”

* The Very Cautious Clover –

This is the one who is the polar opposite of the Bumper Rider. This Clover will keep at least an eighth of a mile between itself and a school bus ahead. If there is a “work zone” – even if it’s obvious there’s no work being done, just cones stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see – this Clover will crawl. It may even put its blinkers on. In winter, this Clover is notorious for its failure to comprehend the concept of momentum and its application to uphill grades. It will brake at the beginning of a hill –  or stop at the top (assuming he makes it to the top) with the usual result that everyone trying to make it up the hill behind the Clover doesn’t because they were unable to maintain enough momentum to do so. This Clover will also turn purple in apoplectic fury when it is passed.

Which brings us to… .

* The Won’t Pass ‘Em Clover –

This Clover will not pass a bicyclist until the Clover can use at least half of the oncoming traffic lane to create a “safe” envelope of space for itself. Since the oncoming lane is often full of oncoming traffic, it may take 10 or 15 minutes before the Clover feels it’s “safe” enough to attempt a pass. Meanwhile the Clover  – and everyone stuck behind the Clover – will get to enjoy the scenery as they all plod along at the speed of the cyclist leading the line. This form of Clover is also known for its refusal to pass garbage trucks that stop at every driveway, the mailman who stops at every mailbox and always slowing to 25 MPH half a mile before every school zone, even when it’s Sunday afternoon and there isn’t a kiddie in sight.

* The Senile Citizen –

Some things do not improve with age, Clovers being a case in point. Start with a marginal middle-aged driver with many or all of the characteristics described above. Now add 30 years of physical and mental decline. Viola! The uber Clover. By turns oblivious and obstreperous, this Clover is a true menace. He blows through lights he “didn’t see” or wanders across the double yellow, side-swiping your car – but is treated kindly by the system because he’s old and reckless rather drunk and reckless. For this Clover, age-related deterioration is an entitlement. This decrepit old Clover will belligerently resist every call to hang up the keys until it takes  that final ride through a plate glass window and straight into the Slurpee machines. Even then, Old Clover will probably  insist that “the gas pedal just stuck.”

 Throw it in the Woods? 


  1. Have you ever stumbled across the CV (Constant Velocity) Clover?
    The CVC proceeds cautiously at 35 mph on two lane roads where the posted limit is between 40 and 50 causing a lengthy conga line behind them (due to the ever-present “dubble yella”). Then when they turn on to neighborhood residential streets where the legal limit is 25, they stubbornly continue at their favorite, and only, speed: 35.

    • All the time…!

      Which just gives me that much more motivation to ride a motorcycle whenever I can – because on a bike, you have the advantage of a superior power-to-weight ratio and light-speed acceleration. It is much easier (and safer) to just dart around the CV Clover and put him the rearview…. feels damn good, too!

    • Have encountered them many times. Practically every day… they’ll do 40 in the 50 and 40 in the 35. Worse are the ones that do 35 in the 50 and 50 in the 35…. seen them too.

  2. They’ve probably been mentioned before Eric, but I’ll reiterate from observations Down Under (apparent spelling mistakes are actually true English – some Latin too):

    The I-Am-The-Law” (Judgess Dreddicus Wannabii) Clover

    This clover’s natural habitat is mainly surface streets as the courage to apply these maneuvres at highway speeds is often far too advanced for this species. They appear to be annoyed by any passing motorist, however scientists suspect this is a self-imposed signal to apply a mating ritual of sorts without requiring an official badge.

    This clover will patrol the streets at well below any posted speed limit and pounce the moment somebody passes them the next lane over.

    Clover, unable to deal with any perceived infractions on his (always a “him”) private road, will slowly and deliberately pull out and overtake the offender, regardless of the ACTUAL speed limit and the current velocity, then just as deliberately, swerve in front and slow the offender down to the clover’s imaginary speed limit. This to-and-fro dance can last several rotations.

    The scientific community is still in deliberation regarding exactly what this clover is trying to convey by preferring to display an unprotected backside to the offender’s face, however it appears the clover eventually gains exactly what’s requested – (personally from a motorcyclists point of view) – that a suitably protected human hoof of considerable force is eventually inserted into the taillight and, often more than once.

    This is in opposition to the “Hover-Fly Clover”, where the clover apparently attempts to chase the offender out of his territory. Scientists are investigating the possible link between both clover species where the offender simply does not want to engage in the mating ritual.

    The Long-Sighted Clover

    Although not heavily documented, this species of clover appears to have either a genetic or purposely-enhanced fault in spacial awareness.

    Several have been sighted attempting to SLOWLY pass other vehicles on muli-lane roads, especially freeways. When approached from behind, from some reports even beyond 100 feet, this clover begins (often frantically) stomping on their brake pedal. This not only slows down clover’s own feigned pass, but now begins to bewilder, if not infuriate, the “offender” some light-years behind.

    Scientific studies conducted on some of this species of clover captured and questioned regarding their behaviour, elicits a response somewhat akin to having their personal space violated.

    It’s still unknown how this clover manages to park nose to tail within sight of other vehicles, however in-depth studies continue.

    The Roundabout (circular 4-way intersection) Clover

    This species has the annoying capability to completely fail to EVER understand and therefore successfully negotiate a roundabout, their favourite habitat nonetheless.

    The Roundabout Clover will, at every instance, pull up to a roundabout and, even if there’s no traffic for several centuries, continue to hold fast and appear to “give way” to absolutely nothing, infuriating horses and carriages originating from the Crusades directly behind.

    Scientists have concluded the only FAIR solution to this problem is beaming the offending clover back to the stone-age, before the invention of the wheel.

    The Window-Shopping Clover

    This predominantly female species apparently controls (loose term) a vehicle as if they were walking on the footpath. Stopping abruptly in front of window displays and other motorists, gesturing (always accompanied by other females) at brightly coloured items of clothing and accessories from within their protective 4-wheeled bubble.

    When not accompanied by other female clovers of this species, this clover (often on the footpath) will execute the same abrupt stopping maneuvre, without the gesticulation and, proceed to admire herself in the window’s reflection.

    The Pink-Slip Clover

    This clover, predominantly male (last seen in 1987 Melbourne), makes his presence known late Friday and Saturday nights. His behaviour is oft described as follows:

    Clover in large yellow Monaro with uncomfortably lumpy cam and V8 pulls up at lights next to seemingly inferior car.

    Clover revs hard, indicating necessary execution of maneuvre termed “drag”. This also implies that the lights are green when execution begins, but can take some time to learn. The term “pink slip” requires the “loser” to some arbitrary point in the distance or speed is required to hand over his car, which conversely is learned very quickly.

    Operator of “inferior” car gesticulates that he’s not interested.

    Lights go green, Pink-Slip clover rapidly accelerates in a cloud of smoke while inferior vehicle drives off normally.

    Clover backs off and, thinking his testicular region is now proven to be swelled to some astronomical figure, relaxes behind and to the right of “inferior” vehicle, which now begins to spray his own rear tyres with diesel accomplished via a dash switch from a spare windscreen washer bottle and extra hosing.

    Inferior driver now dumps the loud pedal at 80km/h and sprays smoke and rubber in all directions.

    Completely aghast, Pink-Slip clover begins flashing headlights wildly.

    Inferior driver parks.

    Clover now flapping gums with words to the effect of “shit” and “fuck”, begs inferior driver to open bonnet whilst handing over $10.

    Inferior driver obliges, enlightening clover with clear view of pre-crossflow 4 litre straight 6, complete with oil leaks and no air cleaner.

    Clover now completely bumfucked mumbles: “Faark! Must be one of them freak motors eh..?”.

    The Law-Enforcement Clover

    Travelling on a tight winding road one often finds oneself caught behind a large clover-towed caravan or trailer. This elicits the correct response by overtaking safely at the next available opportunity.

    However, it’s often accompanied by Law-Enforcement clover rocketing toward you from ahead, having spotted you with inaccurate, improperly commissioned and therefore highly unlawful electronic contraptions.

    Cleverly deciding of his own behest that this situation has suddenly become an “emergency” because a ready source of revenue is escaping, Law-Enforcement clover handbrake-turns, fires up the emergency lights while rubber flies in all directions as he exceeds the now proven “arbitrary” speed limit by several magnitudes in his oncoming lane, almost sideswiping the clover-tow in order to avoid a near head-on by another “offender”, then menacingly parking his mobile Christmas tree at speed, bristling with authority and just 2 inches from the original offender’s bumper.

    The offender, seeing the emergency unfolding behind him, graciously waves the Law-Enforcement clover (officer 82nd airborne) to pass. Puzzling arm-waving from within the Christmas tree behind ensues for some kilometres.

    Eventually, when apparently safe to do so, 82nd clover sides up to the offender at speed where he duly instructs the offender to pull over. The offender, being conscious of everyone’s safety, nods calmly at 82nd clover and continues for several more kilometres until there’s sufficient room for the maneuvre ordered by 82nd clover to execute.

    Officer Law-Enforcement 82nd Airborne Clover (as detailed on his ID), still travelling unlawfully close to the offender’s vehicle, menacingly pulls to a stop behind. Then in jack boots and little poofter hat (now with a decidedly purple expression) alights and proceeds to the bewildered offender’s vehicle.

    82nd clover comes up to the side of the offender’s car and gets a little excited, asks why he didn’t stop when he saw the lights and heard the sirens. Offender asks him when a set of lights and sirens were a lawful command. Clover looks stupid and asks what was meant by that. He was informed that lights and sirens are warning devices and not lawful commands and until a verbal order to pull over was uttered a lawful command was not received.

    A smug look on 82nd clover’s face materialised. Apparently, this clover seems to think he now has an open and shut case and asks the offender why did he not pull over when the command was issued. The offender replied that he did when he found a place he considered said ordered maneuvre could be safely performed and now, rather irritated, demanded to know what the hell 82nd airborne clover wanted.

    This inflamed Law-Enforcement clover no end who now accused the offender of “speeding” at 117km/h. The offender rightly responded that the allegation was an untruth and would require substantial evidence from several sources and further, evidence of those sources actually being lawful.

    Cutting a long story slightly shorter, 82nd airborne clover by all reports mumbled some shit, returned to his Christmas tree and was never heard from again.

    • The I-Am-The-Law. (Judgess Dreddicus Wannabii) Clover

      These are the clovers that attack when I am bicycling. Obey their idea of the law or suffer the death penalty. (Our Clover here has posted a projection of imposing the death penalty on other drivers who do things we don’t like, this is where it comes from. It’s something Clover does and thinks so its what he thinks someone like me is doing.)

      On another note: Pre-crossflow straight six… I detect a fan of the Ford small block six 😉

      • BrentP-
        Clovers will tailgate you into turn lanes, shoulders, wherever so you know that “I AM THE LAW!!!.” Stay Vigilant, “there’s high functioning autistic banshees on the road, their brains are squirming like a toad”… killers on the road, YEAAHHH! Mr. Dojo Midas (Mulligan).

      • Well, I only bought the car because that’s all the money I had at the time. Those old motors are pretty much bulletproof, but THAT one was so clapped out I might as well have run it on 2-stroke. Just about every tank of fuel it needed 2 litres of oil. You could tell when the tappets started to rattle.

        That old ’74 Falcon sedan was modelled after your Ford Torino. We still have quite a few rattling around here. The GT’s are a sought after item, but you rarely see one done-up unless it’s a V8.

  3. Some things do not improve with age, Clovers being a case in point.

    LOL, my Dad always told me to beware of Old Men in Hats; they’re “always right” (in their minds).

  4. While waiting in a lobby today I picked up a copy of an old Car and Driver Magazine, in the letters to the editor section, a clover was pleading for the states to require higher fees to get a license, stricter requirements to drive, more thorough re-testing of older drivers and a couple of other things to just make it more difficult to get around.

    He ended it with saying driving is a privilege and the U.S. should do things like they do in Germany.

    Magna Carta, Habeas corpus, etc… who needs those things, only kooks? Psft,…

    “The right to travel is a long-standing tradition in Anglo-Saxon law. … The United States Supreme Court has long held that freedom of movement within the States is a fundamental right…”

    I also came across this next one and wondered if clovers were secretly harboring a desire to be slavers?

    “There is a word for those who are not only restricted from traveling where they desire, but also must “check in” with an authority before absenting themselves. That word is slave.”

    • The problem with cloverite america is that it wants the hassle of Germany instead of the good parts. they will never put up with un-restricted speed, keep right except to pass, and all the other discipline that makes driving in germany wonderful. They want the part that isn’t needed, the high taxes and hassle while delivering US levels of crony road contractor quality.

      • Yup.

        Germans are excellence-oriented. Hence, anti-Clover.

        Clovers are levelers, fundamentally. They can’t stand the idea that anyone might, for instance, drive faster than they feel (note word choice) is appropriate. The funny thing is internecine Clover battles, as one Clover’s feelings conflict with other Clover’s feelings.

        Oh, wait. I just described modern American politics!

        • “Germans are excellence-oriented”

          Whoa, there horsey. Which Germans are you referring to? I lived in Germany for 3.5 years and saw Siemens Automotive (where I worked) go under because they were so inefficient, top heavy and process laden. That old stereotype is not appropriate anymore.

          Germans are followers so if they are told to do something, they do it to the letter even if “the letter” is complete nonsense.

    • May be higher costs in Germany to get a license (it’s a question how you are getting your license, we don’t have such things like drivers education@high school, there are only commercial driving schools (costs: between 2000-4000$)), but with your license you have full rights and your license never expires.
      We only re-test older truck/bus drivers.
      And we don’t have a different set of traffic rules for each state.
      Yes, we have high taxes, but the streets are toll free.

      and such things like calmly driving (SLK Kompressor@130mph) on the Autobahn…that’s freedom.

      • Indeed.

        Not only do we have essentially nonexistent driver skills training (though we do have lots of “driver education”) very little is done to deal with objectively unskilled/incompetent drivers while at the same time our system views competent drivers as a rich “revenue stream” via the issuance of fines for what amount to technical fouls that often have little if anything to do with how one is handling his vehicle.

        • In a german driving skills training its mandatory to drive 180 minutes Autobahn (and you shall show that youre able to drive 120kmh/75mph or more), 3x45min driving at night asf asf.
          Thats the reason why a driving licence is expensive.
          Fines…its not the problem. I paid afaik in my life (more than 500.000km) ~500EU.
          The gas prize…*thats* a problem, actual 1,55EU/LITER (Super)

          • Here, people (Clovers) can spend decades “driving” and never really learn to drive. General incompetence is common because there are few incentives to be competent. The whole system here is premised on passivity – not exercising judgment, much less demonstrating skill. Just obey the speed limit and be sure to sit at that red light (even in the middle of the night and even if it’s obvious you’re the only car around for miles)….

    • Right ho, Clark.

      If things were as they ought to be, only drivers who display incompetence or ineptitude would need fear “the law” or repercussions of any kind.

      The measure is simple, as well as objective: If you are the cause of an accident, then you committed driver error. If you drive without causing an accident, then by default you are a “safe” driver and should be left in peace. There are people who drive for decades – their whole lives, even – without ever being the cause of an “accident” (that is, of making an avoidable mistake behind the wheel serious enough to result in loss of control or a collision) yet may get tagged many times for “speeding” and so on – and thus, be compelled to pay thousands in fines and insurance premiums.

      It’s all very cynical and corrupt – but of course, you know that!

  5. Okay,so every day on my commute to and from work I drive down this neighborhood street with some speed bumps on it. They aren’t serious speed bumps that will jack up your suspension if you go over them too fast. They’re actually little more than soft mounds in the road to discourage people from driving at 50+ mph down a two lane residential street. I generally drive down the street around 25-30 MPH without having to brake.

    Now, having said that, this seems to happen at least once a week on my short commute to and from work: Some clover will a) pull RIGHT out in front of me from an adjacent street and force me to hit the brakes. Then s/he will b) go at an excruciatingly SLOW pace, while c) braking for EVERY speed bump (there are 11 of them), slowing down to pedestrian speed while negotiating the tiny little rise in the pavement.

    I mean.. come on. Seriously. I almost want to go the long way to work.

    • I feel your pain! Check this out! This is happening more and more each day for me. So I am rolling down the highway at around 74mph. I stay in the left of a two lane highway until I get past all the exists that are always backed up onto the highway. This evening I am in that left lane doing about 10 miles an hour over the speed limit and have a space cushion a bit smaller that what I am comfortable with. I have to keep the space cushion tight in rush hour, or every asshole in the universe will butt their way in. Anyhow, some fucking asshole comes flying up from the slow lane, cuts me off with no signal, then once in front of me begins dragging ass. I put my high beams on and he went slower. I got in the slow lane to pass him, he went faster! I calmed down for a minute then came over beside him again, he fucking sped up again! I got the nose of my car about 2 feet ahead of his and just cut over! Dammit. Pisses me off that people force me to drive like this! I can’t handle people butting in front of me only to go slow. Don’t give a shit about the speed limit, your feelings, what kind of car you have, how cool you are, any of it. Stay the fuck out of my way clover!

      • He was being a jerk. With my luck a LEO would only see me getting in front of the jerk and then pull me over for some reason. If he saw the whole picture he might have pulled over the jerk for obstructing traffic. (Who am I kidding, he probably would not do anything.)

        It is so simple: Keep right, pass left.

        • Well, there is one thing about it that puts a smile on my face. The last thing that jerk saw was my big ole EPAUTOS.COM magnet on the back of my car! Ha One day we’ll be visited by one of these guys complaining about me. I can’t wait!

          EP AUTOS

  6. You guys crack me up with all the clover talk. LOL.

    I don’t get the whole road-rage phenomenon. I’ve never had it. I work my way through traffic despite the bad drivers and, admittedly, sometimes make some bozo moves of my own. But I think the worst thing I’ve ever said to another driver is: “it don’t get any greener honey”.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a very defensive driver and so expect everyone to be a bad driver, OR, worse, I AM THE CLOVER!


    • I doubt it, Don!

      Your comments have shown you’re aware of others and so considerate of others. Clovers do not understand common courtesy, let alone live and let live.

      With them, everything is about forcing others to do as they want rather than doing their own thing and leaving others to do theirs.

    • I had a guy want me to pull into a gas station and fight when I told him it ‘doesn’t get any greener’ (well I did honk the horn when he didn’t move)

      Also got pulled over by a cop when I was bicycling because I yelled out “green light, go” to a driver in front of me. The driver flipped me off and I returned it.

      I can go on and on… it doesn’t take much to set off a clover.

      Also, road rage is often the result of encountering the 50th clover of the day. Backwards american society demands infinite tolerance of rude,idiotic, or otherwise unnecesscary annoyances (and worse) instead of just staying out of people’s way as much as possible.

  7. Eric:

    Where did you come up with the term clover and why?

    I understand what clovers ARE, I just don’t understand how the label “clover” came to be applied to them.

    Is there characteristics of clovers that apply to the law abiding (no matter how dumb the law), statist twits you describe?

    Thanks in advance for the enlightenment.

    • Hi Blake,

      No sweat!

      “Clover”is my term for the Little Authoritarians, the people out there who say “there ought to be a law,” who have fetish about controlling (usually, pre-emptively) other people’s lives and forcing them to live (and do) as they see fit, according to their arbitrary standards. I’ve discussed the phenomenon in several articles, which can be viewed in the Politics section; see the top menu bar.

      • Eric:

        Since I’ve been reading your site for about 6 months now – I realize what clovers are (as referenced here), I was wondering how you decided to use “clover” to describe them.

        Are there characteristics that clovers (the people) share with clovers (the plant)?

        Thanks again.

  8. I’m very pleased that several comments note what I call the Racer Clover. That is, you approach them doing the normal 10-20% over the speed limit and move left to pass. The clover then speeds up, or races, so that you can’t pass. This problem is more pronounced in larger volume traffic. Eric himself has already pointed out the correct solution.

    On the Wal-Mart issue. I love Wal-Mart. Target pales in comparison. However, the poor person problem at the Wal-Mart is more pronounced than at Target. One important point though, not all Wal-Mart’s are created equal. If you live in a large metropolitan area, hunt around for a good Wal-Mart before giving up entirely.

  9. We have a couple of interesting clover varieties in this town. There’s the right-lane-hole-shot-run-the-speed-limit clover: it sits in the right lane at the light just before you get to a 4 lane / 2 lane pinch point. It tries it’s level best to get out in front of you, merge left and then runs the speed limit or slightly less. I will stay up beside this clover and make it drop back and merge in behind me. At which point it morphs into the pissed-off-tailgating-clover. I got one the other day in a new Escalade and he was so determined that he hit the shoulder and was probably running 70 in the dirt and gravel to pass me on the right. That’s probably the only time that Caddy has ever been off-road. 😀 To his credit he did leave me behind after he got back on the black top so his clover status is debateable.

    We also have a couple of age-impaired-going-to-the-donut-shop clovers that “must” go to the donut shop at 10 – 15 mph under the speed limit when the rest of us are going to work. Never mind that we’re paying the social security they’re living off of. They’re more than happy to get out in the middle of morning traffic and add an extra 5 minutes to our commute for us. I realize I may get to that point. But to me it’s just like showing courtesy for motorcyclists when I’m not riding; think about the other guy and we’ll all get along better. I will do my best to remember this when I’m 80+ and simply wait to go to the donut shop (or where ever) until after 9:00 AM. When I reach the point where I have to hunch up over the steering wheel and strain for all I’m worth just to see a half block away at 15 – 20 MPH I’ll park the car.

    • Merge clover: May or may not signal, does nothing to time a gap, expects other drivers to compensate. Often gets angry when others do not do the driving for him. Often must merge in front and will not accept merging behind. He wants you to bend to his will and believes anything less is rude on your part.

      On the old people… why do old people pick the busiest times of day to go out? They can do things any time they want! When I’ve been on vacation or between jobs I go out when everyone else is at work. 10am, 2pm, etc… stores are empty roads aren’t too bad. I never understood it. That and people who are on the cell phone while driving at 6-7am. Who are they talking to? Each other?

      • Yep. I had a gal try to merge “with” my Jeep last year as we were approaching a red signal (whole line of cars, no where for me to go). I honked and she whipped back in her lane and then tried to hang back as we stopped for the light so she wouldn’t come along side and have to face me. I stopped quicker than her, she looked at me sheepishly and mouthed “sorry”. There it was; ‘sail fawn’ attached to the side of her head like a limpet. She never even put the phone down and just went right back to jabbering. For Pete’s sake when they’re in heavy traffic you’d think they’d be smart enough to hang up and drive. It’s this kind of stupidity that the statists will use to get a federal law in place banning the use of all in car electronics before it’s over with.

  10. Lets not forget those wonderful folks who, wanting to turn into your direction of traffic on a two lane road, and after waiting for every other car in front of you to pass, decide that simply because you have wisely left a five car length “space cushion” in front of you they don’t need to wait until you pass to pull out….at a MUCH slower rate of speed…..never achieving even the Posted Speed Limit, much less your previous MPH. To top it off this always happens when there is NO ONE behind you. Clearly their having to wait for two more seconds was much more of a bother, and much more important to avoid than respecting that annoying thing you were doing….you know, being there at an inconvenient time for them.

    Glad I got that off my chest. 😉

  11. Passing Lane Clover:

    This type will only drive in the passing lane and will do so at or just under the posted speed limit. When approaching the clover on the right, it will increase its speed in order to prevent you from taking a lead in some mythical race. It will do all in its ability to prevent you from passing it before reaching another vehicle in the right lane. If its block is sucessful, expect a drop in velocity 10-20 mph. This clover is also notorious for passing you at high speed only to find it two miles down the interstate going 20 mph slower.

    • That type of Clover is one of the worst!

      The key to successfully dealing with this Clover is to lull him into complacency. Hang back; give him space. Then, wait. When you see your opportunity, make tracks. Pass with everything you’ve got. Clovers are notorious for having poor reflexes so it’s easy to get the drop on them.

      PS: Ever see the Star Trek Next Generation episode about the Packleds? They’re space Clovers!

    • A variation of the passing lane Clover:
      I dont have a good name for this one but his behavior is the most infuriating to me. Let’s say there is a large truck in the right lane moving about the speed limit. This clover will get in the PASSING lane just of the left back end of the truck but will not PASS the truck because doing so would require he violate the speed limit. However, the Clover will not get over behind the big truck because he “doesn’t want to be behind that big truck”.

  12. I was next in line at the food market, standing behind an EBT food card user who was being rude to the cashier. I wasn’t surprised at the customer’s rudeness (sorry, can’t be more specific without sounding like I’m a member of Stromfront). My young daughter was with me, so I was forced to behave. When my turn came, I was uber-polite to the cashier. She seemed to appreciate my consideration.

    • The whole EBT thing ought to be done away with. People on the dole should be slighty ashamed to be on the dole. It ought to be embarrassing.The EBT card is an attempt to hide that the user is on the dole by replicating a credit or debit card. They ought to have to produce welfare stamps or something similar – and these should be only good for buying basic staples. It gripes me to no end seeing a cart full of Cheez Puffs, sugary drinks, maple-flavored bacon and so on being “purchased” by these people.

      • All welfare / WIC / EBT recipients should be subject to urinalysis and have their name and address published in the local paper at least annually. When you’re dining at the public trough there should be no privacy about the matter. If there’s shame attached to being on the dole the numbers will drop; as they should. The state doesn’t want that. The Dept. of Socialist Services needs all those “clients” to justify their budget.

        • All welfare should be done away with, period. It does not accomplish its intended purpose. It is abusive, fraudulent, it enables the same bad habits that got people into that situation in the first place, it’s economically destructive, immoral and a hundred other adjectives I can’t think of right now. 🙂

          It’s classic “violence by proxy” policy and if those that feel so strongly about helping others got off their fat asses and actually helped others then there’d be no need for welfare in the first place.

          • “if those that feel so strongly about helping others got off their fat asses and actually helped others then there’d be no need for welfare in the first place.”

            I’ve often wondered myself why the limousine liberals who demand such things as welfare, single-payer universal healthcare, and free “educational” cable TV fo’ da’ chilluns can’t just pool their resources and set it up themselves if it’s going to be such a boon to society. That way they can take all the credit for it.

            This is how you know it’s about power far more than altruism.

          • Hey I agree completely Don. But it will have to be done in steps. I think the two steps I brought up would help reduce the roles to the point that eventual elimination would be possible. If it were possible to simply cut the spigot off right now, in two or three days our cities (and suburbs) would burn. The welfare state is a lot like herion addiction; going off it cold turkey would be really ugly. And you will also have to allow some buffer time for private charities to ramp up.

          • Welfare’s intended purpose has been accomplshed, it’s just not the purpose we are told it is for.

            Welfare is about control, about power. Not only power over the people that get welfare but creating a horde that is a violent threat to those who don’t.

        • I believe all welfare should be paid directly by the taxpayer. Each tax payer woulld be assigned a family (or families) for which he would write a check and hand-deliver it.

          This way – we can see if the “less fortunate” are truly less fortunate, or just gaming the system.

          A few downsides. The wealthy would have another full time job just distributing checks door-to-door.

          Not that I believe in state mandated welfare to begin with – but this way, at least we’d cut out the middle-men and see how our money is spent.

          This could work for corporate welfare as well.

          We might be visiting GE, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, AIG, and the thousands of other tax sucking companies that would collapse in a single day under a truly free market.

          • Well said Blake!

            And as for those welfare-queen companies–fuck’em, they haven’t stood on their own since the 50’s. It’s not just the direct subsidies and tax breaks; it’s the gargantuan wads of “regulations” that are simply barriers to entry for competition to these behemoths.

            Can ya’ll imagine the incredible state of the world if every industry was as free, innovative, and productive as the computer industry?

          • This country has always succeeded not because of the fedgov, but in spite of it.

            Its failure can be summed up in one sentence: That formula no longer works.

  13. RE Wallmart–nothing beats Black Friday shopping at local Walmart in a “one horse” town. Used to do that when I went to W. Virginia to see “in law relatives”. “Shudders”.

    However, I like Walmart. They got cheap stuff. Target too. I just avoid the times when the crowds form–like 9-9 🙂

  14. The clovers that speed up when you try to pass them, then slow down when you can’t, or ride your bumper if you do manage to pass them, are about the worst, imho.

    Nice article.

    I imagine clovers like to get together in social situations and discuss ways to make the roads worse in other ways too.

    For instance, there’s a stretch of four lane divided 55 m.p.h. highway near me with just a couple of red light intersections, about 40 yards prior to the intersection there’s a yellow triangle “Stop if lights flashing” sign with two yellow flashing lights on either side of the road timed with the intersection lights (a pre-light?) – that’s bad enough – but in one spot there’s a second set of lights ten yards from the first,… that’s two warning lights before the intersection causing most of the traffic to hit the brakes and treat the flashing yellow lights as if they were intersection lights,… so fifty yards before the intersection and a second before the intersection light turns green you have a long line of cars hitting the brake for a green light fifty or more yards ahead of them. Ugh.

    I had friends who did some stupid moves at these intersections which resulted in their demise, but I fail to see how this really fixes anything.

    Perhaps it makes the clovers feel better to support the placement of signs all over town and down the highway which say, “Traffic laws are photo enforced” as if that stops bad drivers from making stupid mistakes on terribly designed roads? Oh wait, let’s add flashing yellow lights, that’ll fix everything? Yeah, it’ll fix their revenue flow problem,… for awhile.

    what they really needed to do was build overpasses and clover-leaf intersections but the town’s People and their supportive clovers are too cheap and seemingly Only interested in wasting money on frivolous stuff like mowing parks, removing snow from little used bike paths, feeding ducks and maintaining a force of cops who spend their time chasing after People for doing nothing but minding their own business,… all in the interest of Control,… not to mention monument-this-monument that, etc… etc… etc…

    Priorities are so screwed up in this country, or so it seems.

    And, once again the clovers and the state recognize there’s a danger but don’t want to remove the danger, they just want to put up signs and ticket People.

    I wonder if there are other intersections like this in the nation, or is this the only place that has such?

    More and more I see privatization of roads to be the only solution.

    /rant off.

    • Good stuff, Clark – thanks!

      Clovers do, indeed, abound. The question of the century is: How do we neutralize them or, failing that, separate ourselves from them? I’ve been wrestling with it for years. Because there’s no hope of reaching Clovers using reason or of ever getting them to just agree to live – and let live. Clovers have an urge to control – and a desire to be controlled. All for “safety” and “the good of society,” of course.

      • I think the key, Eric, is to dismantle the environment in which they thrive. Their numbers have grown because the omnipotent nanny state encourages it. The state loads up the naive with debt they cannot afford and marshals them through its “institutions of higher learning” where the main takeaways seem to be complete indoctrination by the state to create cogs that fit nicely in the machine, and very high levels of unwarranted self-esteem as a result of becoming one of “the best and brightest.” This is how so many people know so many things that are not so. The gov. controls the historical narrative and the people who assume authority = knowledge and wisdom don’t question it.

        Take away the collective brain that thinks for them and how will they know how fast to drive on the roads? How much they can have to drink before they become unlawful? That the killing going on overseas in their name is OK? How will they deal with that sick feeling they get in their stomach any time someone suggests to them that we’ve moved away from our founding principles, when they’ve become so accustomed to just turning on Fox or MSNBC and waiting for the appropriate soundbite to set their minds at ease?

        The Cloverian population has grown beyond a level that nature will support as a result of government-created aberrations in society. In that respect it’s no different than the WIC/EBT/welfare population which grows explosively for the same reason.

        It’s easy to be a Clover, just like it’s easy to be on welfare. It’s easy to go through life on autopilot while someone else makes all the decisions for you. This is the reason why I think libertarianism cannot prevail. There are just too many people who don’t want to be free. They may pay lip service to freedom, but their actions tell us everything we need to know. We would have to create separation between ourselves and them, but the rub is how do you do that without at least the implicit threat of force?

        • “It.s easy to be a Clover, just like it.s easy to be on welfare. It.s easy to go through life on autopilot while someone else makes all the decisions for you. This is the reason why I think libertarianism cannot prevail.”

          Somewhere I started writing about how the entire society has been regeared for those who don’t think. Work, driving, everywhere I go it’s like a small minority which I am a part of has to do the thinking for everyone. Work is mentally and thus physically exhausting. Dealing with drones all the time is aggrivating. But it’s easy for them and as more and more people get tired they give in and there are fewer and fewer to carry the load and the rate people drop off increases. And then the cloverite population wants more than they did before on top of it. It’s a society where people just pass the buck. The whole thing probably needs to fall apart into poverty and ruin before something free can be built.

        • It’s been argued (and I agree) that Cloverism is a function of civilization. That is, once a society develops to the point that Cloverism can be tolerated, Cloverism flourishes.

          In a frontier-type of environment, Cloverism is literally fatal. Hence, Cloverism is not tolerated and more, it’s recognized for the cancer it is.

          Consider how much less Cloverism there is in, say, rural Alaska vs. a typical urban/suburban metro area.

          The only way out I can come up with, without returning to a frontier (or very rural, lightly populated) scenario is to make citizenship (and suffrage) in a hypothetical society/country conditional on one rule: Legally binding acknowledgment and acceptance of the rule of non-initiation of force.

          At maturity (18) each young person is offered citizenship (and suffrage) if he agrees to sign a statement of principles to the effect that he will never seek to interfere with his fellow man’s actions in any way, for any reason other than self-defense and/or in case of demonstrable harm caused; that he will never seek or advocate the taking of any other person’s property for the material benefit of any other person individually, or for the benefit of “society,” generally, or the for the benefit of the government, but only to compensate a specific victim for provable loss, and only after due process of law.

          Violation of the above covenant would result in loss of citizenship and the franchise. Perhaps expulsion from the society.

          We don’t tolerate ordinary thieves now; why should we tolerate thieves-by-proxy who get others to do their work for them?

          • Hey, that’s a really good one Eric!

            I’m betting you’ve read Lysander Spooner’s essay on the “Constitution of no authority” (I might be misquoting the title)…

            But YES–if “belonging” to a society were made a conscientious decision, signing a NAP (non-aggression principle for those who don’t recognize the acronym), we’d have some real involvement in the society’s laws.

            Sort of like confirmation in church; confirmation of citizenship. I wouldn’t even ship non-signers off somewhere; I’d simply shun them. Those who haven’t signed simply can’t get a job, can’t rent an apartment, etc….NOT by government force, but simply because no sane person would WANT to do business with someone who hasn’t vowed not to do evil.

  15. Don’t know if this is a national phenomenon or one peculiar to my area, but one of my favorites is the Clover that won’t budge at a four-way stop as long as there’s another car in view but goes Mach 2 through neighborhoods with uncontrolled intersections without flinching.

  16. What about the Coming Attraction? This is a Clover who does something cloverish when the car is not moving, and you make an urgent Note to Self not to be anywhere near it when it gets in motion.

    I had just parked in a space in the Walmart parking lot. Facing me and one space over was a big SUV, with the driver preparing to exit the vehicle. She is talking on the cell in her left hand, and taking up a shopping bag from the passenger seat with her right. She moves to get out and realizes that she has to open the door. Still talking, she loops the shopping bag onto her wrist and reaches across herself with her right hand to open the door and the bag hangs up on the gearshift or something. She disentangles the bag and once again reaches for the door handle — still talking — and leans way back to accommodate the bag which is now stuck between herself and the steering wheel. She gets the door open and widens the space with her left elbow and twists around to get out of the car and inches herself out, feet flailing — look, no hands! — lifting the bag over her head. Still talking.

    By now I’m completely absorbed in this adventure. I am fascinated by how this woman’s mind — for lack of a better term — is working. Unless she’s giving instructions for CPR, I cannot imagine any circumstance wherein a normal person would imbue the simple process of getting out of a car with such Rube Goldbergian complexity.

    She maneuvers herself to the ground. Looking outward — still talking — she slams the door shut with her hip, starts to walk away and is yanked back by the bag which has gotten caught between the door and the side panel.

    Oh no! Now we’re in trouble. At this point you couldn’t have pried me away with a crowbar. I propped my chin in my hand and awaited developments.

    She turns to face the car and appears stymied. She loosens her wrist from the bag, traps the bag between herself and the car, opens the door with that same hand, pulls the bag loose, and once again shoves the door shut. She passes the bag to the ring and pinkie fingers of her left hand and inserts her right wrist into the carry handle, all the while holding the cell in place and, yes, still talking. And, finally squared away, she walks around behind the van and disappears.

    At no time during this operation did she stop talking or move the cell one millimeter away from her ear.

    I half thought about following her and watching her shop. I’m not sure if it would have qualified as a kind of bizarre entertainment or as the witnessing of reverse evolution in action, like the cartoon.

    You wonder how people like this live their lives. How do they function? Pay bills, buy tires, prepare meals? Find their way to the Walmart?

    • That was an interesting zombie spotting for sure. I have the same wonders about these people as you. How the heck did they make it this far in life without offing themselves? It’s amazing. Walmart is a hot spot for moron activity though. Every time I go there I’m always saying to myself “you should have brought the camera.”

    • I just wonder if the author of this article has had his skills and mental ability tested lately? Someone in their mid to late 40s should be tested to see if they are still capable of high speed driving because their abilities have surely declined the past few years.

      • Define high speed driving. If it is above the PSL, then why would the state test for something they do not condone?

        Have you been at the cooking sherry again?

      • Clover(s) have you been evaluated for a plexiectomy yet? You know, the surgical procedure where they intall a plexiglass panel in your abdominal wall so you can see where you’re going with your head up your ass.

        • The “Post O’ the Day” accolade is Eric’s to select, and that is as it should be, and far be it from me to interfere. But if ever Eric feels strapped for a POTD entry, I would like to nominate this as an eminently worthy candidate.

          Thanks, Boothe. A good laugh to start the week.

      • Well, Clovers, let’s meet up at the next track day at VIR: and we’ll see.

        You can choose – two wheels, or four.

        How many times have you been on a race track, Clovers?

        Oh. That’s right. I forget… it’s not “safe” to race; it “wastes resources.” Etc.

        Poor ol’ Clover… what a sad little life you lead. No wonder you have the sick desire to control others. Your own life is so hemmed in that you can’t stand it when others go out and do things you can’t, or are afraid of doing.

  17. “The Herd” Not a single type of clover per say, but a group who believe there’s safety in numbers. Deep inside their DNA is a survival tactic evolved over millennia, the safety of the herd. Generally these clovers can be spotted on the open highways of the western US, were the wide open lanes leave them feeling vulnerable to bear attack, or something. Several of them group together, both tailgating and ignoring land discipline, in a large mass of moving metal. Speed doesn’t matter, although it is usually the posted limit due to fear of a summons (I guess). If you become trapped in the herd the only way out is to take the next exit. If you slow down to let the herd pass it will only cause the herd to slow as well, as if you know something they don’t.

    “The won’t pass ’em bumper rider” A sort of hybrid clover, the driver typically enjoys cruising in the left lane. As the approach you, instead of passing, they sneak up and hide in your blind spot (perhaps they notice they are moving 1 MPH faster than you and are nervous about getting a speeding ticket?). Then the real fun begins: when you slow down to let them pass, they match your speed. If you speed up, again, they do as well. This is even more fun at night, as their lights shine directly into your driver’s side view mirror.

    • The Migrating Herd is a subspecies. This can be a series of RVs, passenger vans, or other transport, but is typically a U-Haul and a following or leading car. The Migrating Herd is covering new territory, so their travel will never be above the speed limit. They move in close enough formation that there is never enough room to get between them if you want to pass and a truck pops up out of nowhere, so you have to have a long, clear road–or great acceleration and carbon fiber balls–to get by them.

      • Hi Agave,

        Yesterday, driving down the mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I had an Oldster literally stop in the middle of the road near an overlook as debated whether to turn.


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