A New Species of Clover

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When things start going bad, they almost always get worse.bad driver pic

Driving, for instance.

Passivity and ineptitude behind the wheel have been almost deified as the apotheosis of “defensive” and “safe” driving. Not surprisingly, passive and inept driving is now the rule rather than the exception. One can never – apparently – be too “safe.”

Hence, football field following distances.

If three car lengths is is good, six car lengths must be even better. “Safer.”

There’s the Clover ahead of you doing 39 in a 45 . . . and the Clover 50 yards ahead of him, doing about the same. Pass the first, get stuck behind the second. If you’re that lucky. Often, the first Clover will close the gap if he sees you’re about to attempt a pass. Clovers stick together like cow pies to your boots.

Unlike prior generations of Americans raised prior to the rise of the Safety Cult, they reverence slow-motion driving as the sine qua non of “safe” driving.

Observe the languid habits of Cloverensus Americanus. If two of them are driving abreast, one in the left lane, the other in the right – and you’re coming up on them from behind – the car in the left lane will do one of two things:

Nothing. He’ll creep along at the same speed, pacing the car to his right, blocking you in.bad driver 2

Or: He’ll first turn on his signal. Leave it on for awhile. Ever so gradually, he’ll increase his speed. Eventually – painfully – he’ll ease his car over into the right lane, allowing you to pass. Almost never in this land of the addled will you ever find a driver as in the example above who anticipates you overtaking him, increases his speed to get by the driver to his right and then quickly moves his car into the right lane before you overtake him.

That’s considered “unsafe” – while you are considered “aggressive” for not operating at a Cloveritic pace.

As an aside: It’s interesting that Clovers – who always seem to be very concerned about gas mileage, dependence upon “foreign oil,” etc. – never take into consideration how much gas is wasted as a result of their blocking maneuvers. If traffic flowed freely – which is another way of saying expeditiously – less gas would be wasted. Decelerating – having to brake for Clover – wastes probably more gas than “speeding” does. If Clovers were truly interested in fuel efficiency, they’d appreciate driving efficiently. Continuous, fluid motion. Minimizing needless slowing/stopping cycles.clover king

But of course, they do not value efficient driving. They venerate slow driving. And the slower, the better.

The rolling stop is to Clover what garlic is to Dracula. Even if there is no reason to come to a complete stop – other than it being “the law” – Clover will always come to a complete stop.

And then, sit.

Eventually, having satisfied himself that the way is clear – which, for Clover, means no oncoming traffic within at least a quarter-mile or so – he will proceed.


Brisk acceleration – rapid movement of any kind – is anathema to Clover. He’s been taught – conditioned – to equate decisive movement with “dangerous” driving. Notwithstanding that his slow-motion merging technique often results in near-impacts – of which he’s blithely unaware, since he never consults his rearview. Besides, the traffic forced to brake/swerve in order to avoid accordionizing Clover was “speeding.”

They, too, should follow the football field rule.clover move over pic

Speaking of rules – Clover loves ’em. Obeys them with a devotion that’s nearly sexual. And acts like a spurned lover when someone else does not obey them.

You are driving along and come across a sign that reads, “road work ahead.” Except you see no work ahead. Just the sign. It’s clear nothing’s happening that would justify slowing to a crawl – so you don’t. But Clover does. Because there’s a sign. Even if the sign was just left there by the road crew – or they obviously are taking today off. It does not matter that there are no workers working. The sign – and its mighty injunction – must be obyed.

Cyclists also flummox Clover. He requires at least 10 yards of sideways separation before he will attempt to pass. He considers this “safe” – notwithstanding he’s placed most of his car across the double yellow and into the path of oncoming traffic. Either that – or he’ll maintain the football field following distance. Matching the cyclist’s 15 MPH pace. If you become exasperated and pass the Clover, the result will be  an angry outpouring of horn honking and high beams flashing.

The bottom line is – bad driving’s getting worse. And it’s becoming more ubiquitous. The rising generation of Americans has been marinated in Cloverism from birth through safety-seated/helmet-wearing/buckled-up-for-safety adulthood. The older generation of Americans that grew up learning how to exercise initiative (and which was was rewarded for exercising it), that was active rather than passive and took pride in knowing how to handle a car as opposed to following the rules . . . is passing from the scene, overwhelmed like the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae.

The Google Car is the future.

Cue Rush – and Red Barchetta.

Throw it in the Woods? 

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  1. In thinking about John’s comment, my approach is usually: Go By The Book, Fuck ‘Em, They Ain’t Getting My Money. … ‘Go By The Book’ – Except – when I Know they’re Not around, then I speed like Hell, and rolling stop the Stop Signs, and stop-n-go the stop lights.

    Martial Law is like that.

    Anyway, I came across this comment and thought of the Clover world of obedience:

    “if you can’t control it, kill it,”


    That about sums it Up for them, eh?

    The Moon Is Down

  2. Eric sadly I am nearly a “Clover” because the cops here in TX use us slaves as cash cows. They hide in culverts, at hill-crests, behind trees, etc., to ticket us. Poster above said the state has made us paranoid re: tickets. Heck, It ain’t paranoia…I just can’t afford the tickets and all the piled-on court “fees” for the tickets! Current irritation….signs all around schools “$200 fine for using cell phone.” Cash-draining threats against us plebes are everywhere.

    • I get that, John. It’s why I bought a top-of-the-line radar detector (V1). It has made driving much more pleasant. Strongly recommend!

  3. What I dont get is that all the new cars have so much performance and safety features, that the speed limits (for the most part) are almost irrelevant.

  4. “Clovers stick together like cow pies to your boots.”

    Clovers ARE the cow pies stuck to our boots. If only they’d realise.

  5. I encountered a bicycle clover while riding my bicycle to the store today. Guy hung around behind me, following me at 17 mph. I pulled off the road so that he and about 10 cars could pass me by. The people behind him must have been pissed.

    • I’m confused – was the bicycle clover on a bicycle himself? In any case, he was probably attempting to hypermile in your slipstream, which ties in with general clover stupidity.

      • The clover was behind me while I was on my bike. They are hesitant to pass. I just bailed off the road to let the cars behind me pass. I can’t stand that. I know the risks I am taking and also am aware of the risks I pose to other traffic, however, life isn’t all about risk. In this case, it’s about cars and bikes being on the road together and for crying out loud, if I’m going slower PASS ME. I’m not one of those critical mass types who is offended at internal combustion.

    • One of the commentators(MR) uses a “minion” as his avatar.

      Two different discussions.
      You were more concerned about individual freedom provided the individual is not harming others.

      The others appeared more concern with fining/imprisoning others based
      on what they might do.

      Interesting choice of words:

      The moving vehicle became a potential deadly weapon moments before Officer Lewis took a leap over a bridge in effort to avoid injury.

      … was charged with intoxicated assault

      The car considered as a weapon. (To be clear, a 3 000 lb+ car can cause much damage to a human being, but it is not typically considered as a weapon.)

      I suspect that some types of assault are considered more severe than others.

      • @Mith – They may have a problem with that charge, unless they can prove his intent was to hit the cops:

        Texas Penal Code Sec. 22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:

        (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another, including the person’s spouse;

        (2) intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, including the person’s spouse; or

        (3) intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative.

    • I didn’t have to read any further once I saw the phrase – “routine traffic stop.”

      The crime here was escalating a non-threatening situation and increasing the danger, not keeping the peace. Anything else that happened after was incidental and came subsequent to the outrageous fact of an agent of public order committing the criminal act of making the routine dangerous.

      How has it come to pass, that our fundamental right to be free of a deified government is under such relentless assault? This right was agreed to by all political parties since 1651 and the end of the English Civil War. Since the first decade of Harvard’s existence and the infancy of American intellectual society.

      There are five corporations that tell you what to think, and undoing over 350 years of human progress.

      These corporations are telling you to worship the state and instilling a permanent warmongering mentality

      To read or write the types of things coming out of ABC, and to give them any credence whatsoever, is to regress backwards to before 1690 and John Locke’s Two Treatises.

      The agreement that the state is not supernatural was once entered into by the Tories, Cavaliers, Levellers, Parliamentarians, Liberals, by every originating majority party now in existence really. How has this barbaric backsliding been allowed?

      John Locke’s “Two Treatises” (1690), was the foundational text of liberal ideology, outlined his major ideas. His insistence that lawful government did not have a supernatural basis was a sharp break with then dominant theories of governance. Locke also defined the concept of the separation of church and state. Based on the social contract principle, Locke argued that there was a natural right to the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain protected from any government authority.

      – The state must be ruled by reason alone. This is a conservative, liberal, royalist, parliamentarian, consensus in long standing. This isn’t a libertarian question.

      That we are being asked to revisit the long-settled dispute, as to whether state functionaries have supernatural qualities, is to lose the compromises and gentlemen’s agreements that have been in place since the end of the English Civil War in 1651.

      This is a principle liberals, conservatives, and libertarians should all be in agreement about. A government can be incredibly large or quite small or even non-existent. But it must never be seen as supernatural in any way.
      – – – – –

      Washington man beaten to death by police in front of a dozen witnesses

    • But just as with Virginia’s state law requiring people in the passing lane to move over after the following driver signals them to do so to get by—no one ever enforces this! The cops are too “busy” beating up old ladies, planting drugs in searched cars, testilying in court, and the like. They don’t have time to enforce anything against Clover!

      • You want to sic the state goons on drivers because they don’t conform to your idea of how they should drive?

        • I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of the clover. I once asked Mr. Clover to comment on that particular law, he never did.

          Funny, he’s usually quick to respond to people with comments about law and common good.

          Sometimes pointing out hypocrisy is just that, and not a call for vigorous enforcement.

    • Ha ha! I got a Code 22400 (Impeding Traffic) ticket in L.A. decades ago for double-parking to pick up my taxicab fare on an early traffic-less Sunday morning. I contested it and the judge essentially said WTF and tossed it out. A-hole cop didn’t bother showing up, anyway.

  6. One of my fellow slaves working next to me went off on a rant the other day. “I was following a guy on the same route yesterday and not once did he use his turn signal! Your supposed to use your turn signal! U know what I should have done ? I should have got his plates and called him in! ” wow what brown shirted clover! I told him I use my blinker only when there is someone to tell. Be aware of your surroundings man! End of conversation.

    • I was stuck behind a clover one time. He insisted on going 10 mph under the limit. When the limit dropped by 10, so did he. I was getting more and more frustrated, as every time we approached an intersection, I thought “A-ha, maybe now we will part ways” but we didn’t.

      My frustration evaporated when he turned into the parking lot I was going to turn in to. I watched carefully where he parked. Then I left a note on his window.

      “Dear Penis,
      What kind of an idiot always drives 10mph under the limit?
      The world.”

    • Ditto Deepgrass. I only use blinkers when someone else needs to know. Forces one to look around and know his surroundings rather than just blindly blinkering and turning, forcing others to pull the eject handle.

      On that subject, I now live near a street with two 90 degree turns some 100 yards apart (zig zag), one containing an intersection but the turn is still a “straight through”. The other is a simple 90 degree turn with no adjoining streets.

      Just about every idiot blinkers to go straight through the turns – Ugh!

      We also have plenty of roundabouts here in Albury, but for some reason every idiot seems to have arms flailing about the cabin trying to steer while blinkering on – and off – the roundabouts. Blinkering off isn’t required here by law, so it must be just a “good idea” all these morons are emulating off each other.

      Can’t wait for the inevitable prang but it’ll be blamed on something else instead of the real cause as usual.

  7. Out here, where we have lots of room on the highways, I still don’t understand the need for everyone to clump together. It’s a big road guys, can’t we all just spread out a little? A football field’s distance between me and you is what I call a good start.

    Of course, when I’m in Denver it’s all different, given the amount of traffic.

  8. 1. Fear and paranoia of the traffic ticket instilled by our anti-terrorism state leaders has been massively successful.
    2. Most of the boomers are on meds and incapable of quick thinking.
    3. Driving while texting or just babbling like valley girls on the phone.
    4. The old standby of a pussy whipped clover finally getting some power in his pitiful life and blocking a traffic lane while calling 911 on you.

  9. I must disagree wrt clovers and bicycling. I’ve never seen these that stay a football field back. Most stay a few feet behind me and refuse to pass. They seem to want to wait until I hit something and fall in their path so they can run me over. Dodging pavement issues becomes very difficult under these conditions because one never knows when the idiot is going to start executing a pass. No amount of encouragement will get them to pass. I’ve even stopped and guess what? The idiot stops.

    Then do the drivers behind the idiot blame the idiot? No. They blame the bicyclist and take out their hostility on the bicyclist.

    • Is it just me? When I clicked on BrentP ‘s name in the ‘What’s Happening?’ box, I was redirected to Inconsistencies’s comment here above BrentP ‘s.

      It’s seems to be sporadic. It’s no big deal when it’s in a short thread of comments, but when it’s on a longer one it takes some scrolling to find the comment I wanted to read.

      Anyway, we had some windy days here recently. It sure seemed to me that high winds really scramble a clover’s ability to drive. I couldn’t believe all the near misses I had the last few days.

  10. There are stop signs in my neighborhood that I (carefully) run through on a daily basis. These signs are placed at a 3 way (T-bone) intersection and their only purpose is to break up the long straight running through the neighborhood. Most other people in the neighborhood do the same, but occasionally there will be a junior police cadet wannabe who sees the infraction and expresses his disapproval through horn honking and high beam flashing. All I can do is laugh, knowing that just a few short years ago, I was the same way.

  11. Eric, I think the problem is that our generation was not controlled by the “nanny” state. We survived riding without helmets and sat in rear facing station wagons. Todays generation has soooooo many laws controlling everything. Our current educmacation skools teach children government always know best. “My God…without the nanny state we would all be dead”. I had this very conversation with liberal government lovers and their argument remains constant, BIG GOVERNMENT will save us. Yes, less speed, more helmet usage and taxation will erase these “minor” problems. The new Mayor of NYC declared he is a “statist” and want massive tax increases to pay for his very expensive social programs. He also wants NYC speed limits set at 20 MPH, why 20 MPH and not 5 MPH maybe 1 MPH? …..safety first.


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