Whatever the source, Cloverism is propagating. They are everywhere.I thought five chapters (see here, here, here, here and here) would cover it. But it seems there are still a few more subsets to document:
* The Defensive Driving Clover –
He is steeped deep in the learned passivity taught by government “defensive driving” schools. If any one thing defines a Clover, it is just that – his passivity. Taking the initiative, acting on his own judgment – those things are as foreign to him as the Grotto at Hef’s mansion must have seemed to Liberace.
A Clover will sit at a red light all night long. He will never tread over the double yellow – even for the 10 yards it takes to pass that Amish hay truck crawling along ahead of him at 8 MPH in a 45.
But most of all, he expects – that everyone else be just as passive – as “defensive” – as he is. When they are not – as when a person waiting at a never-changing red light finally “runs” the light – a CloverMobile will erupt in flashing headlights and honking horns.
* The Herky Jerky Clover –
This Clover stabs the gas – and then the brakes.
Over and over and over again.
Smoothness is a concept foreign to this Clover. His stabby braking – and equally sudden bursts of acceleration – create an accordion effect that wastes gas, burns up clutches and brake pads.
It also wastes time as traffic slows abruptly – then starts up again – for no apparent reason.
Probably, the advent of the automatic transmission is inadvertently responsible for the proliferation of this species of Clover – since it made it possible for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to drive at all to pretend that they can.
* The “Break Your Car” Clover –
This Clover rails against using more than 50 percent of a car’s performance capability on the theory that to do so constitutes abuse and will result in the car’s premature demise. He therefore buys a car with a 300 hp V6 and drives it as though it had no more than a 150 hp four under its hood.
Why won’t he just buy a car with a 150 hp four?
Because Clovers are usually egomaniacs who have cars for the same reason people in Henry VIII’s time wore codpieces.
They are both for show only.
Someone ought to tell Clover that the whole point of having roundabouts is to get rid of stop signs – and the need to stop.
Clover loves to stop. It’s his next most favorite thing – after slowing down.
Clovers look for reasons to stop. A pedestrian walking on the sidewalk adjacent to the road, for instance. A school bus that has stopped on the other side of a divided highway.
And of course, when entering a roundabout.
* Q Tip Clover –
At first, you’d swear the car ahead is driving itself. It’s the Google car! Except Google probably wouldn’t use a ’95 Oldsmobile with uneven AARP stickers on its paint-peeling bumper as the platform for its driverless car. So, you look again – and see the little puff of white hair just barely higher than the headrest. It’s Q Tip Clover – on his way back from the veterans of the Spanish American War meeting down at the legion hall.
He fought for freedom… and now feels free to make you wait.
Vanity plates are helpful in that they give you fair warning that the driver ahead of you is probably – and in some case, almost certainly is – a Clover.
If you see a “Kids First” plate – or “Clean Special Fuel” – consider yourself on notice.
When the light goes green, Clover won’t go.
Almost always, you won’t be able to see, either. Because these egocentric plates are almost always affixed to a monstrous SUV, bloated minivan or similar Clover conveyance.
* The Motorcycle Clover –
It’s less common for bikers to be Clovers, but there are some – and they tend to ride in groups.
These are usually particularly loud and obnoxious (straight pipes) and festooned with patriotic flair. I guess they ride at Cloverific speeds to avoid jostling the stuffed teddy bear riding bitch, or maybe because their under-powered but over-loud “hog” can’t deal with the weight of the hog riding the thing.
At busy intersections, there are often two turn lanes. But frequently, you’ll find only one of them is being used.
A conga line of Clovers will stretch back from the head Clover at the front of the line to the point at which the two lanes thin to just one – making it all but impossible for you to access the empty turn lane.
Not one of the Clovers ahead notice the empty lane to their left. They just follow the Clover ahead of them who follows the next Clover – and so on.
You’ll encounter this same phenomenon at bank drive-thru windows. Two lanes will be open, with a line of several Clovers waiting in Line 1 – and Line 2 open but inaccessible because of the stacked-up line of Clovers to the left.
He’s the Clover who can’t handle rain or fog – but instead of pulling off the road until it clears up, turns on his emergency flashers and keeps on going. . . . very, very slowly.
Often, he will straddle the center line of a two-lane highway in order to lead the way and (per the Clover Handbook) prevent anyone else from getting by him.
If you try to ease around him, Clover’s concern for your safety will manifest in the form of horn honking and high beam flashing.
Sometimes, Clover will even speed up – his fear of rain driving apparently having been trumped by his bottomless urge to show you who’s boss.
Sigh… what is to be done?
Ultimately, Cloverism is a function of density. The more people in a given area, the greater the number of Clovers – and the harder it is to get away from (or around) them.
At some point, a critical mass of Cloverism is achieved – and escape becomes impossible. Get by one – and there’s another up ahead. It’s like trying to fend off a herd of Walking Dead with just one mag full of ammo.
The only advice I have t offer is to flee.
Get as far away from people as possible and you’ll be fairly free of Clovers.
You’ll still encounter them, of course. But because they are fewer and farther in between, it’s usually no problem to just break left and pass the occasional Clover. Which is very gratifying.
Until, of course, the herd grows… .
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