Trolling for Taillights
(and related Effluvia)
Draft 3.0 (05/25/92)
Trolling For Taillights (TFT) is becoming one of America's fastest
growing highway participatory sports. It is loads of fun, requires
only modest equipment and achieves justice on the highway. And it is
Good Clean Fun (TM) at least until the target has to clean his drawers.
TFT refers, of course, to the sport of communicating to other drivers
by stimulating their radar detectors and observing and recording their
responses. Only simple radio equipment is needed: an old microwave
burglar alarm will do fine. More sophisticated equipment such as
a Kustom KR-11 Instant On Moving Police Radar will yield better and more
consistent results. Nontheless $10 worth of Gunn Oscillator will
achieve quite adequate scores if the proper skills are practiced.
How it Works
Think of RADAR as a Tractor Beam. It's a vector-subtraction ray, a
negative speed insertion device: If the target is ahead, it sucks them
back toward you; if they're behind, it pushes them away. One can also
think of it as a high-tech version of the American Indian game of
counting coup. In short, think of it as evolution in action, as in
Because the target of your trolling may react erratically, certain basic
safety rules are necessary.
No trolling of vehicles with less than two car lengths of clearance
behind and in the lane to either side (if applicable.) This allows
for an Unindended Deceleration Transient (UDT.)
No trolling of Texas Cadillacs (pickemup trucks) with large dogs
standing on the toolbox. The dog might not like it.
A minimum of 1/10 mile clearance between you and the target is
required if the target is placarded with any of the following:
- ``High Explosive''
- ``Nuclear Weapon'' (2/10 mile for this one.)
It is desirable to recognize outstanding fishermen in our ranks.
Accordingly the following special award catagories are established:
If you think you qualify, contact the management for your award. Video
tape is highly recommended for scoring purposes and for documenting
when the cop mistakes your head for a baby Harp Seal.
- The Million Dollar Club -- A million total points.
- The Kilobrake Trophy -- Causing one thousand Brake applications.
- 1000 Points of Light -- Causing the most simultaneous brake lights
in any one year.
- Worked All States (WAS) -- Snagging a trophy catch originating from each
of the 50 states.
- Golden Jam Award -- Causing the largest traffic jam as a result of
trolling without involving a wreck in any one year.
Rules of Engagement
- Trolling posture
Proper trolling posture is in the right or next to right lane with the
Radar at the ready but out of sight and de-energized. Speed should be
at or slightly below the speed limit.
- Eligible Targets
An eligible target is any vehicle that meets the above safety
specifications and has a radar detector.
- Target Selection
A target proceeding at greater than 20 mph over the posted speed
limit is the most fertile in terms of variety of actions and presents
the best odds of winning Adders and Multipliers.
- Firing techniques
Forward: Wait until the target is a few car lengths
in front of you and fire phasers. Best results are achieved if the
Radar is bounced off a sign or overpass ahead of both you and the
target. It is best to confine your range to that where you know your
Radar will cause the target's detector to go full scale.
Rear: Generally confined to eliminating Rear Bumper
Dwellers because of the difficulty in scoring, the best technique is
known as the Annie Oakley style. Simply lay the Radar across your
shoulder and fire. Since you are achieving line of sight contact with
his detector, the results are spectacular. The Tractor beam in
- Setting up for Subsequent Shots
If you have a target that appears to be fertile for a repeat
multiplier, the best technique is to wait a minute or two and then
pass the target. This encourages the target to resume trolling speed
again. Lead the target for awhile to build his confidence and then
lift the throttle and coast. Allow the target to pass you again and
when you achieve minimum clearance, fire again. Repeat Phasors coupled
with the vague recollection in the target's mine that you just slowed
way down will generally lead to spectacular trolling. This technique
can be use up to about 5 times (10 on yuppys and lawyers) on a given
target before he figures something's up. About the 4th or 5th shot is
the optimum time to set the target up for a nuke (see definition
below.) The use of an intergalactic communicator (CB) is vitally handy
for assessing the conditions favorable for nuking.
Special Techniques and Definitions
These techniques have been found to produce better scores than
shooting for lone targets.
- Nerd Herding
If you spot multiple cars equipped with radar detector, you can herd
them into a cluster by zapping them each time one tries to pass
- Wolf Pack
Played by two or more cars in convoy, communicating on an obscure
non-CB frequency: Wingman trails leader by about 1/2 mile, spots targets
and gives early warning to leader. Leader fires rearward, hitting the
marks with a strong head-on signal. Wingman confirms hits. Leader and
wingman try to see how many marks they can herd between them.
- Left Lane Bandit Blasting
This dual purpose technique yields good scores and frequently busts up
Left Lane Bandit clumps. This is the one instance where clearance
rules are relaxed. This is used when the trolling vehicle is stuck
behind a bunch of left-lane-bandits proceeding side by side with
geriatrics (real or premature) in the more right lanes. If there are
more than 3 or 4 cars in the clump, odds are one vehicle will have a
radar detector and will be driven by a target who will respond to the
troll even when going below the speed limit. Also known as the
Paranoid Factor. Technique is to lift throttle (to give you some room)
and firing into the crowd. The inherent entropy introduced by the
tractor beam will tend to scatter the cars so that you can find a way
through the mess. You bust a left lane bandit and score at the same
time. Also known as ``Bumper Cars.''
- Yuppy Puppy
Canine Critters, generally of a large/exotic/expensive breed and
always an utterly stupid, undisciplined monster.
- Yuppy Larvae
Similar to Yuppy Puppy except of human origin. Generally the result of
her taking something seriously he poked at her in fun. Also known,
depending on context and age, as ``accident,'' Yard Ape, Busted Rubber,
Curtain Climber or Precious. Personality characteristics are almost
identical to the Yuppy Puppy except that the Larvae is louder and is
generally allowed in restaurants and movie theaters where they do
Scoring is done in accordance with the following table. This table
recognize s the added value of multiple hits on a given target and on
the difficulty inherent in getting multiple responses from one hit.
The easiest way to score is to get one of those handheld counting
``clickers'' like are used by the gate keepers at the ballpark to count
fans. This is that chrome golf-ball sized orb that contains a
mechanical counter and a pushbutton that increments the count.
Available from your local office supply store for a nominal price.
Scores can be kept in a log book for submittal to the management.
Winners (and L00zers) will be recognized accordingly.
What the target does: Select all that apply and add.
Looks about, slows down = 1 point
Tail lights = 2 point
Hard braking = 3 points
Lane change = 3 points
Hides his radar detector = 4 points
Blue smoke from tires = 5 points
Hits an exit = 10 points
Turns off detector = 10 points.
Pulls over and fakes car trouble = 12 points
Hits median and goes the other way = 15 points
Add these bonus points to whatever you got above:
Fuzzy dice + 1 point
Suction Cup Garfield (or other critter) + 1 point
Was already below the speed limit + 2 points
Cellphone in use + 2 points
Radar detector has cord draped across dash + 2 points
Eating/drinking interrupted + 2 points
" " " , stuff spilled + 4 points
Audio hit * + 3 points
Yuppy puppy on board + 3 points
Yuppy larvae on board (see definitions) + 3 points
" " " with sign announcing same + 5 points
Slapping of yuppy larvae interrupted + 4 points
Vanity tag + 5 points
CB ** see below
Makeup being applied + 6 points
Head to head hit (opposite direction) + 8 points
Bimbo (male or female) + 10 points
Sexual act interrupted + 15 points
Off-duty cop + 20 points
Fully dressed police cruiser + 30 points
Confirmed lawyer + 40 points
Lawyer w/vanity tag that says "Tort" + 50 points
* Audio hit--when you're close enough to hear the target's detector
** CB radio. Take 5 points for initial report of your hit on CB radio
and 5 points for each 10 minutes it's talked about.
Just all 'em all up and then do the multiplier.
Take all that apply.
Each subsequent hit on a target X (count of hits on that target)
Yuppy scum X 2
BMW/Benz/Porche/Jap clone thereof X 3
Motorcycle X 5 (reflects rarity)
Yuppy puppy bus (minivan) X 4
Lo-riders, similar vehicles X 3
Junker X 2
Nuke * X 10
* ``Nuke'' is the term used when the target is baited into busting a
real radar trap. Ticket must be issued to count.
Subtract these points:
Target shoots back with single digit of the hand - 2 points
with radar - 5 points
with gun - 10 points
Caught for speeding while trolling - 10 points
Caught for more serious infraction while trolling - 15 points
Operating without a radio license - 20 points
Getting trolled by another competitor * - 20 points
Getting caught by the Phuzz without license - 25 points
Getting caught by Uncle Charlie without license - 30 points
Having trolling implement confiscated - 40 pts + disqual.
Caught for speeding by RADAR while trolling - 50 points
* Defined as responding as a target to another competitor's tractor beam.
OK guys, let the Games Begin!
(Comendante of the Riders of the Purple Phase Chapter)
Founders and Charter Members of the TFT Guild
Converted to HTML by Dan Bornstein, firstname.lastname@example.org.