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 Road Warrior.

Safety First

Because the target of your trolling may react erratically, certain basic safety rules are necessary.

Special Awards

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.

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 action.

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 another.

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 maximum damage.


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.

Basic scoring

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

Bonus Adders

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 alarming.
** 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.

Penalty box

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!

Sincerely, (Comendante of the Riders of the Purple Phase Chapter)
Founders and Charter Members of the TFT Guild

Converted to HTML by Dan Bornstein.