Amy Skogstrom: 2012 Year In Review

Favorite letter that never made it to print: 

For every letter to the editor that ends up appearing in the printed magazine there are several that don't make it, but that doesn't mean we don't read every one of them. The following email was sent in response to what we thought was a rather innocuous letter that appeared in the June 2012 issue. This response never appeared in print, and the writer (whose identity shall remain anonymous) was clearly offended, but we found its overwrought language and overall tone amusing. On the other hand, our printing it here could validate the letter writer's point that we "relish publishing…churlish rants":

Automobiles [sic] slack oversight of “Ignition-Letters” far to often deeply offends readers with the publication of thoughtless whining and maligning drivel by meanspirited Rushboy rightists.  Like the pustulant  “God Love Ya” note, Automobiles [sic] letter section has a significant history of publishing uninformed and malevolent jots penciled buy [sic] the festering fools of AmeriKKKa’s red malice…What schadenfreude glee motivates Automobile editors to reprint such foul smelling waste and pissy bits of malignant caterwaul?  Doing so gives the impression that A.M. editors are a bit snobbish and overly proud of their patrician appointments, and individuals who relish publishing the churlish rants of immature gangster bullies that champion such demeaning rancor.  Is that the reputation A.M. pursues? If not, please stop this venal blight.

Most apt car color name: Alien 

You might wonder just what color Alien is. I know I did when I received a key fob for the Kia Soul earlier this year and saw its color described by that one word. Perhaps it's a shade of deep purple — like the the "one-horned, one-eyed, flying Purple People Eaters" in the song of that name from the 1950s. Maybe it's hot pink, or electric blue, or metallic bronze? Turns out that that Alien is none of the above. Fittingly, Kia's color known as Alien is a greenish metallic, evoking the the extraterrestrial "little green men" of popular lore. And it perfectly fits the Kia Soul, a vehicle that itself has styling some might describe as out of this world.

Favorite unexpected drive: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Raleigh, North Carolina. 

Traveling by air can be stressful — long lines, cramped seats, unexpected delays. But sometimes, those delays turn out to have a silver lining. Such as was the case last spring when our plans to fly home to Detroit after spending a long weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, got derailed. The solution was renting a car and driving the four or so hours to Raleigh, North Carolina, to catch a flight home. Armed with no maps but with a smartphone and a navigation app, we set out for Raleigh. The phone's navigation system didn't seem to want to direct us to any major roads, so we wended our way through both South and North Carolina on secondary (and sometimes tertiary) two-lanes. The countryside was alive with the early blooms of spring, and the bucolic scenery settled any anxieties we were having about our airline hassles. It's at times like these that you realize travel by automobile really is the way to go. We took another trip to Myrtle Beach again later in the year, but that time, we drove.

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