I got some great hate mail the other day. Apparently, I am a “douchebag,” a “pompous jackass” and should be wearing a dress while writing for Cat Fancy magazine. Also, I am, in this particular reader’s opinion, a bad father for subjecting my children to “dangerous activities.”

The letter was spawned in regards to the supercharged Spyker article (“Airborne”) in the June issue.

In truth, I cherish hate mail. I use it as a learning tool, especially if the points are valid. I’m not infallible. I make mistakes like every other human. But I make it a point not to repeat them, if I think they are valid that is.

Back to the douchebag thing. I’ve never before been referred to as such. I’ve been called a “dick,” “ass-clown” (my favorite) and “jerk-weed.” There are a few more, but I refuse to print them out of taste. Use your imagination.

Apparently, the reader had issue with the Spyker cars. He didn’t like their colors or interiors. He envisioned clowns popping out of the cabin and such. That was pretty funny.

I went back to VF Engineering for a second look. Were these cars “cartoony”? Did they belong in a circus?

Granted, I would have not chosen those bold color schemes, but they fit the Spykers’ extroverted nature. And regardless of how they appeared, their outstanding performance was beyond question. I cannot remember such a visceral driving experience as in the Spyker SCs. Just try one and you’ll see what I mean. And regarding the cabin: More than a few aircraft pilots will appreciate the aeronautic similarities. I know I did (I’m putting in hours for my single-engine aircraft rating).

I cherish hate mail. I use it as a learning tool. I'm not infallible; I make mistakes like every other human.

But what really got my dander up was the reader’s assertion that I put my kids in harm’s way. Both my 20- and 21-year-old have been to performance driving schools. And as much as I hate to admit it, their reflexes are sharper than mine. Yeah, we drive fast, but we drive safe as well. It’s possible to do both. Moreover, I’ve managed to raise five offspring without injury to any (one got thrown from a horse but I wasn’t there).

I suppose we could festoon the magazine with page after page of silver or black cars, each one clean, comfortable, neat and perfect. That prospect might become a tad boring. Just look at the Caterham 7 Superlight R400 in this issue. A few minutes behind the wheel of the beast and you feel like you’ve bungee-jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge, bugs in teeth and all. I find myself attracted to these types of vehicles. They are, for lack of a better word, different.

It’s been said you can’t please all of the people all of the time. In regard to the aforementioned reader, he wanted to use the magazine to line his bird’s cage, but alas, the poor thing had recently died.

He must have taken it for a spirited canyon drive and it died from fright. Shame on him for placing his bird in harm’s way.

I cherish hate mail. i use it as a learning tool. I’m not infallible; I make mistakes like every other human.

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