Friday, January 31, 2003

Reality TV Coasts To A New Era

In today’s television market, reality shows such as American Idol, Temptation Island, Joe Millionaire, and Survivor dominate the Nielsens and the advertising dollars. Still, producers are always hard at work looking to find a new spin on the trend in order to keep the genre fresh and the revenue flowing in. This spring, Fox Network will continue targeting large and influential markets with a decidedly coaster enthusiast-influenced set of reality shows.

The first of the new breed of reality shows to debut will be Dork Island, which, while not totally coaster-based, will feature an enthusiast amongst its cast. Says Fox representative Ryan Swank, “A widely diverse group of complete and utter wankers will face off in a series of tests and games each week, after which the Geek Council will meet to throw one member off the island. An added bonus will be the fact that, when the contestant is removed from play, he will actually be locked in a room with his old (or current) high school bullies, who will be free to mock and administer wedgies to him on camera. Dork Island will feature a guy who collects Star Wars dolls, a Magic card player, this Goth dude who pretends he’s a vampire, a D&D Gamemaster, this putz who runs 50 different sports fantasy leagues, a MSTie, a computer games tester, and of course a coaster enthusiast. The show will begin in late February.”

Says enthusiast Jack Bauer, “they better not have gotten some enthusiast who likes crappy coasters. I bet he says Beast is his favorite. That (obscenity) probably even likes Boomerangs.”

Other media watchdogs are also wary of the new show. “Fox sucks worse than a night in a Bantha stable,” said Pete Budryk, a Star Wars enthusiast. “How real is a reality show if they don’t get the facts right? They actually have a Dork Island without including Trekkies? Those guys are the real goobers. I’ll bet Fox wouldn’t be thinking the True Fans were ‘dorks’ if Kir Kanos was trying out some Echani moves on their asses.”

Budryk also added that he, for one, does not collect Star Wars dolls. “They’re twelve inch pose-able action figures. Get it right.”

Premiering in late April will be Fox’s first show devoted entirely to coaster enthusiasts. American Coaster Designer will follow a format similar to the current, American Idol. Thirty-two unknown coaster designers will be featured in auditions, performances, and showcases, with the winner receiving money and a contract to design a new roller coaster at Castles and Coasters Park in Arizona. Online voting determines who is removed weekly.

Aside from seeing the exploits of the bold young wanna-be stars, interest in the show is helped with the use of charismatic judges. Head judge Simon Cowell delights audiences by cruelly insulting the designers. In a preview clip shown to reviewers, Cowell is heard to inform one designer, “These banked curves bring shame upon the human race,” “This ride looks like a pile of horse excrement,” and “You are the single worst coaster designer in the history of the planet.” Other judges are Stan Checketts of S&S, Gravity Group’s Larry Bill, and Thrillride’s Bob Coker.

Not yet in production, but tentatively scheduled for an early summer run of 10 shows is Joe Coaster Enthusiast, where 30 gold-digging whores compete for the attentions and hand in marriage of Walter Bolliger of B&M, one of the world’s most respected coaster firms. The twist Fox plans for this show is to trick the whores into thinking a New York enthusiast with a simian-level intellect, a GeoCities website, and no employment is actually Walter Bolliger.

Says Swank, “When one of those money grubbing sluts finds out that instead of bedding and wedding one of the world’s preeminent coaster technicians, she’s actually offering herself to a complete moron, who, incidentally, thinks the Chiller is the best ride ever created, sparks are sure going to fly!”

--JCK

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Xcalibur First in Wave of Xtreme Rides

As reported weeks ago on ARN&R, the U.S. Senate passed a secret resolution, approved by President Bush in a midnight ceremony, banning the existence of any new rides that are not Xtreme in nature. Although this news was heavily disputed by “reputable” publications like Amusement Today, Coasterbuzz and ThemeParkCritic chatrooms, ARN&R maintained its trust in its confidential sources. This trust was rewarded with the first physical evidence today that reluctant parks have given in to what Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) referred to as “some totally kick-ass Xtreme law.”

This afternoon, Six Flags St. Louis announced its new-for-2003 attraction, called the Xcalibur. Speculated to be a clone of the much-unridden Evolution at Six Flags Great Adventure, the new attraction, according to Screamscape, will “throw guests 113 feet into the air, spinning around and around. It can hold 64 riders at a time and will spin around 16 times a minute.”

Said Tim Thomas, a park media representative, “while many parks are scrambling to concoct new X names based on this law, we were fortunate in that we were creating a flat ride with a King Arthur theme. It was no big stretch to call it Xcalibur. After all, what could possibly be more Xtreme than Knights of the Round Table, except perhaps sequining vests between quests or impersonating Clark Gable?”

Thomas noted that there were theming difficulties yet to be surmounted, however. “We’re struggling with how to combine the Xtreme thing with Lancelot and Gawain and all that. We’ll probably just slap together a preshow where the knights are jousting, except they use street luges instead of horses, and then we’ll hope everyone gets so violently ill from riding this thing that they don’t notice how stupid this all is.”

--JCK

Dateline Exposé Broadens ARN&R Drinking Scandal

Already reeling from charges of alcoholism among its staff, ARN&R was rocked tonight by a no-holds-barred Dateline piece that jumped the ever-widening scandal to national front-page news.

The initial claims of sodden debauchery were made by respected national coaster expert and grammar wizard Xcrement, who stated “[t]hat site is so stupid, and probably run by a couple of drunks.” The rumor was dismissed outright the same night by the website’s Editor-in-Chief, who stated that “no member of my staff has ever been even remotely intoxicated,” immediately prior to belching loudly into the microphone.

The matter seemed to have been put to rest…until ARN&R was blindsided by Dateline, which sneaked cameras into a lurid party at Hugh Hefner’s AbsolutelyReliable Mansion this weekend. The news program gathered reel after reel of shocking material, of which several heavily edited excerpts were shown to the horrified American public.

Among the most Bacchanalian of ARN&R staff misadventures catalogued by Dateline were contributing writers WDL, RAS, and JCK beer-bonging Everclear with Hefner and frolicking in a Gin and Tonic pond with stark naked Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner and Kristen Kreuk, while the Editor-in-Chief was seen simultaneously shotgunning three cases of Guinness while using a piping hot coat hanger to brand “ARN&R RULZ” on the buttocks of comely young blondes.

Although the ARN&R staff has refused to grant interviews following the startling footage, their lawyer Johnny Cochran has claimed in a written statement that “the case would be tried in a court, not on coaster message boards.”

--JCK

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Bush Fails To Mention Coaster Wars

In news that shocked coaster enthusiasts nationwide and worldwide, President Bush completely ignored the escalating coaster wars, instead focusing on mundane issues like the economy and possible war in Iraq.

"Sure, I can see why he'd mention jobs and the like, but what about Top Thrill Dragster?" queried Jim Bruckner, a sixteen-year-old from New York. "And what about the ongoing fight for domination between Cedar Point and Six Flags Magic Mountain? He must be a drunk!"

White House sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated that the president sought to avoid adding fuel to the fire of the coaster races. "He just wants everyone to calm down and to get along. If he were to take sides, who knows where it would go?"
Coasters: Cause of Terror, Ad Claims

A new front opened in the US 'war on terror' on Sunday as an ad campaign was launched during the Super Bowl. The ads aim to stop Americans from riding roller coasters because the thrill rides aid terror in the country's teenage enthusiasts' minds. Specifically, the ad seeks to cease all participation in hyper, giga and strata coasters.

In two spots scheduled to begin regular airing in February, philanthropist Huffin Puffington and his friends, who call themselves The Predeterminate Ones, try to plant the idea that riding the hot-selling mammoth coasters is not restful and quite chaotic.

One spot features a hapless coaster enthusiast named "George" climbing into his coaster vehicle while ominous music accompanies a theme park executive resembling Gary Story of Six Flags stepping into a limousine and a group of gum-chewing teenagers firing obscenities and insults into the air.

"This is George," a narrator says in a sing-song, lispy, little voice. "This is the coaster that George chose to ride. This is the chainlift of the coaster that George chose to ride. This is the crest of the chainlift, at the top of the hill, on the coaster that George chose to ride. And these are the dips and drops, and loops and helixes, and vertical Gs and lateral Gs on this coaster every time George chooses to ride."

"Tempered steel supports some terrible things. What kind of turbulence does your coaster get?" the ad concludes.

In a series of close-ups, the second ad explores the purported consequences of riding on foreign built coasters, juxtaposed with excuses people make for riding on them: "It's like I'm high as an airplane, Jack." "I like to sit up high." "I helped bring thump retro disco to German nightclubs." "It makes me feel funny." "I sent my children off for a while."

Affiliates of the Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC network in New York and Los Angeles have refused to air the ads because they are too controversial, Huffin Puffington said.

--RAS

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Breaking News: The Great Escape to be "One of Most Cleanest Six Flag Park Anywhere"
Sources also indicate to ARN&R: "ur all drunks"

According to ARN&R sources, whom we swear we are quoting verbatim, "[W]hy do you want to make jokes on Great Escape? It is a wonderful park, and you just go off and make jokes for it. When it become to Six Flags it will one of most cleanest Six Flags park anywhere, you will see cuz the staffs there are wonderful, and kind."

The source, who spoke on strict condition of anonymity (but we'll just call him or her "Ecks Phan") concluded, with one edit to keep our family-friendly image (hint: the source did not use the word "flange"): "So you did great job put up my quote, that is a wonderful comeback, but sadly you tried too hard to get back to me, you posted this quote cuz you know it's true. So everyone on this site, [flange] off, and leave Great Escape alone, go make jokes on yourself being a couple of drunks."

It is sad, indeed, and, taking the source's advice, we will henceforth change this site to being daily jokes about the fact that ARN&R's staff are all drunks. Thus:

A mushroom member of ARN&R's extensive writing staff walks into a bar and sits down. The bartender says, "Sorry, pal. We don't serve mushrooms here."

The mushroom member of ARN&R's extensive writing staff says, "Why not? I'm a fungi."
New Blacula Themed Park To Open

Smarting from a recent decision by investors to move the location of a proposed Dracula theme park to Bucharest, leaders of the town of Transylvania today announced their intention to create a Blacula-themed resort instead.

“Since conservationists and historians have blocked the creation of a Dracula park due to concerns over the tourism impact on the area, this leaves Transylvania in the lurch while filthy Romanians get loads of money from vampire fans,” said Vlad M. Payler, a Transylvanian spokesman. “At the city council meeting, we discussed alternate ways of earning money by capitalizing on the current vampire craze, and Blacula proved to be the logical choice. As they said back in 1972: He's black! He's beautiful! He's Blacula!”

Payler stated that preliminary plans called for a Scream Blacula, Scream rollercoaster, a Dracula’s Soul Brother simulator, and large areas themed to Dracula’s Castle and Los Angeles, the two main locations of action in the movie.

--JCK

Monday, January 27, 2003

Guarantee a Lonely Rest of the Year

Are you one of the one-fifth of one percent of our audience with a significant other? Yes? Have we got some Valentine's Day gifts for you!

Why, you can buy her (or him, we suppose, but...ick) a very special thong or him or her some boxer shorts, each with a semi-witty graphic.

All proceeds go towards us.
Paramount Parks to Add "Some Nickelodeon Crap"

In a press release notable for its melancholy tone, Paramount Parks announced that all of its parks would receive "some Nickelodeon crap," as well as "some sort of lame-ass Scooby Doo kids section."

"Park guests will be mildly interested to see the new 'You Can't Do That on Television!' section at each of the Paramount parks," declares the press release. "If they can get enough energy to get their fat asses off the benches and rouse their interest in something besides their goddamn GameBoys, they might also find our Scooby Doo 'Crazy Adventure' theme 75 square feet worthy of their attention for a few minutes."

The press release then contains twelve lines of open verse expressing great angst, generally themed around the author's envy of other park chains' ability to add huge new attractions, and three haiku focusing on the best places to drink heavily near each park.

It concludes: "Yes, indeed, Paramount Parks has again shown that our parks are the best parks in a two square-mile radius of any Paramount park. Old boring coasters and stupid new ones -- who the hell thought of Son of Beast, anyway? -- those are our hallmarks, and our guests love 'em, or at least generally refrain from violence and public defecation while in our parks."

"God, I hate my job."

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Super Bowl Trash Talk Hits Bulletin Board

As Super Bowl festivities get underway today, the Raiders have extra incentive for victory, in the form of taunts made by Buccaneers noseguard Warren Sapp. Sapp’s inflammatory comments immediately appeared on the Raiders bulletin board.

A selection of Sapp’s inflammatory comments are reprinted below:

“Yo, Charlie Garner sucks worse than Raging Wolf Bobs.”
“Lincoln Kennedy is so fat people yell 'Free Willy' when he sits on the beach. I bet he’s a card-carrying member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts.”
“Rich Gannon’s gonna be spending more time on his ass than the Rolling Thunder paint crew.”
“I heard Bill Romanowski’s momma is so stupid, she likes it when the lap bar ratchets her down in the seat so she can’t get no airtime.”

“Warren is doing his best with his antics to get under our skin, but it won’t work,” stated Raiders receiver Jerry Rice. “All he’s doing is giving us more incentive to win this game.”

Rice added that Sapp has lots of really stupid coasters in his top ten list, and that “he can only fit his big ass in Row 5 of a B&M inverted coaster.”

--JCK

Friday, January 24, 2003

Studies: Six Flags "Way More Funner" Than Other Amusement Parks

The two most comprehensive studies to date of the "funness" of amusement park chains has reached a strong conclusion that Six Flags parks are "way more funner" than any other amusement park chain, and "totally better" than any independent park, the park chain announced today in a press release.

"Today, real science has been heard," said Gary Story, President and COO of Six Flags. "We'd heard the claims of unscientific enthusiasts and others that parks like Cedar Point or Kennywood might be more funner than our parks, or maybe even the most funnest. But we got the experts to look at it, and now we can share the truth. We're the funnest! And our food is the goodest, too, but that's a different study."

“I have analyzed the data. I have studied the science,” said Dr. Rhea Rutner, a podiatrist, former short-order cook, and mother of four children, at the press release to announce the "funness" findings. “I am a foot doctor and I am a mother of four children. I know, without a doubt, that Six Flags rules over other parks. Did I mention that I'm a mother of four children? I am.”

Rutner and the other lead scientists on the studies appearing at the press conference had bundles of twenty-dollar bills visibly straining the seams of their pockets. "That? Oh, that's just the, um, honorarium Six Flags gave us for heading up the study. Nothing for you to worry about."

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Enthusiast’s Friends Labeled “Total Bastards”

This afternoon, Ralph Hunter and Jenny Hoover, a Spokane, Washington couple, were startled to learn that their good friend, Arkansas coaster lover Travis Edgerton, had recently claimed that they were “total bastards.”

“I don’t understand,” said Hoover. “Travis and Ralph have been really great friends for almost seven years…ever since they were in a junior college music appreciation class together in Pensacola. I don’t remember them ever fighting. In fact, he was supposed to be an usher at our wedding this coming October. We’re pretty upset.”

Edgerton remains unapologetic. “Oh, they can pretend they don’t understand why I’m mad at their pathetic, loser, bastard selves, but they know what’s up. Okay, look, they live like one hour from Silverwood Park. They know damn well I’m an enthusiast. So do they have their wedding in May or June like any normal people? No! They plan it for October, when the park is closed. They really expect me to drop that much coin going to the Pacific Northwest when Tremors isn’t even open? What a pack of cretins.”

Hunter and Hoover have stated that they will not consider moving the wedding date, nor renting the park for a private reception in order that Edgerton can “ride his stupid thing.”

--JCK

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Great Escape To Become Six Flags Northeastern New York

Great Escape park announced today its plans to upgrade its facilities in expectation of becoming a Six Flags park. Although owned for the past several years by Six Flags, the park has generally been thought not to have the necessary rides, size, or infrastructure to be branded a full Six Flags venue. All that will change next season when Great Escape morphs into Six Flags Northeastern New York.

Says Six Flags President Gary Story, “We’re delighted to announce Six Flags Northeastern New York. Every year, we’ve told the Great Escape that, in order to be branded as a full property, they have to make changes in order to be truly deserving of the coveted and respected Six Flags corporate name. This past season, we did note some progress along these lines. For instance, Great Escape has long been a haven for those who wish to avoid long lines. Well, this season, the place was just packed to the gills on most operating days, with lines stretching for up to a mile. Also, the park made sure to get the positive attention of Six Flags Corporate by running single trains on every single coaster, despite the massive lines this caused. Theme Park Mentality and large crowds of hot, irritated visitors are qualities we look for when labeling a park ‘Six Flags.’”

Story went on to note, “sadly, Great Escape wasn’t ready for the conversion yet in 2002, despite those capacity issues. For instance, they offer free parking. What the hell? Their bathrooms are generally tidy, the paths aren’t covered with human waste, there are lots of pleasant shady places to escape the hot sun, park staff are usually competent and pleasant, and there are cute little Storybook sections that don’t demand any extra fee. We told the park, flat out, that all this nonsense has to change.”

Great Escape manager Tom Spikowsky stated in his press release that “Great Escape was working hard to address all the parent company’s concerns,” and that he prayed daily that “his park could reach the lofty heights of such amusement destinations as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, Six Flags America, and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.”

Spikowsky elaborated with the following comments: “We plan to soil each bathroom with unspeakable filth each morning, even dedicating a special work force of our special foreign staff to the task, and then refuse to do any cleaning all day. We will charge 15 dollars for parking, and an extra 4 dollars for the pavement. Stores will no longer offer affordable souvenirs and shirts, but will instead sell generic, overpriced crap smeared with Warner Brothers characters. We will now require all ride operators to not only ratchet passengers as tightly in their seats as possible, but also to savagely knee each of them in the groin as they enter the station. All trees will be burned to the ground, and children will pay a 40-dollar upcharge to pet the goat.”

New themes will also be evident at SFNNY. ARN&R has learned that Boomerang Coast to Coaster will be renamed Flashback, Alpine Bobsled will be renamed Penguin’s Blizzard River, and Steamin’ Demon will become Batman Ultimate Knight Escape. The extensive new theming will consist of freshly painted signs with the new ride names on them. The legendary Comet wood coaster will maintain its name, but will receive typical Six Flags improvements such as trim brakes, over the shoulder restraints, and anal probes.

The final mission of SFNNY is to alter its clientele to better reflect the sort of crowd Six Flags patrons are accustomed to experiencing. Says Spikowsky, “we plan to offer inexpensive switchblades, broken bottles, and bricks to customers at the entrance. Our Bugs Bunny and Foghorn Leghorn mascots will be paid bonuses to catcall and harass women inside the Arno’s Small World kiddie area. Finally, Nightmare at Crackaxle Canyon will be renamed Nightmare at Crack Whore Canyon.”

--JCK

Monday, January 20, 2003

National Tragedy Strikes as Enthusiasts "Dance"

In a national horror the likes of which has not been seen since the release of "Y-M-C-A" into the hands of stadium P.A. staff, the increasing popularity of the arcade and home game known as "Dance Dance Revolution" (or "DDR") has brought the nation to a standstill as right-thinking people everywhere stare in shock at the rhythmless, writhing pale bodies of coaster enthusiasts jerking randomly to blaring techno music.

"It was a travesty," said Cyndi Hengst, a hotel manager in Houston, Texas, speaking through sobs, who witnessed DDR at a winter enthusiast event at Six Flags Astroworld. "I've seen things you can't unsee. I just wanted to ride the Cyclone. But this was a terror...the bodies, the movement, the jiggling..." Hengst broke down in tears.

The disaster apparently began at CoasterBuzz, where dozens of pallid participants, panting at the first hint of physical exertion and reduced to exhaustion within minutes of beginning a DDR session, discussed their enjoyment of DDR, even posting pictures so terrifying we won't post images of them here. (Parents, please use your discretion in permitting your children to visit this site, and please note that ARN&R takes no responsibility if the images on the site violate any laws or regulations in your jurisdiction.)

Most disturbingly, ARN&R has learned that the plague of DDR machines will continue to spread at amusement parks nationwide, with enthusiasts developing dancing "skills" that they will never, ever, ever actually have occasion to use in the sense of actually dancing with another human being. Indeed, the trend is likely to increase the civilization-ending trend of naked dancing in front of the mirror to blaring renditions of "Rollercoaster of Love." Experts say DDR is likely to result in unspeakable nightmares for ordinary citizens standing in line for Raptor at Cedar Point, as enthusiasts get down with their bad selves, dancing to the in-line music.

In related news, amusement parks report a fifty percent increase in applications from sixteen-year-olds who want to design coasters, citing their extensive experience playing Rollercoaster Tycoon.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Exclusive Breaking News

Cedar Point is still cleverly claiming that its new coaster will last a mere fifteen seconds and follow a simple -- even boring -- route. But ARN&R can exclusvely confirm that this picture is what will, in fact, appear when the park opens, confirming what the best-informed people said earlier in the fall.

Remember, you heard it here first.

And Jeeper's in Olathe, Kansas, is still slated to get the next B&M flying coaster.
Welcome to People Searching for Unrelated Materials!

We enjoy our stats logs, perhaps more than we should. The best searches that have evidently resulted in someone finding ARN&R:

Lobotomies and pictures of them being performed (twice -- twice -- this has brought someone here)

Naked pictures of Jessica Alba (clean up your keyboards, boys)

Ozzfest rumors 2003 (we hear Tori Amos will headline)

And now we're hoping we'll get even more hits from these searches! And while we're at it: Get rich quick! Free money! Authentic pictures of Matt Damon and George Peppard naked with hockey hair! (You'd be surprised how many people are looking for those pictures.) Hot pictures of Jennifer Aniston carrying a basket of napkins!

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Discovery Network Announces "Biggest and Fastest and Wildest Extreme Thrill Park Turnstiles"

Adding to the Discovery Network's extensive series of shows about amusement parks, network management announced the channel's next special: "Biggest and Fastest and Wildest Extreme Thrill Park Turnstiles."

Featuring an in-depth look at the wide world of turnstiles, the program -- spanning three hours over as many days -- will open with a 45-minute history of turnstiles, followed by what the program's director, Michael Cimino, describes as "the fastest, wildest, most incredible look at turnstiles in the history of shows about turnstiles." The highlight of the show, according to Cimino, is a seven-minute uninterrupted tracking shot in which viewers are taken on a point-of-view trip through every one of Cedar Point's entrance turnstiles. "It's just like Touch of Evil!" exclaimed Cimino.

Members of the American Turnstile Enthusiasts appear throughout the program; most insist that Cedar Point's turnstiles are clearly the best in the world, while a small but vocal minority prefer the "classic" turnstiles at Denver's Lakeside Park.

At press time, pre-orders of the DVD were the third-highest-selling program on Amazon.com's travel section. The program will air on three days, yet to be announced, during the competitive February sweeps.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Six Flags Marine World to Also Get Astrodome, Parking Lot, Three Astros to be Named Later

In surprising news, Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. announced that Six Flags Marine World, outside San Francisco, would not just be getting the Schwarzkopf classic Zonga (nee Texas Tornado, nee Taz's Texas Tornado, nee Thriller) from Six Flags Astroworld in Houston, Texas. It'll also get the nearly-abandoned Astrodome, the enormous parking lot surrounding the stadium, and three members of the Astros Major League baseball team to be named later.

"We were busy taking the coaster apart when we looked across the interstate and saw the Astrodome, just sitting there all lonely," said Bob Warner, head of the crew tasked with moving the coaster. "It was hosting a monster truck rally or something, which just seemed wrong. So we figured we'd throw that into the deal, too; it'll be much happier in California. And once we pulled up the stadium, the parking lot just seemed like a natural addition, 'cause Marine World will want somewhere to put all the people the Astrodome will attract."

The domed stadium -- the first of its kind -- is expected to be placed immediately inside the park's entrance and will serve as the photo keepsake sales booth.

As for how professional baseball players became part of the deal, details are sketchy, but rumors suggest that it is related to a controversial players-for-Dippin'-Dots-Ice-Cream-of-the-Future trade. Speculation has focused on right-fielder Lance Berkman, shortstop Julio Lugo, and possibly a utility infielder from the Astros' minor league organization as likely candidates to be sent to California, where they are expected to be assigned to maintenance or season ticket sales.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Thrillnetwork.com Still Online, Shocking Enthusiasts at or Above a Fourth-Grade Reading Level

In news that surprised coherent enthusiasts throughout the world, Thrillnetwork.com is still online, and seemingly continues operations, evidently believing itself to be relevant.

"Seriously? That site's still up? That's incredible," said Detroit-area college-educated enthusiast Mike Herrington. "You're kidding, right?"

After closing twelve popup ads and reloading three times to resolve ASP scripting errors, ARN&R can confirm, in an exclusive investigative report, that the site is indeed up, despite widespread disbelief among enthusiasts capable of carrying on a conversation about any book without the word "thrill" in its title. The front page offers links to articles available only at thirty or more other coaster-oriented sites, along with the siren call of a link: "Click here for a PHP script to make this do something!" Additionally, the site's forums continue to operate with upwards of thirty people active at any given time, at least one of whom is capable of forming a complete sentence.

There may, indeed, be even more available on the site, but even the most intrepid investigative reporter couldn't say for sure, given the site's labrynthine navigation. The search engine has been "taken offline for tweaking," rendering further investigation difficult.

Reached for comment, the site's management declared: "We is the site for the rest of us, them who can't really write or talk so good."

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Pinpoint Park Announces Non–Thrill Ride

Sandrusty, PA – Pinpoint Park, just outside Pittsburgh, announced today that the park would be unveiling a non-thrill ride called: No Thrills Dasher. The non–thrill ride will take riders to a soaring 12 feet into the air. Termed the world's first "starter coaster," No Thrills Dasher will amaze guests with its 0 to 8 mph in-less-than-a-second launch speed.

At a cost of $2.50 U.S. dollars, No Thrills Dasher will be the cheapest attraction in the park. No Thrills Dasher promises to be the absolute slowest and most boring attraction since 1914 when Pinpoint Park added the Non-Rotating Carousel to its repartee. In 1998 Pinpoint Park announced the opening of the worlds first ‘ride-till-you-die' attraction: "Gravy Boat." Sad to say, due to the high maintenance cost of keeping the gravy free from bacterial contamination, the attraction never opened.

Darts Inc, the makers of such unknown rides as: Ride This & Weep; You Spin Me ‘Round; and Vouge, created this once in a lifetime snooze of an attraction. "You will yawn the whole time," stated Pinpoint Park CEO Brad Fisherman. "There is no way you'll return home and not mention just how bad this attraction is. No Thrills Dasher will become world renowned!"

Enthusiasts all around the globe have been hitting up the not legally licenced, fan based website: guidetothepinpoint.com where visitors can view true to life, 3-dimensional, without-the-glasses, holographic representations of the ride. [Due to such extreme heavy traffic, guidetothepinpoint.com may be experiencing technical difficulties - Ed.]

"I've ridden No Thrills Dasher 175 times in a row!!" exclaims teen enthusiast Rorey Benderfinder, "The site is totally, bogusly, awesome!" No plans have been announced for Rorey to actually visit Pinpoint Park in the future, "but, I would visit their website a heck of a lot more often if they keep offering non-thrill rides such as this."

The actual No Thrills Dasher may or may not open this May.

–RAS

Monday, January 13, 2003

New Law: All Amusement Park Rides Must Be Xtreme

As the United States Congress reconvenes, many issues loom which will be of great importance to the country, including such problems as the economy and possible war with Iraq. None has a greater impact on the future of the planet than amusement parks, however, which is why the Senate has given highest priority this week to create a resolution banning each and every US amusement ride that is not Xtreme.

Said Orrin Hatch (R-UT), "In order to reflect the Xtreme power and fortitude of this proud country, the Senate will put into effect new regulations banning any new non-Xtreme rides, and will order the demolition of all current rides that are not Xtreme. Parks will be given one month to make existing rides conform to Xtremeness standards." Hatch then bungi-jumped naked from the Capitol rotunda with a can of Mountain Dew, most of which spattered on the head of a visibly miffed John McCain (R-AZ).

"Yeah, this is gonna be some totally kick-ass Xtreme law!" yelled Arlen Specter (R-PA), prior to giving the "secret devil sign metal" sign with his hands and turning to share a savage NBA-style chest bump with deposed majority leader Trent Lott (R-MS). Earlier in the day, Lott had caused a commotion by showing up for work in blackface and demanding the repeal of the Voting Rights Act.

"It was only a matter of time before this law was passed," stated Tom Daschle (D-SD). "Other sectors of the economy have already adjusted successfully to their new-found Xtremitude. Movies now have to be Xtreme, like XXX or Extreme Ops, though we would prefer that movie to have dropped the troublesome 'e' from the title. Every toy now manufactured must be Xtreme. Ohio's Hiram College offers an Extreme Education. The food industry is also finally complying...for instance, at Burger King you can get an Xtreme chicken sandwich, which is Xtreme because it has lettuce. Or you can be Xtreme by drinking Dew, just like those inspiring submorons who skateboard off cliffs behind powerboats. Then there's the Xtreme quesadilla at Taco Bell, which is extreme because it has 2 kinds of processed cheese food product."

Daschle added that "things also tend to get pretty Xtreme for me in the bathroom after I eat an Xtreme Taco Bell quesadilla!"

Some parks have complained about the regulations. Says spokesman David Whiteside of Six Flags Magic Mountain, "we are very upset by his rule. We had a totally, completely, and stunningly unique idea to name a coaster 'X'. No one has ever named a ride anything remotely like that before. We anticipate tremendous loss of income due to people thinking other rides are more Xtreme than ours, which is not the case. We will vehemently protest this decision."

Knott's Berry Farm (Xcelerator), Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (X-Flight), and other parks also are protesting that their highly unique, non-trendy, and creative coaster names are being rendered non-cutting edge, perhaps even non-extreme, by the ruling.

Smaller parks also worry over the changes they may need to enact. Says Paul Fletcher of Kennywood, "I guess if we gave the rats some inline skates and some Jackass videos, we could just change Exterminator to XXXterminator and be okay. However, I don't know if we have the money to turn Jack Rabbit into Death Rabbit Xtreme Hell Challenge or whatever. Maybe we'll just rename the coasters X-Racer, Xtreme Jack, XT-Bolt, and Phantom's Skysurfing Revenge and see if the government will be content with that."

--JCK

Friday, January 10, 2003

Neurologists, Chiropractors Seek Arrow Comeback

In an unusual pairing, trade organizations representing neurologists and chiropractors have joined forces to urge the building of more old-style Arrow Dynamics looping coasters, in particular focusing on their goal of returning Drachen Fire, formerly of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, to service.

"Any time one of those puppies opened, the brain injuries and back pains would just shoot upwards," said spokesman Mark Quaker. "They're great for business. Ever since those damn Swiss guys [Bolliger & Mabillard] have started to build coasters, the amusement park towns have really lost their growth potential. The docs near Busch Gardens have had to sell yachts because of the drop in business." Quaker added that the group would encourage not just the reopening of Drachen Fire, but also a move back towards building more of the classic style Arrow loopers, with transitions designed by chimpanzees and over-the-shoulder restraints made of pure steel with a thin coating of titanium "for comfort."

Stan Checketts, whose S&S Power now owns Arrow Dynamics' assets, was reached for comment by ARN&R. "We're gonna make things taller! And faster! Boom! Boom! Shoot you a thousand feet in the air! Fly fast! Fast! Fast! Fast good! Boom! Boom!"

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Ruben: Top Thrill Dragster New Number One

Paul Ruben annouced today that Cedar Point's new Top Thrill Dragster claimed the number one spot on his coaster list. Ruben, who has traveled the world riding coasters on other people's money, and who has taken Mark Wyatt's spot as the provider of unsupported statements on amusement park television shows, said that the Top Thrill Dragster has everything he looks for in a coaster. "Just look at it," he said. "That is one big ride; I can tell without riding it that this thing will be my favorite."

Many enthusiasts cheered right along with Ruben. "Mr. Ruben is the number one man when it comes to coasters," said Tim Owens, founder of the Greater Boise Coaster Club (GBCC). "He's on TV all the time. If the number one rater of coasters says it's his number one then it has to be the best...right?!"

Some, however, are not so sure. Dick Kinzel of Cedar Fair was reported as saying that it did concern him a bit that Ruben had not ridden the coaster yet. "Sure, we at Cedar Fair are flattered, but I think he should at least wait until media day to make up his mind."

Ruben, North American editor of the almost utterly unread "Park World" magazine, said he wasn't going to let a detail like not riding the coaster stop him from placing it atop his list. "So what if I haven't ridden it?" Ruben snarled. "It is big and fast -- I know what I like in a coaster."

Ruben also commented that although he does not require parks to put him at the front of their lines when riding coasters, it doesn't hurt. "Hypothetically speaking, I can't say it would harm Cedar Point's chances if they cut me in front of everyone every time I visited a Cedar Fair Park." He then winked at and nudged the author. He also noted that sequel Dude, Where's My Car Now? would be the finest film of 2004 and that N*Sync's twelfth album will be the "greatest CD, or whatever format might be predominant at the time, of 2014."

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Cincinnati Bengals: "We're Going to Boardwalk and Baseball!"

The refrain has been repeated for years: after the Super Bowl, the winners yell with delight, "We're going to Disneyland!"

But the worst-in-league Bengals (2-14 this season) like to do things differently. So, instead of visiting the magical world of Disney, the players all decided they'd visit Boardwalk and Baseball, the long-defunct Haines Park, Florida amusement park. But the Bengals didn't know the park (formerly known as Circus World) had closed over a decade earlier.

After getting to the park's former site, Bengals' almost-quarterback Jon Kitna shared his thoughts in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "I just remember thinking it was the greatest place in the world when I visited back in the early '80s with my family. I had no idea it had closed down, and I guess nobody thought to ask before we flew down there."

The park now consists of the decrepit ruins of a baseball stadium, vast expanses of cracking concrete, and a stunning array of garbage left by nearby residents. During the ten-minute visit, three Bengals were bitten by rabid dogs, and at least a dozen were visibly crying.

"Next year, it'll be different," said Kitna. "We'll win the Super Bowl, and then -- we're so totally gonna ride Thunderbolt at Coney Island!"

Monday, January 06, 2003

Six Flags Targets Crack Cocaine Market

Word has it that Six Flags Inc. is negotiating a deal with S&S Power of Logan Utah to supply the chain with 14 of their 4-D coasters for the '04 park season, with Gary Story been meeting all week with Stan Checketts. Initial reports are that the theme park giant is interested in signing this blockbuster deal as soon as possible in an effort to prevent other chains from acquiring this one-of-a-kind coaster. While the term "exclusivity" has been used in the industry before, it appears that SFI is willing to purchase every 4-D coaster that can be manufactured in the meantime to keep this new ride to themselves.

Lines for the prototype 4-D coaster named X at Six Flags Magic Mountain have been consistenly ranging from 2-4 hours ever since the ride's initial public opening early in 2002. Del Holland has even mentioned in board meeting that visitors to the park now spend more time in line at SFMM than at any other theme park, increasing sales of the new Fastlane by 100%. While the capital expenditure might be a concern for some investors, SFI is looking at the long-range picture.

Story was heard to comment: "Thrillseekers in the US and around the globe will soon have the chance to Xperience the Xtreme. Once they get a taste of this coaster, they'll sell their kids for just one more ride. THEN we'll reap some serious profits. X is more addictive than crack, and studies show that while many markets have already been saturated with crack, they lack even a single 4-D coaster to ride."

In confidential documents acquired by ARN&R, Six Flags marketing executives laid out their plans to give first-time riders a free or greatly discounted "sample ride," and to have park employees formerly dressed in Warner Brothers cartoon character costumes instead fanning out across cities selling 4-D coaster admission tickets on street corners. Park security will be expanded roughly 700% to handle what Six Flags documents refer to euphemistically as "collection, past-due X accounts."

--WDL
Summer Rollercoaster Mag Arrives

Members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts were held spellbound this week, as copies of the Summer 2002 issue of the quarterly ACE glossy hit newsstands and mailboxes.

"This is great!" shouted New York enthusiast Beth Ahearn, 25. "This is the earliest I've ever gotten the summer issue. It almost even appeared in my mailbox before January 2003. Just think if it had gotten here by December...now that would be a speed record, for sure!"

Ahearn added that she is looking forward to her bimonthly copy of ACE News zipping off the presses any instant now, as well. "ACE News always has the most cutting edge, up-to-date info about new rides. There's this big coaster rumored to be going into Cedar Point, and GCI might be designing a ride in Missouri, but my last ACE News said no official announcements had been made. I'm always jumping up and down when I get my January/February issue in late April or May, because then I know the latest info about cool new attractions that will be opening the next season. Or even about the ones that open weeks before I get the issue."

--JCK

[Related News: Inside Track to Return Real Soon]

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Cloned Batman: Six Flags, B&M Back Off On DNA Testing

NEW ORLEANS (Jan. 4) - The developers who rocked the world with their announcement of the first Batman: The Ride roller coaster clone one month ago is now backing off promises of DNA testing to prove it.

Six Flags Inc., the park chain that holds a contract with Bolliger & Mabillard, who claim to have produced the first Batman: The Ride clone, told a New Orleans television station Thursday that no DNA samples have been taken and that the creators of the attraction are reluctant to submit to the testing, despite the fact that the testing is entirely painless. "We feel it would be unfair to the baby [as they refer to the clone] to have our love called into question," said a visibly emotional Walter Bolliger, holding hands with his business partner Claude Mabillard. Regardless of the DNA proof, this coaster is our baby."

Many have expressed skepticism about the cloning claims. Experts have said they need DNA proof to believe B&M's claims. Last week Six Flags spokespeople said test results should be ready in eight or nine days proving that Batman: The Ride is surely a clone of the 10-year-old Six Flags Great America version who is also the mother. B&M has made various cloning claims throughout the years, but none were taken seriously until the most recent announcement, relating to a purported claim rumored to be brought to Six Flags New Orleans from Japan.

Louisiana attorney Bernie B. Seagull asked a court in New Orleans this week to turn the coaster over to state care agencies if it found the coaster's health was in danger.

Attempts by ARN&R to reach Mickey Gillman, a freelance journalist and former Absolutely Reliable science editor who was arranging the DNA testing, were not successful. A spokeswoman for Six Flags said she was not familiar with B&M's broadcast remarks and was unable to comment.

--RAS

Friday, January 03, 2003

Gravity Group Selected to Design Next M&M Rollercoaster Dispenser

The Gravity Group, created after the bankruptcy of Custom Coasters International, announced that it had signed its second contract yesterday. Shareholder Lawrence Bill made the announcement: "Mars, Inc., has selected The Gravity Group to design next year's rollercoaster-themed M&M candy dispenser. We appreciate the support of the Mars candy company and will do all we can to satisfy all of the company's customers."

Early rumors indicate that the dispenser will have many of the features CCI was known for: excellent airtime, significant laterals, and excitement throughout the course. The initial plans are to have the ride made with a steel structure and wood tracking, with miniature M&M trains manufactured by PTC.

Bill concluded: "The end price -- approximately $439 per dispenser -- may be a bit higher than this year's model [$12], which we understand was designed by a fourteen-year-old factory worker in Korea, but we think the improved quality will be more than worth it."

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Six Flags Over Texas Spokesman Easily Stumped By Seven-Year-Old

The story has been a staple of Six Flags Over Texas tours for years, even decades: Way back when, when Angus G. Wynne, Jr., first conceived of opening a Texas theme park, he planned to call it “Texas Under Six Flags,” referencing the half-dozen countries that had ruled the state. But because he and other Texans didn’t like the idea of Texas being under anything, it got changed to the now-familiar “Six Flags Over Texas.”

So SFoT spokesman Gregg Murray didn’t expect anything besides a polite chuckle when sharing the story with a holiday-season tour of elementary school kids who had won an essay-writing contest.

But then Pete Marvin, a second grader from LBJ Elementary in Dallas, pointed out the blindingly obvious: “If the six flags are over Texas, then Texas is still under the six flags. That’s what we learned about ‘over’ and ‘under’ in first grade, anyway.”

Murray was initially rendered speechless, and then attempted to recover. “But, you see, it’s not Texas under six flags any more. The flags are over…um…it’s not under. It’s over.” At press time, the spokesman was hunched over at his desk with a small model of Texas and miniature flags, muttering, “Over…under…over…under…dammit!”

Chain spokesperson Maureen Sokolow issued a statement: "It is Six Flags Theme Parks's position that Six Flags Over Texas is not equivalent to Texas Under Six Flags. The former does not imply Texas being under anything; it merely describes flags being over Texas. Also, four inversions are equivalent to seven, and full is empty."