Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Bladder Voided

Amusement park enthusiast Chris Grueninger's bladder explosively emptied its contents directly into his pants Sunday, he claims. According to Grueninger, the "scare actors" at Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Howloscream were so utterly terrifying that his bladder involuntarily voided itself all over him in most embarrassing fashion.

The incident occurred at approximately 8:00 PM, as the park was just entering darkness. Says Grueninger, "I was already sorta creeped out by those sheets hanging in the trees and by the blacklights sticking out right in the open, and that Festhaus show was unbelievably frightening, especially when they sang Bon Jovi. Then, I was absolutely scared out of my wits when this woman dressed as a statue or something jumped at me and went 'RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!' Since I'd filled myself up with copious gallons of expensive, noxious Pepsi products all evening, my bladder was totally full when the scary lady jumped at me, and its entire contents were hosed all over me with incredible violence."

Grueninger noted with regret that "there was this chick dressed like a gypsy who wasn't at all scary, more like pretty damn hot, but I had to run away like I was frightened anyway since I was pretty sure she'd find the stench of my urine all over my pants and legs to be a turnoff."

--JCK
Six Flags Announces Major Cost Savings Achieved from Hurricane Isabel
Expects Postive Impact on 3Q03 Earnings

The world's largest Theme Park Company -- Six Flags Theme Parks (NYSE: PKS) -- announced today that it reaped huge benefits from the recent effects of Hurricane Isabel. In an emergency press conference from the chain's Oklahoma City office, Chairman and CEO Keiran Burke explained: "While our stock has been out of favor recently on Wall Street with analysts focusing on our staggering debt load and increasingly poor performance, I am confident that the most recent events in our major east-coast US markets will propel us into true profitability and record-breaking attendance increases."

Burke continued, "We were fortunate enough to have Hurricane Isabel hit our facilities mid-week in the post Labor Day season. These facilities include Six Flags America, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Dairen Lake, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, The Great Escape (a Six Flags property), and Six Flags New England. These facilities were all scheduled to be closed while the hurricane struck, resulting in no lost revenue due to further dastardly weather that has plauged our facilities along with concerns with terrorism, West Nile Virus, Bubonic Plague, and rat infestations this fiscal year. Remember that -- the bad results this year were entirely out of our control. Last year too."

"Furthermore, an unexpected benefit has resulted in what we feel, along with our CFO James Dannhauser, will propel our attendance and profitability into the stratosphere. Isabel packed upwards of 75 mile-per-hour winds and torrential rains on our most vaulable properties. This severe rain and wind substantially benefited our operations as it washed away 5 years of trash and garbage that has piled up at our facilities since 1998."

Burke continued: "Unexpected flooding also swept the several metric tons of human excrement that have collected at our guest comfort facilties and our restrooms are sparkling like new. As a result, we are able to eliminate our last 2 groundskeeper positions at each of the parks named above for both the remainder of this fiscal year and also next. Additionally, now that our restrooms are spotless, we are adding a new 'RestPass' program at each park named above. We are installing bill validators on all restrooms that will collect $20 for each guest that wants to enter the facility." According to reports, visitors who do not pay for a 'RestPass' will be permitted to urinate or defecate in a large open pit area that will later be part of a Gotham Hovel-themed roller coaster.

Trading of the stock was down .29 or 4% to 4.89 at Monday's close.

--EJB

Monday, September 29, 2003

Let Them Eat Cake and Cupcakes and Absolutely Nothing Else

This week's Site O' the Weak is a very special one to all of us here at AbsolutelyReliableTowers, due in no small part to the fact that a couple of us got to witness the masses of humanity that are the Jersey Shore over the weekend. One park we sadly did not get to visit is Playland's Castaway Cove in lovely and scenic Ocean City, New Jersey.

First of all, the website for Playland's Castaway Cove is extremely popular. How popular? Hard to say, but we'll note that the front page does say that "This page has been seen by visitors." Congratulations, Playland's Castaway Cove! We're sure we'll see you at next year's Webbys!

If you're wanting to visit, just pop over to the page listing the hours of operation, and, um, travel back in time back to May or June, as the park has evidently been closed since then.

And good news for parents! You can have your child's birthday party at Playland's Castaway Cove! But be sure to drink a full day's supply of beverages beforehand, and ensure that no diabetic kids are coming, because cake and cupcakes are allowed, but "No other food or beverage items are permitted!!" No soup for you, and nothing less than eighty percent sugar!

So, thanks, Playland's Castaway Cove! Your utter lack of updates and transparent hostility to anyone hoping to make their child's birthday enjoyable make you this week's ARN&R Site O' the Weak!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Six Flags Literacy Program Huge Success; Children's Financial Management Program Not So Much

Six Flags's participation in the Read to Succeed program has garnered the massive park chain plaudits from enthusiasts, parents, and school administrators alike. The program provides kids with park tickets in connection with how much they read and nearly 400,000 children have taken part.

Somewhat overlooked in the press coverage of the Read to Succeed program has been Six Flags's other children's education program, "Borrow and Spend to Make More Money." This program, instituted just a year after Premier Parks took over the Six Flags chain, gave junior and senior high school students a chance to follow the chain's planning and expansion efforts throughout much of the 1990s, and has taught thousands how to manage their money just like a major entertainment business. Students were treated to visits to corporate headquarters, visits from Six Flags accountants, and detailed training about how they could borrow and spend massive amounts of money in an effort to become wealthy and popular.

The program, unfortunately, has not been considered a success. "We had fifteen students in that program," says Leonard Brock, principal of Madison Junior High in the Oklahoma City suburbs, a pilot school for the program. "And thirteen of them had to file for bankruptcy before graduation from high school. The other two only managed to avoid that because they had rich parents."

The problem: all of the kids ran up thousands of dollars on their credit cards, purchasing cars, entertainment systems, DVDs, and vacations. "I just figured that's what Six Flags was doing," says Beth Kerr, one of the bankrupt youngsters. "They kept telling us [in the lectures by visiting Six Flags accountants] about how 'You've gotta spend money to make money!' and how they were spending hundreds of millions of borrowed dollars on rides so that they could make money in the future...but now that I think about it, they were always a little vague about how they'd be making money in the future. Something about funnel cakes, I think."

"They were really very convincing," said Kerr's ninth-grade home economics teacher, Nancy Poe. "They said you could take an ugly and unpopular park -- like, say, Geauga Lake or Jazzland -- and put piles and piles of money into it and you'd make it back in a heartbeat, somehow. And they said you could take an ugly and unpopular person -- like Beth -- and if she spent a lot of money on unnecessary and flashy stuff, she'd make a bunch of money. And become popular, too." Poe walked away, shaking her head.

Neither result has occurred for the young Ms. Kerr. In addition to her bankruptcy filing and subsequent reposession of her Hummer, HDTV-ready 32-inch television, and Versace wardrobe, Kerr remains unpopular outside her circle of French Club friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Travel Channel Special Mortifies Boyfriend

Barry Hemmoglobe of Round Lake Park, IL, was “thoroughly embarrassed” after viewing the Travel Channel special, “Best of Thrilling Thrill Rides and the Thrill Seekers Who Seek Thrills” on Tuesday night. “Jenna (Kophschmerzen) was one of the people on the show that they film during the ride,” explained Barry. “We’ve only been dating for a few months, and when the show aired, she was totally psyched that I’d see her segment on TV.”

Miss Kopfschmerzen, one of the approximately seven females in the coaster enthusiast community, was taped riding Raging Bull at Six Flags Great America. “The interview with her was great – but then she got on the ride," said Hemmoglobe, wiping a tear away. "The noises and facial expressions she made were so familiar...and then I realized that she makes the same sounds when we are making sweet sweet love!”

Jenna did not understand why her boyfriend insisted that they stay home from work the next day, but Barry swears it was for their own good. “I can’t believe that the entire R&D group at the lab will have seen my girlfriend making sex faces on TV!!” he moaned. “And doing them while sitting next to that creepy Ruben guy!”

Paul Ruben could not be reached for comment.

--MMS

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Ride Described as "Better on TV"

Medusa, the highly-regarded B&M floorless looper at Six Flags Worlds of New Jersey Adventure, is way better on TV, claims enthusiast Donal Usher, 30.

"Everyone thinks it's so much better to see one of these things live," said Usher. "Heck, I always assumed experiencing a live coaster was way better than any other activity you could possibly do. But then I went to the park and sat there, and I realized that it's way better to see it on TV.

"First off, that park has really expensive food. The sandwiches were seven bucks. A damn Miller Lite cost me 6 bucks and came in a plastic bottle, I guess because the level of clientele at Six Flags is about like being at an Eagles game, so they're afraid of the queue area getting pelted by debris if the home team screws up, say, and doesn't run all three trains. At home, if you watch a good coaster on video or DVD, you can have lots of cheap snacks and pizza and beer right there in the fridge. Or sitting in a pile on your lap. You might also have a cute guinea pig to pat on the head, and they usually don't allow those on the actual coaster.

"Really, if you go to the coaster live, the action is way far away most of the time, and there's no instant replay or closeups. When I watched Medusa on America's Greatest Roller Coaster Thrills: The Next Generation a couple weeks ago, I noticed that you get great onboard ride footage and closeups, and you can replay all or parts of it anytime you want. They also speed up the footage to make it seem way faster, which is a cool trick you don't get live.

"And last but not least, on my DVD player, I can use freeze frame to lock Medusa in its most thrilling pose so I can masturbate in the privacy of my mom's basement. Just try that while you're doing Medusa live and in person and see what they say."

--JCK
Very Special Rerun

So, you see, we're kinda busy today, and we really meant to do our homework, but we got distracted by, y'know, stuff. So we thought we'd provide our faithful readers (both of you!) with a rerun of one of our favorites that you might have missed, since it ran back when even fewer people visited. With the offseason upon us, we figure you might be looking for a hobby. No need to thank us.

Enthusiast Planning to Get Really Into Porn During Offseason

This article originally appeared last October.

As the amusement park season comes to an end, many enthusiasts start thinking about what to do with their free time during the following six months. Some do crafts, others travel, and still others obsessively visit coaster-oriented sites every 45 minutes hoping for an update on what program the flat rides at their home park will be running.

But Paul Fedder has decided to go in an entirely different direction: pornography.

"I figured, that's something I can obsess about even more disturbingly than I do coasters, it allows me to maintain my hours-at-a-time on the computer I'm already used to, and it'll educate me enough that I'll be a real catch once I enter the dating pool," said the seventeen-year-old Fedder, who says he's "saving himself for college girls."

Fedder has already obtained several false adult identification numbers for access to those sites that require age verification, and used his dad's credit card to obtain over five hundred dollars in PayPal funds for paying for private sites. He says he's still getting the lay of the pornographic land, but thinks that he'll gravitate towards "classic porn, just like I love the classic wooden coasters, going up and down and up and down and up and down..." His voice trailed off.

"I gotta go."

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Top Thrill Dragster Cars Recalled Due to Fuel Tank Problem

In news that stunned the amusement industry, Intamin today announced a recall of all Top Thrill Dragster trains due to fuel tank safety issues uncovered in standard government testing.

"It's the darndest thing," said company spokesman Julie Harding. "We didn't even remember that we'd put a fuel tank in there -- I guess we just got a little too excited with the theming."

According to officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Dragster's forty-gallon fuel tanks, which are attached to nothing, are prone to leakage and, if involved in a rear-end collision, could explode. No reports of injuries have occurred, but the recall is still being treated as the highest priority. The design flaw was found in the NHTSA's routine crash testing.

Cedar Fair head Richard Kinzel described the potential explosions as a "minor issue." "Really, who doesn't have problems like this with a new ride? I totally understand why Intamin included a forty-gallon tank of flammable liquid on trains that do not in fact have engines -- just a little quirk of having one of the most advanced rides on the planet!"

In the meantime, a small but vocal group of enthusiasts have started an advocacy group lobbying Cedar Fair to place the fuel tanks on Mean Streak's trains along with several lit acetylene torches.
Canada's Wonderland Announces Flying Coaster Upgrade

The mighty voice of tens and tens of enthusiasts made itself heard again this week, as Paramount Canada's Wonderland, possibly the most awkwardly-named park on the planet, announced major changes to its new Zamperla/Volare flying coaster, called, in a spasm of creativity, "The Flying Coaster."

"We heard a lot of people didn't like the one at Elitch Gardens," said spokesman Jonathan Selby. "So we've really improved this one."

Chief among the improvements, according to Selby, is the improved station music. "We've gotten rid of the stuff that Zamperla encouraged us to use, like that 'I Believe I Can Fly' crap. Instead, we've got some good Canadian music from Bryan Adams, Paul Anka, and Celine Dion. Oh, and Bachman Turner Overdrive. The kids these days love that BTO!"

Also improved are the colors of the trains. "No more orange track!" exclaimed Selby. "We now have green track! It will be much better."

When asked if Zamperla had made any modifications to the design of the coaster itself, Selby looked puzzled. "Why would they? That coaster rules. It just needed some minor cosmetic changes."

Monday, September 22, 2003

Meet Your Idols

It's official (well, as official as is possible): a significant majority of ARN&R's intrepid reporters will attend the Phoenix Fall Funfest (we refuse to use all those "ph"s). And we'll have our 350th anniversary t-shirts on, and extra shirts for sale for cheap.

Drop us a line if you'd like to meet up and will promise not to injure us. We certainly didn't mean whatever we said about your home park, website, favorite ride, or attractiveness to the opposite sex. Unless, of course, you like Frontier City. In which case, um, your park sucks.
Download Icons, Ensure Mockery

We're particularly pleased this week to acknowledge the efforts of CoasterIcons, our Site O' the Weak for this week. Not just because it offers for download -- for free! -- small coaster-related icons that you could use for...um...something...but also because each of those icons clearly required tens and tens of seconds to design.

Consider, for example, the Deja Vu icon for Six Flags Magic Mountain (and Great America). The striking two-sorta-not-that-bland-color design! The precision graphics! This is graphic design right up there with the Chopping Block, we tell you.

But what we like better is this: CoasterIcons nominated itself. Thanks, Mr. CoasterIcons! [A word of clarification: Turns out the actual operator of CoasterIcons didn't nominate it; instead, one contributor to the site did. We are uncertain if this makes the site cooler or less cool.] [Absolutely critical hugely important breaking news: As it turns out, we did hear about it from the Grand Poobah of CoasterIcons and from a contributor. ARN&R is freakin' huge among people making icons (purpose unknown to us) relating to amusement parks.]

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Enters Betty Ford Clinic

According to rival hard amusement park news site Screamscape, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Studios Theme Park is entering a rehab program. Although Disney officials had been trying to keep this news hidden, for fear it would hurt the image of the long-popular attraction, the paparazzi caught the Tower entering the Betty Ford clinic today. Photographs of a visibly distraught ride appeared in the muckraking tabloids Star, the Weekly World News, and Amusement Today.

"The difficulties of the Tower of Terror are its own business," said Disney rep Margot Ratigan. "We ask that the media and the scum of the general public please leave this ride alone and allow it to focus on recovery and being with its family in its time of need."

"I never saw this one coming," said Tower colleague and friend Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. "I thought he'd learn from my example, but it didn't happen. I mean, after spending my whole life hanging around with Aerosmith, I was loaded with coke, booze, crystal meth, heroin, and p%ssy 24 hours a day. I needed help and I fought my way through my Disney rehab. I thought Tower would see what pain I caused myself and others and make certain not to follow in my tracks, so to speak. I guess I wasn't forceful enough in trying to warn Tower, and now he's suffering just like I did. I blame myself."

"You always think you're immune," said the Magic Kingdom's 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea from its padded room. "But anyone can become addicted, and not everyone ever gets out. I kept denying I had a problem, and then Disney shut me down for my rehab. Well, instead of fixing myself up, I kept going back to my old pattern, and then I'd be in and out of rehab programs and the county jail, and eventually they just gave up on me and left me to rot. I hope Tower is reading this, and I hope he sticks with the rehab program and changes his life. It's too late for me, but he can still survive and be a better ride."

Representatives of the Betty Ford clinic refused to confirm whether Twilight Zone Tower of Terror would be staying at the Metallica suite, the Aerosmith cottage, or the Charlie Sheen wing of the property.

--JCK

Friday, September 19, 2003

Hurricane Moves Inland

After battering the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia Thursday, Hurricane Isabel moved inland, heading through the interior toward Pennsylvania overnight. This news was extremely troubling to some coaster enthusiasts.

"I had no idea that ride was going to be moved," said Ohio American Coaster Enthusiast member Hugh Jazz, 45. "I was doing my usual thing, skipping my shower to eat another deep-fried turkey while downloading porn and looking at Top Thrill Dragster videos simultaneously, when I flipped on the TV and saw all this Weather Channel crap about the Hurricane travelling northwest.

"First of all, I'm surprised...I thought this coaster was pretty highly regarded, seeing as it's the most popular ride at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. But I know that park is moving to a new location in a couple years, so maybe they couldn't afford to keep Hurricane when they moved, so they went ahead and sold it now. I just wonder what park it'll be going to. They were saying on the broadcast how it was headed through Virginia and the Great Lakes region, and might end up in Canada. Maybe Paramount's Canada's Wonderland won't be adding some chump kiddie ride for next year after all."

Jazz noted that he was "kinda confused why Weather Channel would be the ones to break this story," but that he was "glad at least one station cared about important world events."

--JCK

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Gemini Predicts Single-Day Capacity Record in Call to Hulk

Gemini, the brash elder statesman of coasters at Cedar Point, reportedly predicted that he would break the single-day capacity record this coming Saturday. The prediction came in a trash-talking phone call with his close friend Hulk at Islands of Adventure.

"I couldn't believe it," said Hulk. "Here's this old punk coaster calling me up talkin' trash, and he thinks that's not going to get me and my team motivated? We're gonna kick some serious Gemini ass this weekend, baby."

Analysts suggest Hulk's job may be tougher than he thinks. "Gemini is wily but also full of power," said USA Today coaster columnist Lon Pascalelliellily. "He can instantly tell if it's time to send out a half-empty train or if it's going to be worth it to wait to fill it up. He's really got a great vision of the whole course and of the crowds around his station and makes great decisions. And the other coasters and rides nearby are all great team players, randomly shutting down if they notice his line is getting short, trying to funnel more riders to Gemini."

Hulk is unconcerned. "We're Islands of f**king Adventure, man! Cedar Point was great back in the day, but now they're just pathetic."

Gemini has refused to comment, saying only that "We'll see what happens on Saturday, and we'll see who's still talking afterwards, and who has the single-day capacity record."

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Vekoma to Announce Seatless Floorless Coaster

Responding to the growing popularity of coasters with "less" -- no floors, no over-the-shoulder restraints, and so on -- Vekoma is set to announce a seatless and floorless coaster, ARN&R can exclusively report.

"We know our rides are beloved throughout America for their smoothness, reliability, and comfort," said a spokesman for the Dutch company. "So we have taken the genius engineering skills developed through making SLCs and Boomerangs and put it towards developing this outstanding ride."

Sketches obtained from a confidential source indicate that riders will walk onto a platform not unlike those used for B&M inverted coasters. After standing in their assigned locations (marked with large circles on the platform), a vise-like apparatus will drop from above. Four sharp points ("with a layer of soft rubber for comfort!" notes Vekoma's spokesman) will be gently but firmly pressed into each rider's head to hold them in place.

"And that's it! That's all the restraints!" exclaimed the spokesman. "The platform will drop from under them, and the riders will enjoy 3,850 feet of fun hanging from their heads!" The course is expected to include a vertical loop, two inline twists, and a new element known only as the "vertebrae-cracker."

For safety purposes, an additional restraint will consist of a metal chain power-stapled to each rider's abdomen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Bob's Space Racers Announce New Game for a New Age


Daytona Beach, FL -- Bob's Space Racers, the popular amusement manufacturer that shot to fame with their "Whac a Mole" game, has announced a new concession.

"It's a new game for a new age," said Bob Cassata, the founder of the company. "I call it Whac a Debt. With the amount of credit most Americans have, and the cost of entering most big parks, this is something all guests should be able to relate to!"

The midway game will cost $500 to play. "Some people have balked at that," said Cassata, "but no one would bother wiping out a measly $3 debt. The stakes are high, but so is the satisfaction when you win!"

The object is similar to BSR's most popular game: you have a judge's gavel and small figures of evil-looking accountants begin popping out of small briefcases. You have to smash each one on the head before they disappear. Each time you score a hit, $5 of your debt is reduced. If you score 100 hits in thirty seconds, you get $495 back, plus a ten cent plush toy.

"Our innovation," Cassata continued, "is to factor in interest, just like a real bank. For each second that passes without a hit, your debt goes up by nineteen percent. That should give our game the best profit margin for a park without providing the customer any actual value since the Q-Bot."

When asked whether guests would be willing to spend that much on a game, Cassata replied, "Heck, people spend that much a month on their cell phone bill! I think people will really enjoy smashing bill collectors into a figurative pulp. That's the kind of satisfaction you just can't put a price on."

Cassata also mentioned that BSR is working on yet another variation for frustrated middle managers, "Whac a Wonk."

--JRD

Monday, September 15, 2003

New Site o' the Weak

We are thrilled to award our prestigious Site o' the Weak honors to the G Force Coaster Page, presented for your cross-eyed horror in black and blue font over an optically-violating teal. Among the things we love about the opening page are the fact that it has "photo's [sic]," as well as the very creative use of tenses and possesives, a common trait of our Sites o' the Weak. Of course, there are many awful coaster websites out there that have an abysmal design and are unable to use functional English, but it's a very, very, very special one that tells you "[a]fter exiting the train, you stumble away as if you were imbibed from alcohol." We have no idea what this means, but it sounds quite painful indeed.

Once you've puzzled over the Dali-like implications of how one could possibly be "imbibed by alcohol," head on over to the lovely "photo's" of the ever-popular Black Widow, and be educated by the exquisitely detailed investigative report about roller coaster accidents. Additionally, the website operator modestly assures us that he is "truly a master of the music trade."

Attention lawyers! Wanna make some dough? (Of course you do. Don't lie.) One of our clever and well-read correspondents alerts us to the fact that several pictures at the G Force Roller Coaster Site, including this one of the Lightning Loops, are taken from an issue of Popular Mechanics without permission or acknowledgement. (In other words, they are stolen.) Classy.

--JCK

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Blue Streak Rededicated as ACE Coaster Classic

At a major ceremony yesterday, the Blue Streak roller coaster at Cedar Point was rededicated as an ACE Coaster Classic, a rare honor given to wood rides which the meet exacting standards of proper and historic operation set forth by ACE (American Carcas-Rending Jackals and Hyenas).

"We are mighty proud of this great honor," said park rep Ima Hogg. "Very few rides are operated in a manner consistent with the ACE Coaster Classic status, and Blue Streak is now celebrating 35 years as a ride of this type. We love having all these enthusiast types here to laud us for running our classic wood coaster the way it should be run."

According to the group's charter, ACE rewards roller coasters run in the time-tested and proper way with a plaque announcing the woodie as an ACE Coaster Classic. The rare coasters to receive this honor must not have ratcheting lap bars, headrests, assigned seats, seat dividers, or anal probes. Cedar Point has a sign prominently displayed in front of the Blue Streak detailing how the woodie is an ACE Coaster Classic. "If you own a special ride and run it properly, you want to brag about it with a big fu%$ing sign," said Hogg.

Standing outside in a light drizzle, ACE Preservation Guru Matt Crowther announced, "ACE is pleased to rededicate this ride as an ACE Coaster Classic. The sign in front of the ride clearly announces that we've said this ride is a Coaster Classic, even though Cedar Point slapped plastic seats, ratchets, and big damn headrests all over the trains a number of years ago. But heck, I like Cedar Point, so we figured we'd just call the little fu%&er a Coaster Classic anyway and give them a nice new plaque. We're good that way."

A few naysayers disputed the designation. "What the hell?" said enthusiast Dick Hardwoods. "This ride doesn't qualify as a Coaster Classic at all! Why are we allowing them to milk the recognition of this honor by telling bald-faced lies that the ride is a Classic? Those damn trains feature three disqualifications, but that stupid sign is still sitting out front there. The ACE Executive Junta is obviously chicken-s%it to ask Cedar Point to remove the designation. What a bunch of pus*ies."

"We will not tolerate such statements from surly members," said American Coaster Enthusiast Gold Glove Pugilist, Iron Chef Chilidog, and President Baghwan Sri Carole Sanderson. "We have no patience for members with any concern for stupid crap like what makes a ride a Coaster Classic. Our members are to be concerned only with stuffing their faces, making unreasonable rude demands of parks, and getting ERT. Criticizing any park is forbidden by the ACE Code of Conduct, so we can't ask them to take that filthy, lying sign down. Also, we are completely spineless, so we wouldn't even think of making our Classic designation mean anything by asking parks to take down signs claiming a ride has our endorsement when it does not. We need to be sure Cedar Point gives us extra truckloads of gristly meats on sticks and piles of chocolate treats at the Con next year, too."

Crowther announced that Cedar Fair rides Mean Streak, Thunderhawk, and, heck, even Iron Dragon, would be given the ACE Coaster Classic designation next season and will also be allowed to have bulls*it signs out in front of them claiming they are still ACE Coaster Classics.

--JCK

Friday, September 12, 2003

Hemingway Estate Sues Rollercoaster Magazine

The estate of writer Ernest Hemingway announced this morning that it would be filing a lawsuit against the editorial and writing staff of Rollercoaster Magazine. According to a statement from the estate, "this enthusiast publication has knowingly and willingly plagiarized the style of the late Ernest Hemingway for its own aims and profits. We will be seeking massive monetary compensation for this thievery in a court of law."

While the Hemingway estate makes no claim that the content and ideas expressed by Hemingway were in any way used by Rollercoaster Magazine without permission, they claim that the "style of writing used in the magazine goes past the point of aping Hemingway into out and out copying."

ARN&R has obtained samples from representative portions of the texts in question, and, while victory in this matter is no certainty for the Hemingway estate, they do make a strong point. Here is a representative passage from Hemingway's classic 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises:

That was all right. Bill and Mike were with Edna. She had been afraid last night they would pass out. That was why I was to be sure to take her. I drank the coffee and hurried with the other people toward the bull-ring. I was not groggy now. There was only a bad headache.

And here is a sample from the Winter 1968 issue of Rollercoaster Magazine, or whatever just came out [Editor's Note: It was Spring 2003, merely half a year behind, as opposed to 35 years.].

Mack is a leader in the amusement industry. Their rides are at many parks. It will be neat to see what they make next. Goliath was good. But it wasn't perfect. It was not on many top ten lists. But it was green. Bus drivers were good. The hotel was bad. People took pretty pictures. We were given more ride time than expected. We like coasters. Collosos is no good since it is perfect. Parks should give us better buffets. With All-You-Can-Eat cow tongue. I forgot to bathe.

Neither excerpt has any subject matter in common, but both of them feature childishly stupid prose and an inability to form complicated word phrases or clauses, instead relying solely on clipped, single thoughts that lead to mind-rending irritation on the part of many readers with more than a fourth-grade education. ARN&R will be watching this plagiarism case closely and will keep our readership alerted as to any developments.

--JCK

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Model Enthusiast Tires of Picturesque Parks; Builds Replica of Riverside

Dayton, OH -- Randy Parent has been building models since he could walk. His first, constructed when he was four, was a scale replica of Six Flags Magic Mountain's Revolution coaster, made entirely out of used popsicle sticks.

Now 27, Randy has constructed everything from Kennywood's Thunderbolt (complete with a scale model of the Monogahela River and Pittsburg's steel mills) to Cedar Point's new Top Thrill Dragster (featuring a speaker mounted into the grandstand that emits cheers every twenty minutes when a train is launched).

But Randy says he's working on his biggest challenge yet. "The problem," says Randy, covered with gesso and bits of balsa wood amid the beginnings of his new project, "is that all of the parks and rides that I've built are the ones everyone else is building. I haven't found my artistic voice until now."

Randy used to post his creations at modelrollercoastergeeks.com, but it wasn't very satisfying for him when, "everybody and their brother, like, was doing the same thing, and they had more money than me and could afford a Dremel. I'm a traditionalist. I use a jacknife."

So he decided to stake out new territory. "It was kinda unrealistic how everyone's models always look so perfect. Life isn't like that. So I wanted to find a park that represented the harsh realities of real life. When I did the steel mills, man, that was it." He chose as his subject the former Riverside Park in Agawam, Massachusetts.

"I didn't have to worry about prettying this up," he said. "And I didn't have to waste my money on fake trees and flowers. Hell, I didn't even have to put any people in it!"

The main theme of the park, he said, was asphalt. So he spent half his weekly salary from RediMart to purchase a gallon of liquid asphalt patch. "I just basically dumped the whole thing on a piece of scrap wood. I couldn't believe how much it looked like the park!" ARN&R has obtained an exclusive digital photograph of the elaborate theming:



When asked if any special techniques were required for this daunting project, Randy said that he would down at least a six pack of Molson's before each modeling session. "That way I'd be so tanked, I'd be spilling paint everywhere and wrecking parts of my coaster structures. That added a lot of realism. I'm sick of those no-talent modelers who, like, make their parks look so damn clean I could eat off their fake grass. The world is a dirty place, man."

Randy expects to have his magnum opus finished "in about another fifteen minutes unless I pass out again." When asked if he was going to attempt to follow up his masterpiece, he responded between belches, "Man, if this crap, like, gets no recognition...man, I'm like...y'know...this is like the work of pure genius, and nothing'll top it."

He continued, his voice trailing off into a haze of alcohol, "I've gotta do New England, y'know. Everyone thinks it's like the best place. They think it's so pretty and everything. But I know what it really is. I can see it for what it is, y'know?" He gestured widely to his half-finished model. "I know what's underneath it all. I'm building the belly of the beast."

--JRD
ACE News Article Fails to Mention Food

The latest issue of ACE News received strong criticism this week, as the ACE Executive Junta, the American Beef Council, and the National Lard, Scrapple, Hog Brains, and Head Cheese Foundation all condemned the magazine for its failure to mention food in one article.

"This is absolutely disgraceful," announced American Coaster Enthusiasts Commander-in-Chief, Winner of the 1976 Tchaikovsky Cello Competition, and Hindu Goddess of Destruction Carole Sanderson. "The ACE Code of Conduct specifically prohibits the writing of any article for any of our publications without making reference to food. For the past seven years, each and every article, even those quick 'breaking news' updates about new coasters that everyone already knew about three months ago, featured breathless prose lauding beef, pork, or gooey breakfast treats. I don't know how it happened that this regulation was broken in the latest issue, but it'll be dealt with, believe you me."

Diligent research by a crack team of ARN&R forensic scientists and photographers located the offending article with ease. Located on the back page, and titled "Dollywood Does It," the half-page feature manages, somehow, to describe the new GCI coaster being built for the Tennessee park without referencing Krispy Kreme, country ham, or grits even once.

"I don't know how this thing slipped through," lamented editor Mark Davidson. "I think I might have been distracted by the thought of getting the annual onslaught of irritatating reviews of Phoenix Phall Phunfest that feel the need to spell everything over and over with 'ph' instead of 'f,' as if it's still remotely funny or entertaining after the eleven-billionth time. In any case, I apologize for allowing an article to run without mentioning buffets of any sort."

Davidson defended the publication, saying, "we do normally maintain a high level of professionalism in reporting news of ACE members gorging themselves to the brink of propulsive vomiting. Why, even in this issue, every other article talks mostly about food instead of other stupid crap like roller coasters or whatever. Any article dealing with conventions, of course, almost solely features exciting buffet news, and the articles in this issue were no exception. And then the blurb about Hersheypark's Rocket Coaster requests the ride be named the Chocolate Rocket. The Timberhawk review noted a complimentary lunch. And even the Coaster Media review mentions scrambled eggs. So we hope our audience will forgive this one slight of ours, and please not eat us alive and then crack open our thigh bones to suck out our tasty marrow."

The author of the article in question was not named in ACE News, but Sanderson promises a severe lashing, as well as sentencing to the back of the next CoasterCon ice cream line, to the culprit if he or she is ever located.

--JCK

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Cedar Point Guests Get An Eyeful On Top Thrill Dragster

Several guests at Cedar Point got an extra special bonus treat during their ride on Top Thrill Dragster this past Saturday, September 6th when a woman’s halter top was blown clear off of her body during the ride’s 120 mile per hour launch.

Park guest and American Coaster Enthusiasts member Lana Lewis from Pipestem, West Virginia, evidently ignored the posted signs warning TTD riders about raising their arms during the coaster’s launch. Everything was okay during the first second of the launch. Two seconds into the launch, however, Lana’s frilly pink and yellow 100% cotton halter top was sucked right off of her body. The halter top got caught in the rushing air produced by the movement of the coaster train and floated gracefully in the breeze for a few seconds before landing gently on the ground under the roller coaster amongst the several nuts, bolts, and tires that have fallen off of the TTD trains all throughout this season.

Ms. Lewis was back in the ride’s station before she realized what had happened.

“I definitely felt a chill when we reached the top of the first hill,” she said. “But I just assumed it was because we were so high up and the air was just cooler up there. Little did I know that my boobies were bouncing all around in the breeze for all of God’s creatures to see.”

After the ride, Ms. Lewis asked ride operators to retrieve her halter top from under the coaster, but was politely reminded by park management that all items lost during the ride could not be retrieved until the park had closed for the day.

Ms. Lewis’s brother, Skeeter, who is also her cousin, managed to save the day and a little bit of Lana’s dignity by purchasing a t-shirt from the recently opened Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors Souvenir Shop located on Cedar Point’s midway next door to the Johnny Rockets restaurant.

In a related story, the Top Thrill Dragster on-ride souvenir photo booth reported a new record high one day sales total on Saturday, September 6th. The astounding sales figure was attributed for the most part to the hundreds of male teenage coaster enthusiasts who waited in line for up to three hours to purchase a photo of Lana’s top thrilling strip show.

--JWS

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Six Flags Great America Mocked for Taking Lemon to Dealer

Six Flags Great America was taunted by its friends for taking its broken-down jalopy to the dealer for service work, say sources close to the park.

"I can't believe this schmuck," said friend Six Flags St. Louis. "First of all, he's an idiot for not listening to me and buying one of those stupid Deja Vu things, which everyone knows break down more than crap from Ford. Then he compounds his stupidity by taking the thing back to the damn dealer for service. What a dips%$t."

Six Flags Great America confirmed that it takes its ride to Vekoma for service, but defended itself, saying, "I don't really know the local mechanics, so I don't know if they're honest or not. And my dealer is the one who gave me the ride, so they probably know best how to fix its myriad problems that crop up on a thousands-of-times-per-day basis. And they explained that they are the only ones who use genuine Toyota parts, so why shouldn't I take it there?"

Said business colleague Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, "you should've seen this guy last week. Deja Vu broke down for like the three hundreth time that day, and so he took it to Vekoma. They gave him attitude about not making an appointment and pretty much accused him of screwing the thing up himself, and then they finally took it in. I could see those bozos in the back of the garage. Seven hours in there, and I'm pretty sure they just took out a chain dog and put it right back in. And then he gets the bill for six thousand dollars. I asked him, right in front of the mechanic and sales lady, if he at least got a free jar of Vaseline with that. They didn't think that was all that funny."

Six Flags Great America's friends said they would continue to encourage their "moron dumbass friend" to quit taking his piece of crap coaster to the same imbeciles who sold it to him, and instead check out a local garage such as Schwarzkopf & Sons, right down the street.

--JCK


Caustic Chef Author Angrily Leaves Six Flags America's Cooking Corps

Six Flags Theme Parks today announced that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain (author of Kitchen Confidential and star of Food Network's A Cook's Tour will be leaving the chain's Washington, D.C.-area theme park.

Bourdain, formerly executive chef at Les Halles in New York -- known for extremely strict discipline in his kitchen and an incredible quality of food in his restaurants -- had been hired as the Chef d' Cuisine at the pizza and french fry stand near SFA's Tower of Doom drop ride. "We'd hired Mr. Bourdain in hopes that he'd maybe tweak the seasoning a little on the fries or perhaps add another pizza topping, you know, like black olives. But within a week he'd spent $30,000 on new equipment, fired everyone there, brought in this completely insane guy named Adam to create 'focaccia' -- whatever the hell that is -- and started selling foie gras. That wasn't really what we were looking for."

Bourdain, reached for comment, began with a stream of creative obscenities. "Those f*cking idiots wouldn't know cuisine if it bit them in the ass," he stated. "They've never heard of escargot, and you should've heard it when I suggested adding Pied de Cochon Pané [traditional pig's feet] to the menu. 'We're a theme park,'" he said, mimicking a manager's voice, "'Not a fancy-schmancy New York restaurant.' Jesus, what an idiot."

Six Flags stated that it had plans to replace Bourdain with Emeril Lagasse, who, according to the park, "was really mostly focused on how much money he'd make. He didn't really seem to be too worried about the food -- he just said we should buy a bunch of his cajun seasoning mix and throw that on everything."

Monday, September 08, 2003

New Site o' the Weak: It's the Future!

Thrillrush, featuring a my-god-it-burns-my-eyes design, is presumably proud to be this week's selection for ARN&R's Site o' the Weak.

We note two things: First, the site's producers "have extreme dreams." As a public service, we note to Thrillrush's producers that we, too, have had extreme dreams, and that Tide is a very effective laundry detergent. Second, we commend to you Thrillrush's "Wierd [sic] Types of Future Coasters" page, where you can truly see the future!

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Dorney Park To Get Rid Of Her Coolies

Dorney Park issued a press release earlier this week indicating that she was finally getting rid of her coolies opting to replace them with cool new steel drink coasters instead. The enthusiast world has been in quite a tizzy ever since.

Coolies, as all true roller-coaster enthusiasts know, are those totally cool and extremely functional foam aluminum beverage can covers. Not only do they keep your drinks refreshingly chilled even in the longest of Talon lines, but they are also fun to collect and trade with all of your coolie-coveting friends.

ACE member, Margaret "Coolie" Kuptrik worried that Dorney's decision was a sign of more ominous coolie-related closures to come.

"If Dorney decides she doesn't need her coolies anymore, then what's to stop Bone Island Bob and The Professional Hooker from making the same sickening coolie-cutting decision? Before you know it, we coolie enthusiasts will have nowhere left to go to satisfy our coolie cravings. We'll be forced to start wrapping our Tabs and Frescas in aluminum foil again. Oh, what a world," lamented Kuptrik.

Frequent roller coaster newsgroup poster, HerCooliesRoolies, immediately spit out a post to RRC, CoasterBuzz and CCC (CoolieClubCrowd) begging the coolie-loving public to join him in a letter-writing and e-mail protest against Dorney's latest decision.

"We can't let her do this," pleaded HerCooliesRoolies. "We all lose if Dorney Park removes her coolies. Now, don't get me wrong, I like fancy steel drink coasters just as much as the next guy, but isn't there room at Dorney for her coolies and for her new steel drink coasters? I certainly think so, and I hope that you do too. I urge all of you to join me in protest. Send your poorly worded e-mails and essentially illegible letters to Dorney Park today. Together, we can save the coolies," declared HerCooliesRoolies.

In a related story, Scrapoetry.com has assured ARN&R reporters that their version of the coolie is indeed here to stay. We can all certainly be very thankful for that.

--JWS

Friday, September 05, 2003

An Open Letter to Coaster Enthusiasts (from the Lemon Chill Guy)

Dear Coaster Enthusiasts:

I was right after all. Yeah, that was me – I told you that Hercules was coming down. You just rolled your eyes when I told you to ride it while you still could. See? I was right after all! I know that you didn’t believe me when I said that they were gonna taer [sic] it down, but what are you going to do now? Where’s your precious woodie now? Huh? Huh?

So next time that bitch Becky from Dippin’ Dots starts chatting you up about some "tera tera tera" nonsense, remember that it was me, Dairrek - The Lemon Chill Guy, that told you about Hercules coming down in 2003.

In closing, I want you all to know that you can suck it.

Sincerely,


Dairrek Von Benld
Lemon Chill Guy
Dorney Park

--MMS/CSB

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Online Forum Participation Proves Safety Conscientiousness

Coaster Enthusiasts scrambled to prove they follow safety regulations by posting to a CoasterBuzz thread on Tuesday. The thread, a response to an editorial post made by Jeff Putz, rocked the online community of enthusiasts, who immediately rushed to prove that other enthusiasts, not frequent CoasterBuzz posters, were responsible for Cedar Fair’s letter to coaster club presidents. That letter suggested that enthusiasts' intentional avoidance of park rules was threatening the availability of events at Cedar Fair parks. Putz's editorial made the shocking suggestion that enthusiasts should act like sensible adults and that a failure to do so could cause harm relations with parks as well as resulting in injury or death.

The phrases “I never” and “I agree” were copied and pasted by at least 25 members within a span of mere hours.

In an exclusive ARN&R interview by e-mail, one anonymous poster explained the rush of posts, expanding the thread to a whopping four pages by press time. “By posting in an online forum to declare that I follow safety rules, and scorn any enthusiast who doesn’t, I am proving my love and allegiance for this fine hobby and making sure nobody thinks it is my fault. Because it's not my fault. I never break the rules and I agree with the people who said it's not our fault.”

Other forum participants agree, adding that ACE members who don’t post online, and who specifically didn’t chime in on the thread, are probably the culprits. “If ACE members aren’t involved enough to spend their days posting in online forums, their love is not true, and therefore makes them the obvious targets of the letters.” said another member. "I never break the rules and I agree with the people who said it's not our fault," the member added.

A small group of enthusiasts are currently working to memorize the profile photos of anyone who did not post to agree with Jeff on the thread, and plan to give those people ‘really dirty looks’ at PPP.

--MMS
ACE Events a Beautiful and Inspiring Example of Diversity

The new issue of ACE News is out, and as its throngs of fans have come to expect, it provides yet another heartwarming example of the diversity of ACE. Throughout the issue, ACE events are painstakingly documented with dozens of photographs, and the rainbow of humanity reminds the reader of the fact that our nation is one grand tapestry, with over 25% of the population being non-white.

ACE News's cover story -- CoasterCon's 25th anniversary, which took place at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Paramount's Kings Dominion in Virginia -- is a terrific example. While Virginia's population is 19.6% black, the photographs of ACE indicate...um, actually, nobody other than white people. But it does have an extremely tasteful photograph of various ACE members wearing Afro wigs, so we're sure they were thinking about black people! And, of course, we're sure there were some actual African-Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities there. They just didn't happen to make it into any of the 28 pictures featuring Con attendees.

Even in New Mexico, New York, Texas, Georgia -- states with hardly any minority populations at all (34%, 32%, 29%, and 35%, respectively) -- all hosts to ACE events -- ACE's diversity shines through. Again, we're certain there were more than...let's see, we can count these...zero non-white people in attendance. Surely there were.

Reached for comment, the ACE Publications Director pointed out the enormous diversity of facial hair and hairstyles evident in the issue's photographs. "You've got mullets, beards, beards without moustaches, moustaches without beards, and I think we had a neck beard too!"

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

New Site O' the Weak

Please, please, please visit this week's Site O' the Weak, Shoewee's Crazy Pictures. Thrill to wacky Wal-Mart pictures! Be amazed at the nutty hijinks that take place at Cedar Point! Query how someone couldn't handle Area Three Games while working at Cedar Point! Meditate on the possible meanings of Jeanette having a "great relationship" with what appears to be an entire male college class for a week! And, most of all, wonder why the heck he'd include a character picture when the characters were mean all summer long! (Linus was not as bad as Schroeder. Schroeder was a prick.)

Note: We blew out Shoewee's bandwidth allocation in about two minutes when we first found this site, so if you're unable to access it, be patient. Please believe us that it is worth the wait.
Tasty Little News Tidbits

According to official sources, our story about Star Tours receiving a new Star Wars Holiday Special theme was "complete and utter bull*%it." Says Lucas rep Derek Klivian, "Whoever told you that information should be fed alive to a dianoga. Disney and Lucas have been working hard on making this new attraction something really special, and it hurts their feelings to be insulted by this sort of nonsense. Actually, the new ride will be themed entirely to Wes Janson, a minor character who has like three lines in The Empire Strikes Back. I was a little worried about this myself, but then when I saw that there was an entire website devoted to Wes Janson, I knew it was a great decision. We've even released some cool photos of some of the scary creatures you'll see during the ride experience." ARN&R thanks Mr. Klivian for his candor.

A recent article in our publication broke the news that Dutch Wonderland had been outed. Apparently this article has started a trend among closeted amusement rides and parks, as a website recently revealed that Six Flags Over Texas's Titan is a "Gay Roller Ride!" We applaud Titan for its courageous decision.

Recently, our website reported that a new David Hasselhoff-themed park, featuring Knight Rider and Baywatch roller coasters, a German Festhaus, Pamela Anerson honeymoon videos, and top-notch musical shows based wholly on Hasselhoff songs, would premiere with a scary dark ride called David Hasselhoff is the Antichrist. Some dispute this information. "Carrot Top is clearly the Antichrist," said one highly placed amusement industry insider who wishes to remain anonymous. "The whole premise of the ride just goes down in flames right there. So to speak." ARN&R stands by its sources.

Screamscape's annual "Ultimate" poll is a favorite of enthusiasts, but one popular category is off the board this year: Ultimate Lame Ride Name Award. "It's so clearly going to be Thunder Dolphin, I'm certainly not going to waste my time coming up with other candidates just so it can plow over them and get 99.5% of the vote," said webmaster Lance Hart.

With the imminent start of the NFL season looming this Thursday, Arlington, Virginia coaster enthusiast William Chipotle is in quite a pickle. According to Chipotle, now that he has drafted his fantasy football team, he has to fight the hot chicks off with a stick. "It's awful!" he told ARN&R. "What do I have to do to get rid of these young, nubile babes? I was already getting way too much sex with flawless, horny chicks every day when they found out about my computer programming skills, my awesome coaster patch-encrusted jacket I wear every day, my Lord of The Rings online gaming group, and my visiting the Torcon just to see Janis Ian using her honeymoon to see geeks in giant lobster costumes. But now that I've got my lineup set for opening week of our three-man keeper league, these starlets are just completely out of control. Curse my studliness and sex appeal!"

--JCK