Sunday, November 30, 2003

ACE Changes Focus, Website Offerings

Following approximately twenty-five years of coaster-lovin' fun, the American Coaster Enthusiasts are changing their focus. "We've been at this for a quarter-century," noted ACE President, Daimyo, and Auxiliary Clarinetist Carole Sanderson. "It's a mature organization that can grow and change with the times, and we are certainly a mature organization."

Continued Sanderson, "our focus has always been about riding roller coasters, preserving roller coasters, creating eye-searing layouts for magazines about roller coasters, and, of course, happily rutting and frolicking amongst piles of deep-fried suckling pigs, Crisco, and baked beans. But we have learned and adapted with the changing times, and from this day forth ACE will be an organization devoted entirely to health, well-being, and fitness."

Sanderson then unveiled the new and vastly-improved ACE website. Now billing itself as "America's Authority on Fitness," ACE will end its drooling obsession with roller coasters and gravy, and instead run programs like Operation FitKids. Instead of hopelessly outdated information about park discounts and events, the ACE website now features "Fit Facts," health articles, and an easily searchable database where visitors can locate area health clubs and ACE pros.

"Many ACE members have expressed surprise that their club, which they paid dues to, has switched its focus entirely," said Sanderson. "For instance, many of them find it somewhat ironic that a club based largely on non-exercising people getting together to ram entire sides of lard-and-walnut-dredged roast bison down their throats would suddenly be linking to articles called 'Outwitting Holiday Weight Woes' and 'Fighting Child Obesity,' but we really think a commitment to enriching the quality of life through safe and effective physical activity is considerably more useful than writing articles about Vekoma Boomerangs or publishing profiles of ACE members who list their favorite non-coaster activities as 'eating foods on sticks,' 'playing video games,' 'going to X-Files conventions,' and 'whacking off.'"

ACE Promotions Director Lee Colletti chimed in to note that the ACE Online Store would soon be offering exciting products like the Complete Personal Trainer Home Study Program and the Heartsaver First Aid with CPR and AED Training Course. "Unfortunately," said the PD, "to make room for these outstanding new products, we will need to phase out the vast majority of our current catalog, including those classy polyester ACE jackets, ACE Christmas ornaments, and Special Edition ACE-Endorsed Turkey and Gravy Flavored Soda Pop.

Colletti refused to confirm whether the ACE Online Store would continue to offer the ACE muumuu or not.

--JCK (with additional alert reporting by SJ and DEC)

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Six Flags Corporation Enters Deal with Homeland Security

In an unprecedented move, Six Flags Corporation has announced an exclusive contract with the United States government, specifically the Department of Homeland Security, to take charge of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. In recent months U.S. relations with the tiny communist country have been strained, and the military had been looking for another place to house the suspected terrorists.

Six Flags came to the rescue yesterday by announcing that it would house all of the nearly 600 detainees at Six Flags America in Largo, Maryland. "We figured with the government trying to privatize everything from transportation to education, the time was ripe for one of America's most prominent business to help in the war on terrorism," said the park's Operations Manager Jeremiah Charmichael. "We have the perfect setting right here for detaining people indefinitely."

More impressive is that the park will remain open to the public during the normal season. "This should be a great opportunity to increase Park throughput," Charmichael claimed. "We'll have the detainees caged on a platform near our popular Superman roller coaster. Our guests will be encouraged to show their true American colors by jeering at the helpless prisoners, hurling insults and spitting upon them." Charmichael smiled. "There's nothing more American than inflicting misery onto others. Six Flags prides itself in being a world leader in this area."

To insure that neighboring communities are safe from any security threat, Charmichael said that the corporation will need only a modest investment in razor wire to surround the park grounds. S&S Power, Inc., has been contracted to build four observation towers where specially trained Six Flags security officers will stand guard with high-powered rifles.

"We want to stress," continued Charmichael, "that guests will continue to experience the same quality and safe Six Flags experience that they've come to expect at our park."

After the park has closed to the public, government agents will arrive to resume interrogating the detainees. "Some of their methods have not been as effective as they would have liked," stated Charmichael, referring to the agents. "We here at Six Flags America are in a unique position to offer serious persuasion to the detainees."

Uncooperative detainees will be able to experience the park's Mind Eraser for twelve hours non-stop. Other persuasion devices at the park include the Rodeo, Riddle Me This and the Octopus. "The possibilities are endless!" said a beaming Charmichael.

"Can you imagine what progress we'd make on the war on terror if we placed a detainee on Two Face for hours on end sitting opposite two ACE members who just had an all-you-can-eat buffet? I'm no military expert, but I'd say we'd have this war on terror licked in no time!" Additionally, the detainees will not be allowed to purchase Fast Passes to board the rides.

"They'll have to wait in line like everyone else. The two-hour queues will give them time to think about their actions and repent the error of their ways."

For its contribution, Six Flags Corporation will be eligible to receive matching government funds to assist in its ride relocation programs.

"It's a win-win situation all around," Charmichael proclaimed. "The United States asserts its status as a world leader in the fight against terrorism, and Six Flags continues its proud tradition of providing unique guest experiences."

--JRD

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Special Holiday Rerun

There might be plenty of updates over the next two or three days here, but considering the strong possibility of certain ARN&R editors being in Mississippi and certain other ones spending most of the rest of the week either intoxicated or in the midst of a savage food coma, we figured we'd give you a special rerun just in case.

Enthusiast Has Wretched Holiday

According to self-described “coasterholic” Pete Brody, 28, his Thanksgiving holiday with his family was “a complete waste.” The jobless member of ACE, Coaster Zombies, and nearly a dozen online coaster clubs, failed “miserably” in his efforts to direct the Thanksgiving conversation to amusement parks and roller coasters.

“You’d think we might talk about something interesting when the whole fam gets together,” whined Brody. “I even did some things to stimulate conversation about my interests, like leaving the computer’s browser on Thrillnetwork, wearing my European Coaster Odyssey t-shirt to dinner, and leaving 20 or 30 onboard coaster photos lying around, but it didn’t work.”

Brody was most upset that his family seemed more interested in the “stupid crap” that his siblings had been involved in. His older brother Michael is an advertising executive who recently became engaged to an Olympic gymnast, his sister Cynthia placed second in the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, and his other sister Marcia just returned from a two-year Peace Corps mission helping to provide medical care for disease-ravaged Ugandans.

“I do important things, too,” declared Brody. “I mean, I rode my 242nd coaster on the Coaster Odyssey…a really good SLC. I make lots of important posts to ThemeParkCritic.com that everyone says are really good. I send off a job application a couple times a year, mostly to S&S and Intamin for design positions. And I came all the way here just to be with my family, so you’d think they could notice me,” the exasperated enthusiast stated, waving his hand toward the basement steps in his parents’ house, which he had successfully negotiated all the way from his well-worn mattress up to the first floor.

“Did anyone care what I think about CCI shutting down? Did anyone ask about my top ten suspended coasters? Did a single family member inquire whether I’d enjoy modeling my newly monogrammed ACE jacket for them? No, no, and no. We have to go on for hours about piano recitals and wedding arrangements. And especially Marcia’s dumb thing in Africa. There aren’t even any coasters in Africa! But Marcia’s always been their favorite, the little goody two shoes. It’s not fair.”

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Brody added in a hysterical wail.

--JCK

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Zeta-Jones Sues Over Link to Coaster Enthusiasts

Movie star and lawsuit enthusiast Catherine Zeta-Jones may sue various tabloid publications that imply she has used the Atkins diet, currently one of the most popular diets among coaster enthusiasts.

Zeta Jones, the star of the hit movie Chicago, vehemently denies using the low-carb diet in order to fit in the seats of Dueling Dragons after the birth of her second child. She also claims she has never taken dieting advice from a member of ACE or Coasterbuzz, let alone looked at or spoken to a coaster enthusiast. When questioned, her attorneys said they “intend to pursue claims on her behalf against each and every publication and/or coaster enthusiast organization responsible for the creation and initial growth of these false and damaging stories.”

When Ms. Zeta Jones was contacted for a comment on the coaster enthusiast community, she simply said, “ew.”

-MMS/CSB

[Editor's Note: For more of coverage of Catherine Zeta-Jones, please see article about her giving the bird to Montu cameras and search involving wrestling and sloppy porridge.]
Site O' the Weak

We got a little busy here at the AbsolutelyReliable Mansion, Country Club and Polo Grounds here lately, so we neglected to change our illustrious Site O' the Weak last week. Fortunately, the Scratch Park website, our previous pick, really is amazingly crappy. If anyone's going to be stuck there being mocked by ARN&R for two weeks straight, well, why not that site?

But we digress. With the exception of the designed-by-slow-children S&S site, we've kind of been picking on bad sites by enthusiasts for most of the run of the Site O' the Weak, but this time we showcase a professioanlly-designed corporate website so cretinously, vomitously awful that we can't believe we've failed to honor it yet: SixFlags.com.

Six Flags is obviously nervous about anyone actually getting to any pages within the site that could actually provide information, as their crack team of experts has created the most slow-loading, overblown, unwieldy front page ever. All those splashy colors, flashing ads, and zooming text sure make things easy to navigate!

Those trying to locate something useful, like, oh, say, when a park is open, are forced to experience page after page of Flash interfaces, confusing directions, and the impossiblity of skipping most of these stupid steps, all before reaching actual park pages, where one can...oh, be assaulted by more splashy colors, more confusing directions, more flashing ads, and more zooming text, plus exciting rollover park hour graphics that can only be cycled through one month at a time, in order, which might make it slightly irritating to plan a trip in October if you came across the Six Flags site in March. And we would spend some time discussing all the factual errors and poor editing at Sixflags.com, but our computer has unfortunately just threatened to ritually disembowel us with a wooden spoon if we don't immediately close down the window where we currently have their site running. Another time, perhaps.

Congratulations Six Flags! You may be a corporate monstrosity with massive debt and no concern for customer service, but at least you're the ARN&R Site O' the Weak!

--JCK

Monday, November 24, 2003

You Got to our Website HOW????!?!?!?!?!?

As our loyal reader knows by now, we have a great time checking our stat logs to see how people blundered into actually viewing ARN&R (generally it's because they were searching for something to whack off to, be it naked starlets or Top Thrill Dragster photographs). Amongst the rather standard fare, we found two examples today that were particularly stunning:

-One person located us yesterday by asking Jeeves about "Jessica Alba dissociative disorder," whatever the heck that is. Is this some bizarre new psychological condition? Is it catching? Most importantly, does it involve Jessica Alba parading around in our apartment naked?

-As you may be aware, we're quite popular with people searching for "Paris Hilton crotch" on the internet, but who would have thought we'd manage to get hits from people who want to see Paris Hilton's crotch, but can't even spell her name right. Well, we don't judge people here. All of you people with questionable taste, and even you people with questionable taste who can't spell "Hilton" correctly are welcome here at ARN&R!

--JCK

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Michael Jackson Adds Large New Package

As detailed in this month's Amusement Business, Michael Jackson has just announced the purchase of an exciting new package of rides for his Neverland amusement park. Neverland is Michael's own personal amusement venue, which he "shares with the young tail that comes to visit his ranch," according to Jackson spokesman Carl Johnson. Johnson went on to state that "Michael has been having trouble the past few days getting these sweet children to come visit him so they can ride his Zipper up and down and over and over, like he enjoys so much. So he's decided to increase the visits from eager and flexible youngsters by adding a thrilling set of new attractions."

The additions are the largest such package ever purchased by Jackson for his amusement park, an investment greater than any single expenditure by Jackson, save for paying off people who accuse him of molesting their children and creating ever more frightening noses. Reportedly, the additions to Neverland include all the following flat rides:

-Kiddie Whip
-Shot 'N Drop
-Ring of Fire
-Power Surge
-Bulgy the Whale
-Super Shot

"The sweetness and charming innocence of these new rides will certainly fill children with wonder," said spokesman Johnson. "And then Michael can fill their pants with his hands. Everyone wins."

--JCK
A Little Hiatus, Maybe

A couple of us are heading off to the nether regions (read: Mississippi and the like), so we may be updating a bit less often. We are certain this will cause much gnashing of teeth, but we assure you: you will get through it.

But hopefully, some IAAPA updates will be coming soon, if our exclusive IAAPA correspondent manages to awaken from the drunken revelry we presume is occurring.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Michael Jackson Spotted at California Amusement Park

Sources exclusive to ARN&R have confirmed a Michael Jackson sighting Wednesday at Pixieland Amusement Park in Concord, CA. According to eyewitnesses, Jackson looked disoriented as he wandered around the Frog Hopper, asking various guests if they knew where he could find someone named Randy.

Park security was notified of Jackson’s presence and stepped in immediately to get the King of Pop away from any small boys. Jackson created a distraction by pulling off his nose, and then escaped.

Our sources think that Jackson confused the Pixieland theme park, a wonderful place for children of all ages, with Pixyland, a website operated by Randy Constan, an adult male who enjoys dressing as Peter Pan.

The California Sheriff’s Office has been notified and the ‘man’ hunt still continues as of press time.

--MMS
ARN&R Editor Incredibly Lame

ARN&R's Editor in Chief and Supreme Naval Commander recently recognized the truth: he's incredibly lame.

The insight came on a business trip to Cincinnati. While paging through the hotel's tourist guide, he came across a sidebar advertising Paramount's Kings Island. Rather than continuing to page through the glossy magazine, perhaps finding a gallery to visit or an historic house to explore, he spent a full minute in alternating shock and amusement in response to the use of a photograph of the suspended coaster Top Gun to advertise the park.

"Ha!" he exclaimed, incredibly lamely. "Those fools! How can they expect to get people to come to the park using a photograph of an Arrow suspended coaster!" Adding to his utter lameness, he continued: "Even Son of Beast would be a better draw -- and Face Off and Racer each have much better visuals for an advertisement!"

He then shook his head with a slight and lame giggle. He did, however, somehow manage to resist making an incredibly lame joke about the photograph to his colleagues in meetings the next day.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Hersheypark to Promote New, Healthy Image for 2004

The Hershey Entertainment Group announced at a press conference yesterday afternoon that 2004 will not only be a big season for new attractions, but will be the first year for an entirely new image for Hersheypark.

Citing concerns about the quality of Americans' health, especially those in Central Pennsylvania, a committee of fully trained and highly experienced consultants hired by Hersheypark encouraged park and corporate management to make some drastic changes to the park's environment and image for next season.

"We don't want to be responsible for any bad habits that park guests pick up," said consultant Bob Slidel at the press conference. "Obesity in America is a chronic disease and we want to do our part to prevent it. That is why we are suggesting some big and spectacular changes to management to, hopefully, encourage park guests to slim down and keep healthy habits such as a good diet, hand washing, exercise, and regular bathing." Slidel's final statement resulted in low-level violence by ACErs in attendance, who were easily restrained by security guards.

Some of the changes that Mr. Slidel outlined at the press conference include:

* The name of the park will be changed from HersheyPark to HealthyPark to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

* No chocolate will be sold in the park to anyone over 250 pounds. Weight must be verified at the park entrance and printed on a wrist band that must be worn at all times.

* The Kissing Tower will be renamed the Protected Intercourse tower to promote safe sex and hopefully discourage the nasty, disgusting act known as kissing.

* The Hershey Chocolate World attraction outside the park will be rethemed and reopen as Healthypark Soy World promoting the countless and limitless use of soy and soy byproducts in everyday life. There will also be isoflavones.

* All park guests will be required to wash their hands before, after, and while using the restoom. Armed guards will be posted at each and every restroom exit.

* Gravy will no longer be served in the park except for during coaster enthusiast events. Only guests with valid ACE membership cards will be allowed to purchase gravy during these times.

We here at ARN&R applaud the changes at Hersheypark and we wish them the best of luck in changing the world.

--WCT

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

ACErs Warned to be on Best Behavior at IAAPA by Club Officials

IAAPA is almost here again, and, unfortunately, random coaster enthusiasts are certain to show up. Wacky hijinks are sure to ensue as the ordinary rabble clashed with Executive Committee members at the ACE booth on the showroom floor! Thank goodness someone is out there to start a rec.roller-coaster thread reminding ACE members to show up wearing something other than a Beast thong, flip-flops, and a coaster shirt with yellow armpit stains. Check out the hot enthusiast bickering action here!

If your sanity can survive a few pages of this stuff, then you too can also learn that Jesus was perfect!

--CSB/JCK/and Introducing Very Special Guest Star MMS as "MMS"
Alton Towers to Debut "Bathtime With Attitude"

In a creative move to remain on the cutting edge of theme park thrills, Alton Towers this week announced the 2004 debut of Bathtime With Attitude, a "new and energetic ride concept thrill excitement attraction thing," according to a park rep who insisted he would urinate upon us if we divulged his actual name.

According to the rep, "the park plans to do a major rehab and retheming of the flume ride, in order to give it that extra something special. It will be more thrilling, and yet will also be more appealing for families. It's a perfect addition, and the theming will be highly immersive."

ARN&R has seen plans for the ride, and can confirm that the theming will indeed be extensive. Aside from the flume vehicles themselves being converted to look like large bathtubs, each will be, in the words of the AT rep, "populated by a surly, obnoxious young child who is being forced to take a bath against his wishes."

"The child will throw an incredible tantrum the instant the bathtubs leave the station," says the rep. "He will angrily splash water on occupants of the vehicle, scream incessantly, and throw his rubber ducky and bars of soap at passengers. No rider will be able to console the grubby urchin as he yells obscenities, kicks and screams while being toweled off, and, from time to time, defecates in the water just to be a filthy brat."

The Alton Towers representative added that most of the candidates to serve as rotten little bathtub brats would be home-schooled, in order to maximize their potential irritating, anti-social behavior.

--JCK

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Exclusive IAAPA Coverage Coming Soon

As ARN&R has done for over three centuries, we've got a phalanx of reporters on the ground in Orlando, combing the grounds for exclusive ARN&R breaking news.

We'll keep you updated, of course, but for now, just this one nugget of fun: Sources indicate that there may be a new food product on a stick announced at this year's show.
Hersheypark Steals Idea From ARN&R

AbsolutelyReliable Conglomerate MegaCorp Dynamo Inc. is pondering a multi-trillion dollar lawsuit against Hersheypark for stealing an idea from its website, say sources. While most members of the unsuspecting, and, frankly, stupid public believed that they had a major hand in choosing the name and theme for Hersheypark's new Storm Runner coaster, the reality may be that HP blatantly swiped the concept from the pages of the influential and totally factual Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors.

"Way back in August, we had an article at ARN&R that claimed Hersheypark's new coaster would be called Misty of Chincoteague: The Xtreme Armageddon," said the Editor-in-Chief. "We postulated that the 'I Survived My Still-Beating Heart Being Torn From My Chest by Misty of Chincoteague and Devoured by Her as I Watched' T-shirt would be a big seller and that Satan himself might be riding astride the cruel beast Misty. Most importantly, we said that the 'logo will feature a menacing demon horse charging toward the viewer, with foam and blood spewing left and right from a terrifying maw laden with razor-sharp fangs.'"

The E-in-C then directed reporters to view Screamscape, where the logo of the actual new Storm Rider bore a more-than-striking resemblance to the described Misty of Chicoteague: The Xtreme Armageddon logo from the earlier ARN&R feature.

"It really makes us more sad than angry here at ARN&R," added the E-in-C. I mean, what is the world coming to when amusement parks are desperate enough to take our suggestions and actually use them for real? First that stupid Garfield thing gets the green light, and now this. The horror, the horror."

--JCK

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Dean Receives Non-Endorsement From ACE

According to an official statement from the American Coaster Enthusiasts Saturday, the organization will not be endorsing Democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean. The group stopped short of naming the candidate it would actually support in the upcoming election, meaning that the others who are running for office will be aggressively courting ACE and its tremendous and powerful voting block.

"Howard Dean posits himself as a major player in the race for president," said ACE spokesperson Max Liswell. "Unfortunately for Dr. Dean, he has been governor of a state that does not possess, nor ever possessed, any roller coasters of any sort. This sort of neglect of what we as a group find most important is mind-bogglingly stupid. We hereby denounce the campaign of Dr. Dean. Let him scurry back to his maple-encrusted, amusement-parkless state without our vote of confidence."

"Well, what can I say?" said a clearly upset Dean. "This sucks. This sucks donkeys. But we'll continue to carry on our fight, even without these extremely important 8,000 voters, at least a hundred of whom might vote so long as Election Day doesn't coincide with some special down at Old Country Buffet, and their monster influence behind us. We'll just make up for this crushing defeat by reaching out to rednecks who drive pickups smeared with confederate flags. Both groups have lots of pasty white people with mullets who can't read, so it's a pretty similar voting block."

Early reports that ACE plans to offer its endorsement of failed California governor candidate Gary Coleman could not be confirmed.

--JCK

Friday, November 14, 2003

Explicit Video of Twisted Twins Discovered

The coaster community was rocked with the revelation that an explicit videotape of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom's racing coaster "Twisted Twins" had been uploaded to the Internet and had been downloaded thousands of times.

The tape, made when the coaster was younger and known as "Twisted Sisters," reportedly features extremely raw footage of both Lola and Stella (the names given to the ride's respective tracks) in various shocking positions with both Thunder Run and Chang. At one point, Thunder Run is heard exclaiming, "Once you've had two tracks, you'll never go back!" The video comes on the heels of a widely-distributed photograph of Lola exiting a stretch pickup truck limo in rural Kentucky; in that photo, her lack of underwear is clearly visible.

Six Flags Inc. had no official comment on either the video or the photograph. Reliable sources in the park chain's Oklahoma headquarters said that executives "weren't mad, just disappointed," and that the emotions at the headquarters had not been so intense since the time Six Flags Over Texas's Mr. Freeze was found in a humiliating position with Batman: The Ride. The legal proceedings from that discovery were ended with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision earlier this year striking down the Texas prohibition on sodomy.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Sellner Introduces Traffic Jam

Spurred on by the excitement that its newly redesigned Tilt-a-Whirl cars have created, veteran ride manufacturer Sellner has taken the concept one step further.

"Many people have been giving us positive feedback," said a Sellner spokesperson, "commenting on how our new cab designs look like bumper cars. That gave us our new idea."

The prototype ride will be called Traffic Jam. It features the new Tilt-a-Whirl cars -- but three times as many compared with a typical ride. The cars are welded onto the ride platform, which itself is welded to the loading ramps. No rotation or motion of any sort is allowed by the design.

"The great thing about this ride is that maintenance issues are completely eliminated. We've taken the bold step of creating an exciting ride that doesn't move at all, just like a real traffic jam! People will be able to relive the thrill of getting to and from the park!"

The excitement will be enhanced by an elaborate sound system underneath the ride platform that will blast automotive noises at up to 150 decibels. "With all the vibrations," the spokesperson said, "people will feel like they're moving!" Completing the experience will be a set of small diesel engines belching fumes around the riders.

"We're using something all park patrons are familiar with and taking it to the next level. This is the next generation of thrills."

Six Flags corporation has already placed orders for 17 of the rides.

--JRD

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Breaking News: Paris Hilton Crotch Search Results Update

We are pleased to report that we have now broken the 500 mark in the count of people who have visited the site searching for "Paris Hilton crotch" or some variant.

Thanks, those with exceedingly questionable taste! If only we had advertising, we'd be thrilled to be having the visits!
ACE Nominates Chief Diversity Officer

In an effort to increase minority memberships, the ACE Executive Committee elected Sally Johnson to the position of Chief Diversity Officer. Sally, a coaster enthusiast and active ACE member, is well known for her popularity in the black community. “This is an important day for ACE,” said Carole Sanderson, CEO and High Priestess of the organization. “With Sally’s help, we hope to more accurately reflect the population of our country’s great theme parks.”

Sally came to ACE from Coasterbuzz, where she increased the African American population of members by 200%. “By getting two of my friends to create ID’s at Coasterbuzz.com, I really made a difference in their community,” said Sally in an exclusive interview with ARN&R. “It’s high time that African American coaster enthusiasts stand up and be counted, and I’m here to make sure that they are welcomed by ACE."

Johnson continued: "We are already getting noticed by setting up ACE recruitment booths at what enthusiasts and ACE members refer to as 'urban parks,' like Six Flags Great Adventure or Six Flags America. It is also important that we get actual African-Americans in the club, not white people who like to 'act black' like at Kennywood.”

--MMS

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

A Man, A Dream, An Itch

For today’s Site O' The Weak, ARN&R salutes Marc Richardson. Marc, a proud ACE member, is raging against the machine by planning Scratch Park, a ‘park built for the people who come to it.’ And Marc's looking for your advice!

All are welcome to send Marc their ideas, even though they will not be paid in any way for their contributions. While these ideas are not -- yet -- posted to the site, ARN&R has obtained some of the insightful suggestions sent in to Marc’s site by his fellow enthusiasts:

• Wider paths, wider seats, wider toilets
• Complimentary Pepsi, sunscreen, and ranch dressing by the gallon (with straws)
• Ride Operator/Cast Members uniforms: Hot Pants and Pasties

Of course, Marc doesn’t have to be alone. Already the Coaster Preservation Organization (“formly Group”) has reached out to him to combine efforts to rescue standing but not operating or otherwise abused coasters and bring them to Scratch Park to live in a free range environment. Representatives of Doug Henning’s estate have donated the land originally slated for Veda Land, on the condition that there be pamphlets on transcendental meditation available in all of the wider bathroom stalls. And finally, the Communist Party has agreed to provide labor to make the park a true “worker’s paradise.”

ARN&R wishes Marc the best of luck in planning the People’s Park!

--MMS

Monday, November 10, 2003

Letter-Writing Campaign Ends in Confused Failure

When the news was released that Dorney Park would be removing its Hercules coaster at the end of this past season, the outcry was tremendous. A massive letter-writing campaign was begun to save Hercules, and Dorney Park management was forced to wade through a daily onslaught of pleas to save it.

Unfortunately, the pleas fell on unsympathetic ears, for those in charge of the campaign were obviously misinformed as to what Hercules they were trying to save.

"Just look at this nonsense," said Dorney rep Charles Abrahams. "We might be concerned if we had gotten wrong our impression that every person who ever set foot on Hercules thought it was a pile of crap. If we'd gotten thousands of begging, fawning letters discussing how people will miss its smooth ride, exciting course, and awesome airtime, maybe we'd feel bad for tearing the thing down. But all these letters are, if I can deduce the actual English beneath the grammatical mistakes, berating us for denying people access to that hunky, oily Kevin Sorbo."

Abrahams added, "how stupid are these people? Do they really not know that our Hercules was a really crummy coaster, and we have nothing to do with mind-numbing trash from New Zealand? And we're more than a bit shocked that anyone would be even concerned about a stupid show like that, no matter how many cheesy sword fights and guest appearances by Bruce Campbell it featured. People, Hercules was cancelled years ago. And so was Xena Warrior Princess. Get a frickin' grip and leave us alone so we can send a wrecking ball through this thing."

--JCK

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Reminder of ARN&R Exclusive on Kennywood Attraction

Now that Kennywood has announced the name of its 2004 attraction, we'd just like to remind you that we've had the details for months. Look here.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Welcome!

To those of you -- 117 so far and counting -- who came upon us by searching for "Paris Hilton crotch," we extend our traditional greeting: Welcome! We write satire about roller coaster enthusiasts and the amusement park industry! We are certain this is precisely what you are looking for!
Tacky Wild West Theming Turns Suave Black Man Into Inbred Redneck

A formerly suave and sophisticated African-American man became a drooling hillbilly within seconds of exposure to tacky theming at Six Flags Great America late this season, say numerous experts.

According to friends and family, coaster enthusiast Darren Carrson was, for much of his 42 years, the very picture of elegance and refinement. Aside from his career as a face model and spokesman for champagne and caviar companies, Carrson was a Rhodes scholar and made three separate "Best-Dressed" lists in regional magazines. More importantly, his noted wit and looks had, in the estimation of his best friends, gotten him "more ass than the Flyers at Phoenix Phall Phunfest." But that all changed in one horrible afternoon.

The incident occurred when Carrson and his "platonic coaster toolmate," Kirk James, 31, made the error of walking into the Wild West area of Six Flags Great America. According to James, the "combination of that Deliverance banjo tune and the stupid door sign were too much for poor Darren this time. Within minutes, he was whistlin' at chicks, spittin' chaw on people's feet, and asking whether the gift shop had any Superman overalls or Batman fishin' poles. It was horrifying."

Experts say that Carrson’s behavior in the days since he was exposed to the lame, stupid theming can only confirm the danger he is in. Apparently, the debonair ladies’ man has been dividing his time between monster truck rallies, bumper rodeo contests, cow tipping, professional wrestling, and growing out his luxuriant mullet. When approached by ARN&R for comment, Carrson refused all comment, save for demanding that we "squeal like a pig, boy."


Early stages of redneckosity manifest themselves beside the offending themed door

"Look at this picture," said noted psychotherapist Dr. Dikembe Billy-Bob Rittenhouse Arjumand Ktulu-Lieberman Svenson III. "The symptoms are as clear as day. Note how the subject's mouth is distended and the eyes have this crazed look to them...he's already substantially on his way to being a completely inbred goat raper, and it may only be a matter of mere hours before he appears on the Jerry Springer show bragging about marrying his twelve-year-old niece or something."

"We can't waste any more time," added Dr. Rittenhouse Arjumand Ktulu-Lieberman Svenson III. "This poor gentleman will be a permanent resident of Downtown Chicken F*ck if we don't intervene right now. The only way to save Mr. Carrson from permanently becoming a hillbilly is to strap him down and force him to go cold turkey. No NASCAR, no country line dancing, no gazing longingly at sheep, no outhouse in the front yard, no El Camino up on blocks, and definitely no Confederate flag bandanas on his head. His suffering will be acute, but by the end of two months of this harsh therapy, I believe he will not only survive, but also thrive. And, barring that, at least his neighbors won't have to listen to him blasting that Garth Brooks s*it for a while."

Six Flags Great America released a statement denying that the park is part of a nationwide conspiracy dedicated to converting suave black males into crazed hillbillies.

--JCK
Disneyland, Seeking Hipster Audience, Announces New Wammo Coaster

In a move designed to attract the long-ignored slacker amusement park audience, Disneyland today announced a surprise new attraction for the 2004 season. The ride will be a low-speed non-inverting roller coaster called "The Wammo Coaster: Faster Than the Speed of Suck," and will be themed after the life and loves of Austin, Texas-based performance artist, singer, and poet Wammo.

"We've never really made an effort to go after the crowd of pot-smoking long-hairs who are really into poetry slams and acoustic blues-jazz with occasional country-hip-hop blends thrown in, and now's the time to get them," said Disney spokesman Brian Murdy. "And there's nobody better than Wammo to draw in those crowds!"

Wammo, known both for his solo work (including the album Faster Than the Speed of Suck from which the ride's name was borrowed) and for playing with the Asylum Street Spankers, was said to be pleased with the arrangement.

"I understand they'll be playing Antifreeze in line at some of the kids' rides, and we're talking about setting up a whole themed area at Disney's California Adventure all about my song Beer," said the singer in an exclusive ARN&R interview.

The actual coaster will be built by Vekoma and will feature a new interactive component: Riders will wear specially-designed "beer goggles" designed to make the ride much more attractive and every other person on the ride seem far more attractive.

The singer's smash hit single "Hick Hop" will be played by very small musicians in each coaster train, reflecting the singer's strong preference to avoid what he calls "the demon electricity" in the amplification or creation of music.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Amusement Today Special IAAPA Issue Features Special Groundbreakingly Fawning Coverage, Even More Grammatical and Spelling Errors

Every year, Amusement Today comes out with a very special issue to accompany the yearly convention of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions ("IAAPA"), and every year AT goes all out to make it a truly special bonus edition.

ARN&R is pleased to report that this year is no exception, with groundbreakingly fawning coverage, even more grammatical and spelling errors than usual (at no extra charge!), and an amazing innovation in journalism -- allowing a company to write a purportedly objective article about itself.

From an editorial that could have been an IAAPA press release ("Everyone in one place, all after the same goals: How to safely grow their business and revenues next year.") to our very favorite pet peeve, the misuse of "its" in that very same editorial ("No matter if its [sic] in a seminar...") and special surprise spelling errors wittily hidden throughout the issue, the issue is a great example of how AT can really make the bonus issue a true bonus.

"We're really very pleased with the issue," said AT's spokesman Geoff Ceibert.

"My personal favorite part is the 'article' written by 'H Design Group' on ideas for designing amusement park websites," he continued. "It's great how we published something purporting to be an actual article when in fact the whole thing is obviously an advertisement for H Design Group -- which coincidentally designs amusement park websites! How much better can you get? It's got it all -- no work for us and an advertisement for them! We're expecting the New York Times to start using the same approach, perhaps having Halliburton write about how the no-bid contracts it received in Iraq were actually totally fair."

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Enthusiast Unanimously Mocked by Candidates

Last night's "America Rocks the Vote" Democratic presidential candidate debate provided voters with some key information, as the candidates discussed issues ranging from racism to foreign policy, along with some lighter questions about their personal lives. But one question -- asked by an interloper who grabbed a microphone -- confused every candidate.

"Tell us once and for all," gasped Tod Gormskeninski, long-time ACE member well beyond the debate's 18-to-30-year-old target audience, "The question is key to thousands of coaster enthusiasts across the country, and it's a critical topic in next year's election: Is Superman: the Escape a roller coaster or not?"

While Gormskeninski was carried away by guards, the candidates looked at each other, every one with a confused look. "What the hell was that about?" asked former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who had answered questions about his computer preference and marijuana use with a straight face. "Was he seriously asking about a roller coaster? Loser."

"Sure is," said Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, previously asked about what he would have done had he been the manager of the Boston Red Sox. "I can't imagine spending one second, much less any serious energy, arguing about whether a particular ride is a roller coaster or not. Who the hell cares? What an idiot."

At that point, all nine candidates joined a chant of "LOSER! LOSER!" while pointing at Gormskeninski, who was vigorously resisting being removed from the hall.

Libertarian candidate and ex-convict Lyndon Larouche issued a statement after the debate stating that Superman: The Escape was indeed a coaster, and that the jackbooted thugs from the IRS who tried to say otherwise should be shot.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Cultural Compentency Test Added To ACE Membership Application

Frustrated by the lack of social mores again demonstrated by ACE members in the last year, club officials have announced the addition of a new "Cultural Competency" test as part of its membership requirement. The test is being formulated now and is expected to go into effect as of January 1, 2004.

New members will be required to take the test prior to their membership being approved, and existing members have one calendar year to attend a testing center and pass the test. ACE Executive Committee members have engineered in a "Grandfather clause" for all current and prior Executive Committee personnel that exempts them from the exam, but all other ACErs must take the test.

In its current form, the test is divided into three parts:

Part One is an extensive questionnaire delving into areas of the prospective member's personal life. Still under review, this section is expected to include a cultural literacy segment, with such questions as "Name an Oscar winning film that did not star Russell Crowe or Leonardo Dicaprio" and "Describe a vacation you took that did not involve coasters." The most challenging aspect of the test is expected to be the "hobby" section, where applicants must demonstrate they have at least one other interest besides coasters. ACE officials warn that there are many "trick" answers that will get you immediately disqualified; woe to the uninformed ACEr who lists "masturbation," "gravy," or "steam trains" as their other hobby.

Part Two is a clothing and grooming quiz. Applicants are requested to bring three items of non-coaster related apparel to the testing location. The items must fit and they must be clean; armpit stains will not be permitted. Testees must also meet minimum standards of personal hygiene.

The third and last segment is expected to be the most difficult; an actual social situation. Those who have made it this far in the testing process enter the social interaction simulator, which is designed to resemble a coaster loading platform. The simulator presents the simple challenge of waiting in line correctly, boarding the coaster without whining about anything or volunteering obscure information such as who tracked the coaster to uninterested tourists, and then exiting without any high-fives, complaints about braking, or the like.

Mobile Testing locations are expected to be set up at many coaster events next year, assuming there are any events next year. Operation Nerd Purge is being financied via private donations from the major theme park chains.

--MBM

Monday, November 03, 2003

Oh, That's Cute, It's a Site All About Coaster Enthusiasts Who Are Also Into Teddy Bears...Oh, Wait.

A word of warning: Before visiting this week's Site O' the Weak, we implore you: mute your computer's speakers. Or you will be subjected to the most annoying MIDI in history, "Baroque Hoedown." You may have already figured out that we have a professional musician among our ranks at AbsolutelyReliableTowers, and he's presently cowering in the corner, ears bleeding, for failing to heed our warning.

Of course, that's not all that awaits you. This is not a site about teddy bear enthusiasts, it's about roller coaster enthusiasts who identify as bears -- that is, "they often have facial or body hair, are friendly and cuddly, and may have (as they say on the ride warning signs) 'large physical proportions.'" (No, this is not just a link to ACE's site. They're not cuddly.) Still confused? Take a look here -- you'll get an idea of what that means. And members get real purty membership cards!

This is actually a pretty well-done site, all in all -- certainly better-designed than a lot of what passes as major coaster sites. We're mostly just pleased to find a site that has a target audience possibly even smaller than ours. So, congratulations, CoasterBears: You're our Site O' the Weak!

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Oh, Good God

Celebrate your Halloween hangover in particularly horrifying fashion with this terror-filled discussion at SixFlagsNews.com. We were going to buckle down and write up a nasty story about this stupid thing, but the very sight of it makes us violently, physically ill. Rather than bow before the porcelain god and yawn in technicolor over and over, we're just going to direct you to it so you can deal with it. Go. Taste and enjoy. Now we're going to lie down; just thinking about this forum topic has made our stomachs lurch unappealingly again.

--JCK