Tuesday, November 30, 2004

General Grievous Casting Announced

In news that has been eagerly awaited by salivating Star Wars enthusiasts, the casting of a voice actor to portray General Grievous, a menacing new computer-generated villain appearing in next May's Revenge of the Sith, was announced today. Although many insiders had speculated that John Rhys-Davies, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, or even Carrot Top might score the plum voice role, Lucasfilm made a bold and surprising move: handling the voice of the evil General will be none other than the Voice of Kennywood.

"It's a proud day for me," said the elated Voice of Kennywood. "I know I've achieved recognition over the years for my announcements at Kennywood, especially when I alert the crowds as to when the park will be closing, since it always varies based on weather and how many people visit the park. But this is a whole new step, and one that I feel will open an entire new horizon of voiceover opportunities for me."

"F*ck this Garfield shit," the Voice added. "I'm moving up in the world, baby."

In related news, ARN&R has learned a very interesting spoiler dealing with the highly-anticipated final Star Wars chapter: our source tells us that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker end up in their massive duel to the death due to an argument over whether Tsunami is exciting or just rough as hell. As always, we will keep you posted as we hear further exciting news and rumors about Revenge of the Sith.

--JCK

Monday, November 29, 2004

ARN&R Writer Felled by Thanksgiving

According to sources, an ARN&R writer was utterly conquered by Thanksgiving dinner this year. Although many were led to believe his membership in the American Coaster Enthusiasts would enable him to survive metric assloads of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey, the writer proved to me a mere mortal, managing to cram only one substantial plate of food down his gullet, and suffering greatly as a result.

"He just lay on the couch moaning and massaging his stomach for the rest of the night," said the writer's girlfriend. "I thought these enthusiast people were supposed to be able to pack down three or four tons of slop at one sitting. What a loser. Maybe I'll go find myself a real enthusiast who actually likes going backwards on rides and can help himself to a fifth plate of collard greens without having to loosen his belt and whine about how his tummy hurt."

According to one friend of the writer, his busy work schedule and lack of money led to the Thanksgiving incident. "Normally, he makes it to at least a couple enthusiast events," said a guest at the dinner. "Being amongst other enthusiasts for even just two or three buffets really keeps him in shape for pitching trowels of meat carcasses and bread into his esophagus. But this year, he wasn't able to get to a single event. If you don't practice ramming jugs of gravy and entire hams into your maw, you get out of shape at doing it."

When asked for comment, the writer allegedly grasped at his stomach, made a pained expression, and said "Uuuunnnnngggghhhhhhhhhh."

--JCK

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Trip to New Zealand Turned Down

According to reports, a man named Luke Denning has recently declined to join his family on a vacation to New Zealand, despite the fact that most of the cost would be covered by his relatives. So why would someone turn down a chance to see his closest relatives and deny himself a once in a lifetime experience in a majestic, relatively unspoiled foreign country?

New Zealand has no roller coasters.

"Luke kept waffling about going to New Zealand," said co-worker Jenny Colson. "But he's one of those, I don't know what you call them officially, dork people who never has a girlfriend because he drools a lot and only talks about 'laterals' and how he 'likes a good hard ride on some wood.' But eventually he decided not to take the trip. He came in to work and yelled to us, not that we cared, that he "would visit New Zealand when they build a f*cking coaster!'"

"It kind of sucks for us," Colson added. "We thought he'd be out of the office for two weeks, and we wouldn't be forced to listen to all those grunting, slapping, and plopping noises that always seem to be going on in his cubicle whenever his coaster screen saver comes on. Oh well."

The tourism board of New Zealand is taking this matter very seriously. When asked for comment, a spokesman told ARN&R that New Zealand desperately wants Denning to spend time in that country, and will do anything he asks in order to make it happen, including building a massive world-record-setting launched coaster or adding gravy troughs throughout the country.

--JCK

Sunday, November 21, 2004

New Policy at Cedar Point

Based on complaints from frequent important guests, Cedar Point will be enforcing a new policy of brake lights to be attached to all guests of the park. Each guest will be given a set of lights to hang on their rear as they enter the park and will be required to wear them at all times.

Cedar Point officials hope that this new policy will cut down on the excessive number of people stopping suddenly in the middle of the midway for no reason, causing untold frustration to those guests who are still able to think properly and make decisions once inside the park gates. The lights will come in various sizes to accommodate all guests, ranging from youth sizes through Too-Fat-for-Millennium-Force and Coaster-Enthusiast.

The lights are based on a new technology being developed in secret labs in the Disaster Transport building, finally giving light to the reason that Cedar Point still retains the ride. The lights respond to the stupidity level of guests and the size of the guests’ group and adjust their sensitivity to slowing of speeds. Guests in groups of six or more, and those from red states will have the highest setting.

Research has shown that in 56% of stoppages, the guests’ brain waves simply shut down for a time, and not knowing what to do next, the entire body will just stop. Guests with strollers are 71% more likely to fall within this category, while many fall into the 32% of stoppages due to unruly children. 11% are due to large groups not being able to make up their minds, while the remaining 1% is due to coaster enthusiasts stopping to take pictures or scratch themselves while faintly moaning.

In an interview with Cedar Point PR officials, it was noted that the complaints of a particularly annoyed ARN&R Field Reporter and girlfriend were a major contributing factor to the decision to implement the lights. "According to their reports, no less than 854 people stopped for no reason right in front of the hapless couple who were just trying to enjoy their day at the park," stated the official. "While past attempts to encourage people to think, or at least move to the side, before stopping have been unsuccessful, we are optimistic about the possibilities of this year’s plan."

There were unconfirmed rumors that the park would also be allowing guests who are run into by strollers to return the favor with greater force, but this could not be confirmed.

--BS

Friday, November 19, 2004

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom to Offer Free Goats

In what amusement industry insiders say is an attempt to compete against rival park Holiday World, Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom announced today that it would be offering free goats to any of its paying customers. This is believed to be a first for an American amusement park.

"Everone likes to get something for free, especially if they're accustomed to paying for it when they should not have to," said a SFKK spokesman. "We always like to look out for what's best for our customers. At any other amusement park, if a patron forgot their goat, they would be stuck. But here we will provide the free goats."

The spokesman noted that customers could actually get unlimited goats, but only the small ones. The full size and special souvenir goats would still be the usual price.

Holiday World, which offers free drinks, parking, and suntan lotion, but not free goats, refused to comment to ARN&R on the matter.

--JCK

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Be Politically Active



You might not quite be able to read that, but it says "Don't blame me, I voted for Raven."

You can get the fancy organic two-sided one here (the back says "Vote Raven/Legend in 2008") or the cheapo one-sided one here ($9.99 -- hey, that's less than $10, so long as you ignore shipping!).

These shirts will be the must-have items next year. Heck, we've already gotten orders from America's Next Top Model.

Though we think they might have bought them to use to tie off before shooting up.
Absolutely Reliable Expands Business Empire

At a press conference today, executives from Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors, the world's premiere source of completely factual amusement industry information, announced an exciting business venture designed to expand the influence of the company across the world.

First it was an actual contact email, then the immensely successful Online Shoppe. Following that came the Site O' the Weak, the Atom Feed, and information on how to boycott ARN&R. Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors has always pushed the envelope and added new sections to its flagship website. Yet it has never branched out into any other business ventures, ones that would use the well-respected ARN&R name but have nothing to do with amusement park news. That time has finally come.

"Pet sitting," said ARN&R's Editor in Chief, Grand Poobah, and Hillary Duff Fan Club Secretary. When reporters stared blankly at him, and one allowed a trickle of drool to dribble from the corner of his mouth onto his shirt, the Editor in Chief repeated himself:

"Pet sitting. It's a major emerging global market. For an hourly fee, our editors, writers, and possibly Jessica Alba will drive to people's houses, where they will feed, water, play with, and walk cats and dogs. And since the domain of absolutelyreliable.net was still available, it made it exceptionally easy to reach a large number of people who might need this service, all the while keeping that ever-important ARN&R branding in the forefront of their minds. Naturally, we want to keep people happy by keeping their pets happy, but we surely wouldn't mind if they 'accidentally' browsed over to the original ARN&R amusement industry news blog and purchased a Beast thong or a shirt informing other enthusiasts that their favorite coaster sucks."

The Editor in Chief did note that handing over the design of the site to a group of actual dogs had not produced an award-winning site, what with front page links going to pages that say things such as:

Enter text here about yourself, your company, club or organization. Write as much detailed information as you can.

Enter text here about any relevant education, training, employment, practice philosophies, etc.. You may even want to add some personal qualities or information enabling your web site visitors to gain further insight.


However, he did add that "it's only in the Beta stage, so we're certain that, despite initial startup issues, our pet home care service will prove to a major player in the world business community."

And ARN&R is not expected to stop with their expansion. If the pet sitting business should prove as profitable as posting free articles about roller coasters, the head honchos have promised further expansion. Although the site executives were tight-lipped when queried about this, it is known that they have been agressively bidding for ownership of the absolutelyreliable.gov, absolutelyreliable.edu, and absolutelyreliable.org domains, so it goes without saying that huge events in the realm of ARN&R will be unfolding in the very near future.

Any major announcements will naturally be covered, as they happen, in excrutiating detail here at the ARN&R Non-Pet-Sitting Corporate Division.

--JCK

Monday, November 15, 2004

We're Still Here

As many as two or three of our valued readers out there may have noticed that the updates have not been as fast and furious at ARN&R as usual. Fear not, friends. We have not abandoned you. Nor have we run out of story ideas, and we haven't spent the last week absentmindedly plucking at our scrotums while looking at pictures of Thunderhead. Not much, anyway. The main reason for the slower schedule has been the relocation of one of the editors to a new apartment, where the combination of lugging boxes and cleaning while also not missing any work has occupied pretty much every minute of his free time.

Also he had to set his fantasy football lineups.

But don't fret, little campers, your trusty co-editor is sort of moved in, and is ready to provide you with all the juiciest true facts about your favorite amusement parks in the upcoming days. Assuming he's in the mood, anyway. He can get pretty ornery.

And keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming major announcement from ARN&R regarding an exciting new business venture for the website. We promise you'll love it.

--JCK

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Surviving IAAPA: A Guide for Enthusiasts

Hey enthusiasts, it is FMB rappin' at ya with the latest in IAAPA "do's and don'ts."  I know you have been wondering what to wear, what to say and how to shake your groove thing while on the show floor.  All I can say is don't worry, we've got you covered.  Delve into some of these great pointers and soon you and Claude Mabillard will be on the friendship tip.

5) Marathon

Those rides out back are set up for enthusiasts -- for you.  Be sure to spend a lot of time riding and re-riding each piece of equipment to make sure you can post how much fun they were or how much they sucked.  Don't forget to tell the guy stuck working in the Florida sun whether or not you like the ride; his company will appreciate your input.  Afterwards, feel free to pleasure yourself on the diamond plating.

4) Interview For Your Website

Your site on Earthlink is arguably the finest source of coaster information out there.  It doesn't matter that you still list the "New For '01" coasters, people come to you because you are the enthusiast with brains. Don't feel bad about cornering Werner Stengel for a half-hour to talk about Millennium Force.  He loves talking to someone as smart as you.  Make sure he leaves with one of the business cards you printed up at home.  Yes, soon the Steng-dog will be dropping coastr_stud435@aol.com an email asking design advice.

3) Sport a Mullet

Nothing says "professional" like a mullet.  This tells people that you are business in the front, party in the back and one hardcore coaster-marathoning motherf*cker.  When you roll up with the t-tops down in the hot Florida sun and your feathered mullet blowing in the wind, heads will turn and everyone will know a high-roller has just stepped onto the show floor.  Don't be embarrassed by how successful you are -- embrace it.

2) No Stress Dress

This is your only vacation from being shift manager at McDonald's, so enjoy life!  Don't be afraid to weather that black Mamba t-shirt that is a few sizes too small.  No one will even notice your gut with that foxy Beast belt buckle.  Ride manufacturers always enjoy it when you hang around their booth in a t-shirt that has their coaster on it.  In fact, if you see customers having to wait to talk to a representative, don't be afraid, start telling them why Manufacturer X "rocks."

1) Interrupt

If I have learned one thing, it is that IAAPA is for enthusiasts.  Make sure you interrupt when ride people are talking about products, especially when they are going over final contract points.  You paid to get in and therefore you are just as important to Vekoma as Marty Skelar.  Trust me, they will be so impressed when you tell them how to improve their rides!

Well folks, I will see you down in the Sunshine State.  Just look for the handy-dandy neon yellow ARN&R press pass.  I can't wait to discuss the best seat on TTD with you at Denny's.

--FMB
Surviving IAAPA: A Guide for Industry Buyers

For decades Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors has been the voice of the amusement industry and in 2004 we are proud to step up our IAAPA coverage to unprecedented levels. For months, industry leaders, CEOs and even Mickey himself have come to us wanting to know how to “work” the show floor.  Here are what we consider the five most important tips to making the most out of your time as a buyer for your park, carnival, FEC, or fictional Pittsburgh-area amusement park/entertainment complex.

5)  Chicks in Bikinis

Almost every year a few booths set up with hot chicks in bikinis that do not speak English.  Be sure to stop by them often.  Your wife probably has a “mom ass” by now and knows you very well -- but not these women. They barely understand a word you say as you drool over their tight bodies.  When they ask “U vant Laser Tag?” you should not respond; just continue to stare at their chests.

4)  Free Food

The show floor is big and you will get hungry.  Be sure to take advantage of the delicious tiny morsels of Dippin’ Dots, Noble Roman’s Pizza and Steve’s Sausage you get to wait in line an hour for.  Don’t bother with the great restaurants mere steps away (e.g. Peabody) -- you only have eight hours each day to see the five people you made appointments with!

3)  Hotel Porn

If the person that handles expense accounts is an old woman unwilling to talk about sex (or just stupid) then take advantage of the many movie choices offered by your hotel.  “Secretary Sluts Five,” “Asian Delights” or even “Sex Wars Episode Two: Boning the Clones” will be sure to get the job done.  If your employer has the nerve to ask you about buying beat material tell them to simply look at the receipt.  All it says is “movie.”  What are they going to do about it?  Fire you?

2)  Indoor SCAD Tower: Not a Good Idea

This is pretty self explanatory.  The SCAD tower set up inside drops you into a net.  The same net the company forgot to set up for one child.  Simply put, don’t ride it.  This is also something to think about when considering attractions for your park.

1)  Drink Heavily

It is called an expense account for a reason, so use the damn thing.  Don’t be afraid to buy a drink for that pretty lady at the bar who might be a hooker. It is easy to hide $20 in drinks and even easier to feed a dead prostitute to Shamu.  Go for it!  After all, you’re on vacation.

--FMB

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Old Town Opens Shakira

To battle the new Busch Gardens Tampa investment SheiKra, Old Town in Kissimmee, Florida has promised Shakira for the 2005 season. PR Director Steve Stern said, “Sure that park has a multi-million dollar investment, but we have Shakira.”

For hours worthless enthusiast boards buzzed about what the new attraction could be. Was it a hyper coaster? Was it a gigantic flume? Was it a Vegas-style revue featuring the ass-shaking singer herself?

“We looked at every exciting ride on the market today and bought a Vekoma SLC,” said Stern. “It will be there ‘Whenever, Wherever,’ get it, just like her song. Jesus, I'm clever.”

Walking with Stern we saw where Old Town plans to put the new ride. We also asked some locals about their thoughts on naming a ride after the two-hit wonder. Most had never heard of the singer, but one enthusiastic man in a Florida Coaster Club t-shirt lit up when her name was mentioned.

“Yeah, I LOVE Shakira,” said 28 year-old Timothy Stubbins of Tampa. “I pleasured myself to that song of hers during Robb Alvey’s coaster video,” the disturbing man continued.

This reporter encourages all IAAPA attendees to get down to Old Town ASAP so they can get “underneath the restraints” of the new coaster.

Shakira could not be reached for comment.

--FMB

Friday, November 05, 2004

Paramount Official: "Actually, Combovers Do Make Our Decisions"

Late today a Paramount Parks insider, speaking on the condition of anonymity, revealed that, contrary to popular belief, most major corporate decisions are, in fact, made by the combovers of staff members and prominent guests.

Our exclusive source has revealed that not only was the decision to remove the Flying Eagles at Paramount's Kings Island influenced by long flaps of hair wiggling in the wind, but also the decisions to build Boomerang Bay at Paramount's Great America and Tomb Raider at Paramount Canada's Wonderland.

"We wanted to find something to help us make the most hideous decisions possible," our informant told us during a secret meeting at a top secret ARN&R branch news office located in Lebanon, Ohio. "The most disgusting fashion phenomenon since the ACE muumuu was clearly the perfect choice. Scientific research shows that guest feedback from our survey panel can be plotted directly onto a balding man's head, and the best decision to make will be the data points that remain covered during a particularly rough ride on PKD's Hypersonic XLC."

The controversial decision to move PKI's Flying Eagles was, apparently, made due to a question asked of the balding head of the webmaster of a popular roller coaster website.

"I understand that Cedar Fair is working on a similar system to make decisions at Cedar Point," our source went on to tell us. "Their system, though, relies on the elasticity of Dan Keller's suspenders. They're trying out the new system to determine which direction their new Huss Giant Frisbee should rotate. Oh, I wasn't supposed to tell you about that."

Nobody at Cedar Point was willing to comment, but Dan Keller's suspenders informed the ARN&R research team that Six Flags is also working on a similar system based upon where the bloody, mangled bodies tossed from Kingda Ka land. The Six Flags system is due to be implemented shortly after the first fatality on the new record-breaking ride, which is expected sometime the first week of May, 2005.

Kingda Ka may open in April, 2005.

--WCT (with special reporting by PD)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Sweet, Sticky Dreams

Steve Hallinski had a problem. Well, to most people, he has several problems, but Hallinski doesn't consider "backne" or a penchant for Dirty Sanchezes things to take issue with. No, the recent trouble was that the ACEr didn't know how he would split his time at the "ACE Lost Weekend in Las Vegas." The issue was simple: Hallinski loves to ride coasters (he owns a "We Ride All Year Shirt" despite not being a member of the Florida Coaster Club), but he also likes to eat.

"The buffets call to me like sweet sirens of love," the fat man sighed. "I didn't know how I would be able to ride without them." Fortunately for members like Hallinski, ACE created a new solution just in time for the event.

"We call it the ACE Feedbag," said ACE Queen of Thunder Carole Sanderson. "They are cute and personalized. You can sew patches on, put your Disney pin collection on the side or even give it a mullet. I call mine Mr. Twinkles."

When the big day in Vegas came Hallinski was ready. At seven in the morning he had Cocoa Puffs and milk strapped into the bag while rolling back and forth on the Stratosphere's X-Scream attraction. The plump enthusiast had chosen to decorate his feedbag with patches of Kennyood's Phantom's Revenge because the logo was just "that f*cking cool." When talking about the Vegas event, Hallinski said the following with reverence: "There is nothing like looking out over the Vegas strip as sweet chocolaty goodness sloshes around in your mouth." Wiping back a tear he continued, "It is a beautiful thing, I owe Jesus one."

--FMB

Monday, November 01, 2004

Welcome to Hell

Yaaaaaaiiiikes!!!!!

Just in case you didn't get a good enough scare on Halloween this year, we strongly urge you to visit our Site O' the Weak, Boils the Clown's Fun House. Be sure to crank the volume and sit through the entirety of the perhaps most garish, Flash-crazed, obnoxious intro ever devised for a website. And then, if you haven't suffered a violent seizure, have a gander at the main page...if there were a monetary prize awarded for having the most annoying flashing gizmos, unnecessary sounds, animated cursors, and eye-searing color combinations, Boils would not only win hands down, but would likely have the award named after him, as well. And don't forget to waste a few precious moments of your life playing the site's games and riding its rides, all of which suck worse than you could possibly imagine.

Incidentally, studies have shown that viewing Boils the Clown's Fun House directly can actually cause retinal scarring, so we have found that it is best to treat the site as one would a solar eclipse...view it only indirectly, using incredibly expensive NASA-approved Mylar or aluminum-coasted safety goggles, or, as a cheaper alternative, projecting the images through a pinhole onto a sheet of paper.

--JCK