Tuesday, March 28, 2006

We're the Weakest of Them All!

Well, no, we're not. God, there have been some terrible sites.

But as a reader pointed out, that forum we've got going is so inane, it "makes CoasterBuzz look like Hamlet." Just to confirm, let's go to the tape...

AA says: "Have you ever noticed that at fast food restaurants they have ketchup and other items available in little packets, but never have that 'secret sauce' type stuff available in seperate packets? You have to buy the whole burger, or whatever, to get secret sauce. I wonder how come."

Funky says in response to Duncan calling AA confused: "Oh Contrair, AA is very organized and has his act together, He just gets a little down, Expecially when he has to pass four or five parks without riding a coaster. It's all ARN&R's fault. Sey La Vie"

And then the incomparable Brittany Lynn weighs in, in the thread intriguingly named "fanfuc": "Will there b fanfic we can subit on your pages ARNR????? :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D"

It's an easy pick. This week's Site O' The Weak is our very own forum.

--GP

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Minimal Updates Alert

Just to alert our meager and probably unconcerned audience, but updates will probably be very infrequent through the end of next weekend. The ARN&R Head Honcho, Supreme Chancellor, and Janitor (that would be JCK) will be working four, count 'em, four jobs next week. In addition to a temporarily fulltime day job, he will be playing rehearsals and concerts for two different orchestras and bowing string parts for a third. That probably doesn't make any sense to non-musicians out there, so we'll put it this way: in his quest to pay bills and buy non-peanut-butter-based foodstuffs, the moron didn't budget enough time on any given day to do more than one of the following: eat, sleep, take a shit.

Therefore, don't be offended if nothing (or at least close to nothing) appears here for a week or so; we'll be back in force afterward. Oh, and if any articles do appear over the next few days, it's almost certain that they were written in the middle of the night during a late-night Jolt Cola-fueled brain spasm, and we will deny any knowledge of having written them.

Thanks for your patience during this highly annoying time for us.

--JCK

[Other ed. note: Hey, go check out the forum if you're pining away for ways to spend your time.]

Friday, March 24, 2006

Let's Just Pile On, Shall We?

You know us. We don't like to kick someone when he's down.

Oh, wait a minute. Sorry, we were thinking of someone else. Actually, we don't mind kicking someone when he's down at all. And that's why we're targeting the Flash Pass system again. And it's not the name and overall concept this time, though that would be ample reason to rip this repulsive beeper that actually allows rich people to pay extra money to cut in line at many Six Flags properties.

Nope, it's the Flash Pass website itself, poorly constructed enough that it's our new Site O' the Weak.

Those of you who read our site regularly (in other words, pretty much no one) might have gleaned the knowledge that at least one of the editors uses and adores Firefox. So any of you rubes who still favor IE as your main browser won't be annoyed by the fact that the site looks like garbage in FF, and some links fail to work.

However, since lots of you still, for some unfathomable reason, actually do still use IE, we'll also mention sucky things about the website that apply no matter what is being used to view it. The main problem is the ease of transmission on information. Or, to put it better, the lack thereof. If you want to describe how your cut-in-line upcharge beeper thingie works, maybe it would be easier to discuss it all on one easy-to-read page. Instead, these people make you click buttons again and again and again, so each click brings you a sentence or two of information. Why? Of course, then we have things like the expected obfuscation of facts (read "Isn't using Fastlane like line-skipping?") in a bald attempt to euphemize the term "paying extra to cut in front of people," as well as occasional passages that appear not to be written by someone still in junior high (read "What is that beeper thing called?").

Flash Pass stinks as a concept, it stinks in practice, and it stinks as a website.

--JCK

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Flashers to Have Free Reign at Six Flags

In a move that some industry experts find surprising, considering the new focus on families and small children being made by Six Flags, the park chain has just announced a new flasher-friendly policy to take effect at several of its properties this season.

"Flashing is great," said a junior Six Flags marketing strategist in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "For one thing, it's awesome to see naked people. You've got your boobs, those are cool. And penises. Some people like those. Heck, a lot of people like both! And then there's the thrill element. You never know when you might get flashed at a Six Flags park. Will it be in line for a Superman ride of some sort? Will it be while you're trying to eat your hot dog? Or changing your baby's diaper? Who knows?"

"The kids will love it," he added. "They'll just love it."

But not everyone will be able to show their naughty parts all willy-nilly, the rep said. The ability to shock other park guests with nude body parts is an upscale privilege reserved for those who buy the new Flash Pass, formerly known as Lo-Q.

Guests who pay to receive their Flash Pass will have the right to flash anyone else in the park - man, woman, child - at numerous randomly selected times during the day, specifically when their pass beeps at them and text-messages "Next Flash Soon!" When this message is received, the guest merely holds the Flash Pass up to one of dozens of handy Exposure Stations throughout the park, and at that point is granted a five-minute window to whip out his or her genitalia in public. Each Flash Pass holder can expect to receive the flashing privilege twenty times per day, spaced over a number of hours.

"By charging approximately thirty dollars per day for a rental of the Flash Pass," said the strategist, "we ensure that only a certain number of patrons are waving dicks and tits randomly at other unsuspecting guests. If we just gave out Flash Passes to everyone in the park for free, there would be none of those great looks of wonder and childish whimsy that we expect to see on people who are getting flashed for the first time at a major family vacation destination. This way, it's controlled so that it's the right number of times to make it a fantastic experience for everyone without becoming so commonplace that anyone tires of the thrill of having sexual organs jiggling in their face."

Pricing for the Flash Pass will differ depending on the park. Six Flags Great Adventure, for example, will offer a one-person rental for approximately thirty dollars per day. "For a discounted price," added the strategist, "other visitors can buy on to the same Flash Pass, reducing the overall price for each flasher, but increasing the pleasure and fun of someone who faces, say, six penises instead of just one."

Six Flags will also market exhibitionist-appropriate clothing, such as a Flash-themed trench coat.

--JCK
Shapiro Unable to Enter Fiesta Texas

New Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro continues his tour of the continent's Six Flags properties, making suggestions, demands, and threats for the benefit of the employees and local media at each stop. But, at least for the moment, not at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

When Shapiro approached the front of the park to begin his tour this past weekend, the park's managers were most embarrassed to find that the gates had been left locked by accident. The flustered managers, after frantic searching, insisted that none had a key on them, and that probably all of them were stolen out of their pockets earlier in the day by some type of pickpocketing mastermind. A locksmith was called, but he stated that he was completely overbooked and would be available next Monday at some point.

Shapiro, using the genius-level skills that enabled him to reach his current status, snapped his fingers and had the SFFT employees and media follow him to the back gate. "The employee entrance uses a different set of keys," said Shapiro. "There'll be no one to stop us this time."

However, admittance to the park was not meant to be, as, shockingly, all the locks to the employee entrance turned out to be in place but stuffed with gum. "Bunch of savages in this town," noted a frustrated Shapiro. Upon being thwarted by the impassable locks, Shapiro then eyed the park fence for a possible leap into SFFT using the athletic skills he gained from watching ESPN poker tournaments, but someone had, in the middle of the previous night, installed rolls of military-issue razor wire in a double lair around the entire perimeter. "We've had some trouble with young hoodlums recently," explained the park's VP of Operations. "This is just the latest prank they must have pulled. These bratty little kids today."

Shapiro indicated that he would return to SFFT at some point in the near future, perhaps after making another try at touring La Ronde, and make his assessments of the property then.

--JCK

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Contest

ARN&R would like to announce what may be its first contest ever, the 2006 Springtime Do Some Absolutely Reliable Taxes Sweepstakes. In this exciting contest, readers of the website are all invited to offer their services to JCK, one of the ARN&R Co-Editors-in-Chief, by doing his taxes for him this year. A successful winning entry will give the contest winner the right to write an article for the world's leading amusement park satire blog, Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors.

"My f*cking taxes are taking me so much f*cking time and are really f*cking pissing me off, I mean giving me such incredible pleasure, that I really don't have time for anything else this week," said a harried JCK.

JCK's taxes are said to be remarkably fun for readers to attempt to do, as he is a freelance musician. Needing to be accounted for are approximately 9 W-2 forms, 14 1099's, an investment portfolio, depreciation on musical equipment, five pages of business and travel deductions, and three pages of additional teaching and performance income listings. Forms must be filed with the federal government, as well as in three or four states, depending on how much was made in each of them. JCK reports that typically it takes him two full days to correctly lay out all expenditures, forms, and deductions, and then he still has had to send them to a jerkoff preparer who charges way too much and that he recently caught actually making the three-dollar IRS-form donation to political campaign funds on his behalf without permission.

The rules of the contest: taxes must be filled out correctly and filed on time. If no audit has occurred based on the winning entry within a ten year period, then that winning entry will be considered the 2006 Springtime Do Some Absolutely Reliable Taxes Sweepstakes Victor, and the contest winner will be allowed to write anything he or she wants in an article to be published at ARN&R.

"You win because you get to write for us, as soon as 2016," said JCK. "The government wins because it gets my money, and I win because I don't have to waste a whole week doing taxes, and more importantly, that's one less article I have to write. Though I suppose I'll still spend three hours correcting someone's stupid grammatical errors."

--JCK

Friday, March 17, 2006

Coaster Tired of Being Pinched

According to a roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, it is tired of being pinched on St. Patrick's Day by Riddler's Revenge and Deja Vu just because it isn't green.

"It's so immature and annoying," said Psyclone, a brownish Summers & Dinn woodie. "I can't help it if I'm not wearing green. It's not like I can paint myself differently for the one day of the year where people get to pick on you for having the wrong color clothes on. I actually think it's a stupid holiday that's nothing more than an excuse to get drunk and be an asshole anyway."

Riddler's Revenge claims that Psyclone is fun to pinch because it "screams like a little bitch every time."

--JCK

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Who Beefed?

Our new Site O' the Weak is pretty simple. It's the Six Flags home page. We haven't kept track of suck things, but they surely must be closing in on Viands-like SOW career numbers by this point. But why does Six Flags get honored this time?

It's the big ad on the front page that says "We're Beefing Up Security: Six Flags, now home to the Justice League." Maybe it's a clever ploy to introduce more characters so little kids will jump up and down. We think it's more likely to be literal. As in, Six Flags is actually admitting its parks are rife with uncontrolled louts, drunken rednecks, and gangs. Of course, one could take the stand that a park finally adding more security is something to be proud of.

We say, it's about friggin' time. If they'd paid any attention over the past ten years to the fact that you couldn't walk five feet without being mugged, molested, spat on, or had a cigarette ground out on your testicles by the typical clientele of most Six Flags properties, we'd actually be applauding. Now they apparently want a cookie for doing what should have been done ages ago, and are making out like they rule. Sorry, folks, it's a little too little, too late, and being cutesy about it is really annoying.

--JCK

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

REW Protest at Six Flags America Unsuccessful

A protest arranged by the REW (Rotoshake Enthusiasts of the World) in front of Largo, Maryland's Six Flags America was a total failure, say witnesses. Six Flags America recently spent thousands of dollars to rip out their installation of the Rotoshake, the well-adored Iron Eagle; this promptly drew the ire of REW, which seeks to protect and celebrate the world's treasured and rapidly vanishing star of the midway, the Zamperla-build puke ride generically known as the Rotoshake.

Arranged to draw attention to the "callous removal of a beloved icon," the protest was intended to feature large crowds waving anti-Six Flags banners and shaking their fists, possibly culminating in numerous REW members drawing attention to the ride's plight by being dragged off to jail. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort occurred, as the highway leading past SFA was as serene and uncrowded as any other day when the park is not open. Not a single protestor showed up to demand an end to the destruction of a rare and priceless Rotoshake.

However, it doesn't end there. After much research, ARN&R has discovered that REW not only failed to send any protestors to SFA at the scheduled time, but that REW actually does not have any members whatsoever. None. The only puzzling fact is how an organization could exist, have a name, and have a scheduled protest they could fail to attend, without possessing a single member, but apparently it happened somehow.

"I guess nobody gives a shit about whether a park keeps a really painful flat ride or not," said a random bored-looking guy standing in his front yard in nearby Bowie, Maryland. The man said he might get annoyed if Six Flags America tried to get rid of Karaoke in the Crazy Horse Saloon, however.

--JCK
ACE Moves to New Online Host

Tired of its slightly stodgy, no-frills website, ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) has relocated to a new online provider. Although many have assumed that changes were in the works for the world's largest coaster enthusiast community, details for any projects involving ACE Online have been kept entirely under wraps.

Until now, that is. ACE officials today announced that the organization's website will undergo a massive renovation orchestrated by Christian Riese Lassen, the "premier marine artist of our time."

"It was time for a radical innovation in how we present our information to club members and to the public," said an ACE PR rep. "Right now, you just go there and read data. But wouldn't it be much more exciting to come to our site and, before reading that boring old coaster club information, you experience the wonder of an entry page with cheesy animations, wilderness sound effects, a picture of some ridiculous-looking blonde dude, and a voice whispering 'Lassssssssssssssssssennnnnnn.' Or, in our case, it can be a picture of the Executive Committee and the voice could go 'Coasssssssssssster Ennnnnnnnnnnttttthhhhussssssssiasts.' We're still working on the details, but it's the overall concept that's important."

The PR rep told us that Mr. Lassen would handle all aspects of designing the new ACE website. "He's so multi-talented he can handle everything," said the rep. "He can certainly create a unique visual look for the site; note how he has previously created stunning art encompassing everything from marine mammals to naked women to unique Lassen Vision creations where he actually paints himself into his own pieces. We can have him place any of these wondrous things into the appropriate coaster-related context when he designs our new site."

"Personally, I hope he'll paint himself writhing around on Top Thrill Dragster, with his beautiful blonde hair flowing in the wind behind him," added the blushing ACE representative.

"Additionally," the rep added, "we can have him do the music for ACE. For our money, it just doesn't get any better than when he turns his considerable talents to musical compositions such as 'Turn the Tide' and 'Cry a Tear.' And of course if we need to write some descriptive text that has loads of completely unneccesary italics, we know where to go."

The new, all-Flash, Lassen-inspired ACE website is expected to debut within the next month. The only section of the website that will be unaffected by the alterations will be the General Store page, which ACE officials tell us "is already setting the standard for professionalism in the entire industry, and needs no tinkering whatsoever."

--JCK

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Colossus Misplaced

Recently, enthusiasts and Agawam locals have noticed an alarming sight at Six Flags New England: a skyline devoid of Colossus, the park's signature Giant Wheel. Rising hundreds of feet into the air, the massive family attraction provided spectacular views across southern Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

With the new claims by Six Flags that the chain will be focusing on family rides instead of teen-targeted thrillers, it seemed a puzzle why SFNE would remove a ride that both fits the new strategy and provides a well-known landmark that can be viewed from far outside the park grounds. At a press conference today, SFNE officials met with reporters to explain their actions.

It turns out that they didn't mean to remove it at all.

"We just misplaced it," admitted the park's Vice President of Public Relations Sandy Pittsfield. "We just put it down for a minute somewhere over there, and turned away to take care of something else, and when we came back...poof! Just like that, it's gone."

"I'm such a ditz," she added. "I'm always doing stupid things like putting down a huge signature ride and forgetting where the hell it is!" Pittsfield added that she "was constantly losing pencils and socks, too."

"We were doing our big spring cleaning," said Head of Sanitation Services Walter Hewitt. "You know, most of the time, you just dust the fronts of the bookshelves and vacuum, but then every few years you actually take down all the books and you even move furniture around to really get the grime off the floors and the walls? Well, it's the same for us. We hadn't really gotten in and hosed off those crusty hard-to-reach corners under and around the major rides in several years. So we shifted some of them around and did our cleaning, and then...well, we couldn't find Colossus. It's got to be around here somewhere, right?"

His eyes then lit up, and he then poked around behind the park's nearby Top Spin ride, though he soon threw his hands up in disgust when Colossus failed to appear there.

"It the damndest thing," said Park Employee Training Master Tom Lampers. "But hey, it happens to everyone. You plop something down nearby and it just seems to vanish. I did the same thing with my chapstick just yesterday, and I ended up having to get a new tube even though my wife kept telling me the old one would turn up if I just retraced my steps enough."

Lampers publicly blamed "underwear gnomes" for stealing both his chapstick and the Colossus.

--JCK

Monday, March 13, 2006

Important Political Questions Answered Here

Because we are the home of news and rumors, and everything we provide is absolutely reliable, it was only a matter of time before the public began to turn to us not just for information about roller coasters and Mark Shapiro, but also for guidance on deeper, more important subjects. Such as world politics. Yes we're happy to help, especially when people hit our site to seek assistance with such deep, philosophical quandaries as "is nicholas cage a republican or democrat?"

We're happy to answer any questions such as this, because we're experts. We have full confidence that the person clicking on our site, looking to decide how they should vote in future elections based on what party affiliation an overacting buffoon maintains, discovered that "Nicholas Cage divorced [Lisa Marie] Presley 'because he could still taste Michael Jackson on her'" and felt satisfied.

--JCK

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Six Flags Over Georgia Becomes More Family Friendly

In his now-famous January publicity stunt where he toured Six Flags Over Georgia with reporters and the park's staff, pointing out things that needed to be fixed or altered in that park and the chain as a whole, Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro included among his many pronouncements the news that Six Flags will be primarily purchasing family attractions in the near future. Citing a desire to target younger children and happy families more than the loutish teens currently running amok in most Six Flags properties, Shapiro stated that "[y]ou won't see any more Goliaths," a reference to Six Flags Over Georgia's new B&M hypercoaster.

Estimating that family rides cost less than a tenth of what one massive attraction would, and that said massive attractions fail to pay for themselves, Shapiro indicated that upcoming seasons would result in a drastic new look for Six Flags properties.

That drastic new look has arrived. Workers arrived at Six Flags Over Georgia this morning to begin the brisk demolition of Goliath, as well as several other large, non-family-friendly thrillers like the Mindbender, Batman: The Ride, and the Georgia Cyclone.

"This is a sad day for coaster fans everywhere," said a random man in the parking lot wearing nothing but a Beast thong and a coaster patch vest.

In an exclusive interview, Shapiro allowed ARN&R to see the list of fun new family-friendly attractions that will soon be erected at SFOG in place of the disturbing, unprofitable thrill rides that are currently being dismantled and sold for scrap:

Sandbox
Toy Dump Truck
Coloring Books
Blocks
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Mobile Hanging Above Crib
Lincoln Logs
Pan to Bang On With Metal Spoon

"Between the massive savings this type of ride package will afford us, combined with the scrap metal sale, the influx of new family visitors, and jacking the entrance price by 600 percent or so, Six Flags' debt will soon be a thing of the past," Shapiro told us, off the record.

--JCK
Three ACE Members Totally Shocked That Clay Aiken Might Be Gay

According to credible sources, as many as three members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts were completely surprised by rumors that former American Idol runner-up and almost-singer Clay Aiken might be gay.

"I'm shocked!" cried Bubba Wilson, one of the three, in an interview conducted with the lifelong coaster enthusiast on his stained mattress in his mother's basement. "Who could have ever guessed such a thing?" Wilson added, before going back to the task that has occupied him for much of the past eleven days: cramming a forty-third coaster into his latest Roller Coaster Tycoon park.

Unlike Wilson and two other ACE members, the majority of those involved with the coaster enthusiast organization say that the potential gay Aiken news is not all that exciting. "Um, yeah, that was a shock for the ages," said yawning twenty-year ACE veteran Phil Wrightster from the home he shares with his partner in Florida. "Wait a minute. Are you serious? I thought this was some sort of joke! You actually thought he was straight? How stupid are you?" Wrightster then began laughing so hard that the interview had to be curtailed.

When various ACE members at a recent ERT session were questioned by the national press as to how on earth they had ever guessed that Aiken might be gay before this news was leaked, most were uncooperative. Several went so far as to point and laugh hysterically at the assembled media. "Look, do I really have to explain it to you?" asked Darren Carvel, the only ACEr who would speak to reporters on the record. "Okay, I guess I do. Have you really not heard of gaydar? Even the thirty straight guys in ACE have a rudimentary one strong enough to pick up Clay Aiken, so how could you think he'd slip past one as powerful as, just for example, mine? Jeez, I'm insulted."

Carvel added that he personally was "really grossed out" by Aiken, that he categorically did not think the pop star had "a sexy and smooth and lickable" white chest, and that he would really appreciate it if "the straight girls would please just keep him, because we don't actually want him."

"Yuck," he added.

--JCK

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

La Ronde Employees Pretend Not to Understand Shapiro

Continuing to make his rounds amongst all his glorious properties, new Six Flags head Mark Shapiro paid his respects to Montreal-based La Ronde today. As has been the case with each of the parks Shapiro has toured, the employees were treated to a harsh appraisal of their failures, as well as a discussion of improvements that Shapiro will demand from them before the start of the next operating season.

As opposed to most of the American properties Shapiro has visited, where management figures from the parks gamely followed Shapiro around like obedient lapdogs and nodded enthusiastically at each of the four thousand ways he told them they sucked, the La Ronde employees appeared to be oddly aloof and uninterested in what their new honcho had to say. Indeed, they all stared blankly at Shapiro, until one of his assistants determined that not a single employee at La Ronde spoke a word of English and that he was therefore making no sense to them at all.

Shapiro then attempted to tell the employees about the new guest-services training and repricing, still in English, but much louder. Then he tried his lecture slowly, in English, with large hand gestures. After several more attempts, the CEO grew exasperated and went all the way back to the United States, looking to recruit a French translator for another try next week.

"That was the most frustrating day of my life," said a distraught Shapiro.

"Américain stupide," noted an amused La Ronde representative to his entire staff, every single one of whom speaks perfect English, just after Shapiro was successfully annoyed.

--JCK

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shapiro: Six Flags Water Parks To Have Fifty Percent Less Urine For 2006

Continuing his tour of Six Flags parks nationwide, new CEO Mark Shapiro made a bold announcement after touring the chain's Hurricane Harbor park adjacent to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois:

"In 2006, we are pleased to announce a new commitment to customer service, starting with a reduction in urine-tainted water by at least 50%!"

Asked how he would achieve such an ambitious goal, Shapiro said it was simple. "We've asked our lifeguards and staff to stop peeing in the water supply, though the park's management will continue to be permitted that perk. Based on our initial testing, that will reduce the urine content substantially."

Shapiro declined to comment on reports that the employees would now be urinating in the water supply for the park's "Cool Zone" sprinkler areas.

--GP

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Turn Down the Contrast and Brightness Before Accessing Our New Site O' the Weak

Someone reasonably competent obviously set up the Southern Adventures website, our Site O' the Weak. After all, information is readily accessible and laugh-out-loud grammatical errors were not found on a quick perusal, setting this website leagues apart from those offered by plenty of other amusement parks.

That's why it's so puzzling that they chose to present their information on an eye-frying neon green background, with text in the exact same green color in little orange boxes. Folks, the background color is already harmful enough to continued ocular well-being, but when a site goes the extra step of having letters and overall colors in that same terrible color, it actually burns. Please make it stop.

While we're at it, we think the entry page gave us a mild seizure. We can't come visit your park if we're flopping around on the ground gnashing our tongues off and foaming from various orifices. It's a simple and unfortunate fact of life.

The park consists of fairly standard FAC stuff, and we're sure most of it is fine and fun, but we're going to take points off for the claim that "The Rock" is "the most realistic rock climbing simulator on the planet." We're also suspicious that the claims of "year round wholesome entertainment" and the large discounts for anyone bringing a church bulletin will result in a visit laden with people attempting to give you annoying pamphlets about how you are going to rot in hell, but if you like that sort of thing, don't let us stop you.

--JCK

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

ARN&R Editor Emeritus Sad

The Grand Poobah, now editor emeritus and relegated to a non-corner office, announced today that he is sad:

"Where, oh where, has the ITPS Blog gone? Is fun no longer a serious business? Is fun now a wacky fun-time business? Or not a business at all? And what has happened in news of the Purple Bridge Cl!mb? Please, please return with those very-nearly-English posts real soon."

At press time, the Poobah was curled up in a corner.

--GP