Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Bush Takes Tough Stance on Inspections

Tensions escalated today as United Nations inspectors were initially turned away by armed guards posted at the gates of Funtown Pier, a small amusement area located in Seaside Park, New Jersey. Observers fear this latest confrontation is yet one more step leading to an armed showdown between the United States and the shoreline entertainment zone.

President George W. Bush declared that he was “not encouraged” that Funtown Pier would acknowledge its high coaster G-forces and avert war. Bush delivered his assessment at a Pentagon press conference after U.N. inspectors reported continued difficulties in their search of suspected violators of New Jersey’s G-force limitations.

“The inspectors are in New Jersey to examine possible amusement violations, not to play Red Rover and Duck Duck Goose with the owners of this park,” the president said, apparently maintaining his hard line against Funtown Pier. He added: "These gravityational, er, gravitronitional . . . these forces of mass destruction must not stand. Make no mistake."

The U.S. government has long maintained that Funtown Pier’s Roller Coast Loop, a production-model Pinfari Zyklon with a single inversion, has gravitational forces in excess of New Jersey’s legal limitations. After much posturing and threats of exclusion from the park’s owners, U.N. inspectors were finally allowed their first tests on the ride late in the afternoon.

Although Canada, France, and Britain have all expressed desire for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis, United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated this evening at the White House that “a full regime change at Funtown Pier may be the only option the United States can now consider viable.”

Great Escape's New Coaster Ties Into Roots

(Queensbury, NY) Six Flags today announced a major new coaster to be constructed at The Great Escape theme park in the Adirondack hamlet of Queensbury. The coaster, to be named "StoryTown - The Awakening," takes its theme and location from the remaining original artifacts of the park's first incarnation as "StoryTown USA."

"We have been wanting to do something to both increase the visibility of our historic sections and offer an exciting new thrill ride to our patrons, especially since that Alpine Bobsled ride is down 90% of the time," said park spokesperson Jack Horner. "The new coaster, by Intamin, features three inversions, a high speed helix, and runs smack
through the middle of both the Wild West Village and the Story Town section -- you know, that part of the park that looks like Candy Land come to life? We've taken many of the Story Town houses and figures and used them as ride supports and elements."

Riders will board the coaster at The Crooked Man's crooked house, which is designed to disorient the rider. The coaster cars were formerly used as the Storytown train, guaranteeing the riders a "rickety wood coaster feel from a steel coaster track." says Horner. The cars proceed up the lift hill and descend 87 feet through the Old Woman in a Shoe's doorway ("better duck!") at a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour before entering a high-speed helix around the antique carousel. "We were hoping to have
a brass ring for the riders to grab, but when one of technicians tried it out we thought better of it," said Horner, who added that the technician was expected to make a full recovery from arm reattachment surgery.

The coaster then rambles through StoryTown proper, with various storybook characters on either side of the track that you can reach out and clop in the head, then on into the Wild West Shootout section of the park. Here, riders will thrill to an Immelman over the Dry Gulch Saloon, where former Marine spud-peeler and U.S. Congressman Jerry
Solomon's widow fires ("Don't worry, they're only blanks!" said Horner with a wink) at the coaster car with an Uzi while a taped voice of the Congressman bellows "because she has a right to defend herself and don't you forget it!" Survivors then will go through a double loop before cruising back into Storytown, where the train passes around Cinderella's horse-drawn carriage ride ("We're still working on the horses getting spooked," chuckles Horner) and into the brake run.

The coaster is scheduled to open on July 4th, unless the lawsuit settlements fall through. The park's former target audience of small children will be welcomed at a 100-square-foot section called "KidArea," featuring a trampoline and a three-hole miniature golf course.