Tuesday, June 17, 2003

National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives Announces Planned Gravy Exhibit

In the May-June issue of ACE News, which, remarkably, arrived during one of the identified months, many enthusiasts' questions about the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives ("NRCMA") (associated with the American Coaster Enthusiasts [ACE]) were answered.

The most important question answered? That's easy: "How the heck can NRCMA fully recognize the contribution that gravy and gravy-related products have made to ACE and, more generally, coaster enthusiasts?"

Wherever the NRCMA facility will end up, we can now be assured that it will contain a significant and historically exhaustive look at gravy, including a high-tech interactive mammoth gravy boat.

"It's important to us that gravy be recognized," said Carole Sanderson, ACE Dictator-for-Life. "Sure, the buffets more broadly are also important -- and that's recognized by the fact that fully sixty-five percent of our museum's space will be devoted to three separate buffet-based restaurants, including Old Country Buffet, Huge-Ass-Creating Buffet, and All-You-Can-Gorge-Yourself-On Buffet -- but gravy is really in a class by itself."

Reports indicate that the gravy exhibit will be a walk-through, but, recognizing the effects of its subject, a moving walkway will also be available for those who tire easily.

The first room will have a inch-by-inch recreation of the first ACE buffet at which gravy was served (in mid-1979), as lovingly documented in the Robb Alvey film Gravy Memories, produced by Ken Burns. Alvey will have a central role in designing the room, as he possesses the only known footage of the revered first gravy serving.

The next room, called "Gravy: the Semi-Liquid Substance that Brings Us Together," will have a timeline of gravy through the years and, on weekends only, opportunities to sample all the gravy, from the "Greed Gravy" of the 1980s to the "Gravy.com" of the late '90s...and, of course, the "XTreme Gravy" of 2002. Visitors will be strictly limited to two quarts of gravy per visit.

After a series of small rooms where visitors are surrounded by holograms and wax figures of ACErs eating glass after glass of gravy, the exhibit concludes with the Gravy Boat Ride. In this special attraction, designed for free by Sally Corp., visitors will enter a small indoor water park, but this will be no run-of-the-mill water park. Instead, all 20,000 square feet will be in the shape of an enormous gravy boat and, instead of chlorinated and sanitized water, the attraction will use genuine pork gravy. (During Lent and certain other religious holidays, a soy-based gravy will be used.)

"And the greatest part," exclaimed Sanderson, "is that every single patron will be naked!"

The museum is scheduled to open in 2008. Invitations to the premiere are expected to arrive three months after the event.