Monday, December 15, 2003

ARN&R Gift Guide

Merry Christmas, fellow coaster enthusiasts. Yes, this is FMB coming at ya with some Christmas gift suggestions to buy yourself. I will be the first to admit that this is a blatant rip-off of the yearly list at Coasterbuzz. The only difference is that while their staff assumes you have someone special in your life to buy you things (besides your parents), we know better.

The ARN&R crew understands that this Christmas will be spent watching America’s Greatest Home Videos Vol. 1 after you microwave a Stouffer’s turkey & mashed potatoes dinner. Therefore, we thought you could buy yourself something that you will use aside from porn (trust me, Tea Bagger Vance 2: A Sactacular Sequel, doesn’t show anything the first didn’t).

5. Ride World T-Shirt

This year has been spent evaluating enthusiasts and their commitment to safety. So, why not show all those park owners that you push the lap bar up more than necessary by wearing the classy Ride World shirt that says, “No Seatbelt? No Lapbar? No Problem!” Park security will think your coaster gear is a laugh riot as they pummel you in the parking lot.

4. Velcro Shoes

Bending over and picking up stuff is hard, especially since the only trousers you can find to fit are sweat pants. You don’t have to spend thirty seconds in that awkward position on one knee tying your shoes anymore. Just head down to the orthopedic shoe store and pick up a pair of Velcro shoes. All the footwear has are two straps on each foot so you are re-secured in a second. These shoes were popular for five minutes in 1983, but that shouldn’t stop you from wearing them now. Plus, they are a dream when you truck that fat ass up Samurai Summit at Magic Mountain.

3. IAAPA Address & Telephone Directory

Are both Walter and Claude not returning your letters, emails, faxes and/or singing telegrams? Never fear, the IAAPA Address & Telephone Directory is here! Yes, now you can pester every “coaster hero” you have. Werner Stengel, S&S Power, The Gravity Group, and Great Coasters -- yup, they’re all in here. You can guarantee that they can’t wait to talk with you for hours about what mistakes they have made on past designs and how appreciative they will be that you took note of every problem with each of their rides. After all, how can these people with engineering degrees learn about their craft unless people who own Roller Coaster Tycoon tell them about their shortcomings?

2. ACE Denim Jacket

“Hey there sexy! That hot ACE coat accentuates your beautiful round stomach.” That is what strangers will be saying to you once you buy the stylin’ ACE Denim Jacket. Only coaster enthusiasts can truly appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making sure the outdated ACE logo looks sharp on both sides of the jacket. You will be pimp of the year when you strut through Dutch Wonderland in this overcoat with a Coaster Zombies Tie-dyed t-shirt poking through.

1. Park World Magazine Subscription

Sure, $165 for a year may sound expensive for a monthly magazine that arrives 3-4 months late. However, obviously you are forgetting all of the great features that separate Park World from all of those “industry news” magazines:

Amusement Industry Veteran: A monthly column from Paul Ruben called “Park Hopping” that provides plenty of industry insight. This year’s February, 2003 column showed the author’s hard-hitting style of journalism. It combined a picture of a shirtless Ruben with quotes like “Get me wet; keep me wet.” and “Just stairs to climb, the interminably long wooden stairs that wear me down, standing on them in the hot sun panting for breath as the nearly naked babes squeeze by me with their tubes.”

Amazing Coincidences: I always find it funny that the companies that purchase large color ads often get mentioned in stories about their type of products. In fact, when I am done leafing through the thick 30-page magazine I like to match up the ads and articles. Do it with your kids, it helps teach them about journalistic integrity.

Press Releases Galore: I am a huge fan of easy-to-digest and fluff-filled press releases. That is why I find the first half of this magazine so valuable. Instead of stories by “writers” it is filled with releases and announcements of all kinds written by last year’s summer interns. They touch on things like people’s new products and what ride makers think about next year (they’re always "cautiously optimistic"). This is business-to-business writing at its best.

So, there you have it. Have an Absolutely Reliable Christmas!