Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Coaster Enthusiast Mildly Embarrassed to be Seen With Friend

Self-professed amusement park nut and longtime ACE member Jason Bernero, 28, is currently embarrassed to be seen in public with his friend of several years, twenty-six-year-old Adam Capo, sources tell ARN&R. The reason? Questionable taste in roller coasters.

"Adam and I have been friends for almost six years, ever since we were in the same college dorm," said Bernero. "We've been through so much together, and we tell each other everything. We've remained best friends despite the fact that he isn't really a coaster enthusiast, like cool people should be. Hell, we're not just friends, we're more like brothers."

He continued: "But ever since we went to Lake Compounce last week, I've been avoiding him, and then if we do hang out, I sort of try to act in public like we don't know each other, just so people don't associate his behavior with mine. Frankly, his actions at the park caused me incredible shame, and I'm having a lot of difficulty getting past it."

The actions Bernero spoke of consisted of three that he referred to as "travesties of nature." First, when Capo boarded Boulderdash, he asked, without slyly winking or indicating in any way that the question was a joke, whether "this coaster [had] any loops." Then, when the ride was done, Capo allegedly claimed, loud enough for several people in the station and on the ride to turn and look at the pair, "that was pretty damn rough."

Finally, he dragged an irritated Bernero onto Zoomerang fourteen times in a row, after which he announced in a humiliatingly loud voice: "this ride kicks so much ass! It's got loops and goes backward! Why don't you like this better than that rickety wood thing? It's the best roller coaster on Earth!"

"All I have to say is, that dude better watch it with dumb comments like that," said Bernero. "If he keeps that up, he's never going to get any p*ssy. And that's why I'm really uncomfortable with people seeing us together and thinking we're pals. They make that assumption, and then maybe they also make the assumption that I'm not cool. Well, I'm not having that. I rode Boulderdash 1000 times last season, I have a massive collection of theme park fanny packs, and I have a website designed entirely for people to send me fawning comments about my illegal on-ride videos, so you know the chicks can't keep their panties on when they get near me."

"As good a friend as Adam is, I'm not letting him harsh that vibe I've worked hard to maintain," Bernero added in conclusion. "He shapes up, or maybe I ship him out."

Slow Update Warning

Both ARN&R editors are traveling the next two weeks. For both, that may mean that time constraints prevent extensive updates; for one, there's the additional problem of probably not even having internet access the majority of his travels.

Furthermore, one of the site's regular contributors continues to insist on spending his valuable free time making fun of what a loser one of the editors is for creating a geeky Star Wars-themed article, instead of leaving hopelessly easy targets like that alone and turning his scathing eye toward coaster enthusiast message boards.

In other words, we aren't on hiatus the next two weeks, but updates may continue to be not that extensive. Don't celebrate too hard, now. And if you really miss us, you could always buy a nice T-shirt or Beast thong to while away the nanoseconds you would normally have spent reading our material.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cousin: Jabba Overly Dependent on Sarlacc

Jabba the Hutt was "far too reliant on the Sarlacc" for disposing of and torturing his enemies, said his distant cousin Dashka Bastila Desilijic in an exclusive interview today. According to the young Hutt, who had previously remained silent about his family's business dealings for over two decades, Jabba refused to so much as consider other means for causing unspeakable agony in helpless victims, means which might not only have been what Dashka described as "really fun," but may have also prevented his death and the destruction of his criminal empire at the hands of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and their cronies.

"The Sarlacc was obviously and justifiably tempting to use," said Dashka. "After all, it's gotta be pretty crappy to be stuck in that sucker, slowly digesting over a thousand years. I was just worried that Jabba wasn't diversifying enough, that he was becoming too predictable in his methods. I told him so every time we talked over the Holonet, but the fat slug wouldn't listen to reason."

Dashka then added that he had frequently made a specific suggestion to Jabba regarding alternate methods of making his enemies suffer. "I directed Jabba to access a review of an event for full-time eBayers at Paramount's Great America. I was certain that merely subjecting someone to 18,000 full-time eBay sellers and their fawning use of the phrase 'eBay spirit' in one location would be enough to crush the victim's will to live.

"Then add to that the fact that the reviewer refers, without the slightest trace of irony, to the alleged 'celebrity status' of some sellers, and further manages to simper about how modest they are when someone fails to recognize them despite their high feedback rating. And how about when someone actually bids hard-earned money to ride some coasters with an eBay employee who is also a 'self-proclaimed amusement park enthusiast?' Already surrounded by Ebay obsessives and then paying to be saddled with a damn coaster tool all afternoon? If that's not a new definition of pain and suffering, what the hell is? Of course, Jabba didn't listen. He never did."

Dashka concluded by offering his opinion that "the Skywalker crowd" would probably have just disemboweled themselves with their bare hands to end the pain of being at the eBay event, rather than try to escape, a situation that would almost certainly ended with his cousin remaining alive.

Ritalin Harpoon Enters Widespread Production

After years of bureaucratic and testing delays, a major new product in child behavior modification has been approved by the FDA for full-scale American production.

The Ritalin Repeating Harpoon, a gargantuan mobile device loaded with over three metric tons of the controversial drug, is expected to be available across the country as soon as early July, though industry experts caution that supplies may be somewhat limited until August or even early September due to the likelihood of consumer demand massively outstripping production speed.

The RRH has been created primarily as a means for amusement park owners to control the unending swarms of obnoxious, hyper little brats from running amok, pushing, destroying, screaming in high pitched voices, smoking, and cutting in line at their venues. It functions by launching foot-long hypodermic harpoons, each laden with a dose of Ritalin equivalent to seventeen standard bottles of the product, at a rate of 234 rounds per second through the modified Vulcan machine gun delivery system.

If the product proves successful at major amusement parks this summer, several pharmaceutical companies are expected to roll out modified versions for malls, schools, and cinemas by next spring.


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hope You at Least Cracked the Window

If you've been reading our Breaking News over the past week, you're obviously aware just how horrified we are by one particular rec.roller-coaster post. If you haven't, then let us summarize: Basically, it concerns a caring, adoring coaster enthusiast father who proudly describes how he drove to an amusement park designed for kids, then left his son in the car while he rode the kiddie coaster, seeing as it would have cost 17 bucks for him to being the youngster along. For reaching a stratospheric realm of toolness that has possibly never been reached by another human, the post is our new Site O' the Weak.

Yeah, sure, we've spent most of the past few days ripping this thread already in the headlines, but really, if this doesn't deserve Site O' the Weak status, nothing does.

In related news, the original poster for the RRC thread has been nominated for the First Annual Absolutelyreliable Superior Parenting Award.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Cedar Point Announces Marketing Changes

Cedar Point yesterday announced a series of additions to its public relations and marketing campaigns. Most public attention has been paid to its new OnPoint! Blog, but ARN&R is pleased to exclusively report the other changes:
  • Cedar Point guests will now be greeted at the gate by "Mrs. Kinzel," one of a series of actresses hired to play Cedar Fair CEO's president Dick Kinzel's aunt. The actress will feign interest in each guest for up to 3.5 seconds, according to documents obtained by ARN&R.

  • A new marketing campaign will highlight the availability of free water to all guests. Cedar Point will install three "water break" facilities throughout the park, consisting of a garden hose. The campaign will not note the contemporaneous increase in prices for sunblock to $19.99 per bottle.

  • The marketing campaign will also note the availability of free inner tubes to the first eighteen guests daily to the park's water park. Small print will note that "In the unlikely event that an enormous crowd of more than eighteen guests visit the park, we will be glad to rent you one of our Emergency Backup Inner Tubes for the nominal charge of $13.95 per day."

  • The park will hire a new PR director named Sol Bernie. Sol will participate in online forums and be "down with" his "homies," "speaking their language," just like OnPoint! "crazy" insider bloggers Tony and Tyler. Sources indicate it won't seem at all like a junior high English teacher talking about last year's boy band in a vain attempt to seem with it.
More on this breaking story as it develops...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Only Con You'll Ever Need

Details to come, but it appears that there will be yet another AbsolutelyReliableCon at Valleyfair on Sunday, July 31, and Wisconsin Dells on Monday, August 1. Maybe a stop by the Mall of America sometime in there. (Its name -- who knows? WhiteTrashCon? CheeseCon? Beats-The-Hell-Out-Of-The-Previous-Weekend's-Con-Con?)

As usual, our gathering will feature absolutely no benefits for you -- indeed, not even a group discount as we did at ConeyCon. That said, get in touch if you think you might be able to make it to either day.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Teens to Ruin Adults' Lives This Summer

With the end of the semester approaching in most school districts within the next few days, area teenagers are filled with excitement. Excitement that there will be no classes for several months, that there will be loads of free time, and that, most importantly, they have weekdays free in order to make the existence of every adult in the country a living hell.

According to experts, high school students have spent an average of 19.634 hours each day for the past seven months daydreaming about having weekdays free so they can utterly destroy the possibility that any adults in their community can enjoy themselves for a single instant the entire summer.

"Any conceivable location where a normal human could actually want to be left alone can be expected to be inundated with obnoxious, screaming, ill-behaved teens," says Yale University Professor of Annoying Teenager Studies Dr. Burton Marshall III. "Adults who are accustomed to going out in public on weekdays and not being bothered by obnoxious teenagers should very closely monitor when their local schools plan to let out for the summer, in order that they are not utterly traumatized when the places they visit are inundated with brain-dead, immature assholes, even at 11 a.m. on a Thursday. Movie theaters, shopping establishments, and, particularly, amusement parks, are considered especially dangerous areas to visit."

"Me and my friends are going to Six Flags in groups of about 60 every day," claims Kurt Colnott, 16. "And then we'll spend the whole day shoving each other into other people, smoking in line, cursing loudly to show how cool we are, and being as much trouble as possible to other people there. It'll be awesome to see the looks on those people's faces when they realize school is out for the summer, so they can't go to an empty park on a Tuesday and actually have fun or ride anything!"

While teens like Colnott have ambitious plans for irritating the ever-loving shit out of adults on a worldwide level this summer, others are focusing on the lower-profile, but still highly important, task of sucking the will to live from the adults with whom they actually live. For instance, Pete Diyanni, 17, plans to sit around his parents' house all day, every day, doing nothing but watching television, saying that everything "sucks," and rolling his eyes profoundly every time his parents say anything. "I figure if I make their lives miserable enough with me being around all the time, when normally they'd have me out of their hair for several hours a day, they'll practically be begging me to start taking drugs, leading Satanic blood sacrifices in my bedroom, or even becoming a Cirque du Soleil enthusiast," he says.

Coaster enthusiast Kirk Jameson, 32, has discovered a solution to the issue: stay in his house the entire summer. "I just can't bear the idea of dealing with these asswipes the entire summer," he tells ARN&R. "Naturally, this will probably result in my being fired from work after I haven't shown up in two weeks, and, more importantly, I assume it will be difficult to add to my coaster count, but desperate times require desperate measures."


Friday, June 17, 2005

Hornet Stings Man Just for Hell of It

At a recent press conference, a local hornet admitted to stinging high school guidance counselor Mark Graves, 32, at Six Flags America without any provocation whatsoever. The stinging incident occurred last weekend after Graves startled the hornet near the park's pizza stand.

The conference was called by the hornet's legal council, who asserted in opening remarks that the insect was merely startled by a clumsy Graves while guarding the precious baby hornets of the hive, and then stung the man out of an instinctive protective reaction and not just to amuse itself. The council went on to state that the hornet would, during the conference, offer a public apology for the accidental and unfortunate suffering it had caused to Graves, and graciously answer any questions from the media regarding the incident.

However, the hornet deviated from the script immediately upon taking the podium, announcing that it had stung "the ever-loving crap" out of Graves "just for the hell of it."

"Yes, he deserved to be stung, and I hope he burns in Hell!" the hornet added.

Following these incendiary comments, the hornet mercilessly taunted Graves's manhood, claiming he was a "total p*ssy" for the way he whined after having a poisoned barb rammed in his neck and arm three times. Additionally, it confessed gleefully to numerous other crimes committed over the past month at SFA, including ruining eighteen corporate picnics by swimming in lemonade and stinging anyone who tried to shoo it out; chasing around and mercilessly stinging fifteen entire children's groups; and randomly jabbing approximately six other random people per day at the Batman Stunt Show "just because it's cool."

Noting that "it's totally awesome to be a hornet," the insect proudly went on to explain that, unlike honeybees, a hornet will not die if it uses its stinger, so it enjoys attacking and causing pain in people to make itself feel better if it isn't getting laid, it's angry because some other hornets are excluding it from all their hornet games, or, usually, "because I'm bored."

The tone of the press conference went from uncomfortable to downright scary when a reporter unwisely asked the hornet if it had ever thought about being "more like the noble honeybee, making [it]self useful to the planet by creating tasty honey, instead of just randomly stinging the crap out of innocent bystanders." In response, the hornet menacingly waved its abdomen in the general direction of the reporter, saying "You want some of this, too, bitch? I don't even have to be provoked! I'm a hornet!" This incident essentially ended the interview.

In a statement released to the press, Graves claimed that he would pursue vigorous legal action against the hornet for the pain and suffering it had caused. The statement further claimed that, should the legal system fail him, Graves had no qualms about taking the law into his own hands by "opening up a can of whoop-ass and/or Raid" the next time he saw the hornet.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Panic Strikes Industry

Executives throughout the amusement park industry have reportedly been shaken to the core as they learn the plans for the State Showcase Funpark [sic] to be based on 700 to 1700 mostly-roofed acres in Ohio.

While ARN&R plans extensive team coverage of SSF in the coming weeks, we'd like to start out with some brief quotes from those in the industry and others:
  • PKI's Executive Vice President In Charge Of Competition Evaluation Edward McLaughlin: "Well, the enigmatic JL57 says he will bury us here at PKI, and he took off his shoe and banged in on a table, so I'm compelled to conclude that he is the reincarnated Nikita Kruschev. I'm not going to screw with him; we're shutting down the park immediately."

  • Six Flags Associate Vice President of Research Will Kiplinger: "He appears to have approximately $200 to invest in the park, which makes it so he has $9,134,130,020.00 more than we have on hand. And did you see that website? We're dead."

  • Cleveland Go-Kartz Owner Bud Holly: "We thought we had a good little operation here until we learned of his devious plans for the operation of the go-karts: 'The guest(s) will leave the station determined by the light signalling located in front of the cars either green to go or red to remain in the stop position.' Shit, why didn't we think of that? I must have lost thirty operators to drivers smashing into their legs, and I've got kids out there who have been riding for days."

  • ACE Chief Executive Diner, Line Cook, and Fryer Carole Sanderson: "Buffets are good."

  • Local Parent Martha Doyle: "A chance to drop my kids off somewhere that's constantly playing Village People music? Sign me up!"

More on this critical story to come. For now, it's the Site O' the Weak.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

New Park Rumored to be Under Development

A source who asked to remain confidential has forwarded some intriguing information to ARN&R: a new U.S. park appears to be in the later planning stages. The source sent a number of corporate memos and some pre-production artwork from the amusement industry planning company Imaginatrix to support this news.

Groundbreaking should begin on Freelance Classical Musician Land as early as August of this year, with a targeted opening date of Spring, 2007. The information sent to us did not have the location of this planned park, but did provide some tantalizing hints at what it would hold. Amongst the attractions we know are slated for the park, subject to change, are the following:

Revenge of the Musicians: The Decimation

This appears to be a heavily themed Sally dark ride where patrons can shoot at annoying people. For example, killing a target that asks the rider when they plan to get a "real job" will be 100 points; killing one that sees the rider play an exceptionally difficult concerto the best they've ever played it and then says they think "Devil Went Down to Georgia" is harder will be 200 points; and killing one that says Josh Groban is a great musical artist will be 1,000,000,000 points.

Tax Time Stunt Show

In this exciting outdoor stunt venue, park visitors will experience the full fury of tax preparation by simulated classical musicians. Visitors will feel the thrilling agony of spending seventeen full days collecting 12 W-2's, 24 1099's, and bags of miscellaneous checks, teaching fees, and deductions; at the completion of this task, they will either owe money despite making 10,000 dollars the previous year, or, in certain versions of the show, receive a crisp refund check for one dollar from the State of Connecticut. Currently, the show is planned to run the entire seventeen days for "realism," but logistics may force it to a more manageable length.

Extreme Orchestra Management Anal Violator

In this motion simulation attraction, guests will feel what it is like to negotiate a new contract with the management of a regional orchestra. Among the thrills will be points where the management cuts the pay of the musicians while raising the salary of its chief executive by 20,000 dollars; insists on maintaining an attendance policy that allows no missed services, even in the case of repetitive stress injuries or car wrecks; not fixing a faulty door backstage that severed the finger of one musician and slashed another in the face; and telling the musicians, with a straight face, that their group, which pays about 3000 bucks a year and offers no benefits, should be the chief source of the musicians' income and primary place of loyalty, so they really shouldn't be performing with any other groups and wearing themselves out for this one. Practical concerns dictate that this simulator ride not last two full years as in reality, so an alternate plan has the park guests just sitting down and having a gigantic cattle prod rammed up their ass really hard.

Moose Assault

Visitors will board a Toyota Corolla with far too many miles on it already. Simulating the life of a freelance musician, this attraction will force its riders to play 8 AM kiddie concerts in northern Vermont, drive to eastern Connecticut for night rehearsals, and then drive back for the next day's kiddie concerts, every day and night for exactly one week, all in a desperate effort to pay the electric bill on time. During one of the nights, selected at random, the car will be directed, for some unknown reason, by police straight into the exploded remains of a moose that someone else has just hit, spraying chunks of moose bones, brains, entrails, and scrotum all over the Corolla at speeds approaching 70 mph. The moose remains will be specially formulated to smell precisely as if Satan has taken a spicy burrito shit on the car, and several power washings will fail to remove all the red gore from the chassis. As with the previous attraction, the current plan calls for the entire seven-day experience to take place in real time, but it could eventually be scaled back to having patrons sit in a chair and then be beaten with baseball bats and have moose guts blasted into them via air cannon.


Monday, June 06, 2005

Enthusiast Seeks Vekoma's Wisdom

A coaster enthusiast recently put to rest the controversy over the inversion count for Vekoma's Flying Dutchmen-style rides by contacting Vekoma itself. The enthusiast, who admitted to being "awfully confused by inversion counts," went straight to the almighty temple of truth, wisdom, and justice- Vekoma itself- for an answer to her ills.

"Our Flying Dutchman (1018 meters) has 7 inversions," read the email response from the company, which experts say has no interest whatsoever in inflating anything about its rides in order to sell more of them.

"Thank God," said the enthusiast. "Vekoma really was the obvious place to check for honest information about their own rides. I have beheld the mighty fountain of truth that is emailed information from Vekoma, and it is wondrous. Thank goodness this wasn't a waste of my valuable time."

In other news, the American Coaster Enthusiasts have just announced that they have organized a seance to ask John Allen if PKI Racer should count as one or two coasters.


Saturday, June 04, 2005

Blow Us, Six Flags

Our Site O' the Weak this week is a little unusual: it's the Six Flags Season Pass Renewal Page. And while the page itself is the garish blast of sparkly colors that is the hallmark of any page on the Six Flags site, that isn't why it's the Site O' the Weak. No, there's more afoot here. And really, it isn't all the webpage's fault; unfortunately, since we can't make the Six Flags corporate structure or a wide array of moronic customer service people a Site O' the Weak, the stupid season pass renewal webpage is going to have to take one for the team.

It all began a couple weeks ago when we decided to get around to buying our Six Flags pass. This was still before the prices really got jacked, and we'd finally decided we'd make just enough use of a pass to make a purchase worthwhile. So we went to this season pass renewal webpage and filled in the number of our previous year's pass; doing this allegedly would result in Six Flags taking our credit card payment and then a ready-to-use renewed pass would appear in our mailbox so we could avoid waiting in line with the scum of the Earth for five hours for processing on our first visit.

Note that we say "allegedly." What happened in this case was that the webpage then said "Unable to process request at this time. Please try again in ten minutes." Well, these things happen. We tried again in ten minutes, and then several more times over the next few days, all with the same result. We tried disabling pop-up blocker and secondary firewall, we tried two different internet browsers, we used a friend's computer, we tried anything we could think of, all to no avail. And it's not like these were ancient computers; ours is almost exactly one year old, and we know enough about it that we've reinstalled the operating system, installed and reconfigured hardware, and massively streamlined the way our software runs and even loads at start-up. In other words, we are far from being brilliant computer specialists, but we aren't the kind of morons who would think the DVD drive is a cup holder or not figure out how to order a damn season pass correctly.

And now that we think about it, we ordered our renewal on the same site using the same frickin' computer last season!

In desperation, we called the online support number. That's where an irritating experience became truly piss-off worthy. When we described the issue, the helpful Six Flags employee said, and we quote, "the system used by Six Flags to process renewals does frequently cause problems with some types of computers, primarily those made by Apple or those running Windows."

Yes, that's right. Their season pass renewal system admittedly doesn't always work with Mac, nor does it necessarily work with PC's running Windows. How convenient! Only 97% of all computer users may experience some trouble on this website! Glad all those Linux people have full access to a season pass for those filthy parks, at least.

The experience continued, over the course of several days, with various transfers to various departments, various unfilled promises to "check on the problem and get back to you," and, finally, some worthless guest services rep telling us that we would have to go to the park in person since they won't do renewals by email or over the phone, and, more importantly, that the price had now gone up substantially, so she didn't "see much point getting a pass at this point."

You know what? Now that we think about it, she was absolutely right. F*ck you, Six Flags. You just lost a customer for the entire season. We're too busy for this nonsense.