Monday, December 18, 2006

ARN&R's Work Done By Others, Part 3,142

Hooray for Saphyria Park, where, as they say, "you can play all day and still wan-a stay!"

Just a couple of highlights. First, check out the About Us page, which is delightful, but not just for what you see in the text. Also check out the URL:

Yes, that does say -- in the URL -- "Dad update this one."

And, while we'd love to order a shirt, the link is to something on someone's (we're guessing Dad's) C: drive, in particular in the "kids" file:


Enjoy. And, once the park opens (in 2026), enjoy your visit there too. Hey, it's at least as realistic as some proposed parks we could name.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Turkmen Honing In On ARN&R Turf

Why, yes, we have been sort of quiet. Can you blame us when stories like this one exist? Why do we need to exist (don't answer that) when an actual news story includes this?

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Authoritarian leader Saparmurat Niyazov on Friday formally opened an amusement park named after him.

We bow down to you, Saparmurat Nyazov.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Six Flags To Re-Theme Magic Mountain’s Scream

Six Flags officials announced this week that they would be revamping the area surrounding Scream!, the park’s Bolliger and Mabillard floorless coaster. Since its installation over an unsightly parking lot in 2003, the coaster has been the target of numerous complaints and countless internet forum topics. After reading scores of pleas to fill the area below the popular coaster with gravel, landscaping, or even cases of unsold Mr. Six merchandise, Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro finally decided to take action.

After thanking a small contingent of media brave enough to enter the hellish environment of Magic Mountain’s entrance plaza, Shapiro outlined his plan. “We felt that we needed to do something special for our guests since Magic Mountain’s X will be non-operational for an undetermined amount of time, a situation completely out of our control, by the way,” Shapiro said, pausing as if waiting for a challenge to his statement.

Shapiro plans to re-brand the coaster “Superman: Kryptonite Island” in time for the summer 2007 season. Conceptual drawings, apparently done by on poster board by fourth-graders in a hurry, show a new red, blue, and yellow color scheme and coaster trains dotted with paper Superman stickers. But the themed area surrounding the coaster is what Shapiro is most proud of.

“Drawing on inspiration from the latest theatrical release Superman Returns, the entire coaster will take place over a detailed recreation of the jagged landmass that the evil Lex Luthor creates in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” Shapiro said. “Guests will swoop through rock canyons and around dangerous jagged obstacles in their attempt to escape the clutches of the villainous Luthor.

“It’ll be just like riding the movie. Universal Studios doesn’t use that phrase anymore, right?” he said, looking back at one of his aides for assurance.

When asked by an ARN&R reporter if he was just planning on haphazardly tearing up the parking lot’s asphalt as a cheap substitute for the “detailed recreation of the jagged landmass”, Shapiro looked visible distressed, complete with several involuntary bobs of his Adam’s apple. He called the claim “preposterous,” and said that anything that appeared to be remnants of yellow paint from parking spaces was just “traces of yellow Kryptonite”.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Study: Majority Of SFGAmWorld Forum Posts Written At Second Grade Reading Level Or Below

After conducting his latest study of various amusement park fan site forums, noted psychologist Don Petersen announced this week that 79% of the posts in the SFGAmWorld forums are written at or near a second grade level of comprehension. The site eclipses the previous benchmark held by the forums at Theme Park Critic by a full three grade levels.

“SFGAmWorld’s forums are a wasteland of poor grammar and atrocious spelling,” said Petersen in a phone interview with ARN&R, “and repeat offenders are commonplace. The boards are populated by enthusiasts who misspell “enthusiast” in their signatures, overly smug moderators with a deity complex, and people who engage in discussion about Tom Cruise-themed attractions.”

Normally, Petersen’s conclusions are primarily based on the Flesch Kincaid Readability Test, but in this particular case, special conditions were factored in.

“Most park forums are littered with hebetudinous gibberish, and one should almost expect subpar fundaments.” said Petersen. “But in this case, the absurd subjects of most of the forum topics were taken into consideration. Multiple examples of idiocy can be easily found, such as topics discussing Mr. Six merchandise being marked down, fantasy musings about if Marriott still owned the park, and a thread about an insecure poster desperately yearning for attention.”

Petersen is currently planning a 2007 Fright Fest trip to the Gurnee, IL park for his University of Iowa psychology doctoral students. “It’ll be a fascinating experience, getting to see some of these forum members in the wild, so to speak.” Petersen said. “I’m sure I’ll be reading many dissertations about how much smarter they are than the general public and their unhealthy obsession with park performers.”

--CMV (Hey! Look! Send the hate mail directly to the author!)
Enthusiast Disappointed With Halloween Experience

A Georgia coaster enthusiast is considering giving up on Halloween after this year’s costume choice failed to go over like gangbusters. 27-year old Locust Grove native Nick Selack explained his disenchantment in an exclusive interview with ARN&R.

“I just got so sick of seeing people dressed up in stupid costumes,” said a despondent Selack. “Every year, there’s like a thousand pirates or ghosts. Nobody’s got any originality. So this year, I decided to try something cool.”

After spending countless hours scrutinizing Discovery Channel coaster specials, Selack dressed up as Park World editor Paul Reuben, complete with grey wig, glasses, and a custom-created copy of Reuben’s pseudo-magazine Park World. Selack headed out to a costume contest at a local bar with high hopes for an evening of admiration -- hopes which were dashed quickly.

“Nobody understood who I was supposed to be,” said Selack. “Most of the people thought I was dressed up as Dick Cheney, and some thought I was former Illinois governor George Ryan. I kept holding up the magazine, and saying ‘Park World! Park World! Don’t you get it?’ And then they kicked me out for causing a disturbance.”

Things didn’t get better for Selack after knocking on a few doors in his neighborhood. “Man, you’d think nobody ever watched a coaster special before! I even tried to drop a few subtle hints, telling people that their front door had the best themeing I’d ever seen, or that walking up their sidewalk was an exhilarating experience like none other in the world. Nothing worked. What a bunch of rubes.”

Susan Callahan, who lives four doors down from Selack, chimed in on the confusion. “He seems like an okay guy, but he got the Paul Reuben costume all wrong,” she said. “For one, he wasn’t wearing the grey suit with the red bow tie. And he just glared at me when I asked him what the word of the day was. I was about to ask if he still kept in touch with Laurence Fishburne, or if he’d punched his clown in a movie theatre recently, but he’d already stalked off by that point.”


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Six Flags St. Louis Rethemed to Violent Crime

Six Flags (SIX) announced today that it will institute park enhancements for the 2007 season that will make it "much more appealing to local guests."

"The family is always the focus of our new marketing initiatives," explained Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO. "But in a community where even comic-book supervillians would roll up their windows, lock their doors and run red lights in sheer terror, a few adjustments were necessary."

Six-Guns Blazin' over St. Louis will be the first park to completely eliminate queue rails from their attractions. "Really, what's the point? If you don't have a Q-Bot, at least 27 of your homies or a lil' somethin' somethin' in your hip pocket, why are you here? Frankly, in this town, HOW did you get here?"

While the Vekoma-designed Ninja and Gerstlauer-equipped Boss coasters have always delivered gang initiation-quality beatings, family offerings will be increased as well. "Kids will love lying in the chalk outlines of their favorite DC Cartoon heroes," quipped Shapiro. "And the new 'What's Up BEEEEE-YOTCH?' revue? With Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd and other classically packin' Warner Brother characters delivering street justice, drive-by style? We just can't miss."

The chains will be hangin' low on the coasters beginning May 2007. Look for 'hop the fence' discount coupons on yo' favorite 40s this Spring.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Enthusiasts Disappointed in Name Change for Sky Princess

When a Dutch Wonderland internal memo leaked to Screamscape debating the renaming of its signature wooden roller coaster, the enthusiast community was shocked. “I couldn’t believe it,” said local enthusiast Richard Scheissbaugh. “I mean, I love the Sky Princess. On my days off from working at the buffet down the street, I loved to ride her all day long. There are few things I like more than riding my Princess. I mean, look at her beautiful curves...” Mr. Scheissbaugh then settled into a trance, drooling while making only soft, guttural noises for several minutes.

Upon inquiry, Dutch Wonderland declined to comment, but a source that refused to be named stated, “For crying out loud, it’s just a ride. I mean, we really shouldn’t have all these enthusiasts all over the park in the first place. Most of the tourists see them and think that our park has been overrun by pedophiles, since most of the enthusiasts haven’t understood the concept of ‘bathing’, and look that they have neither shaved nor exercised in years. That’s bad for business.”

Upon returning to consciousness, Scheissbaugh stated, “It wouldn’t be the same if I told my co-workers that I was leaving work to go ride my Dragon woodie the rest of the evening. That, that’s disturbing."


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ARN&R Staff Writer Declares Six Flags Code Of Conduct Policy A Total Success

After spending a day at Six Flags Great America, Absolutely Reliable News and Rumors Semi-Literate Staff Writer CMV was amazed at the scope of the company’s newly implemented Guest Code of Conduct. Officially announced on October 18th, the Code was denounced by many as a useless rehashing of already existing park rules and policies on behavior, dress, and safety. But after his first-hand experience at the park, CMV feels differently.

“The first thing I applauded was the fifteen dollar parking fee,” said the ARN&R hack/contributor. “In the past, I had just believed that the company was attempting to fleece the consumer who had no choice but to dish out the money. But now, knowing that these funds are going toward enforcing their new and beneficial policies, I believe differently.”

The surprises continued at the front gate. “The security guard took my girlfriend’s nearly-full cup of Starbucks away from her, stating that no outside beverages were allowed in the park. I believe he was absolutely right to do so. Who knows what kind of intoxicant, foreign substance, or chemical agent could have been in there?

“True, the blank-eyed young man who took our tickets could have informed her of that policy, and let her to actually drink her 5 dollar cup of Maple Macchiato before entering the park. But that’s not really his job now, is it?”

CMV’s girlfriend, hereby referred to as KFF, has a slightly different take on the situation. “I can’t believe that guy took my f---ing coffee!” she said. “And why, just so they can sell more of that nasty hot chocolate for 3 bucks a f---ing cup? Screw that.”

“Once we got in the park, things just got better,” said CMV. “So what if they were only running one train on the Demon? Big deal. The park needs employees to staff the Col. J.R. Peabody and Sons Mercantile Co., don’t they? And that wasn’t garbage on the ground of the Mardi Gras section, it was theming!”

When KFF attempted to remind her boyfriend of the numerous instances of smoking and line jumping (and in one case, smoking while line jumping) that went unpunished in front of them, CMV replied that he “didn’t recall” those occurrences. He went on to state that she was most likely woozy from lack of caffeine, a condition that could have been alleviated by purchasing a refreshing four dollar Coca-Cola from one of the park’s well-staffed food service windows.

“I’m ecstatic about Six Flags cementing their commitment to customer service,” said CMV. “And if the rumors are true about the park not adding any new attractions next year, that just means more focus on maintaining their status as the greatest amusement park company in the known universe. I plan on mailing them a blank check for our 2007 season passes right now.”

[Editor’s Note: At the insistence of KFF, a toxicology report on CMV showed dangerously high levels of Diazepam, an anxiolytic drug. Preliminary medical reports suggest that the drug may have been ingested unknowingly, possibly contained within a slice of Papa John's pizza.]


Thursday, October 12, 2006

North Korea Continues Dangerous Practices

Nearly a week after shocking the world by testing a nuclear device, North Korea continues to defy the international community by experimenting with unstable and dangerous instruments. In a report by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the communist regime boasted that they now have in their possession a fully functional Zamperla Volare Flying Coaster.

“Despite the unfair sanctions and pressures from the Bush administration and other hostile countries, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is now a featured player in the field of airborne amusement rides,” said the KCNA in an English language statement. “No longer will our dissolute neighbors be able to flaunt their technology in the combined faces of the North Korean people. This is simply the next step in strengthening the greatest socialist paradise on the planet.”

Reports from inside the cloistral realm suggested that the coaster will called “Kangangsuwole,” and will be themed to a peasant dancing song sung during collective works, such as bridge construction or excavations. Construction is slated to begin outside the coastal city of Wonsan sometime early next year.

“The United Nations calls upon North Korea to immediately cease any and all attempts to erect this horrible coaster,” said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “Any national pride they may gain from the completion of this project will be overshadowed by the terrible injuries it is bound to inflict upon the Korean people.”

“One can understand the Republic’s desire for a flying coaster, but to select a Zamperla is downright suicidal,” said University of Kentucky professor George Barron. “All they had to do was play nice with the West for a few years, the sanctions would have eased, and they could have bought a nice Bolliger and Mabillard. Hell, even a Vekoma Flying Dutchman would have been better than what they’ve got.”

The United States government stated that it will continue its current sanctions against North Korea, hinting strongly that replacement parts for the Zamperla coaster may be “difficult” to get. Unconfirmed reports state that the government may also be investigating Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro on possible “treasonous activities." Shapiro reportedly nixed a deal to sell Elitch Gardens’ Zamperla Flying Coaster to the North Koreans when they refused to also purchase Sidewinder, the park’s Arrow Dynamics shuttle loop coaster.

According to the KCNA, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il stated that he can’t wait to ride his country’s newest national treasure, and that he’s going to have his arms out in front of him the whole time, “like Superguy."


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Family To Enthusiast: “Yes, That Is A Vekoma Invertigo On That Best Buy Commercial, Now Shut The F--- Up.”

A recent television commercial for the electronics retailer Best Buy may be informative to most consumers, but for the Ridley family of Boxer Park, Ohio, it’s the stuff that nightmares are made of. Coaster enthusiast Kevin Ridley, 18, feels the need to point out the fleeting glimpse of a Vekoma Invertigo every time the commercial airs, much to the chagrin of the rest of his family.

“Kevin just needs to shut the f--- up,” says Kevin’s 17 year old sister Kaylee. “Every time I’m trying to watch something on the CW, he pokes his goony head into the room when that commercial comes on. ‘That’s Face/Off! Face/Off!’ he’ll yell. And I’m just like, Kevin, please just shut the f---up.”

“I don’t know what we’re going to do with him,” says Kevin’s mother Laurie, 51. “We’ve tried everything from immediately muting the television when the commercial airs and he’s not in the room, quickly changing the channel when he is, and repeatedly telling him to shut the f---up. We even tried TiVoing every show we want to watch, and fast forwarding through the commercials. No luck there, though. He still manages to see that roller coaster, even at 8 times the normal speed. We just can’t get him to shut the f--- up.”

Kevin’s 58-year-old father has several ideas on how to resolve the problem. “I know just how to get him to shut the f--- up,” says Art Ridley, grinding a fist into his palm in the universal sign for one looking forward to violence. “The first thing to go is that computer of his. Normal guys his age look at internet porno and lie about stuff to girls in chat rooms. All Kevin does is look at pictures of closed amusement parks and post on sites featuring poorly written examples of coaster humor.

“If that doesn’t work, I’ll take away his collection of amusement park t-shirts, and burn ‘em all in the Weber grill. Yes, even the ones from Boardwalk and Baseball. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it’s getting to the point where I’ll do anything to get that kid to shut the f--- up.”

Laurie thinks that her husband may be going too far. “That hopefully won’t be necessary. They’ll eventually stop running that commercial, and then he’ll shut the f--- up.”

But Kevin doesn’t understand what the big deal is. “My sister is just being a b---,” he says. “She’s jealous that I spent Grandma’s Christmas money on a season pass to Paramount’s Kings Island, and she saved hers for something stupid, like prom. And as for my dad sneaking into my room to take my computer and my park shirts? Yeah, my Boba Fett room alarm will make sure that won’t happen.”


Monday, October 09, 2006

Holiday World One of the Big Boys Now, Will Act Accordingly

In a surprise press release from Holiday World, issued shortly after its press release announcing that the park had attracted over a million guests, the park announced a number of initiatives designed to show the amusement industry that HW had "arrived." Among them:

- Eat a dog turd, cut in line for Raven. Eat a cow patty, cut in line for The Voyage.

- All HW employees will receive new sullenness training so that they can achieve "the great results of other big parks like Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom"

- New for 2007: five trim brakes on every coaster!

- All food will be branded, mostly Jack in the Box with Natural Selection spinach salads.

- The park will announce a new focus on being "family-friendly" in the spring, only to end the season with massive advertising of teen-oriented coasters and Halloween attractions, possibly with pole dancing in lines.

- HW's new president? Joe Torre.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

News Tidbits
  • Valleyfair is doing our job for us: "For an American Coaster Enthusiast, riding Renegade is like lickin’ butter off a knife (something that’s easy)." (We might have added "Though they won't be able to ride Renegade every day, like they lick butter off a knife every day.)

  • Also, in what universe is this a fun fact? "The song 'Renegade' was a 1979 hit for American rock band Styx." It's really more of a reminder of a national embarrassment.

  • Coming up next season, Sesame Place will, if there is a just God, introduce Elmo Xtreme, a 200-foot 4D steel coaster featuring blaring metal-rap Sesame Street song covers.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Disney Exec Discusses California Adventure Overhaul

Theme park aficionados have been buzzing about Disney CEO Bob Iger's announcement that he plans to rescue the company's California Adventure park from its current state of mediocrity. Disney's California Adventure has long been maligned for its uninspired theme, lack of engaging attractions, and general absence of entertainment. Iger's plan reportedly includes considerable financial expenditure, and will result in a complete overhaul of the structure of the park over the next decade.

Traditionally, Disney executives have been less than forthcoming with details of future projects. But in an exclusive interview with ARN&R, Iger slightly pulled back the curtain of mystery surrounding one facet of this monumental renovation. Late this year, the parkÂ?s flight simulator Soarin' Over California will be closed, to be replaced in 2008 by a brand new attraction: Saruman Over California. The ride's IMAX projection screens and unique inverted simulator system will remain in place, but instead of experiencing a lighthearted aerial tour of the Golden State, guests will be menaced by the evil white wizard portrayed by Christopher Lee.

"It's going to be great," said Iger, finishing off his fifth El Presidente margarita. "The story is that Saruman wants to turn California into the new Isengard, and our guests get caught right in the middle. Dragons, orcs, those things that look like the Harry Potter dementors...this is going to have it all."

"You could say that it's one ride to rule them all," Iger chuckled, to the groans of nearby Chili's patrons.

The ride's Saruman footage is reportedly culled from unsatisfactory outtakes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, purchased from New Line Cinema at a heavily discounted price. Iger says not to worry; Disney isn't reverting back to their frugal ways with the "new" California Adventure.

"Wait until you see the queue for this thing! And the souvenir shop at the ride's exit!" Iger gushed. "Who can stand against the combined might of Saruman and Walt Disney Imagineering? Nobody, that's who."


Friday, September 15, 2006

Enthusiast’s Vanity License Plate Causes Derisive Comments, Honking

Derek Gerretsen simply can’t figure out what the problem is.

“Everywhere I go, it’s the same thing,” said the 35 year old coaster enthusiast and owner of a 1986 Pontiac Fiero. “I can’t even drive down the street anymore without some pinhead honking his horn like crazy, or a carload full of teenagers calling me a bone smoker or a meat mogul. Just the other day, two high school girls in a Miata threw some opened mayonnaise packets through my passenger side window and told me to go back to Gaytown, wherever that is.

“I’ve tried to even ask a few of them why they’re yelling such terrible things at me, but so far they’ve all told me to go back to knob gobbling or practicing my skin flute. I’m totally confused.”

But David Allen, Gerretsen’s co-worker at StrandCo Electrical Supply, knows exactly what’s going on. “Derek is a total mouthbreather,” Allen told ARN&R. “All he ever does is talk about the road trips he takes on the weekends and vacation to those stupid amusement parks. I got trapped working with him in shipping and receiving a few months ago, and he wouldn’t shut up about how he got 50 rides on some 'woodie' coaster called the Vonage, or the Voyage, or something like that.

“I was so tired of hearing him babble, I told him he should get a vanity license plate for that crappy car that said that he loved wood. I’ll be damned if the guy didn’t show up with one a few weeks later. Everyone here was laughing at him, but he doesn’t have a clue to what’s so funny. What an incredible tool that guy is.”

Gerretsen has yet to realize the connection between his custom license plate and his near-daily castigation on the streets of Johan Heights, Indiana. “I was surprised that it was still available,” said the oblivious Gerretsen, pointing at his plate that reads ILUVWOOD. “I thought I’d get stuck with something else, like MEANSTRK, or GRSTLAUR. But I got lucky, and it goes so nicely with my Judge Roy Scream bumper sticker!

“David at my work actually gave me the idea. That guy is pretty cool. There’s rumors of an ACE event at Mt. Olympus sometime next year. Maybe I’ll ask him if he wants to go and split a site at the Dell Boo Campground.”

“Go on a road trip with that guy? In that car?” asked Allen, when informed of Gerretsen’s possible invitation. “No thanks. I collect Star Wars memorabilia. I’ve got a hard enough time getting dates as it is.”


Friday, September 08, 2006

Inanimate Object Creates MySpace Account, Enthusiasts Crap Pants

Maverick, the Intamin coaster currently under construction at Cedar Point and expected to operate for upwards of fifteen minutes at a time without problems, has created its own MySpace profile, and coaster enthusiasts couldn’t be happier. For many, this may be their only opportunity to make a “friend” on the popular social networking website.

"I am sooo geeked about this!” said MySpace member KitFisto94. “Maverick accepted me right away, unlike most of the stuck-up webcam chicks I’ve contacted. I’m looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Maverick.”

IdoraDave agrees. “I’m checking in with Maverick every day. There’s nothing better than logging on to the internet to watch an erection getting bigger.” he said, oblivious to the fleeting look of disgust that passed across this reporter’s face.

Comments on Maverick’s profile have ranged from complimentary (Tyler is 1/4 BLACK: “Sick layout, Maverick”), to perplexing (Marissa: “I am wonder what going like a new roller coaster next year!!!!”), to the downright salacious (Koaster Kris: “Im hoping to make it back out to Ohio again especially next year to ride you! W00t!” and Jordan: “i've decided i will propose to you in the morning”). [Ed. note: We're not even going to try to use all of the [sic]s that would be necessary for this story.]

“This is not uncommon behavior, especially for such a traditionally unsociable group as coaster enthusiasts.” said noted psychologist Don Petersen. “It’s known as ‘personification’. Many of these people lead sad and sheltered lives, with very few real and enriching relationships. They begin to see this partially completed structure as a surrogate friend of sorts, and begin addressing it as if it were a corporeal being.

“Most of them probably don’t even realize that their comments to an inert hunk of metal make them sound like sexual deviants when taken out of context. Take James Crochford, for example, and his statement ‘Oh boy Maverick! Despite only being 105 feet tall I'm still excited to ride you.’. Most people reading this statement with no background information would assume that Mr. Crochford has some form of giantess fetish that isn’t being satisfied. Sadly, the truth that he’s actually speaking to a spiritless load of metal is far more shameful.

“People talking to roller coasters. This has got to be one of the most whacked-out things I’ve ever heard.” Petersen later muttered, in what he assumed was an off-the-record statement.

And as Maverick’s profile continues to fill with incomprehensible gibberish ((andrei geos to the mayer)**%: “i thought it was goin over the water then what explain all the cemet barges out ther to hold rollar coaster track out huh!!!!”), the world wonders; what’s next? We here at ARN&R predict that this signals the beginning of a new onslaught, as everything from Dippin' Dots stands ("MySpace Site of the Future," no doubt) to pieces of Six Flags Great America's Shockwave will carve out their niche on the MySpace site, finally allowing enthusiasts to brag that they have “hundreds” of friends.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Powered Coasters Feel ACE Executive's Wrath

Henry Booker, an Executive Committee member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts, as well as winner of this year's prestigious ACE Lifetime Tool Award, has finally, after years of debate among coaster enthusiasts, laid down the law on counting powered coasters in one's track record.

"The ACE Executive Committee has determined that no member shall be allowed to list these rides in his or her coaster count," said Booker in a recent exclusive interview with ARN&R. "You see, powered coasters can't be considered coasters because at no time, not even when going down a hill, is gravity ever used."

"And as much as I claim to like RCDB, I'm sorry to announce that from this point on, it is considered contraband to all ACE members," he noted. "Anyone who uses to determine what are coasters and can be counted in their track record will be executed. If you have ever used to determine your track record, or if you currently or have ever counted powered coasters in your track record, then you will meet your destiny."

"You will never convince me that a powered Dragon Wagon is a coaster," said Booker. "I've been on 534 coasters! I know what is and what isn't a coaster! And not only that, but the Kangaroo at Kennywood will no longer be referred to as a 'Flying Coaster.' It neither flies, nor coasts. We are hereby boycotting Kennywood as well, and any ACE member caught riding the Kangaroo will be summarily disemboweled."

Booker then cut the interview short, indicating that he needed to drive up to Dorney Park and make his 347th attempt to harass the ride operators into letting him ride the Little Laser.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

Don't Sign Us Up

It's been a while, but the Site O' the Weak is back with us in full force today, as we alert our faithful readers to their right to sign up here for a PKI Central-guided trip to various Ohio amusement parks. Whether anyone will exercise that God-given right, is, of course, a matter for some conjecture, seeing as the tour is apparently being conducted by young children.

Judging from the colorful and patriotic design of the tour sales website (because not giving PKI Central money is a slap in the face of all Americans and what this proud nation stands for), its informative nature, its abundance of exclamation points, and its creative spelling, we'll, of course, be happy to plunk down the vague 200 to 250 dollars to do...well, we aren't exactly sure what yet. Presumably it will involve a BIG SURPRISE. Or perhaps the BIG SURPRISE will be that we send two hundred bucks to people and never see it again? We'll know soon, of course, since the BIG SURPRISE is "comming soon." But not yet.

We're very certain we'll see you all there.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Busch Gardens Disappoints People With Bad Taste

Tens of people were disappointed today when Busch Gardens announced that their new coaster, Griffon, was based on a mythological creature that was part eagle and part lion. All thirty Eddie Griffin fans were saddened by the fact that the coaster was not about the Undercover Brother star. "We were just disappointed," lamented one Griffin enthusiast, "as he is the best comic and actor of his generation."

While the Scary Movie 3 and DysFunktional Family star could not be reached for comment, his fans were all over it. Trondell, from the Bronx, could not hold back his frustration. "I don't see why the man is putting Griffin down again. The next thing you know, the Wayans brothers won't be able to get a ride themed after their collective comedic genius."

Busch Entertainment spokesman responded with a press statement: "We are sorry that there was some confusion as to the appearance of Mr. Eddie Griffin. While films like Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo do require a lot of acting prowess, we do not feel that theming a ride after an ancient mythological creature is a slap in the face."


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Six Flags Offers Several Other "Six No-Touch" lists

Following reports that Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro stated that there are six "no-touch" parks within the chain that absolutely will not be sold, Shapiro announced that there would be several more "six no-touch" lists concerning new directions the company will be taking.

• Six "no-touch" parking lots - A list of the six parks which offer "outstanding family service in the important function of SUV family car parking." Even if the actual amusement park is sold, Shapiro stated, Six Flags will continue to operate the parking area, charging $15 and filling it with roaming costumed characters.

• Six "no-touch" food stands - six food stands that offer "outstanding variety and service geared to families." Like the parking lots, even if the surrounding parks are sold, these food stands will continue to sell $9 hot dogs for generations to come, no matter what is built around them.

• Six "no-touch" employees - This list may be delayed, as after several months of preparation there is still only one employee on the list, and he is reportedly under threat of termination.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Chicago Bears Blame Pathetic Preseason Camp On Six Flags Great America

The Chicago Bears broke from one of the most lackluster preseason camps in recent memory this week, and head coach Lovie Smith knew exactly where to lay the blame. “It’s all because of Six Flags Great America,” Smith told the media Thursday. “That’s the main reason things went so sour.”

The Bears’ main concern was the downright spastic play of starting quarterback Rex Grossman, which Smith attributes to fatigue. According to sources close to the team, Grossman has been surviving on less than two hours of sleep a night, spending most of his free time scouring coaster forums in search of rumors about a possible floorless coaster for the Gurnee park in 2007.

“Leave me alone,” said a taciturn Grossman leaving the Bears camp in Bourbonnais, Illinois. “I’ve got to go watch some game film…or something…” Grossman then proceeded to fumble the keys to his car twice and break his right wrist while attempting to swat a fly.

“Sure, we’ve been decimated by injuries so far this year, most, if not all, caused in some way by Six Flags,” Smith said. “But I’m not worried. Wait and see what happens to the Broncos when Elitch Gardens gets bulldozed for a shopping complex.”

ARN&R has compiled a partial list of the Bears’ injury woes, and their amusement park connections:

• Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek: right foot stress fracture from standing in place for six hours straight waiting for Déjà Vu to open on August 10th;

• Safety Mike Brown: torn Achilles tendon caused by attempting to hover over a urine and feces splattered toilet seat without touching in the park’s Hometown Square section;

• Cornerback Nathan Vasher: strained back muscles from eight continuous August 5th re-rides on the park’s rapidly deteriorating American Eagle;

• Assistant linebacker coach Jesse Bormet: outbreak of diphtheria from the park’s Loggers’ Run flume ride, July 29th; and

• Running back Cedric Benson: Dislocated shoulder caused by reaching for wallet to pay for a nine dollar hamburger.

In other Chicago sports news, rumors are running rampant that the Chicago White Sox’s two consecutive losses to the little league-caliber Kansas City Royals were the result of players' distraction at an upcoming trip to Kentucky Kingdom.

“I don’ know where you getting this idea,” said Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. “Greezed Lightnin’ been berry, berry good to me.”


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Valleyfair!'s 2007 "Woodie": The True Story

It's been accepted as gospel truth at the usual suspect websites that ValleyFair is building a wooden coaster in 2007. But we at Absolutely Reliable have gone one step further: We have actual footage of a coaster enthusiast badgering the truth from some poor marketing rep.

Actually, the video is mostly an unflattering view ot the inquiring ACEr. Fine, let's be more specific--far more unflattering than usual. Think plumber's crack with an inordinately overstretched and unsexy tattoo...or are those varicose veins and stretch marks? Don't ask us. We aren't checking.

In any event, here's the transcipt:

Dork: So whatisit whatisit whatisit whatisit?
Rep: Ewwwwwwww. What?
Dork: Whatisit whatisit whatisit whatisit?
Rep: On your lip? Looks like mayonnaise. At least let's hope so.
Dork: Oooh! Oooh! A sooooovenir! *wipes mouth with coaster shirt* Every stain tells a stohhhh-ry.
Rep: [edges toward door] Ooookaaaaaaaaayyyy.
Dork: Jus' like a Hawaiian hooooola dance.
Rep: Look, I gotta get going.
Dork: Buhhhhhhh...Whasit whatisit whatisit whatisit?
Rep: What is WHAT?
Dork: New keaustur. New keaustur. Whatisit? Whatisit? I won't tell...[boots up laptop]
Rep: Did I say it was a coaster?
Rep: [long sigh]
Dork: In yer FASSSSSSSSE!! [slight spittle spray]
Rep: No getting around you, I guess.
Dork: I knoooow.
Rep: I was speaking for your belt, actually. Anyway...
Dork: I gawwta KNOWWWW. [breeze of well-aged pickle loaf]
Rep: Okay, fine.
Dork: [high pitched orgasmic squeal]
Rep: It's something you've been wating for a long time.
Dork: A woodie?
Rep: And I think you'll really like it.
Dork: A woodie?
Rep:'ll see next year.
Dork: A woodie? Woodie Woodie Wood Woodie?
Rep: I bet you would like one of those, huh?

And the rapid clickety-clack of little sausage fingers drowned out the remaining audio.

A bright off -- screen flash and groan -- possibly the rep tasering themselves in hopes of forgetting the incident -- was somewhat indistinct and inconclusive as of press time.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Flummoxed Coaster Enthusiasts Harass Baked Goods Company

Employees of the New Jersey based company Entenmann's have been deluged by phone calls from coaster enthusiasts, most of whom have confused the retailer of baked goods with a similarly-named amusement ride manufacturer. "They've been calling night and day," said EntenmannÂ?s customer service representative Sara Reid. "I'll be darned if I know half of what the heck theyÂ?re going on about. Most of them just start talking about something called Sidewinder, and asking me if it's going to be launched or have a hill of some sort."

The calls have also bedeviled Regional Manager Stan Caruso. "Our corporate policy is to be polite and helpful to all our callers, but this batch is turning into a real stick in the side," he said. "I've got sixteen voice mails since this morning screaming at me about how we need to speed up the dispatch time on Vertical Velocity. What is that about? Do you know?"

"Well, I feel sorry for the poor dears. They've got us confused with something else," Reid said. "I just try to be as patient as I can, and if they ask me about Wicked Twister, I tell them all about our Cinnamon Twist crumb cake. Most of 'em seem pretty happy when they figure out that we sell doughnuts and cheesecake."

Entenmann's profits are up 14.7% from last quarter, mostly due to a stunning increase in phone and internet orders.

In a similar situation, Max Jarrell, CEO of the New Zealand electrical company known as B&M stated to ARN&R that he's "getting mighty sick of phone calls from panting freaks," and the next person who bothers him about the trim brakes on the first hill of Mantis is going to get "a swift kick in the ass."


Monday, August 07, 2006

Sea World Orlando Doesn’t Know What The Hell Journey to Atlantis Is About

A public relations representative of Sea World Orlando unwittingly confirmed this weekend what theme park insiders have suspected for years; the park has absolutely no idea what their Journey to Atlantis attraction is about.

Melissa Statkus, 22, a newly hired media relations coordinator, was charged with leading a camera crew from a local cable access show around the park on Saturday. The group had exited the Manatee Rescue exhibit, and was setting up their camera for footage of the exterior of the Mack water coaster when the incident occurred.

“I was surprised that she had only been working at the park for a few weeks. She seemed so knowledgeable about everything.” said Orlando Opus cameraman Larry Grzybek. “She told us about how there’s been a couple of different Shamus over the years, and that their park is much cleaner than a Six Flags, despite the fact that they serve free beer. But when we asked her about the story of that Atlantis ride, she kinda freaked out.”

Orlando Opus host and producer David Strand concurred. “All I did was ask what the ride was about, and she got really pale and started stammering. I guess it was good that Larry caught it on tape, but I felt really bad for her.”

ARN&R has reviewed the tape, and the mental unraveling of the young woman is truly disturbing. After initially describing the story as a “mystical journey” to the lost city of Atlantis, she quickly backtracks, saying guests will be sent on a wild adventure after offending the sea goddess “Allura…or something”. The situation only gets worse after Statkus is asked why the ride features music from the soundtrack of the motion picture Beetlejuice.

“That girl went right off her trolley.” Strand said, shaking his head. “I haven’t seen a girl crying that hysterically since my prom night.”

The tape shows Statkus flying into a frothing rage, screeching that her Sea World superiors told her to “make up some bulls--t” if anyone asked about the attraction’s storyline, and that she had been on the ride “like…sixty times” in an attempt to work it out for herself, but to no avail. Her eyes filling with tears, she states that she “didn’t have to deal with this kind of crap” when she worked at Old Navy.

“And that was it. She covered her face, and ran off in the direction of Kraken.” Grzybek said. “I guess our segment turned out okay, even if we never did find out why OSHA hasn’t shut down that Wild Arctic simulator ride, or why the entire Penguin Encounter smells like rotten garbage.”


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Heat Can't Beat Enthusiast

The record-breaking heat along the eastern seaboard this week has deterred all but the hardiest of vacationers from more than the barest of outdoor activities, but there are those who brave the soaring temperatures and high humidity. One is coaster enthusiast Dirk Patton, 41, who has staunchly refused to spend any less than the entire day today at Six Flags America, near Washington, DC. Despite a temperature topping out at 111 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat index rating of 125, and a lack of shade caused by park landscaping consisting primarily of acres of sun-obliterated bare asphalt.

"I need to get in at least twenty rides on Joker's Jinx and twenty on Superman if I'm going to have a shot at riding each over seven hundred times this season" he panted. "My shot at glory and everlasting fame from this accomplishment will not be denied!"

Professing to care little about the dangerous heat levels, Patton said "Well, it seemed pretty hot and muggy this morning, and I'll admit that I was sweating profusely. But I must have gotten used to it, because I haven't been sweating the slightest bit for at least an hour. Guess I'm made of stronger stuff than most people." Patton did admit to feeling quite achey, dizzy and nauseous, but said that was "perfectly normal for a stud who faced the front row of X-Flight four times in a row."

Patton also noted that the "pretty swirling colors in the air" were "particularly vibrant" and that the "giant purple man-eating penguins over there" were worrying him a bit, as they were beginning to stare at him in a lustful fashion.

The Weather Channel reports that tomorrow's average temperature will exceed 6 trillion degrees Kelvin. Patton assured ARN&R, once he was again apprised of his name and location, that he will be right back at SFA, racking up those important credits.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Couple Unable To Visit Six Flags Great America

A Chicago area couple is stymied by their inability to visit Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, despite driving nearly two hours for that purpose alone.

“We just keep trying to figure out why,” said Paul Willard, 34 years old, “We were planning this trip for weeks, even arriving at our hotel the night before so we could get to the gates before the park opened. But over a few drinks at dinner, we both came to the decision that we really didn’t want to go at all.”

Kim Schultz, 27, was the first one to bring up the subject of not visiting the park. “I made a joke about it at the hotel, y’know, that the room was so nice that we should just sleep in instead of fighting the crowds all morning. But then it came up again at dinner, and when we realized that we were both thinking the same thing, that was it.”

Willard and Schultz are both former SFGAm annual passholders, and have truly enjoyed their visits to the chain’s Midwestern gem in the past. Willard shrugged his shoulders when asked for a rationale behind the couple’s actions.

“Beats me. I guess maybe I’m just tired of the throngs of white-trash, hostile ride operators, and bland fast food. Of course, fifteen dollars for parking might have something to do with it.”

Schultz is more specific, waving a Six Flags brochure in the air. “They’re celebrating a forty-fifth anniversary?” she asked incredulously. “What the hell is that? That makes even less sense than that ‘100 Years of Magic’ crap that Disney tried to cram down people’s throats a few years ago.”

The couple then engaged in a rapid-fire listing of possible reasons for their non-visit, including peeling paint on Déjà Vu, lackluster live show offerings, and the continued operation of Iron Wolf, the park’s torturous B&M stand-up coaster. They agree on one point, however.

“We had a much better time that day by not going to the park.” Schultz said. “We had a good breakfast, did some shopping at the Gurnee Mills mall, and took most of the afternoon driving home on country roads. It was much better than standing in line for three hours for Raging Bull, which is just going to be trimmed to death anyway.”

The couple is already in the planning stages of a trip to the park next month, which will most likely include a day of horseback riding at a local stable, and an outing at the park’s Fright Fest, when they plan to spend the day at a health spa.


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Wild Escape To Open In Thirty Unpopulated Places

Shaking off a long-term decline in amsuement park attendance, Wild Escape announced today that it would open thirty nearly-identical amusement parks in the least-attended places it could find.

"We're starting out in West Virginia, where we're pumped to attract all four dozen citizens and their five dozen (collective) teeth," said CEO Fred Fazen. "Then we're aiming for northern Idaho, western South Dakota, southern Wisconsin, northern Louisiana, and approximately a dozen uninhabited and inaccessible islands off the coast of Oregon."

Fazen said that his company had obtained "extensive financing" by obtaining a home equity loan on his three-bedroom ranch house in suburban Indianapolis. "We've got access to $35,000, which should be plenty to make at least twenty-four more almost identical websites."


Monday, July 10, 2006

Shocking Disqualification Occurs in Internet Wood Coaster Poll

The battle for supremacy amongst coasters is nothing new; for decades, rides have done nearly anything to be noticed by those filling out rank sheets and polls. However, despite the intense competitiveness and high level of showmanship, there has always been a strong sense of gentlemanly respect displayed between the combatants. Until this weekend, perhaps, when an unprecedented turn toward bad sportsmanship may have ushered in a less civil and more aggressive era in top coaster polling, as one leading ride head-butted another.

The aggressor was the Kentucky Rumbler, a widely respected GCI woodie from Beech Bend Park. Video footage showed the Rumbler trading words with the Gravity Group's Voyage, of Holiday World, during in-season voting for the Internet Wood Coaster Poll, after the two were tangled up in a play near their sector of the country. Shortly thereafter, the Rumbler launched the vicious headbutt to the middle of the Voyage, which was not protecting itself and crumpled in a heap for several minutes before getting up under its own power. Although it could certainly be expected that such an unpleasant cheap shot would result in reduced support for the Rumbler in any case, officials took the proactive stance of issuing a red card, disqualifying the ride from any further votes for the remainder of the season.

The unsportsmanlike incident was extremely surprising, considering that the Rumbler has been a force of offense and the unquestioned leader of its park. It had been locked in a pitched battle with Voyage and other wood coasters for the title in what has long been considered the leading and most accurate coaster poll on the internet, and the loss of future votes all but eliminates it from any hope of a high position.

"I just don't understand it," said commentator Brent Mussberger. "It had a great chance at a title, and this senseless act not only ruined those hopes and those of its people, it will tarnish the Rumbler's legacy forever." Mussberger added that the new in-season ballot amending for the Internet Wood Coaster Poll seemed to be adding a previously unknown level of unpleasant energy and intensity to competitive coasters, and that this would probably not be the last time tempers would flare.

"I expect that next year will set a record for ejections and suspensions," he said, reading a cue card.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kennywood Offers Free Gas

Earlier this season, Hersheypark hit upon a creative way of attracting customers despite the obscenely high gas prices currently in place throughout the country. Any visitor to HP who stayed at the Hershey Lodge would receive a voucher for $50 worth of gas from participating establishments. Although the new strategy has been a success for Hersheypark, competitors have been seeking to create similar, but better promotions of their own.

Stepping into the fray this weekend will be Kennywood, which will offer its own free gas plan for customers. However, unlike Hershey, which requires a resort stay to receive the gas voucher, Kennywood intends to give free gas to each and every paying patron that enters the park gates.

"We're inclusive," said a park representative. "With gas prices as high as they are, it is imperative that we give everyone free gas, not just limit it to the upper-end guests who stay in big hotels that may or may not still smell like ACE members after the convention they had there several years ago."

Starting Saturday and continuing through the operating season, all guests will be treated to a huge breakfast immediately after entering the park gates. The meal will consist of bowls of bran fiber and whole milk, prunes, Dr. Pepper, spicy pepper jack cheese, hot dogs with sauerkraut, buffalo wings with extra-fiery hot sauce, chicken-fried steak with creamy white sausage gravy, pork lo mein, scrambled eggs, whole heads of garlic, lamb vindaloo, and fourteen delicious varieties of stewed beans.

"Free gas isn't just a privilege," added the rep. "It's an inalienable right that we shall not deny our visitors."


Tuesday, July 04, 2006


My god, how will we survive?!

Oh, wait. It's ThrillNetwork.

Never mind.

Mr. Six's Pandemonium To Be Fun Any Day Now

"Mr. Six's Pandemonium sucks."

So read the text message sent from two coaster enthusiasts to a friend of theirs who had recently claimed the Six Flags New England spinning mouse ride was "loads of fun." Nonplussed, the friend texted back: "Nonsense. One of you just needs to be a lot fatter than the other."

"We just kind of chuckled at that," said Dan Hafner, 36, one of the enthusiasts. "But then I got to know, it really would be a lot easier to make a spinning coaster do its thing if you put two people opposite each other, and one was really skinny and the other was a porker. If you're roughly equivalent in size, naturally it would be too balanced to do much."

Hafner confirmed that he had weighed approximately 180 pounds when he had ridden Mr. Six, while his companion Michael Sowell, 39, weighed about 175.

Determined to have fun on Mr. Six, Hafner volunteered to pack on as many pounds as he could over the summer, the better to unbalance the spinning action on the Gerstlauer coaster. Subsisting on a diet largely comprised of massive quantities of Krispy Kremes, bowls of refined sugar, bacon, entire wheels of cheese, and raw cookie dough, and refusing to do anything but sit on his ass and watch television for two straight months, Hafner has bravely increased his weight to 256 pounds already, with an eye toward topping out at approximately 300 pounds by late-August.

When asked if this strategy wasn't a bit extreme, the enthusiast noted that "it's important for us to get to the full effect of this spectacular ride, and I will do anything to accomplish that, even if it knocks my life expectancy down by twenty years of more. I took Robert De Niro's transformation for The Untouchables as my inspiration. If he could do that to his body on behalf of his craft, so can I."

"This ride is going to be awesome once we can ride it in its full glory!" said Hafner, spooning Crisco directly out of the tub into his mouth.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Celebrating a Year of Being Rather Confusing to Sane People

Happy anniversary to Americans Against ARN&R. We couldn't be more happy to have you as our boycotters.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Thorpe Park Turns to Alternative Blessers

Disgusted with their new Intamin coaster Stealth, Thorpe Park today released a public statement indicating that "having the local Vicar officially bless the ride before its inaugural launch" was a terrible mistake, one that the park would not make in the future.

"Next time, we're going to have a Satanist bless a new ride," said park rep Chauncy Kefauver. "The Vicar guy obviously doesn't know what he's doing if the ride broke down this bad and this soon."

"Next coaster, we'll have some chanting by devil-worshipping priests in black hoods, and maybe they'll anoint the chassis of the first ride vehicle with the blood of sacrificed virgins or something. Or maybe they'll dance naked in circles and offer prayers to the Antichrist," said Kefauver. "Whatever assures us that the f*cking ride doesn't shut down after a couple weeks."

"Hail Satan!" he added.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Six Flags Sucks Balls

You knew this was coming, right? If you were remotely forward-thinking a few years back, you were deeply concerned that Six Flags was buying every park on the planet and then rampantly spending itself into massive debt throwing up tons of new rides everywhere there was a foot of gravel free. Oh, sure, it's not like it was all bad...we got ourselves a few of those nice Superman rides because of all the dough SF was slinging around, and we got a lot of enjoyment out of that. But we knew it couldn't last; down the line, that spending spree was going to bite Six Flags, and by means of the "shit rolling downhill" mechanism, its customers, in their respective asses.

We'd been uneasy about this for years, but then the signs grew more alarming this offseason, as new CEO Mark Shapiro toured each park and listed the ways each sucked and/or wasn't drawing enough cash in. Did you think all that would happen was that your admission ticket prices and parking would get jacked through the roof? Silly wabbits. Each park was being cased to determine how much money it would make if it were unloaded. The sudden closing of Astroworld and the sale (as of the end of 2006) of the Wyandot Lake and Frontier City properties were not so much a warning shot across the bow as a big, fat, steel-gloved cockpunch for customers across the world.

If you had half a brain, you just knew that Six Flags was, any second now, going to dump half its properties in a massive fire sale, leaving classic rides to the wrecking ball and stranding local customers without beloved summer amusements they might have been experiencing for years or even decades. And okay, coaster enthusiasts would be deprived of credits to notch. We won't pretend part of our interest isn't selfish.

Or did you really not expect this? Boy, you're stupid, no offense. Well, here it is. The fire sale, that is. Six Flags is actively taking bids from anyone and everyone in order to rid itself of Six Flags Darien Lake, Six Flags Waterworld, Six Flags Elitch Gardens, Wild Waves and Enchanted Village, Six Flags Splashtown, and Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Enjoy 'em while they last, kids. The official Six Flags announcement is clear that the chain does not give the slightest shit what anyone does with the properties, meaning these parks are almost all as good as dead. Six Flags might save some of the rides and distribute them elsewhere, some of the parks could be bought by others who want to run them as they are or in reduced form, or real estate developers could just take properties wholesale and bulldoze them so rich assholes can have a lakeside view and a tax credit.

Here's what we think is going to happen. We honestly think Magic Mountain is too big of a draw in the L.A. market to get pulverized. Not that it couldn't get plowed into the stone age, and not that we'll be completely shocked if it does, but our gut feeling is that someone will try to purchase the place and run it roughly as is. The rest? See ya. It was already appalling that Astroworld got the axe with almost no warning; now picture the worst-case scenario in this big sale and imagine the lines of strip malls in place of Superman: The Ride of Steel and the beautiful lakeside paths at Darien Lake Park. Or a wrecking ball bashing in the side of Timberhawk in anticipation of a new, exclusive, gated community.

Yeah, some of the rides from these parks might survive, but remember what happened with Astroworld? Easily transportable, cost-effective rides were saved and stored, while the others were demolished without a second thought. Hello, Batman: the Escape, a terrible but easily shipped and reassembled stand-up. Buh-bye, Texas Cyclone, unique (if no longer world-class) wood coaster that would have cost anything to save. You might get Darien Lake's Superman at another park next season. Then again, it might be smelted into girders for that mini-mall. And don't think the fact that you love it makes a shit's worth of difference to Six Flags.

If this wasn't already obvious, the Six Flags announcement is our Site O' the Weak, and a more deserving SOW there never was. Screw you, Six Flags.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Denver Ride Remains a Huge Hit

The Flying Coaster, a Zamperla Volare model of laydown roller coaster, remains a massive success at Six Flags Elitch Gardens, where it is now operating for its fourth season. Although the ride is not popular with everyone, it is still getting rave reviews from its target audience, marking it as a major destination attraction.

"Flying Coaster is still getting absolutely huge marks of approval from our target Fourteen Year Old Females With a Korean Father and Caucasian Mother Who Live in Boulder and Visit Elitch Gardens on June 20, 2006, Along With Three Friends Named Tammy, Jennifer, and Kate, Whose Favorite TV Show is Gilmore Girls, Whose Favorite Food is Lasagna, Whose Birman is Named Hermione, Whose Parents Drive Her and Her Friends to the Park in a Silver Chrysler Town & Country With 30,213 Miles and a Red Kool-Aid Stain On the Middle Seat, Who Has a Huge Crush on This Classmate Named Jimmy Who Plays the Bassoon, and Who Comments at Exactly 3:13 PM How Gross it is That Twister II Has a Sticky Seat audience," an elated Six Flags Elitch Gardens manager Harry Cox told ARN&R.

Indeed, the popularity of the ride with that all-important target audience was not overstated by Cox. When interviewed, Angela Kim, a fourteen year old Boulder native with a Korean father, Caucasian mother, whose favorite things include lasagna, Gilmore Girls, her cuddly cat Hermione, and a young bassoonist named Jimmy, and who was taken in a Chrysler minivan with 30,213 miles and a red stain on a seat for a day at Six Flags with her pals Tammy, Kate, and Jennifer yesterday, and who noticed that Twister II had a really icky seat, told us that "Flying Coaster is my favorite roller coaster" and that it is "the coolest ride ever made anywhere."

When questioned, Cox did reluctantly admit that other, less important, demographic groups all concur that Flying Coaster "pretty much sucks."


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Prankster Valleyfair Maintenance Staff Spray Red Paint Markings "Everywhere"

In an ARN&R exclusive and of course, absolutely reliable rumor, Valleyfair maintenance staff revealed the true purpose of the stakes and markings in the vicinity of the General Store and Sports Bar.

"So, ya see...we had a lil' time off, checklists done an hour ahead of schedule, ya know?" snorted Lurvy McCracklin, lubrication technician. "We just wanted to play a frickin' game of horseshoes in the knoll and the minute we set up the stakes, what happens? Some fat bastard in a greasy shirt snaps three billion photos, squealing 'Rollycoaster! Rollycoaster!' We tol' the dipshit better, but ya'd think he had a fried cheese stick in his ear."

"Nahhhh. Pronto Pup. Prolly saving it for later," chimed in physical plant custodian Tennessee McCoy. "But the next night, I was done touching up paint on some rides early? And we decided to have us a lil' fun."

"Oh yeah. Oh yeah. First we thought we'd just spray 'construction' marks at random 'round spots that make no damned sense. But once Tennessee painted a trail of pavement spots that led to the Sports Bar bathroom--like ooh, what a clue, now go change your undies--the battle to top each other was on."

"So Lurvy starts in with these stakes surrounded by pylons, right?" guffaws Tennessee, scarcely able to breathe. "And starts puttin' 'em EVERY damn where. All along the Lazy River, then right next to the big family tube slide, all up in the waterslide exit zones like whooooooo, you're gonna be looping all over the park. Right. Listen up, ya pathetic, snack-chompin' lardasses! Put down the camera--"

"And the fried-up Twinkie bars!"

"--yeah, that too--and Get. A. Mo-Freakin' LIFE! At least there's some actual ass in the waterpark that isn't on DVD! Leathery as an old shoe, smoking a Marlboro and high-mileage droopy? Yeah, maybe. Okay, more than likely. But hell, it's a start."

"An act of mercy, sure. That's it," fired back Lurvy. "I'm a regular Mutha Theresa."

"But after they trip over a low-lying chain or two following these trails, at least they can ask someone who'd really know what we're building next year."

"Another Camp Snoopy, bitches!" chided Lurvy. "Dammit! I said that out loud!"


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Sponsor Announced for Spaceship Earth

Only a few months after Siemens signed on for a major sponsorship deal involving the landmark Spaceship Earth attraction at Disney's EPCOT theme park, the company has unexpectedly pulled out. However, the attraction, previously sponsored by AT&T, was not long without a corporate partner.

In a hastily-assembled press conference, the new sponsor was introduced to the public. That sponsor is Semen.

"It was a natural move for us to mate Disney with Semen," said park representative Julius McFadden stiffly. "We were certain that Semen had the know-how to come up with a climactic ending for this ride that it has been lacking in recent years. Of course, it also has a similar name to our last sponsor, negating the need for extensive sign renovations. We can probably make do with a little spackle and a black Sharpie, which will save a load of money."

Standing erect at the podium, Semen outlined its plans for Spaceship Earth. "We will immediately begin a massive overall of this structure," it said. "Only creating one huge ball was a colossal boner made by the original park planners. In keeping with the Semen name, we will create a second giant Spaceship Earth of equal dimensions right next to the first one, and then add a massive steel obelisk between them to form a new beacon by which EPCOT will be known."

When questioned by journalists as to the realistic ability of Disney to create a structure incorporating two massive metal balls and a towering, rigid metal shaft thrusting toward the heavens, Semen assured all present that it was "no cock and bull story."


Friday, June 02, 2006

It's a Small World Celebrates Forty Years of Annoying the Shit Out of People

This past Sunday officially marked fortieth anniversary of It's a Small World, the legendary and highly irritating family ride located at Disney parks throughout the world. Originally opening at the 1964 World's Fair, the first of the mind-destroying attractions was later moved to Disneyland, and others unfortunately followed at other Disney properties.

"It's a Small World was designed specifically to annoy the ever-loving shit out of all humans with a modicum of sense and taste," said Disney representative Beth Purdy-Slutz. "And boy, has it ever succeeded in that regard. That shrill, soul-crushing song will absolutely rape your eardrums. Unless you're a huge fan of heinously awful music, the piercing sound of tuneless shrieking children, or bucketloads of treacle, this ride will make you want to ram your face into a brick wall."

"Other rides are annoying," added Purdy-Slutz. "Some, primarily those made by Vekoma and Gerstlauer, suck balls. But It's a Small World has been unchallenged in the category of pissing the hell out of people for forty years. Forty years! It's simply unbeatable, and for that we are incredibly proud."

Although a recent industry poll showed that 99.9999999% of all humans exposed even briefly to the Small World ride and/or song instantaneously feel a powerful urge to maim and destroy, the ride does have at least one masochistic supporter who apparently doesn't mind being viciously antagonized by a appalling piece of music "6 or 7 times every visit to Disney."


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Universal Adds Face Characters

Doc Brown has long been a staple at Universal Studios Orlando, as trained employees dressed as the kooky character have entertained park guests in the vicinity of the Back to the Future simulator ride for years. But after years of laboring alone, Doc will be reinforced by fresh troops. The first new arrival is the character of Marty McFly, who was successfully tested recently and will begin appearing regularly with Doc in the World Expo section of Universal Studios this summer.

But that won't be all. Seeking to capitalize on the fresh new blockbuster series of movies, numerous other Back to the Future characters will be featured on the streets of Universal Studios in the coming months. Later in the summer, after Marty's big debut, will come Mr. Strickland, Ma Peabody and Marvin Berry. At the end of the summer more new additions will consist of Babs, Milton Baines, and Sherman Peabody. And finally, in the fall, new faces will include Clocktower Woman, Scooter Kid #2, Bystander #1, and High-School Band Audition Judge.

"It's important to really market a hot new property like Back to the Future," said one Universal representative. "Seeing hugely popular, iconic characters like Clocktower Woman and Scooter Kid #2 literally come to life before their very eyes will create a new realm of immersive customer satisfaction and happy pleasure."


Monday, May 29, 2006

Six Flags New England Much Improved

The mandate from Six Flags upper management this year has been to focus less on massive new thrill rides and to focus more on customer happiness, infrastructure improvements, beautification, and raising ticket prices by an exorbitant amount. ARN&R recently sent a team of secret investigators to spend a day at Six Flags New England this past weekend so as to determine what sort of improvements might have been made since last season. Would the park be cleaner? Would employees be less incompetent and aggressive? Would anything work? Would security be doing anything to control the hordes of young louts running loose? Let's take a look at some key statistics to find out; the comparison in these stats will be made between the recent sample day, placed alongside the park's three-year averages from 2003-2005.

  • Average Daily Line-Cutting Incidents

  • 2003-2005: 431,621
    5/28/06: 367,997

  • Average Daily Smoking-in-Line Incidents

  • 2003-2005: 237,786
    5/28/06: 234,101

  • Average Number of Times Security Guard or Ride Op Looked Directly at Line-Cutting or Smoking-in-Line Incident and Didn't Do Jack F*cking Shit About It

  • 2003-2005: 46,325
    5/28/06: 44,917

  • Average Restroom Square Footage Covered With Fresh Human Feces

  • 2003-2005: 100%
    5/28/06: 98.6%

  • Average IQ of Paying Customers

  • 2003-2005: 35
    5/28/06: 50

  • WHIP

  • 2003-2005: 1.94
    5/28/06: 1.67

    As can easily be seen, Six Flags New England has massively improved in several key areas of customer service, most notably in safety and cleanliness. Way to go, folks. Keep up the outstanding work!


    Saturday, May 27, 2006

    Batwing: "Who Keeps Farting?"

    Controversy has reigned of late at Six Flags America, as the Vekoma flying coaster Batwing has frequently accused its fellow coasters of copious farting. "And they aren't the loud, funny kinds," said the distressed Batwing. "We're talking Silent But Deadly. It smells like Satan took a big, fat burrito shit around her most of the time."

    Adding that it was "really immature and annoying to keep passing gas in public," Batwing stated that "certain coasters might want to lay off the deep-dish meat-lover's pizza and beer late at night."

    As one might expect, other rides at SFA dispute the claims Batwing has made about their allegedly revolting bodily emissions. "Well, it sure ain't me," said Two-Face, holding its hands up defensively. "I never fart. Um, it was probably my dog or something."

    Joker's Jinx was more succinct. "He who smelt it, dealt it," it commented. "Batwing is the one whose paint has been blistering the most lately, if you catch my drift."

    A SFA spokesman issued a statement that none of the park's coasters were under management suspicion of farting, despite any unsupported claims by Batwing, and that the foul sulfurous odors were just the "usual pleasantly tangy scents of raw human excrement bubbling out of the restrooms, just like they have been for the past couple decades."


    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Disney Opens New Version of Mission:Space

    Since its opening several years ago, Mission: Space, a thrill ride located at Disney's Epcot theme park, has been the target of more complaints than any other ride at any of the corporate giant's properties, with the exception of It's a Small World. But while Small World generates customer anger solely because the endless rooms of hideous demon-spawned children singing their asinine, treacly, eardrum-rupturing little song leads over 93% of guests to seek mental health counseling, Mission: Space goes straight for the gut. The gut of riders, that is; a frequent criticism of the attraction is that it is too intense and causes nausea.

    Complaints of this nature are expected to be dramatically reduced over the next few weeks, following the recent opening of a new, tamer version of Mission: Space. Passengers will now be given a choice of joining the Orange Team or the Green Team. The Orange team will board vehicles that feature the original, intense experience that will cause the massive vomiting and sudden explosive voiding of the bowels enjoyed by hardcore thrill-seekers.

    Green Team members will enjoy a toned-down version of the attraction. Unlike Orange Team members, these passengers need not fear the queasiness, the eruption of bile, or the discharge of various bodily liquids and solids from every orifice. Green Teamers will be in no danger of vomiting, but instead, the relaxing ride will merely cause them to, in the words of a Disney representative, "toss their cookies," "waste their groceries," "talk to George on the Big White Phone," or "bow before their porcelain master." Additionally, these passengers will not face those pesky voided bowels like the Orange team; instead, on this tame version of the ride, they will merely "have a chocolate surprise," "involuntarily download some brownware," or "shit their pants."

    "Why, I might just have to try that ride again if it's less intense," said local spinster Bernice Freishutz, 83. "I was very dizzy and quite sick to my stomach the last time I rode Mission: Space, but I'd sure enjoy yodeling in Technicolor and accidentally filling my pants with brownie batter much better!"


    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Investigative Report: Why Hollywood B-Listers at Tatsu?

    In a shocking -- shocking, we tell you! -- turn of events, Six Flags Magic Mountain premiered their lastest coaster to Hollywood B-listers as opposed to the usual bunch of enthusiasts.

    Why? Why? For the love of all handouts, why? We could think of only a few reasons...

    • They avoid paparazzi from real press; no need to invent 'press credentials' of their own
    • Names are at least recognizable to a few folks, occasionally even both parents
    • Velvet ropes more elegant than barbed wire needed to corral enthusiast herds
    • Most of them actually fit in ride restraints
    • They can 'act' like they're having a good time
    • Actually prefer rideops don't talk to them
    • No ponderous trip reports involving potty breaks and bodily emisisons six days before their visit
    • Two words: Back hair
    • Less likely to stuff free food in back pockets and/or cheek pouches, while simultaneously bitching about its quantity
    • Prefer zombielike actors to drooling Coaster Zombies
    • Paris Hilton can't even spell 'trim brake'


    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    It Is Indeed All Downhill From Here

    Today, we most happily link you to one of our favorite on-ride photos ever. Apparently, the passengers are making the number 100 with their hands to symbolize one enthusiast's hundredth ride on The Voyage, a stunning number considering the length of time the new coaster has actually been open. We thought the picture would be even better if it had an informative caption. Here are a few we came up with:

    -By coincidence, that 100 is the same percentage we are happy not to be on that ride with them.

    -Oh, I thought they were doing zeros, as in the odds of any of them ever having a normal conversation with another human being

    -"Our hands get a LOT of exercise moving in this shape...oh, wait."


    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Coming Soon to a TV Near You

    Microphone from RadioShack (batteries not included): $9.87

    2 AA Batteries found in Dad's toolchest: $0.25 (Dad's an asshole)

    Sticker made from home inkjet printer: $0.55

    Look of suicidal desperation on Cedar Fair marketing executive's face (third down) when she realizes she has to pretend you're a "serious member of the press" as part of her job: Priceless (for ARN&R)


    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Manhattan Express to Receive New Trains

    Wild speculation has run rampant on the internet that the horrifically rough TOGO looper Manhattan Express, located on top of and around the New York, New York casino in Las Vegas, might soon be receiving new trains. ARN&R is happy to confirm these rumors as true, following a discussion with a completely untrustworthy source.

    Manhattan Express will run as normal until this July 12th; at that point the coaster will be shut down for a period of approximately two weeks as the maintenance staff tests the new vehicles.

    "Everyone thinks the Manhattan Express is a great ride with a great layout," said the source. "And its height and the interaction with the building make it a notable landmark on the Vegas skyline. However, the one complaint often made is that the trains are very rough and brutal, of the type that some call "headbangers" or "pieces of shit." New York, New York has listened to those complaints and will be introducing spectacular, far more comfortable trains very soon."

    The chief problem with the current trains is with the restraint system, which tends to both compress the spine and box the ears of riders. No more with the soon-to-be-delivered trains. Instead of the unwieldy lapbars and shoulder restraints currently in use, the new vehicles will feature a space-age, ingenious new system. Passengers will be held in place by thick, unlubricated, fourteen-inch-long splintered wood poles thrust into their anuses, rusty fishhooks gigged through their ears, electrified clamps attached to their nipples, and rabid, starving Dobermans chomping on their wrists, legs, and testicles (where applicable).

    Preliminary estimates by the casino suggest that the new, improved trains will result in a 55% reduction in complaints and a 34% increase in rerides compared to the old, more uncomfortable ones.


    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Moron Can't Wait for IOA Ride to Open

    Many fans of Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park have been overjoyed by news that the park's long-delayed Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines family attraction will finally soon be opened to the public. However, few could possibly be as thrilled as area moron George Burnsides, 14, a junior high school student who enjoys spitting on people from elevated locations.

    The Driving Machines, announced as one of the park's original Seuss Landing rides and constructed in time for IOA's grand opening, never took on passengers and remained unused for the past several years. In recent weeks, word has leaked that a new transportation system and vehicles had been designed for the attraction, which would open shortly as the High-In-The-Sky Seuss-Trolley-Train-Ride.

    The ride may have changed names, it may have changed vehicle designs, and the track may now be constructed differently from how it was originally envisioned, but one thing hasn't changed: the fact that the ride is an excellent platform from which idiots can spit or discharge other bodily wastes on unsuspecting park guests below them. People like area moron George Burnsides, for example.

    "I can't wait," said Burnsides, fairly vibrating with pleasure at the thought of spitting on people's heads and making a thorough jackass of himself. "There's nothing more fun than hocking a good loogie on someone, especially if you're high enough up that it achieves terminal velocity and makes that awesome splattering sound when it smacks into their head," he said, using sentence structure and words highly unlikely for a fourteen-year-old moron.

    Burnsides added that he had been spitting at people for years, usually off bridges and out of balconies, occasionally off a coaster lift hill here and there, but that the new IOA ride would offer "incredible opportunities" for him to be a complete prick and douse people with his saliva, not to mention provide a relaxing and fun tour of most of Suess Landing. The moron noted that it would be "the best day of [his] life" if he were to discover that the ride traveled near any restaurants or food stands, since he could soil patrons' meals with his expectorate.

    "It will be an immersive experience for everyone," he added. "I will be immersed in spectacular whimsical delights in the form of intense Sneech theming, while other guests will be immersed in my filthy and unsanitary bodily fluids."


    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    We're Not Dead Yet

    As you may have noticed, we actually put an article up yesterday, and there will be more to come, at least until the next week like last one, where we are at work from 7:30AM to midnight every day. But at least we had you. In our time of annoyance and exhaustion, all your letters and cards of warm support and concern were the only thing that kept us going.

    Wait a minute. There were no letters or cards of support or concern. In fact, there were no messages of any sort, not even an amusing, grammatically-suspect bit of hate mail. You uncaring pricks.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Fake French Protest PKI Opening

    The changeable spring weather was notably calm for the start of the 2006 season at Ohio's largest (themed) amusement park - but the rhetoric was volatile. Over ten fake French natives turned out to protest last season's closure of "Le Patisserie Français."

    Chants of "Starbuck doit disparaître!" and "Le goût de café comme la pisse de rat!" echoed from the fake Eiffel Tower as the protest's leader, Etienne Âne d'Grenouille, rasied a megaphone to address the sparse and puzzled crowd.

    "Mesdames et messieurs, eet ees verr' sad day today for fake France!", exclaimed Âne d'Grenouille. "My fazzer, 'e 'elp beeld le fake Eiffel Tower. 'E raaaise us, 'ees cheeldren, to be tres bon fake French - and now, what ess 'appen? Zey close ze last 'ome of nateeve fake French culture, right een ze shadow of zis towairrr!"

    M. Âne d'Grenouille then bemoaned the loss of traditional fake French foods, such as doughnuts labelled 'eclairs' and "le elephant ear". In a later interview, he reviewed the history of gradual deportation of fake Mexicans and fake Germans from International Street, and eventually the park, without protest from the patrons. He believes it is part of a pattern of homogenization driven by powerful multinational corporations at the expense of native culture. "Eff we do not now put down ourr feet wiz a shout of Non!, soon zis corporate octopus crush us all een hees - 'ow you say - testicles," he said.

    Hikaru "Bull" Smythe, Paramount's King's Island's PR Chief disagrees. "Cheese-eatin' froggy talk like that'll get y'all a visit from homeland security, know what I mean?" he grumbled, petting his revolver. "They just got no idea of progress. When King's Island was opened in 1972, International Street had all kinds of European stuff - food, clothes, toys, whatever. Now in 2006, there's a bunch of Chinese stuff with American brands and a Starbucks - now, if that ain't just like Europe, I don't know what is!"


    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    Marineland Revisits Dragon Mountain Theming

    Dragon Mountain, an Arrow four-inversion steel coaster located at Marineland, is one of the more unusual rides in existence. Part of the reason for its uniqueness is its sprawling layout, part is for some intriguing elements such as the dark tunnels and bowtie double inversion, and part is because of the bizarre unfinished theming that has permeated the area around the track since the coaster was first erected in 1983.

    Some of the theming has always been in place, including the ominous carved entryway leading to a cavern containing the coaster's loading area. But other areas, primarily a massive volcano and a large recreation of nearby Niagara Falls, were never completed. Strangely enough, the decision to abandon these theming elements was made well into the ride's actual construction, so both large structures were partially built, but never brought close to fruition. Instead, passengers on Dragon Mountain have for years been treated to the gorgeous and inspiring sight of two huge piles of filthy, rusting steel that form the barely-begun volcano and waterfall.

    ARN&R is pleased to report that Marineland has listened to the thousands of complaints it has received over the years, and has finally begun the long-awaited task of finishing the elaborate theming for this coaster. Soon visitors will not be faced with hideous, completely oxidized steel frameworks but with incredible scenery.

    Of course, that scenery won't be exactly what people are expecting. Indeed, the park's managers felt that the original ideas had become overplayed and cliched in today's market, so they wanted to go for something more distinctive and original. With that in mind, the plans for a fiery volcano and roaring set of falls have been replaced with a fresh, creative, avant-garde interpretation, where the ugly metal supports are merely covered with a giant Hefty bag.

    The new garbage-bag-enshrouded, corroded, collapsing metal is anticipated to be ready to entertain throngs of smiling visitors as soon as this weekend.


    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Park Patron Educated by Pencil-Necked Geek

    According to Midland-Odessa cow semen milker Billy Ron Hunt, he recently learned some interesting facts about Six Flags Texas during a visit to the theme park with some friends. Unexpectedly, the informative tidbits were gleaned not from park brochures or ride operators, but from a pencil-necked geek standing nearby in the massive queue for Titan.

    "I was telling my buddies about how Titan was the tallest coaster in the world and this little nerd a few people away leaned over and said that I was wrong, and that the world's tallest coaster was actually at another Six Flags in New Jersey. Who woulda thunk it?"

    But that was not all the education the group received from the dork. At various points during their wait for a ride on Titan, they were fortunate enough to have the geek lean in and correct their errant views about roller coasters. For instance, they were told in no uncertain terms that the Texas Giant was not the first roller coaster ever made, that the Flashback did not feature the most loops of any ride in the country, and that Mr. Freeze was not a ride worthy of consideration for top ten steel lists. The last bit of news was the most interesting to the group, as all four of them had Freeze ranked in their top three until learning from the nerd how stupid their coaster opinions were.

    "It was real great having someone tell us all that stuff," said Hunt. "We never woulda known. It was so interesting that I still remembered most of what that guy said even after I kicked his ass."


    Saturday, April 15, 2006

    Yale Library Gets Surprisingly Low Marks

    In a recent review by the Coalition of American Libraries, the libraries of Yale University were given a surprising thumbs down, as COAL derided the collection as "underwhelming" and "deficient in scholarly works in some important areas of modern research." The review came as more than a mild shock to the departmental heads at Yale's libraries, considering that the overall university collection ranks as the fourth largest in the United States (after only the Library of Congress, Harvard, and the Boston Public Library) and for decades has been acclaimed as one of the top scholarly research institutions in the world. So what led to the poor scores?

    "Roller coasters," said COAL's Vice President of Academic Library Review P. Piers Woodhouse IV. "Or, should I say, the near complete lack thereof."

    Woodhouse derided Yale for maintaining a roller coaster literature collection that consists of a mere two books, Robert Cartmell's Incredible Scream Machine and Todd Throgmorton's Roller Coasters. "The Cartmell book is a classic, and they do get some positive points for at least having that one," he said. "But to have such a woefully inadequate set of texts on coasters, and not a single Discovery Channel special or Robb Alvey onboard video in their media holdings, is truly pathetic."

    "It amazes me how this university has squandered its ample library funds," Woodhouse added. "They have this utterly huge main library, Sterling Memorial, with fifteen floors of books, and entire massive branches devoted to the Divinity School, music, arts and architecture, science, and many other disciplines. There should be a completely separate branch to house a massive and world-renowned coaster-related collection, and they don't even devote a single shelf to one. Bah!"

    Woodhouse also complained about the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale, a translucent marble facility that houses valuable and fragile books, in particular two original Gutenberg bibles. "This just shows how little interest Yale is taking in a field as important and relevant as roller coaster research," he said. "To think that a special display would be made for anything created by the insipid star of Police Academy and Can't Stop the Music, while the works of David Bennett and Mark Wyatt lay ignored, is a travesty."

    He also pointed out that although Yale is in "excellent shape" in "relatively obscure and unimportant areas" of its holdings, such as British literature, math, history, and political systems, it was unfortunately also "criminally deficient" in a number of other disciplines, including Star Trek novels, classic Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master guidebooks, Steven Seagal movies, and hardcore Japanese stroke mags.

    COAL stated in its official criticism of Yale that the university would be given six months to substantially improve its insufficient collections or risk losing accreditation from the Coalition.


    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Can't Let This Boo-Boo Go

    Okay, we try to realize that reporters aren't always going to know a bunch of geeky coaster terminology, so we give them some leeway when they write about our hobby. Frankly, if we busted the media for not recognizing the difference between a suspended and inverted coaster, or got pouty because someone failed to report who did the trackwork on our favorite ride, it would just be silly. That's the enthusiast's job to worry about that stuff, and ARN&R's job to make fun of those enthusiasts. As long as reporters get somewhere in the correct ballpark, that's cool. After all, we don't tell the photojournalists what F-stop to use if cloudy but backlit conditions (though, now that we think about it, we actually could if we really felt like it and saw them doing it wrong), so why would we care if they make a distinction between a new ride's ejector versus floaty air and crap like that?

    However, we've got to draw the line somewhere when it comes to media ignorance of our hobby, and that line is here, where a reprinted Washington Times article refers to Six Flags America's removed Iron Eagle flat ride/torture device as a "roller coaster." Please.

    There's also the usual local media's fawning over Mark Shapiro as he grandstands at yet another Six Flags property, something of which we've grown extremely weary after the fortieth time. The combo is sufficiently grating enough to make this our Site O' the Weak.