Monday, February 27, 2006

Davis-Hedrick Spat Continues

The frosty relations and arguments between American speed skaters Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick that transfixed the world during the Winter Olympics were widely supposed to have ended with last night's closing ceremonies. However, the feud has only just begun, as the pair continued to trade barbs on a coaster message board.

The latest incident came when Davis, using his handle of "SpeedRaptor3," posted a message to Ultimate Roller Coaster giving high marks to Goliath, the new B&M hypercoaster soon to open at Six Flags Over Georgia. Titling his post "Best cotser Ever!!!!!" Davis wrote that "Goliath holy crap this will be the best coatser ever ur an idiot if u dont think so. It looks awesome! New number one!"

Hedrick, a noted GCI fanboy, took the bait, replying (as "RumblerMaster") in a post that chided Davis for "being an idiot" and indicating that "B&M is two smooth, you suck, I like a nice feel of the woodies and Kintucky Rumbler will be the best woodie I have evah rode."

A flame war promptly ensued, and amongst the posts were ones where Davis accused Hedrick of refusing to slap hands with him during a HersheyPark ERT session five years ago and of "riding with his lapbar in an unsafe position," while Hedrick stated that he felt "betrayed" when Davis openly questioned the veracity of his coaster track record by pointing out to the enthusiast community that Hedrick always counts both tracks of a racer. Hedrick also noted that Davis was always causing trouble by trying to sneak a digital camera onboard rides with policies against such matters.

The flame war ended only when a moderator closed the thread, stating that one poster calling another a "poopyhead" was not allowed by the URC's Terms of Service Agreement. The two skaters are unperturbed. "I'll have my eye on Shani at least 23 hours per day," said Hedrick. "If you see him post something stupid, like the Wild Adventures Hangman is better than the Six Flags America Darien Lake Mind Eraser, I assure you that I will be there to put him in his place within seconds."

A post from Davis countering why the Hangman is a superior ride to any of the Mind Erasers is to be expected at URC within minutes, says a spokesman for the skater. "Shani will most likely also call Chad a fascist for his views on this matter while he's at it," the spokesman added.


Friday, February 24, 2006

American Takes Gold in Enthusiast Freestyle Ballet

Helping to ease the taint of Bode Miller, the U.S. Winter Olympic team has won another gold medal. Competing in the debut of Enthusiast Freestyle Ballet in Torino, Mark Jefferson, 52, came out ahead of a talented international field. Herbert Nordstruck of Liechtenstein took silver, followed by Miguel Raton of Spain.

The sport of Enthusiast Freestyle Ballet combines a breathtaking mix of stamina, athletic skill, and artistry. In this event, coaster enthusiasts do a wide variety of difficult artistic maneuvers on kiddie coasters that have trouble getting up the lift hill. For instance, the "row the boat" maneuver is a required short program element. Although it is unusual among Winter Olympic competitions in that it does not involve snow or ice, and would seem a more natural fit with the Summer Games, organizers placed it during the Winter Olympics to avoid scheduling conflicts with the major operating season of the majority of the world's kiddie coasters.

Although the artistic marks of the three medal-winners were comparable, it was the incredible physical prowess of Jefferson that helped him edge out his competitors for the top position, as he executed the first competitive landing of the extremely difficult "quad lasso imitation/double inverted butt-spank to the back of the vehicle" move during an international competition.

"I've been landing it in practice pretty consistently the past couple years," said the victor. "But I always seemed to mess it up in major events on the World Cup circuit, so I was planning to play it conservative here. Then, when I saw Herbert's score go up on the board, I knew being conservative wouldn't get me the gold. I decided to pull out all the stops, and either get the gold or fall and probably lose any spot on the podium. I'm glad the risk paid off."

"This event used to be primarily about beauty and artistry," said commentator Dick Button. "The reality in recent years is that the competitors who don't attempt the major combination elements while riding kiddie coasters, such as the thing where you pretend to crack a whip over the ride to encourage it to go faster, are getting left behind. It's an evolution to a more athletic side of the sport. I'm definitely curious to see how many competitors will be prepared with that new move at the next Games in Vancouver."


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Enthusiast Kicked Out Of PKD

Paramount Kings Dominion security guards were surprised last night when they came upon Eric Supher, a West Virginia enthusiast, climbing the structure of the park's Mack bobsled coaster Avalanche.

"We don't usually have too many trespassers that far into the park, and if they are there, they're usually trying to climb up the Volcano mountain," said spokeswoman Johanna Gudio. "But this fellow Supher was getting to the top of the lift hill and had some sort of little sled with him."

Supher, who took part in an exclusive ARN&R interview, said he was "just practicing the skeleton," an ice race featured in the Winter Olympics. "I've been really getting in shape and I figured with a little practice, I could maybe get on the team before the end of the Olympics."

He said that prior to the guards coming upon him, he had made it down the 200-foot course in as few as four minutes.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

JCK to Acquire ARN&R

New Company to Deliver Industry-Defining Amusement Industry News, Fart Jokes

AbsolutelyReliable Towers. - February 22, 2006 -

The management of Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors (NYSE:ARNR) announced today that its board had recommended a merger with JCK Industries (NASDAQ:JCFK) in an all-stock deal valued at approximately four dollars and seventy-three cents.

The combination of ARN&R and JCK will provide customers a more powerful set of solutions for understanding, exploring, and laughing at the amusement industry and its aficionados. Together, the two companies will meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to grow into new markets, particularly in the carnival and buffet segments.

"Customers are calling for a more centralized form of amusement news satire," said GP, chief executive officer of ARN&R, who will, as of the close of the deal, retire on a generous multi-million dollar consulting agreement. "By combining our powerful plot development, joke generation, and rapid response teams - along with the complementary aspects of our podcast, retail and stalker/boycott communities - ARN&R has the opportunity to bring this vision to life with an industry-defining vision."

"The synergies are just too great to ignore," said JCK, the new CEO of the combined company. "JCK Industries has been a leading supplier and subcontractor for ARN&R since November, 2002, and once we took over the catering for the executive dining room and erotic massage facility, it was just a matter of time before we acquired the whole thing."

The deal has passed regulatory approval, despite a lawsuit filed by Citizens Action League asserting that the new entity would have an unfair advantage in the amusement news industry. Attorneys representing ARN&R and JCK Industries successfully argued that the ThrillNetwork news was sufficiently hilarious to prevent the new ARN&R from holding a monopoly on the market segment.


Monday, February 20, 2006

ARN&R 1000th Post Party a Dismal Failure

"Um, weren't you supposed to send out the invitations?"

"No, that was you."

"Oh. Uh, what about making arrangements for the simulcast?"


So were some of the fateful words exchanged between staff members at ARN&R today, as it began to sink in that the massive party planned to celebrate the accomplishment of 1000 posts was a dismal failure. It turns out that no one on the staff remembered to do any of the tasks they were assigned in order to make the grandiose celebration take place. No one arranged to pick up any celebrity guests, no one sent out invitations to the public, no one signed the contracts for the Rolling Stones, no broadcast equipment was set up for the simulcast, no food was made, and rumor has it that someone even forgot to buy cocktail napkins. The grand event is widely being disparaged in the industry press as a "catastrophic failure" and "a dismal flop."

According to some reports, the staff half-heartedly poured some champagne and sat in the AbsolutelyReliable Hot Tub for a few minutes, but the combination of despair over the party blunders, combined with the fact that someone also forgot to turn the heat on in the hot tub, led to all of them shuffling home hugging themselves and crying gently.

Our 1000th Post!

Pop the champagne and strike up the band. This post marks exactly 1000 that we've made since our inception in 2002. We rule.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

This Stuff Writes Itself. No, Really.

We often declare that stories write themselves, but usually, we do a bunch of additions. Not this time. This ThrillNetwork story -- a feature story, no less, fed to Google News -- has one of the finest bits of amusement park related writing we can recall:
After riding Revolution, I walked around the park a bit and took a few photos. When walking around I found the parks last coaster, "The Dragon Wagon". They wouldn't let you on it unless you rode with a kid and since I didn’t have a kid with me, I couldn’t ride it.... Or could I? After I bugged the ride op a bit saying how "I came from Boston" and that I was in "ACE", she still wouldn't let me on. So I did something very dirty, something I had only read about online but had never done myself. Even though I didn’t even know if it would work, it was worth a try. I told the girl I’d give here a dollar if she let me ride, but I was I was then told, "I aint want ya money". Being the loser I am and showing my need to get the credit, I told her I’d give her twenty dollars, and it worked! So after I paid up, I tried to get into the train to find out I didn't fit in it so well. I ended up sitting sideways on my knees without the belt clip on and holding my backpack, but I was "in" the train and I got my ride on the Dragon Wagon!

(Incidentally, what the hell is up with Thrillnetwork's links of words like "backpack" to ads for backpacks? Can this possibly be the advertising wave of the future?)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dick Cheney Finally Speaks

Following a severe backlash after shooting a hunting companion and initially failing to disclose the incident, Vice President Dick Cheney spoke publicly about it for the first time yesterday. In an interview with a selected group of trusted media outlets, Cheney described the horror of the incident, saying that his view of Harry Whittington falling to the ground was something he would "never get out of his mind." Cheney also stated that he had no regrets whatsoever about his actions after the fact.

He also took the opportunity to announce a new partnership with amusement park Six Flags Over Texas. Opening in 2006 at the park will be the newly themed Dick Cheney Shooting Gallery. Previously known as the Johnson Creek Livery, the gallery will allow park guests to step into the V.P.'s shoes and blast random people with buckshot.

When queried by one reporter as to whether he was worried about a possible public perception of insensitivity and exploitation due to his capitalizing on the accident for financial profit and fun, Cheney mumbled something about "liberal do-gooders," and added in a menacing tone that "everyone already knows I'm a pretty good shot, right?"


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

ARN&R: A Cleansing Flush For All Your Worries

Iowa Enema Enthusiasts of the world unite! Yes, your unusual and geographically specific weirdo fetish is something we deeply and profoundly respect. Oh yes. However, we regret to inform you that we can't help you with it. Naturally, we'd love to have your runny poo all over our hands, but, tragically, we don't live anywhere near Iowa. Best to try some of those other sites you found in your search instead. Move along now.



Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Girlfriend Unhappy With Valentine's Day Gifts

Area girlfriend Marcia Tallis, 25, is very unhappy this Valentine's Day, due to what she calls "grossly inadequate gifts" from soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend Tom Lassen, 24.

"All my friends have better boyfriends," sobbed Tallis. "Everyone I know is being taken out for expensive dinners, and they're getting flowers and chocolate and ridiculously overpriced jewelry. I'm pretty sure Kimmy and Chrissy are even getting engagement rings today, too. It's just so unfair."

"I don't understand what Marcia's problem is," said a bewildered Lassen, stopping to forge around in his left nostril with his thumb. "I actually remembered her favorite holiday this year and bought lots of cool, romantic gifts for her. What girl wouldn't love the huge poster of suggestively posed Coaster Zombies to hang on her wall? Or a Day-Glo green Coaster Zombie shirt? Or a sexy pink Zombie tracksuit? Hell, man, she better appreciate; that thing was 43 bucks!"

"It's just unbelievable that this guy would do all his Valentine's Day shopping at a coaster enthusiast website," said Tallis. "If he thinks he's ever getting any ever again, he's crazy."

"Maybe I'll steal Carrie's boyfriend Dave," she added. "He forgot to make dinner reservations again and he has really foul body odor, but he did at least give her a very tasteful and demure ARN&R Barbecue Apron. God, I'm jealous of that bitch."


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Shapiro Starts Ordering People Around At Knott's Berry Farm, Stop & Shop

New Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro has received press coverage all around the country as he visits each of the chain's parks to evaluate their status. The 35-year-old barks out orders at each park, ordering Six Flags Elitch Gardens, for example, to consider placing Bugs Bunny atop the park's observation tower. In recent days, Shapiro has been seen going a bit farther.

In a recent visit to Knott's Berry Farm (owned by competitor Cedar Fair), Shapiro directed the park to "immediately re-open" the long-closed Kingdom of the Dinosaurs, ordered a price reduction on the park's famous fried chicken, and demanded an explanation as to why Bugs Bunny and other Warner Brothers characters were not greeting guests throughout the park.

Similarly, while grocery shopping near Six Flags New England, Shapiro loudly criticized the produce displays. "Hey! I came up with [ESPN talk show] Pardon the Interruption, and I'm here to tell you those bananas should be up higher and we should put a huge Batman logo in the tile floor next to the papayas." Shapiro then fired the produce manager who refused to carve a squash in the shape of Mr. Freeze.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Be Sure to Crank Those Speakers to Eleven

When we first received this link, we weren't completely certain abut using it as a Site O' the Weak. After all, the webmaster hasn't updated the thing in years, and until we came along, bad coaster website designers had little to fear. It's more fun to rip on sites that have sprung up since we've been operating, and their sins can't be blamed on just being left dormant for years. And really, it's not a top-level site, but we've seen considerably worse. Daily, probably.

However, it occurred to us later that we'd really be doing the world a great disservice if we didn't tease someone a little bit for actually referring to themselves as "Ice B. Nice." Yes! Ice B. Nice! Gah! That and the fact that we got blasted by the music file when we linked to this site made us want to slap Mr. Nice on the wrist just a little as payback.

So, we present to you what we'll call the Site O' the Half Weak: the Ice B. Nice Roller Coaster Web Page.


A response from the author:

If the premise of your site is to "rip" on people that's absolutely fine. Given my income and what I've been able to accomplish over the years, receiving "criticism" from you isn't difficult to overlook. You know nothing about me so you have no idea where the name came from. Those who do know me know the origin and that's all the counts.

As far as the site being old, I actually use it to emphazise to people the time it takes to administer a website (I'd just begun tinkering with HTML code). I don't mind being used as an example so long as it can help prove the point of website administration and the time it takes to maintain it. Whereas most people who have contacted about it (at least when it was more up-to-date) liked some aspects of it, others voiced their comments as well. So I understand and accept how it can be viewed positively and negatively.

I'm sure you won't print this email simply because most who criticize like to hide behind closed doors and can't handle criticism of themselves but if you'd ever like to meet in person, let me know as I'll be at various coaster events this year. I'll have just a little more repsect for you if you approach me in person (although to raise your respect from less than zero
won't be much).

"The Cool One" (is that a little better?)
Beech Bend Introduces New Rides, Names

It's official. The new GCI wooden twister opening at Beech Bend Park will be called the "Kentucky Rumbler," a name that has been greeted with near-universal acclaim from industry bigwigs, the general public, and even hard-to-please coaster enthusiasts. "I didn't think a coaster could ever have a better name than 'Boomerang: Coast to Coaster' or 'Pepsi Max Big One,'" said ten-year Coaster Banshee member Jimmy McArdle, 26. "But this new ride sets the naming standard by which all other new coasters will be judged."

But the Rumbler isn't the only newly-named ride at Beech Bend. Also undergoing a name change will be the former Looping Star, a Pinfari portable steel ride, which will become the "Brief Encounter." "We originally slated the Rumbler to be called the 'Brief Encounter,'" said park representative Wallace Bodie. "But when we came across that Rumbler name, we just had to use that because it's so brilliant. However, we knew Brief Encounter was a name many people had become wedded to and adored, so we decided to adopt the name for a different ride."

Bodie added that the name change to "Brief Encounter" would smooth out any "small rough areas of track" and "completely eliminate the shin abrasions, blunt cranial trauma, and fractured ribs" that riders frequently experienced when the coaster had its prior name.

Rounding out the list of new Beech Bend attractions will be a combination food stand and circular kiddie 4x4 ride, located right next to the Brief Encounter. In keeping with the steamy adult theme of the area established by the "Brief Encounter" moniker, the new double attraction will be named the "Lunchtime Hummer."


Friday, February 03, 2006

Six Flags Park Receives Garbage Can

New Six Flags chief executive Mark Shapiro has been busy in his new job, touring amusement park facilities and instigating new policies for the chain. Shapiro has promised to make Six Flags parks decidedly more clean, beautiful, and friendly than they have been in recent years, though there have been suspicions in the amusement industry that his pronouncements are nothing more than an attempt to gain some much-needed good publicity, and that Six Flags parks will actually remain the vermin-infested hellholes that they currently are.

Shapiro silenced his critics today with a bold step that showed his new strategy was for real: he purchased a garbage can for Six Flags Elitch Gardens.

"It's our very first one ever," said the park's general manager Kathy Duquesne. "It was so beautiful when it was installed, it practically glowed. This major new installation reconfirms that Six Flags is determined to make our park the centerpiece of its holdings and a flagship property."

Employees of the park were initially confused with the strange new metallic bin when it was placed in front of them. Several poked at it confusedly, scratched themselves, or hooted lightly, while one eventually tried to crawl into it, apparently thinking it was a new form of ticket booth. Shapiro himself, with his trademark can-do spirit, demonstrated to the group how to put plastic bags inside the can and then showed them how nice trash looked when it was placed in the receptacle instead of thrown on the ground.

"I've never seen anything like it," said park manager Bailey Hutchins, 25. "What won't they think of next? That garbage can thingie is going to revolutionize the theme park industry. The only problem for me is that I work at the very back of the park and this new-fangled 'garbage can' will be near the front gate, so I guess I'll have to save up my trash and carry it over there a couple times a day."

Shapiro stated that, if the experiment of purchasing a garbage can for Elitch Gardens led to substantial improvement in sanitation and guest happiness, than one would be added to as many as five or six other Six Flags properties by the end of this season.

Other trial-run improvements Shapiro intends to implement include hiring a guy to clean the Six Flags New England restrooms once per week, running no fewer than 30% of the rides at Six Flags Great Adventure on any given day, and hiring one customer service representative without a history of violent crime for Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. Should any of these measures prove beneficial, other parks may soon see similar improvements.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Disneyland Pooh Area Delayed Due to Miscommunication

In a rare example of miscommunication between Disney departments, a major typographical error has led to a new children's area slated for Disneyland to be pushed back at least four seasons. The new project was to be a near-copy of Disney World's popular new "Pooh's Playful Spot," a whimsical children's play area themed to Winnie the Pooh and his friends.

The finance- and image-destroying mistake was caused by executives sending a memo from Disney World to the creative design team at Disney Land, requesting a duplicate version of the "Poo Playful Spot." Confused by the request, but not wishing to anger management by bothering them with unnecessary questions, the team created precisely what they were instructed to.

The Poo Playful Spot, featuring fountains of excrement, swings and crawl-through areas covered in excrement, statues of Winnie the Pooh created out of excrement, and sandboxes filled with excrement, was approximately 75% complete when higher-ups toured the construction site and realized the error that had been made. Although the entire area was torn down, vacuumed, fumigated, bleached, and burned, the remaining smell is still claimed by witnesses to be "overpowering." Disney representatives stated that construction on the proper reconstruction of the Pooh area will begin once the aroma has fully dissipated; although unwilling to provide an exact timeline, they hoped to begin work on the project in early 2009.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Overdrawn at the Jerk Bank

For our Site O' the Weak, we were just going to throw up the dreadful proof that the American educational system has utterly failed, but something leaner came along. Actually, it wasn't leaner; more like drunker, more racist, and intensely stupid. Yes, it's NoGodForMe up to his usual obnoxious self, spewing tiresome garbage from every orifice. Welcome to yet another Site O' the Weak honor, dude. You've been up here so many times we're going to have to start calling it the Robert Viands Career Achievement Memorial Site O' the Weak one of these days.

Incidentally, this RRC thread, aside from providing a lectern for dunderheaded bigots, features a pretty funny exchange where another poster gets busted by a Holiday World rep after announcing plans to take POV footage of their new coaster. D'oh!


[Editor's Note: Just for shits and/or giggles, if you can tell us the science fiction author who wrote the story the headline of this article references, you get a free cookie. Actually, screw that. You'll all just cheat and look it up on the internet. No cookies. Sorry.]