Still here. But mostly in 140 characters.
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Thursday, March 20, 2003
 
Protesters Plan to Picket "Anti-Americanism" at Great Escape

Several protesters from the Young Americans for Freedom, the same group that was televised pouring French wine down sewers in New York City, have taken their outrage north. This weekend they plan to picket in front of The Great Escape theme park in Lake George, New York.

The group's leader, Sam Golland, expressed his outrage to ARN&R. "I am sick and tired of theme parks supporting the countries that don't support us!" he snarled. "This park has a roller coaster collection almost full of imports."

Phil Thomas, who splits his time between activism in the American Coaster Enthusiasts, obsessively reading coaster-oriented websites, and reading the Drudge Report, apparently turned Golland on to the situation. Thomas said, "If you look at the line-up in that park you know they're not buying American. The Alpine Bobsled is Swiss, the Boomerang is Dutch, the Nightmare is German and the Comet is a Canadian import. The only ride we feel they should run is the Steamin' Demon because that was made
right here in the U.S.A."

General Manager John Collins did not know what to make of the allegations. "Wait a second," he said. "They want us to run only the Steamin' Demon, an Arrow looping coaster? They can't be serious. Is this a joke?"

In a confrontation outside the parking attendant's booth Thomas and Golland assured the park official that the group stood firm in their beliefs. Thomas said, "You are either with us or against us. Those coasters must not run so we can protect our national interest. Might as well put a Hussein Presidential Palace in Storytown." He added, "We better not see that Huss Condor or Rainbow running, either."

Park officials later told ARN&R that the protests had not made them count out buying a Reverchon flume for the 2004 season.

Posted at 2:20 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2003
 
Six Flags Eagerly Anticipates Another Year of Losing Money

The turnstiles are spinning, the gates have opened and patrons from around the world are visiting one of over forty Six Flags theme parks near them. But this year, there is a strange excitement flowing through the halls of the corporate office in Oklahoma City; it is the anticipation of another record-breaking year. However, this corporation celebrates a unique economic principle --- they are a loss leader.

"We didn't just come to this position without some hard work and determination," said Gary Story, president and COO of Six Flags. "We strove to ensure that for another year in a row our debt has been pushed back, our overall losses grew and prospects look dim for almost every park."

General Managers around the country have gotten ready for what looks to be another disappointing season in sales. Del Holland of Six Flags Magic Mountain commented, "Well, instead of adding an attraction that would attract families, we wanted something almost identical to what we already had 15 of --- a roller coaster."

When asked by ARN&R why SFMM had not looked at a "flat ride" or "dark ride," such as the successful Scooby Doo attraction drawing guests at sister parks, Holland said, "What's a flat ride? That doesn't sound Xtreme!" He continued, "We know that sending riders upside down seven times will be like nothing they have ever done before. Unless, of course, they have ridden Viper . . . or X."

Some of the competition is surprised at Six Flags's approach to corporate management. "Frankly, we can't see where they get all this money," said Dick Kinzel, President & CEO of Cedar Fair. "They lose capital every year, yet the banks seem willing to supply them with an endless supply of cash." When asked if he had considered deficit spending Kinzel said, "Well, we would have liked to have gotten our new 25 million-dollar coaster for free, but somehow that just didn't seem possible. I guess our investors are just different from Six Flags's in that they demand a profit each year and that we pay off our long-term debt, or at least that we have some semblance of a plan, however half-baked, to be profitable. They're real sticklers like that."

Six Flags Chairman and CEO Kieran E. Burke told ARN&R about some of the exciting things the chain had up its sleeves for the coming season. "We have added special machines that create storm clouds above our parks," he said. "So, while it is sunny at Cedar Point, it will be hailing over Worlds of Adventure and if the sun shines over Disneyland you can be sure it will be raining above Magic Mountain. It is just shows that extra step Six Flags goes to to ensure that fewer people come through our gates than the competition. We chose Kentucky Kingdom and Frontier City as the ideal Six Flags properties and are molding our other parks around the cleanliness, service and staff training programs they utilize. For example, our employees will urinate on the floors of every water park restroom every morning even if patrons have not done so, and on certain 'bonus days' they'll defecate too! All of this will guarantee that Six Flags makes even less money in 2003. That's our promise to both our financial backers and customers."

Six Flags investors could not be reached for comment.

--Anon.

Posted at 1:24 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Enthusiast's Wife Sighs Audibly

According to reliable eyewitnesses, Lili Chenowith, 34, sighed audibly this evening. At the time, Chenowith was standing in front of her husband Nate's "Coaster Shrine," which consists of dozens of amusement park postcards, books, onboard ride photos, videos, toothpick sculptures, and merchandise from the Absolutely Reliable Online Shoppe. Confirmation as to whether the sigh was directed at the items themselves, or was in regards to something else, could not be ascertained by ARN&R. However, Chenowith was also seen shaking her head each time she passed the shrine during the afternoon, lending credence to experts' belief that the sigh is indeed a direct response to her husband's collection.

Nate Chenowith himself could not be reached for comment on the matter. According to friends, he is currently in the midst of a three week Coaster-Looking-At Tour, during which he drives to twelve different states to view coasters from the road while imaging how cool they will be to experience on his three week Coaster Riding Spectacular in June.

--JCK

Posted at 2:58 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2003
 
Six Flags New England Taunts Season Pass Holders

In a recent e-mail to its loyal and/or stupid patrons who for some reason bought a season pass yet again, Six Flags New England took the bold new step of actually taunting them, sources tell us ARN&R. This is in contrast to past years, where patrons were merely ignored or disdained.

I cant believe they would actually go and do something this mean, said Buster McFeely, 21. Ive been stupid enough to hand my money over to this poorly-run junk heap of a park ever since it was Riverside, but now Im really going to have to think about where my money is going next season. Probably to Six Flags Northeastern New York.

ARN&R has obtained a copy of the offending email. One of the most offensive portions of the taunting missive is below. The content is graphic and troubling, so children, the elderly, and the easily perturbed are warned to avoid reading on:

We hope you enjoyed your off-season. We spent the winter adding up the survey results and answered YOUR #1 request with Hurricane Harbor, featuring DOUBLE the deck space, almost TRIPLE the number of lounge chairs, a NEW wave pool, a NEW children's play area, a NEW entrance and NINE NEW WATERSLIDES!

I dont know a single human whose number one request at Six Flags was for anything involving a water park, said Travis Dilson, 35. Im sure nobody exactly minds a few more slides going in. Itll help capacity and maybe keep some people off Superman when I want to ride it. But the rest of that is a clear attempt by the park to mock us. Come on, when we filled out those surveys, do you think we actually put that our number one request was to rename the stupid water park? Or perhaps we begged for some more exciting deck space or even, yes, the childrens playpen? What do you take us for?

I found the part about the lounge chairs particularly galling and insulting, stated a flustered Jean Goodson, 40. Its one thing to ignore our requests for better infrastructure, parking, and more coasters, but to openly pick a fight with us after we gave them money like that, it just pisses me off. Yeah, sure. On my form, I told them I wanted some (obscenity) lounge chairs. Whatever.

The e-mail from Six Flags New England also included this passage:

Special events at Six Flags New England this spring will include: Spring Break, a weeklong celebration April 19-27, 2003. Join us for this first-ever weeklong Spring Break celebration featuring: bands, boards, bikes, the Spring Bling Fashion Thing and more. Live performances include the Vans Extreme Team featuring X-Games riders, and concerts by breaking modern rock bands Triple Seven and Drist. It's the perfect place to spend YOUR spring break!

National stupidity experts label this portion of the mailing a direct and vile attempt to force season pass holders to avoid the park at all costs.

You better believe Im going to do something about that, added Goodson. Im going to call Six Flags Guest Services and give them an earful. Oh, theres no number listed for guest services? Okay, Ill send a ranting e-mail. Oh, none listed. Hmmm. Well, I guess Ill just go into coaster forum websites and trash the place. At least thatll make them listen to their customers!

--JCK

Posted at 11:04 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Sunday, March 16, 2003
 
ARN&R Nominated for Site of the Year, Promises to Stop Making Fun of CoasterBuzz Members

ARN&R was nominated for Site of the Year at CoasterBuzz. And you are wholeheartedly encouraged to go vote for us, but we expressly do not encourage you to, for example, clear your browser's cache and cookies after visiting so as to circumvent the voting mechanism's anti-ballot-box-stuffing provisions and be able to vote for us twice, or, worse, several dozen times, because that would be wrong. Don't do that. We certainly wouldn't suggest that we would buy a round of drinks for our entire readership if such an event occurred and we were to win the actual award.

In completely unrelated news, ARN&R has promised to stop making fun of the semiliterate participants in CoasterBuzz's forums. "Why, even if someone there -- like, say, XFan --falls for one of our stories and declares that the site is run by a couple of drunks, we're still not going to make fun," said ARN&R's Chief Insult Policy Officer. "Why, even if someone -- again, say, someone like XFan -- sends us an e-mail suggesting something along the same lines, we won't do anything like post it on the site, opening him up to repeated mockery."

The policy change has nothing to do with the nomination, according to ARN&R's Public Relations Department. Rather, said the CIPO, "We just think it's time to start being more positive. Warm fuzzies work better than cold pricklies."

Starting soon, ARN&R is expected to switch formats to nothing but amusement park employees' favorite recipes and reviews of the best amusement park souvenirs.

Posted at 10:29 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Rollercoaster Magazine Eaten by Cat

Many members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts have been puzzled by the failure of the fall issue of Rollercoaster Magazine to appear, sources tell ARN&R. The same sources also claim, though these claims have not been verified, that quite a few enthusiasts are also wondering where the hell their winter and perhaps even spring issues might be. ARN&R is proud to be the first online or print publication to announce where, indeed, the hell these issues are. ACE insiders inform us that, surprisingly, the fall and winter Rollercoaster Magazine issues were eaten by the cat. Literally.

"Rollercoaster Magazine was eaten by my cat," said editor Tom Rhodes. "Really. Princess Arjumand snuck into the ACE offices and ate every single scrap of every magazine the staff had labored over all these long months. I guess we'll have to start from scratch, so to speak."

"It's amazing how much one cat can eat," noted ACE president Carole Sanderson. "Boy, could that kitty pack it on. We might give her an honorary ACE membership, considering how much raw tonnage she can chow down. However, the more pressing concern right now is how to get the fall issue out on time. We'll just have to do our best and hope that feral rabbit that hangs around outside the ACE Outhouse Headquarters in Kansas doesn't poop all over it. ACE members must remain united in this time of turmoil."

Sanderson later added that "members need to be sure to renew their ACE memberships promptly, or they won't receive their magazines in the timely manner ACErs have become accustomed to."

--JCK

Posted at 12:58 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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