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Saturday, August 09, 2003
Coaster Enthusiasts Lower Expectations, Find Love at IOA
In a daring move to perk up sluggish attendance, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida has announced a new dating service targeted at coaster enthusiasts.
“The ‘Single Riders’ lines at our top attractions are primarily for anyone who wishes to ride alone,” said Herschel Goodbody, Director of Public Relations. “But, since the predominant number of people who visit our parks alone are lonely, Croakie-wearing enthusiasts, we thought we’d try to entice them with the idea that they could make new friends and even find love in the single riders line.”
To launch the new program, ACE and Coasterbuzz members were enticed with ERT on Dueling Dragons. The attendees were given brochures written by Dr. Dikembe Billy-Bob Rittenhouse Arjumand Ktulu-Lieberman Svenson III with tips on making a good first impression and how to not drool during a conversation. The 250 men and 5 women also filled out questionnaires rating their top 5 coasters (wooden and steel),which was provided to ride operators to facilitate matchmaking. Orlando dating service Lowered Expectations™ provided complimentary on-ride photos so that the attendees could prove to their friends they had ridden next to a member of the opposite sex.
Later that day, two coaster enthusiasts, Jeanne “CPGoddess3454” Strudelkopf and Marty “IOAlover546” Greenblatz, found each other in the Single Riders line for IOA’s Hulk roller coaster. “We immediately connected – Marty was wearing a shirt from my home park, Knoebels.” said Strudelkopf. “It turns out we live in the same state!” The two exchanged IM screen names and planned to continue seeing each other by connecting via the Coasterbuzz meetup calendar. What Jeanne doesn’t know is that there will be a surprise from Marty on their next visit to IOA. “I plan to propose to Jeanne, and want to do it at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. I’m not sure if I’ll pop the question on Fire or Ice, but wherever I decide, I hope she says yes!”
Friday, August 08, 2003
Gravity Group Announces Opening of Check Cashing Store
After keeping the amusement industry waiting impatiently to hear its next big announcement, wooden coaster design firm The Gravity Group finally broke the silence and set October 1, 2003, as the hoped-for grand opening of its check-cashing franchise "Cash Now."
The store, to be located somewhere in suburban Cincinnati, will feature an array of financial and non-financial services centered on the franchise chain's famous "payday loan."
"We're thrilled to be able to provide check cashing services to whatever section of Cincinnati we end up in," said Michael Graham, one of the company's coaster designers and second-shift cashier. "We'll provide outstanding check cashing and other services, just like we provide great coaster maintenance and services to all of our clients...er, our one client, anyway."
When asked about the seeming disconnect between check cashing and coaster design, Graham professed confusion and said that "they're so closely connected it's not even worth talking about."
In related news, inside sources at the company insist that you did not see them applying for jobs at Pizza Hut.
Garfield News Baffles, Outrages
A clarification seems to be in order for our friends over at Kennywood Boulevard and Kennywood Connection. Indeed, we cannot take credit here for springing the news that the Old Mill will be changing to Garfield and Odie 3D; instead, Screamscape may be thanked for the scoop, and in fact we linked to them in our original article. However, we did break the news about the actual details of the new ride, and we did uncover the planned refurbishments of the other attractions, such as the looping Jack Rabbit and anal probes on Goldrusher.
And remember, each and every thing written on this website is completely factual. We employ the finest army of inside sources and clever reporters, and we would never, ever think of making anything up. That's why we're called Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors!
Six Flags Stock Price Leaps on News of Talks with Ninth-Graders
Six Flags's ailing stock price had a boost yesterday on news that the company was discussing "strategic opportunities" with a ninth-grade course focused on allowance management. Most analysts believe that these talks encompassed far more than a simple partnership, instead contemplating a takeover of the park chain by the Oklahoma City area youths.
"This is terrific news for stockholders," said analyst John Terry. "The kids will definitely know how to run these parks far better than Gary Story and his ilk."
Austin Zalgo, one of the students, acted as the class's spokesman. "We're planning on making all of the coasters faster! And add loops to all of them! And we'll sell alcohol to everyone, whether or not they have an I.D.! And we'll get rid of all that crap for little kids and sell no drinks besides Mountain Dew." Zalgo added that the class had raised approximately $450 by selling candy bars; analyst Terry indicated that he felt that amount represented "a more than fair price" for the park chain.
Most industry analysts, while mildly skeptical of the class's plans, indicated a strong belief that those plans would be far superior to the bizarre strategy followed by current Six Flags management. They also expressed hopes for rumors of strategic talks with the Mob, the producers of Home Improvement, or former Enron executives.
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Coming Soon: Six Flags Love Canal
In an unusual move, Six Flags Inc., which has a reputation for buying underperforming properties and seeking to turn them around, has signed a purchase and sale agreement for approximately 124 acres in Love Canal in New York. The site is renowned world wide as the recipient of the first Superfund, the largest federal hazardous waste cleanup in history.
"This purchase represents a significant step forward for our neighborhood," said Marcy Turcotte, a long time resident. "We bought our house here knowing that there was nowhere to go but up. I mean, living on a toxic waste dump was a good financial move but there really was nothing to do around here. Now we'll have Six Flags. I think they'll fit right in."
A representative from Six Flags, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, said this would be a challenge for the chain. "Unlike most parks we've purchased, this one is just a plot of land. So this will be our first property built from the ground up. But we're confident we've got a hit with Love Canal. It's a name with high recognition. We think it will dovetail nicely with the Six Flags brand. The site, right next to Niagara Falls, is a prime tourist area."
In 1978, Love Canal gained notoriety when toxic waste from years of dumping in the 3000-foot-long canal began surfacing in residents' backyards. The government proclaimed the area habitable after ten years of clean-up. Six Flags plans to incorporate a water park in the canal itself.
"There are some great ideas on the drawing boards," the representative said. "As with our other properties, we really want to focus on the local identity." Among the thrill rides being considered is a suspended looping roller coaster by Vekoma themed to Spiderman. "Spiderman is a great tie-in, since Peter Parker was a victim of radiation poisoning," the representative continued. Other attractions will include an interactive simulation ride through a nuclear reactor that melts down and a stunt show based upon the popular comic book character Toxic Avenger. If approved by local councils, Six Flags hopes to have the park ready for the 30th anniversary of the Love Canal incident.
Six Flags Inc. currently owns two other properties in the state: The Great Escape in Lake George and Six Flags Darien Lake in Darien Center. When asked whether three Six Flags parks within a few hours drive of each other were too much, the representative responded, "You can never have too much Six Flags."
Kennywood Announces Updates For Older Attractions
Exciting news from Kennywood Amusement Park reached ARN&R tonight, as the legendary venue announced a series of extensive refurbishments and updates to what the upper management refers to as “those boring, stupid, crappy old rides that suck ass and stuff.”
The first ride to be reworked is the Old Mill, which is beloved by longtime park visitors and amusement park buffs for being one of the last remaining “tunnel of love” boat attractions left in the world. Standing since 1902 and featuring a nostalgic and extensive boat ride past numerous scenes, the historically important attraction was deemed by management to be “completely dorky, and in need of some radical theming.” The ride is slated to become Garfield and Odie 3D, featuring what a park manager refers to as “reasonably historically accurate scenes representing Garfield and Odie eating, defecating, and starring in unwatchable television specials.” A park insider tells ARN&R that the attraction will produce “a sensory overload.”
Aside from the visual and audio stimulation provided by animatronics and projected 3D film segments, the other senses of the passengers will also be assailed. Says the inside source, “The ride will feature three separate sections where mountains of cat dander and hair will be blown into passengers at 50 miles per hour. The smell of cat spraint will be overpowering. And several random boats per hour will have a very angry stray tomcat thrown onto a passenger’s head, so the riders will know what it would be like to be ripped limb from limb by Garfield if they were to piss him off.”
The Garfield and Odie 3D ride is only the first of the “old, stupid, worthless Kennywood rides” to be re-imagined, stated a park rep. Other rides to be spruced up include the Jack Rabbit, which will be torn to the ground and given an exciting, all-new steel structure that allows for loops and tight turns, an upgrade reportedly to be provided by French designer Soquet. The Thunderbolt will have its boring, dumb tracer lights, classic trains, and unique logo removed, since they are historical and therefore idiotic. The entire structure will run with Morgan trains and the structure will be painted puce and teal, with paisley highlights. And finally, the rare Turtle attraction will have LIMs attached so that riders no longer have to experience nostalgia in a gentle, fun, undulating manner, but instead will feel it in their spleens as they rocket in tight circles at 80 miles per hour.
“History sucks balls,” said the rep. “Marketing kicks ass!”
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Queer Eye For The Straight Guy "Gives Up" On ACE Member
The taping of a recent episode of Bravo TV's new series, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, was halted after the five stars of the hit show decided unanimously that there was just no possible way that they could make their most recent straight guy appear attractive or seem even remotely interesting.
The episode was to feature ACE member Lance Fargun getting a makeover by the Fab Five while everyone discussed the latest and greatest new roller coasters and other amusement park happenings around the country. As a promotional tie-in, the group was also scheduled to make a post-makeover appearance at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. Those plans have been scrapped as well.
The cast and crew realized as soon as they met Lance that they had quite a challenge ahead of them. After all, how easy could it be to make a hirsute, 310-pound, smelly, balding, Star Trek obsessed, coke bottle glasses wearing, roller coaster loving, freak of a geek seem at all interesting, much less look attractive? Confident in their abilities though, the Fab Five bravely move forward in their quest to reinvent Lance Fargun.
Taping had just barely begun when the cast and crew of the show started to realize their mammoth mistake. Fashion savant, Carson Kressley, was the first to express dismay at the situation. "There is just no @#$%-ing way that I can make you look trendy, hip and fashionable in a ratty old armpit-stained, moth-eaten Cedar Point Millennium Force t-shirt and a @#$%-ing scummy old jean jacket with ridiculously hideous roller coaster patches stuck all over it," Carson was overheard shrieking at Lance. "And, for the tenth, eleventh and twelfth time, NO, NO, NO, you do not look sexy in an official ACE club muumuu either," Carson continued.
Grooming Guru, Kyan Douglas did not have it any easier. After spending twenty minutes trying to guess which part of Lance's body each revolting odor was emanating from, thirty minutes filing the fungus off of Lance's toenails and two hours shaving the hair from Lance's back, ears, nose, toes and buttocks, a physically and emotionally drained Kyan fell to the ground, curled up into the fetal position and sobbed hysterically until his coworkers carried him off of the set.
Food and wine connoisseur, Ted Allen made one final unsuccessful endeavor to salvage the taping by attempting to educate Lance on fine food preparation and choosing the right wines to go with the right foods. However, after listening to Lance rant on and on incessantly about how "any meal without gravy, deep-fried Twinkies or at least something fried in hog lard" couldn't possibly be worth eating and how "Thunderbird is the best wine ever, and it already goes with everything", Ted realized that the five makeover mavens were in way over their heads with this project. The Fab Five quickly convinced the rest of the crew that it was time to pull the plug on this particular lifestyle conversion.
Lance was not the least bit taken aback by the whole turn of events and, if fact, was quite relieved to see the show leave. "At first, I thought it would be fun, and I hoped that maybe being on TV would help me score with some chicks. But, after that fruity design guy tried to tell me that it was time to take apart my K'nex roller coasters and put them away and when he suggested that maybe I shouldn't be wallpapering my apartment with amusement park brochures and souvenir photos of me riding roller coasters and eating churros at Six Flags Magic Mountain, I knew that these guys didn't really have a clue about anything," said Lance.
When ARN&R reporters asked Bravo TV if the show might consider replacing Lance with another, less disgusting ACE member for a future production, the show's producers responded by noting that their exhaustive interview and audition process had already eliminated every other member of ACE and that Lance was, in fact, the least repulsive member of ACE that the show could find. The show also held several unsuccessful auditions with members of fellow coaster enthusiast group, The Coaster Zombies, before abandoning the idea completely.
ARN&R Editor-in-Chief Suddenly Notices Almost All Hate Mail Aimed at JCK Articles
JCK “Nervous,” Say Sources
In a troublesome turn of events, the ARN&R Editor-in-Chief just noticed that nearly every piece of hate mail ever sent to the website was directed at an article written by JCK. According to “absolutely reliable” sources, the writer was “quite nervous” and “explosively crapping his pants” in fear of what the main man might do with this information.
“We’ve gotten plenty of profoundly stupid hate missives in our mailbox over the last few months,” said the Editor. “And of course, there are loads of people who can’t stand us in various coaster forums on the internet. But it just dawned on me, all of a sudden as I was driving today, that nearly every article that’s made people send us comically misspelled and venomous hate letters was responding to something that guy wrote. And most of the irate Coasterbuzz and ThemeParkCritic dismissals seem to be based on junk he’s posted, too. I rue the day I hired that little jackass.”
The Editor-in-Chief went on to add, ”I mean, it’s really easy to lose track of all the trouble he’s caused. For instance, that Amnesty International piece got us comments that we were wasting valuable internet space that would be better used for a real coaster rumor site, and mrceagle said ‘As a joke it [ARN&R] wasn't that funny. all [sic] of my family take parks very seriuslyand [sic] all thow [sic] we laffed [sic] after time we were apoled [sic] by the joke.’ Later we got some comments on an anti-Disney article JCK wrote from the same guy. Xfan accused us of being drunks after the infamous Great Escape article, and Gordon Beeferman got mad that anyone had thought to concoct a name that happened to be the same as his. Guess what? JCK wrote both of those. People accused us of Jumping the Shark after his mullet article appeared, and even Lisa Marie Presley fans wrote nasty stuff about us after he claimed her singing voice was ‘reminiscent of a horny stray tomcat.’”
JCK pointed out to reporters that “the Coaster Preservation Organization catfight was technically started by the Editor-in-Chief, although we both naturally participated. And there was that other wacko who didn’t like the porno article the E-I-C wrote. And one of my friends wrote in upset about the JWS article where Snoopy kept humping people’s legs. It’s not just me that people hate!”
The Editor-in-Chief disputes JCK’s statements. “Okay, the two count for me, I guess. But the JWS one doesn’t count. That was a personal email from a friend to JCK, and it used actual English grammar and functional spelling, unlike any of the other comments we get. More importantly, I’d love JCK to show me all the hate mail directed at articles by MMS or RAS or MEC or FMB or anyone else who has written for us.” A few seconds later, he made a loud buzzing sound with his lips and yelled “Game Over! Yeah, that’s right. There hasn’t been any hate mail directed at their articles!”
The Editor-in-Chief has not yet stated whether JCK will merely suffer a reduction in salary or be made to undergo some sort of corporal punishment to atone for his copious sins. “We could cane him, or rip all his toenails off with tweezers, but I think a more satisfactory punishment, one that will teach the lesson best, is to have JCK strapped onto a Vekoma Flyer and left riding it for an entire afternoon. After that, he’ll agree to anything, even writing nice happy articles about fluffy bunnies and little puppy dogs and how much he enjoys Six Flags parks.”
Monday, August 04, 2003
Frank Gehry Named as ACE Roller Coaster Museum Designer
In what can only be considered a tremendous surprise, the executive committee of the American Coaster Enthusiasts today announced that master architect Frank Gehry would be the designer of the ACE National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives, the major project currently under development by the organization.
Most famous for his design for the outstanding Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Gehry’s plans for the NRCMA feature his trademark sinuous curves of iridescent titanium interacting with shimmering glass and scrubbed marble and limestone. Occupying 32,000 square feet, the museum will feature a huge glass atrium on the ground level, with flowing staircases leading from there to various wings, including the research archives, the Mighty Hall of History (featuring postcards, photos, and donated coaster cars), and the all-important ERT (Exclusive Ride Time) Wing.
The centerpiece of the NRCMA will be the ACE Buffet Interactive Experience and Splashdown Area, a huge open playpen featuring rivers of barbecue, huge mobiles of hot dogs, and sculptures of the great coaster designers done completely with deep-fried Twinkies. According to Gehry, “the middle of the room will have a pyramidal glass ceiling, and the light entering through the ceiling will focus upon one of those giant cowboy hats they use to dump water on people in water parks. This one will, of course, be made entirely of titanium, and when the gravy gets dumped out all over everyone every ten minutes, the shimmering beauty of the natural light glistening off the pork fat and the titanium should produce a nearly unearthly beauty in this chamber.”
Gehry’s bid was reviewed by the ACE Executive Committee last week, and the group felt his plan was the one that would best support the group’s aims for its museum. Reportedly, the rejected bids included quite spectacular designs by Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier, and Rem Koolhaas, as well as what ACE Vice President Mark Cole described as “a really alarming number of crude Crayola and Bic Pen scribblings” sent in by adult ACE members hoping to have their designs approved.
“We are obviously pleased to move ahead with the construction of this all-important museum,” said ACE President Carole Sanderson. “Now, I’m sure everyone realizes that an architectural figure as important as Mr. Gehry won’t come cheap. We expect the facility to cost approximately 60 million dollars, with the added cost of putting five actual operational Vekoma rides in the Hall of Shame section of the museum. With that in mind, ACE membership fees will be expanded gradually over the next few years: $70 in 2004, $120 in 2005, $200 in 2006, and $50,000 in 2007. We also plead with members for more donations, and ACE itself has announced a ‘Challenge Grant’ where we will match any corporate donation of over 10 million dollars.”
Sanderson added, “And we’ll keep slapping our name on inferior products like that K-NEX thing to scrounge up a few more pennies, and our members will be required to whore themselves for Six Flags parks worldwide. For instance, after suffering through a miserable day at Kentucky Kingdom, ACE members will all go to park management and film a TV spot where they claim that ‘T2 is the funnest ride ever,’ the ‘landscaping here is first rate,’ ‘Viper is a brand new ride that has never been in operation at two other parks for the last twenty-five years,’ and ‘the guy in the Bugs Bunny costume certainly did not jam his hand down my pants and fondle my scrotum.’ For this service, the parks will make a major contribution to the museum fund. And really, since it’s already in the Code of Conduct that ACE members can’t dislike any roller coaster or park ever made, it’s not like this is a major problem for our members.”
Gehry released a statement indicating that groundbreaking would not progress until “those freaks actually send me a check that doesn’t bounce.”
Golden Opportunity Wasted
Virulent despisers of ARN&R made a tremendous error Sunday, sources tell ARN&R. Apparently, the Editor-in-Chief and a longtime writer and occasional assistant editor for the blog were both viewed enjoying the rides at Six Flags New England this Sunday, yet no apparent attempts on their life were made.
“It seemed unwise for us to be seen together at a public venue, particularly an amusement park where we might be recognized by ACE and Coasterbuzz lunatics intent on ending our snippy and sarcastic ways,” said the Editor-in-Chief. “However, we bravely went forward into the pit of terror that is Six Flags New England without any bodyguards or fully automatic armaments.”
“We’re just f&$king studs to show balls like that,” added the mildly inebriated JCK. “Considering all that hate mail and the random death threats we receive, we could’ve cowered in shame, wetting our pants, but instead we hung out together and acted like coaster tools for the day. Take that, bee-yatches!”
Haters of the site are apparently livid. “Aw, crap. How did we miss sending an assassination squad after them?” asked ACE Happy Special Benevolent Friend for Life Carole Sanderson. “I’d love to work that burr out of my ass. Another time, ARN&R scum, another time….” She then cackled shrilly.
“Thouse assholes beign too stuopid I hate thems why we not findig them to get ride if?” read a statement from lawyers representing the Coaster Preservation Club and Gordon Beeferman.
Inside sources report that the sources may or may not appear together at amusement parks sometime in September. The wet work squads of the American Coaster Enthusiasts and the CPC are said to be in intense training in the case that this information proves to be true.
Sunday, August 03, 2003
Hersheypark Attraction Named
Although Hersheypark announced a few days ago that it would be adding an exciting new attraction to the park, executives refused at that time to release the name of this thrilling Pony Ride to the general public. After several days of breathless anticipation, ACErs (members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts) and the GP (scum) had their semi-patience rewarded by the Hersheypark's announcement, via their website, of what the Pony Ride's official moniker would be.
"Prepare for the unleashing of the ultimate in thrills and unholy terror," said the announcement. "Misty of Chincoteague: The Xtreme Armageddon promises to ride rough over visitors next Spring!"
Queries by ARN&R to various Hersheypark executives revealed that the MOC:TXA logo will feature a menacing demon horse charging toward the viewer, with foam and blood spewing left and right from a terrifying maw laden with razor-sharp fangs. Conflicting information makes it unclear whether Satan himself will be astride the cruel, evil beast, whipping it into a human-flesh-devouring frenzy, or whether Misty alone will be stampeding toward horrified onlookers.
The souvenir list has been refined since the initial announcement of the new ride. Products will include an "I Survived My Still-Beating Heart Being Torn From My Chest by Misty of Chincoteague and Devoured by Her as I Watched " T-shirt, onboard ride photos capturing the slack-jawed dismay and horror of being led in a circle on a regularly pooping animal at approximately 5 miles per hour, and a home knackery kit.
In a related story to be watched closely by ARN&R, playwright Peter Shaffer has announced plans to file a lawsuit against Hersheypark. "The use of the equine theme and the merchandising are all clearly inspired by Mr. Shaffer's play Equus, and we will be demanding a large percentage of their profits," his lawyer told us. "They are clearly the Vanilla Ice to our Queen."
By the way, in case you're really not too sharp, this is satire.
Our favorite review: "as a joke it [ARN&R] wasn't that funny. all of my family take parks very seriuslyand all thow we laffed after time we were apoled by the joke."
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