Still here. But mostly in 140 characters.
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Saturday, July 17, 2004
 
Enthusiast Ends Up Being Ugly American By Accident
 
Two United States coaster enthusiasts turned out to be Ugly Americans this past week, despite their best efforts.  According to Ben Gavel, 35, he and his friend, Don Timmerman, 37, had wanted to avoid this at all costs.
 
"We tried, we failed," said a despairing Gavel.
 
Claimed the enthusiast, "we did our best not to be typical jerk American tourists.  We both tried to study enough books on Spanish and German to make ourselves reasonably conversant and not make locals switch to English.  And we also read books on customs so we wouldn't insult anyone.  We were certain never to openly disparage anything and look like asses.  But then we ran into to trouble."
 
The trouble, according to Gavel, was when a raging thunderstorm hit Barcelona's Port Aventura, right as the pair of enthusiasts was waiting in line for Dragon Kahn, the park's signature looping coaster.
 
"We'd been waiting there patiently for a few minutes," he said.  "The rain was obviously not letting up for a while, but we figured we'd just stay there until it stopped and the ride got going again.  But then one of the ride ops said something extensive in Spanish and the gates opened.  We were like, huh, well, maybe they run it in the rain?  Heck, why not!  And we sat down.  That's when everyone started pointing and laughing, and the op had to angrily point for us to get off.  How awful.  How rude."
 
Apparently, the long-winded Spanish explanation was not a call to board the ride, but was the following: "We do not anticipate the ride opening for some time.  You may wait in the station as long as you choose, but we do not guarantee how long it will be.  We shall open the gates for you to walk through and leave via the exit ramp if you choose.  Thank you."
 
"We didn't know Spanish well enough to catch all that," said Gavel.  "Damn it!  We were tricked into being Ugly Americans!  Tricked, I tell you!"
 
--JCK

Posted at 3:21 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Thursday, July 15, 2004
 
ACE Online Store Announces New Product

In what many industry experts label as its most thrilling new product to be offered since the ACE Official Muumuu, the American Coaster Enthusiast Online Store announced this week that it would begin selling a new Butterfat IV Drip starting this weekend.

"We're always trying to remain on the cutting edge of exciting new coaster enthusiast products," said ACE rep Samantha Darko during a press conference. "As with the muumuu, this year we really wanted to add a product that is unique, fun, and, most importantly, of practical use to the buyer. The Butterfat IV ended up being the perfect such product."

Darko continued, "it's just horrible watching enthusiasts waiting in a long line at an Exclusive Ride Time, torn between sprinting back into the station for another ride or lovingly stuffing their faces at the buffet yet again. You can see them standing there in the coaster station, longingly smacking their lips and drooling as they imagine pouring entire chafing dishes of barbecue and hot dogs down their throats, yet unable to give up a single possible chance to chant 'one more time! one more time! one more time!' at harried ride ops. Well, with this new product, the enthusiasts will be able to give their bodies the steady stream of butterfat they need, directly into an open vein, all while they keep slapping hands, wearing glow sticks, and riding that hard, greased wood!"

The special new intravenous butterfat delivery system will initially be made available only to ACE members, and will be offered in a variety of colors, such as baby blue, bright pink, and paisley.

--JCK

Posted at 6:42 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Feed Me Manflesh, Demands Shamu

Long a fixture of family fun at Sea World, the killer whale Shamu created quite a stir this week with his demand to have his diet of mackerel and squid supplemented with human flesh.

"I'm sick of this crap," noted the mighty Orca from his holding tank. "You splash around for four shows a day and then try to subsist on these stupid little fish and mollusks. They better set me up with the good shit. I won't perform again until Sea World agrees to provide me with succulent and tender manflesh at least once per week."

Shamu noted that he would prefer to dine upon full-sized men, but would probably be willing to compromise by feasting upon a bratty child each week, so long as the meat was "uniformly scrumptious and juicy."

At press time, Sea World employees had not officially responded to Shamu's demands; it is assumed that the park is calculating whether the loss of revenue from patrons not coming to the park due to Shamu's lack of performances would outweigh the loss of revenue from patrons not coming to the park due to the possibility that they might be fed to Shamu.

--JCK

Posted at 1:55 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004
 
Helpful Tips on How to Make a Crappy Site for Your Amusement Park

For the second day in a row, ARN&R presents an insightful discussion on a real-life issue. Yesterday it was the ACE elections, today it's how to make your official amusement park website absolutely as shitty as humanly possible!

Follow these tips and you, too, could make visitors erupt in scathing peals of laughter:

1) Make the design costs as cheap as possible. Give five bucks to some stoner working the counter at Little Ceaser's and tell him to slap some stuff together in under six minutes. Or, better yet, let your cat do it.

2) Don't put any useful information on your website. You don't want people to actually come visit the park and give you money, do you? Be sure not to list the hours of operation or the cost of ride tickets. (You may feel free, however, to list the group rates, as this will get the school group brats in to irritate ordinary patrons who decide to come even after viewing your useless website.)

3) We can't stress this enough, because it's the single most important step in making sure no one ever comes back to view your website ever again: please, please, please have a really obnoxious MIDI song blasting on each and every page. If a potential visitor fails to ram their fist or a nearby friend's head through the monitor within five seconds of reaching your home page, then you have failed miserably.

An excellent example of an amusmement park website that fulfills all these criteria to the fullest potential is the one for Sylvan Beach Amusement Park, our Site O' the Weak. Follow the example of this website, and soon, you, too, can be designing a really crummy website for your very own park!

--JCK

[Editor's Note: Another superb example of a terrible park site would, of course, be the Only in America website, though its failure to use a bad soundtrack leaves it just short of Sylvan Beach for this week's award.]

Posted at 10:10 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004
 
Experience Democracy Inaction

The American Coaster Enthusiasts are currently in the midst of their elections for executive officers. As a helpful public service, ARN&R weighs in with analysis of this important time for coaster enthusiasts. Some of you may complain that this information is not all that timely, since ballots must be postmarked by July 15th. "Why have you just now given us your opinion, when as many as five or six people have already returned their ballots and as many as six or seven more will only have two days to ponder who to vote for before sending theirs in?" you may well ask. Well, don't blame us. Some of us, namely the author of this article, just received our f**king ballot yesterday, not that this should be a huge surprise, considering that our membership renewal form arrived well after our membership had expired last year and our ACE News and Rollercoaster! issues frequently appear approximately three decades after the claimed publication date. Anyway, here's a breakdown of the ACE offices up for grabs this year, largely based on the official candidate platforms sent out by ACE:

President

In what can only be regarded as completely stunning news, it has been announced that Jason Pytka, candidate for President of the American Coaster Enthusiasts, has dropped out of the race. According to some sources, this was actually shocking news some time ago, but since, as was already mentioned, this reporter received his ballot yesterday, some of us are freshly shocked as late as today.

If you couldn't tell, we're being a little sarcastic. Pytka gave us one of the greatest belly laughs of our entire lives with his election platform. The main gist of the opening paragraph of said platform was to state that Pytka would be competing against Carole Sanderson merely because it's a bad idea for anyone to be able to run opposed in a democratic election. He then promptly encouraged everyone to vote for Sanderson and announced his intention to withdraw from the race. Um...if you're in a race because you don't want someone running unopposed, and then you say just to vote for the other person because they're fine and that, by the way, you don't want the job and you're going to drop out, isn't the other person still running unopposed?????

Just wondering.

Of course, Pytka's clearly-stated ambition not to be ACE President failed to dissuade him from taking up a good 6,341 pages (okay, we're exaggerating; it's more like 5,310) detailing exactly what policies and ideas he'd like to see ACE implement, were he actually to run for office, which he isn't. Amongst the acres of text were such hoot-worthy concepts as higher reimbursement for ACE officials and the hallucinatory belief that ACE will have 100,000 members and Congressional lobbyists within a decade or two.

Of course, it might not have been the best election strategy for his opponent...er, former opponent...er, the person he was encouraging people to vote for all along...to mention in her election platform how ACE, during her presidential tenure, lost its management company without notice and dealt with unprecedented membership misbehavior and safety issues.

Vice President

Unlike Carole Sanderson, Mark Cole has been running unopposed for the entire election, not having to deal with a pesky fake opposition. With that in mind, we're pretty sure he's got this baby wrapped up, unless the number of smart-ass enthusiasts sending in votes for "Bill the Cat" or "My Butt" actually exceeds the number who check off real candidates.

Secretary

It doesn't take a huge leap of mental prowess to guess our opinion on this one. As stated in our Breaking News already, Jeffrey Seifert fails to mention in his 2004 election platform that he doesn't care what the opinion of ordinary ACE members is. As the public belittling of ordinary ACE members has been a large part of Seifert's past term, it seems puzzling that he fails to include information on how much he intends to use his position to disparage and badger the opinions of his constituency in the future. He also fails to mention his generally surly and combative attitude toward the ACE membership.

We don't know much about Debbie Sykes, except what she lists in her election platform. Yes, it's "true" that "she" likes "to" use "scare quotes" a little "too" often in her candidate "platform," but since she hasn't used an ACE post to demean the ACE membership in an official capacity, she's got our vote. Unless we go for Bill the Cat.

Treasurer

One must read subtext in this particular election. For instance, one might read the platform of Jason Burkett and think, "well, he supports families being able to attend coaster conventions...that's not bad." But then one might wish to remember that Burkett is also known as Rastus O'Ginga, who believes "homosexuality is a defect," and then one might begin to wonder just what sort of crazed, paranoid, homophobic policies he might implement while in office.

No, better to vote for the other candidate, perhaps. Bill the Cat it is.

Just kidding. Jerry Willard, we meant.

NRCMA Board of Directors

Oh, good grief. Just vote for Ueberroth and Munch and don't worry about it, alright? You've got one ACE founder and one who's been there almost as long, and they've actually done plenty of hard work for the club and for coaster enthusiasm for many years. Plus they don't go online to tell other club members their opinions are unimportant and stupid or anything, like certain people.

Also, Richard Munch is just a really strong, tall guy who could probably snap us like a twig if he wanted, so he's got our endorsement!

--JCK

Posted at 3:46 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Monday, July 12, 2004
 
Courtney Love Accused Of Attacking Ninja

Los Angeles police this morning confirmed reports that Courtney Love was arrested on Friday at Six Flags Magic Mountain after attacking the park's inverted "Ninja" roller coaster. The attack reportedly occurred after the coaster failed to show Love what she termed "proper Ninja respect" and further refused her repeated requests that it "get all Ralph Macchio" on another park guest who observed that Love's recent solo album "blew chunks."

Love initially approached the coaster around noon and ceremoniously bowed to it in a manner based on the obscure Filipino martial art known as arnis, expecting the coaster to reciprocate with a formal Ninja bow. The coaster, however, simply continued to operate, entirely ignoring her entreaties to "Bow, you piece of sh*t!"

Things got worse when season pass holder Shawn Fanelli recognized the rocker while standing in line. Fanelli, who recently purchased Love's solo release "America's Sweetheart," yelled "Hey, Courtney! Your new album sucks ass! Guess you shouldn't have offed Kurt [Cobain]!"

Love, outraged, initially sought to attack Fanelli herself, but then remembered the terms of her bond from one of her many recent arrests. She instead urged Ninja to attack Fanelli in the mode of Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio "to protect [Love's] honor." Ninja again ignored her requests and continued to operate as a simple suspended coaster.

At that point, Love lost control and ran at Ninja's first car, screaming and flailing about, holding a broken bottle. She was struck by the car and instantly knocked unconscious, with over a dozen items of drug paraphernalia falling out of her pockets.

Love is scheduled to be arraigned later today.

Posted at 11:14 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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