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Saturday, January 22, 2005
Six Flags: SFGAm Water Park Free; Also Adding Air Conditioning and Health Care
As part of its ongoing efforts to improve cash flow and profitability, Six Flags announced this week its decision to include Six Flags Great America's Hurricane Harbor water park in the park's admission price. Receiving less attention was its later announcement that it would be air conditioning the entire Chicago-area park as well as providing universal health care for every resident in the Chicago area.
"We're certain that these steps represent the best way to impress investors and to get on track for financial stability," said park spokeswoman Leora Kladner in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "What could be better for cash flow than a free water park, tens of thousands of outdoor air conditioning units running throughout the summer, and the creation of an enormous new health care system for the millions of people in the region? Oh, we're also going to throw in a free puppy for every guest, along with a lifetime supply of food and veterinary services."
SEC filings indicate that the park chain will borrow approximately $1.2 billion at 17.99% interest from an entity on the south side of Chicago called "EZ Pay Day CA$H."
S&D Greetings Offers New Hasselhoff Product Line
Coaster card supplier S&D Greetings sparked controversy within the coaster community when they offered their 2006 calendar. Entitled "Hot 4 Hasselhoff," the scrumptious planner combines many of the untalented artist's shots from calendars past.
Steve Simmons, S&D's research and development director, said the plan was a new and bold step for the company. He commented, "Sure, shots of Boulderdash are nice, but we have to give the people what they want -- and they want Hasselhoff. Whether he is hanging out with a bird,
looking hot or just rocking out, you can't go wrong with David."
Some enthusiasts predict that sales will be down from previous years. Tim Johnson of Cleburne, Texas felt that it will be hard to move calendars with the sassy star of Knight Rider emblazoned on them. "Sure, Hasselhoff is hot," he conceded, distractedly gazing at a photo for upwards of thirty seconds. "But I don't know how many enthusiasts will pick that up. I wish they had gone a different route and done a Star Wars: Episode III calendar. It isn't quite as geeky as Hasselhoff and I know women would talk to me if they saw Anakin on my wall."
For now S&D Greetings just hope that David's sexy patriotism will be infectious. Steve Simmons said, "Germans love David Hasselhoff and we think that soon the whole world will. Seriously, what's hotter than this?"
Reports that next year's S&D calendar will feature nude spreads of A-Team star Dirk "Face" Benedict could not be confirmed a press time.
[Editor's Note: ARN&R has just learned that the American Coaster Enthusiasts, noted for their previous energetic attempts to crush any competition in the coaster calendar business, have decided to offer competing Hasselhoff products at the ACE Online Store. Among the treats being offered are the Deranged Eskimo Hasselhoff Fanny Pack and the Cream-Your-Undies-He's-So-Manly Speedo Hasselhoff Portable Coaster Count Tabulator/Dildo. When queried about the timing of the new product line, an ACE rep claimed that its launch immediately after a competitor's was "completely coincidental."]
Friday, January 21, 2005
Enthusiast Tempted by Nor'easter Email Invite
According to sources close to the ACE New England Region, members recently received an email advertising for the Nor'easter event with the following questions:
Winter blahs got you down?
Opening day at your favorite park just can't come soon enough?
Haven't seen your coaster buddies since October?
Dying to buy that calendar / video / book / game you didn't get for Christmas?
According to enthusiast Marlon Georgiev, 23, the message was somewhat appealing because most of it was true when applied to him.
"Yeah, maybe I should go to Nor'easter," he said. "I was reading it and I thought, well, hell yes, winter blahs have me down. It's frostier out there right now than the reaction I get when I tell random high school girls at the mall how much I like being pummeled and thrashed by dueling woodies. And then I thought, well, I would kinda like to have Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, even though the park patrons in it are even stupider than the real ones at Six Flags parks. And I do actually think at least five times per hour about how much it sucks that Lake Compounce won't open until like May or June, so that one certainly applies to me."
"So I might think about going," he concluded. "Three out of four ain't bad."
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Sex Workers Not Excited For Eastcoaster
A lot of things make adult entertainer Brittany Rears excited. The Eastcoaster convention is not one of them. The event is a gathering of members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) from around the country. People travel hundreds of miles to hear lectures on what’s new and exciting in the amusement park industry. These coaster hobby heads call it a “spring training” for their upcoming park-going season.
Normally conventions are big business for strippers, hookers and even nudie booth workers (including the moppers). In fact, Ms. Rears said that some of her largest cuts have come from nights when big groups gather in steel and coal country.
She commented, “Yah, I usually get the big tips for a shower scene on stage or some double lap dance action -- the fish sandwich always brings in good tips. However, these coaster guys usually don’t want much even if they do come in here. Just last year a guy gave me a $1 tip after I grinded his crotch to Dio’s ‘Holy Diver.' Instead of enjoying the moment he went on and on about how this place called Dorney Park took out Hercules. Whatever.”
Many have examined the lack of interest in Allentown’s sex trade by the coaster geeks and aren’t sure why they don’t show. Independent research done by ARN&R exemplary intern staff shows that almost every group, from the Republican Party to Local Coal Miners’ 138 to the Moral Majority all like to get their wangs waxed when in town. Yet, for some reason these coasterphiles stay clear.
Over at Crotch Co., a local hoesale store, Trixster and Shauntell said they have never noticed a spike in activity during the annual event. Trixster said, “I know they are having this event like, every year, but I ain’t never seen hardly any benefits. Last year I had some freak call and told me he wanted me to dress like Dominator. I should up in my leather outfit and he said I came like the wrong thing. Apparently I was supposed to be dressed like some white tower and he wanted me to call him Mr. Checketts while I banged him. That freak was nasty.”
A few ladies of the night plan to work the Northampton Community Center, which holds the event every year. However, little-to-no activity is expected unless they wear patch jackets.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Coasterbuzz Webmaster Attempts to Save CB Member's Dignity
In an occurrence that has become all too commonplace in the past few years, Coasterbuzz Webmaster Jeff Putz has made a valiant, if utterly hopeless, attempt to save a CB member's dignity by closing a moronic topic that member started, say sources.
The topic in question is "Misuse of Laxatives," where a Coasterbuzz participant asks in an open forum whether he is in any danger from ingesting tremendous amounts of laxatives. Some cautious observers have speculated that this topic could potentially bring shame and ridicule to the poster, conceivably even to Coasterbuzz itself.
"You would think that Putz would just give up on trying to be this knight in shining armor, protecting his flock from making idiots of themselves," said CB member Grant Riley, 43, who would only speak with ARN&R on condition of anonymity. "It's pretty hopeless, since someone posts something offensive or idiotic about every five seconds there. But, then again, I guess you have to draw the line somewhere. And maybe that somewhere is where someone starts an off-topic discussion in a coaster forum about whether he's going to shit himself to death later that night."
"Thank God this topic has been shut down," said the elated original poster. "Now my dignity and honor have been preserved. I shall never be subjected to ridicule after the heroic deeds of my webmaster."
Aside from erasing any potential shame felt by CB members, the move has created two additional positive spin-offs. First, ABC has tentatively agreed to air a weekly series called "Ask Dr. Chuck," where a Coasterbuzz participant with exactly zero medical or scientific credentials or experience will spend a half hour dispensing thoughtful health advice like "[m]y guess is you'll just go alot tonight and be fine in the morning." Additionally, the topic was nominated for and later received the coveted ARN&R Site O' the Weak award.
--JCK (With assistance from MMS, CSB, and the Grand Poobah)
Sunday, January 16, 2005
Amusement Industry Addresses Steroid Problems
Responding to what one insider calls "one of the greater threats to the credibility and sanctity of the amusement industry in modern times," the heads of most major North American amusement parks began what is expected to be an extensive set of negotiations with the Union of International Thrill Ride Designers today. At issue is the rampant use of steroids present in the American amusement industry.
"This industry is all about being the biggest, the fastest, the longest, the most shaped like a giant penis," notes Amusement Business Assistant to the Regional Manager Garreth Brent. "With that being the case, many parks put a great deal of pressure on designers to come up with creations beyond their normal means, and that's where the performance-enhancement products come in to play. Amusement parks are all about records and statistics, and this common use of illegal substances puts current performances into question."
Steroid use has become so prevalent in the amusement industry, what was once considered a "dirty little secret" has now become an open advertisement, sometimes even point of pride and park advertising.
"Major park chains are the obvious and blatant offenders," states Brent. "Six Flags has Deja Vu, which is frequently described as 'an Invertigo on steroids.' And then Cedar Point has the Gemini, widely advertised as a 'mine train on steroids.' Large B&M inverted coasters like Alpengeist are quite commonly referred to as 'ski lifts on steroids.' And then you have major, deeply respected amusement industry gurus like Paul Ruben being quoted in publications as declaring that Mr. Freeze is like a 'paper clip on steroids.' It's really out of control."
"However," adds Brent, "many people are surprised to learn that smaller parks and rides are cheating by using illegal performance-enhancement products, as well. For instance, who hasn't heard that wild mouse at Idlewild being described as a 'mouse on steroids?' But if you think about it, it's really quite logical that small parks would feel the need to compete with the major ones, so steroid use has actually become rampant in the minor leagues, too."
Officials from both sides of the negotiations have not confirmed what punitive action will be taken against new offenders, but have acknowledged that it will be essentially impossible to retroactively punish anyone for past transgressions. This may unfortunately leave some recent record-setting performances, such as those by the controversial Top Thrill Dragster, with a permanent asterisk by them.
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