Still here. But mostly in 140 characters.
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Friday, April 18, 2003
 
Discovery Announces Enthusiasts Gone Wild Series of DVDs

The Discovery Channel announced today a new series of videos entitled Enthusiasts Gone Wild, featuring the most crazy and uncensored outtakes from the network's years of amusement park-oriented documentaries.

"We just realized we had warehouses of raw footage -- and I mean raw!" exclaimed Discovery spokesman Brad Welsh in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "Acres and acres of bare skin, gravy being slathered all over masses of humanity, and the craziest on-ride photos you've ever seen! I'm still having nightmares!"

An advance screening by ARN&R's television critic reveals that events held at Cedar Point are most prominently featured. Among the highlights are clips of the passionate but unsurprisingly short on-ride consummation of the wedding of two unnamed ACE members at a special late-night ride on Gemini, a fully nude Dance Dance Revolution competition, and a naked and oiled game of Twister on the plaza in front of Wicked Twister, including a round with the entire administrative staff of Cedar Fair. The DVD also includes a short piece featuring creative placement and use of park iron-on patches.

A special bonus section features the wildest stunts pulled by enthusiasts hoping to get early access to buffets. The section features a five-minute montage of enthusiasts baring their chests at buffet guards, who invariably recoil in horror and allow access.

A planned second DVD, entitled "Wildest Enthusiast Mullets," is expected to be released in time for Christmas.

[Editor's Note: You can create your own wildest enthusiast videos! Go buy a thong and go nuts with the video camera! Just don't send us the video. Please. For the love of God.]

Posted at 10:08 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Thursday, April 17, 2003
 
Claude Mabillard Traded

The amusement industry was rocked today by a blockbuster deal between coaster manufacturers Bolliger & Mabillard and S&S-Arrow. Although minor transactions, primarily the firing of drug-addled sadists employed by Vekoma and Gertslauer, are almost daily news in the business, major players are rarely traded, due to both the salary cap and the relative lack of true quality designers on the planet. That this trade would involve Claude Mabillard, one of the legends of coastering, has thrown the league into an uproar. In recent memory, no off season deal has caused so much discussion.

Finalized at 11:35 PM this Wednesday, the deal sends the immensely talented eight-time All-Star Mabillard and a pair of second-round draft picks to S&S for wood division head Denise Dinn, four conditional first-round picks, one compression-air tank, and a structural engineer to be named later.

Mabillard, originally a Rule 5 draft pick by Intamin from the Baltimore Orioles, rapidly became a star in the industry when he helped create the dominant B&M franchise. His talent has never been questioned; clearly he is one of the top designers in history, arguably at a similar level to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin at the height of their careers. However, teammates have quietly grumbled about Mabillard’s big mouth and his lack of hustle on plays that do not directly involve him for the past several seasons.

“We know that many fans will be surprised that we let a player of the type skill level of ‘The Mabster’ go,“ explained B&M’s Walter Bolliger. “We simply felt that some of Claude’s…well…off the field antics were becoming too distracting. We at B&M like to have an image of class and team spirit, and we find these traits more important than a high average speed or good fielding percentage.”

Bolliger went on to discuss Mabillard’s recent distracting behavior. “Mabbie kept frustrating us by making the big design, but then acting like a fool and causing trouble for the team immediately thereafter. I’m sure everyone recalls when he test-rode Nitro, right? After the inaugural run, he could have bathed in the goodwill caused by our excellent design. But instead, he went sprinting to the Great American Scream Machine at midfield and spiked a chain dog right down on the Arrow logo. Additionally, all that muscle man posing, NBA-style chest bumping, raising the roof, and doing the Icky Shuffle after disembarking from his own rides is really just giving other design teams bulletin board fodder, rather than helping us perform better. And let’s not forget the incredibly offensive anti-enthusiast lyrics he sings on his latest Gangsta-rap album!”

Bolliger concluded by noting that “the final straw came just days ago. We were testing Superman at Six Flags Great Adventure. With all the press and our enthusiast fans watching, Mabillard couldn’t just be a class act. It was too tempting to show off in the spotlight. When the ride pulled into the station, he whipped a Sharpie out of his loafers and proceeded to autograph a seat belt extender, which he then flipped into the audience. And then he hopped out of his seat, grabbed some pompoms from a nearby cheerleader, and gave an impromptu can-can for those watching.”

Breakdancing on a bed of nails atop the Big Shot on Las Vegas’s Stratosphere Tower, S&S-Arrow head Stan Checketts yelled down to reporters, “we’ll take our chances with ‘The Mabinator.’ We like our designers to show their personality, even if it ticks off sissies and wusses at other companies! We look forward to showcasing his Chocolate Thunder Wham Bam I Am Thank You Ma’am Dunk at the earliest opportunity. Go get ‘em, Claude!”

Presumably, Bolliger & Mabillard will not retain its same name after this monumental trade. ARN&R was unable to confirm any name or logo change for the long-standing franchise, but it is rumored that the company may be simply called Bolliger & (abbreviated as B&).

--JCK

[Editor's Note: For other breaking trade news from the AbsolutelyReliable Sportsdesk, read here.]

Posted at 3:14 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2003
 
Great Escape Actually Admits New Coaster is Used

In a thoroughly stunning turn of events, a theme park has actually willingly admitted that its new attraction is a used roller coaster. Amusement industry experts were startled this month by news that Great Escape would not only acknowledge that their new Canyon Blaster mine train attraction was previously operated for fifteen years as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at the now-defunct Opryland, but would actively promote the ride as such.

“It’s quite simple, really,” said park supervisor Mark Stevens. “There was really no need to cover this up. So many parks seem to feel this need to build a new coaster, or just as likely, erect an old one and claim it’s new. Why not be proud that we’ve saved an older ride? We already have a good reputation for bringing the Comet here from Crystal Beach. We sure didn’t need to be ashamed of that new ride, did we?

Stevens went on to say: “And, while this new attraction is an old Arrow mine train, hardly on the same level of importance as a Schmeck woodie, it’s important to preserve as many unique attractions as possible. We’re just doing what we can, and I think lots of families will be pleased to see this coaster operating again as Canyon Blaster.”

Other parks were quick to respond. Representatives of Six Flags New Orleans, who have installed a used B&M Batman clone that operated for years at Gotemba Park in Japan, announced in a news release that “Great Escape totally sucks compared to us because we are building a brand-new, completely and totally unique inverted ski-lift style attraction from scratch, one that no American human has ever before experienced, whereas they are just putting in some ancient thing from some other park. Boy, do they lick.”

Comments also arrived from Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. As reported first on ARN&R, that park’s representatives barely refrained from audible laughter while introducing their “new” coaster, a derelict shuttle loop previously run for decades at two other parks. “We’re still proud of our innovative catapult mechanism and our thrilling, showroom-new, never-before-seen-anywhere style of coaster,” stated SFKK vice-president and general manager Lee Graham. “Great Escape should be ashamed for buying some tacky used thing, unlike major Six Flags parks such as ourselves, who only present the finest spankin’ new equipment for our guests.”

--JCK

Posted at 12:04 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Tuesday, April 15, 2003
 
ACE Supreme Chancellor Invokes Emergency Powers

In a special session of the American Coaster Enthusiasts Executive Committee last night, ACE Supreme Chancellor Carole Sanderson was given wide-ranging emergency powers. This drastic step, the first of its kind ever undertaken by an ACE executive, came about after a series of tumultuous events rocked ACE during the leader’s tenure. Said Vice President Mark Cole, “we had no choice but to take these measures. We must allow our leader to be strong, and to use whatever means are necessary, in order to crush the opposition and insidious evil creeping amongst our great organization.”

Great unrest was caused previously in this administration when ACE banned the use of onboard ride footage in the CoasterCon annual contests. A splinter faction of Separatists, led by the charismatic Randall “Coaster Count” Dooku, began a protracted campaign of snippy emails and letters to various ACE publications and websites, then broke from the group to form their own militant Coalition of Enthusiasts Who Break Rules Because We Have the God-Ordained Right as Enthusiasts to do Whatever the Hell We Feel Like at Amusment Parks Society. Further unrest was stirred with the administration of ACE suddenly being relocated to an outhouse when the management group decided they’d had a few too many (534 to date) drunken, hapless enthusiasts calling up in the dead of night demanding that their photos, Rollercoaster Magazine Profiles, and Top Ten Favorite Korean Steel Coaster lists be forwarded to Six Flags Great America rep Michelle Hoffman, whom ARN&R has been assured has no interest whatsoever in receiving any such materials.

“Those events were troubling, but we tried not to resort to crazy measures,” said Cole. “But then, at two major midwinter events, there was widespread looting and thievery of prizes and souvenirs provided by numerous park representatives. It really is bad enough that these hooligans can’t keep themselves from bitching openly if an ERT session ends five minutes early or refrain from knocking over the buffet tables at the picnics and rooting around in the resulting food pile like hogs in a sty. Now they are just walking up to table displays and luggage and helping themselves to whatever they want.”

After a motion for granting full emergency powers was submitted by representative J.J. Binks, the measure passed the Executive Committee unanimously. Supreme Chancellor Sanderson read from a prepared text that said, in part: “It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy. The power you give me I will lay down when this crisis has abated. I shall use these new executive powers to create a grand ACE Brute Squad, which will keep buffet tables upright, Rollercoaster Magazine within six months of its alleged publication timetable, and ensure that certain greedy, amoral enthusiasts keep their grubby mitts to themselves when the park reps walk by with the bag of goodies.”

Sanderson concluded by saying, “oh, yeah. And while we’re at it, we’re going to hunt down those guys who work for ARN&R. Hunt them down like the filthy animals they are. This news conference is adjourned. Smithers! Release the hounds!”

--JCK

Posted at 4:08 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Events Upcoming: Offend Your Fellow Enthusiasts!

As perhaps you have forgotten, we here at ARN&R have an innovative plan that permits you to give us money in return for stuff. We even have a new t-shirt referencing urination! And nothing says "Put me on Discovery!" like a t-shirt featuring someone taking a leak. We also have various forms of underwear adorned with double entendres (really more like single entendres), license plate frames, and picture frames for your on-ride photos, all at prices that seem reasonable compared to those at actual amusement parks.

So go shopping for yourself, for your theoretical boy or girlfriend, for your grandma -- heck, do your Christmas shopping now! Buy stuff! It's the American way!

Posted at 2:41 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Monday, April 14, 2003
 
Enthusiast Adopts Child to Improve Credit Count

Joe Lekowski, a Pennsylvania-area enthusiast with more than 150 coasters to his credit, was looking for that extra edge to get to the next level. International travel was out of the question, as his employment in the stock room at Wal-Mart precluded any travel not depended on his 1992 Honda Accord (and because he feared that he'd find himself in a terrifying foreign land without a Chick-Fil-A), and he'd already visted a high percentage of the parks within domestic driving distance.

In the off season, he spent hours, if not days, contemplating how he could reach 250 or perhaps even 300 coasters and surpass his nemesis, known only as DejaVroomin at ThrillNetwork's forums.

Then he had what he describes as a "eureka!" moment. There were dozens and dozens of children's coasters that he'd never ridden due to his single childless status; if he had a child, he could increase his count enormously in just days. But how to obtain a child? Traditional means were out of the question, due to his utter lack of prospects for a partner and certain other medical hurdles. And his acquaintances with children tended to obtain restraining orders when he asked to "borrow" their children.

But then, while watching a late-night repeat broadcast of Las Vegas's Badasssss Thrill Rides on the Travel Channel, he saw an advertisement seeking funds to feed hungry African children. That was the breakthrough Lekowski was looking for. He wouldn't just pay for rice and beans, he would actually adopt a child and provide the child with all the funnel cakes imaginable.

So now, Lekowski is the proud father of Idowu Babatunde "Stan" Lekowski, a fourteen-year-old boy from Nigeria. Lekowski initially sought an Asian child due to the extended period during which the child might be short enough to get Joe onto kids' coasters, but Idowu had the good fortune of being born with a genetic abnormality, leading doctors to predict that he will never stand taller than 34 inches. "It's perfect!" exclaimed the senior Lekowski. "So long as we keep him shaved, this kid can get me into Jeepers! until he's thirty!"

"Stan" lives in a separate corner of Joe's parents' basement and is learning English exclusively through his father's extensive collection of self-created on-ride video footage. In an exclusive ARN&R interview on the subject of the emotional impact of his adoption and integration into U.S. culture, he said, "Whoooo-hoo!! Check out that airtime! I've got a woodie, I mean, I love this woodie! Whooooo! The lats!"

Posted at 9:03 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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