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Friday, August 01, 2003
Impromptu ERT Surprises, Confuses
Coaster Enthusiasts visiting Six Flags Great America this week got an unexpected ERT session on the child-sized Spacely Sprockets roller coaster.
"It was great – a group of us decided to go on for the credit, and when we pulled into the station the ride op gave us a big smile and let us go again," said Cyril J. Dogwood, known to his fellow Coasterbuzz members as "GAmTool32543." "The kids in line with their parents didn’t even look upset – they all smiled and waved at us! ACErs are finally getting the respect we deserve from the GP!"
Ride Operator Sandy Von Mincherhousen was confused when she learned that the group of men, all aged 26-35, were coaster enthusiasts. "They were all wearing safety glasses and fanny packs, and boarding the Sprockets in a big group. I suspected they were visiting from Misericordia Home, since our park does so much work with the mentally challenged. When they pulled back into the station, they were all high-fiving each other and one was even drooling a little –- I checked with some of the parents waiting with their kids and they all decided to let the ‘special’ guests get a second ride."
Miss Von Mincherhousen stands by her decision that the riders had some kind of disorder. "I watched enough of that Life Goes On show to know 'em when I see 'em."
Thursday, July 31, 2003
Hersheypark Announces New-for-2004 Attraction: Pony Ride
Following months, and perhaps even years, of speculation, Hersheypark appears ready to announce its new-for-2004 attraction. Although many felt that a new B&M Hypercoaster might be a possibility, later rumors and the proposed footprint seemed to indicate an Intamin Rocket Coaster. Still, no word was forthcoming until the park posted large banners indicating: “Get Ready To Start the Stampede, Something big’s coming to Hersheypark in 2004. Round up your 'pardners' - the secret’s out August 5th at High Noon.”
“That really had us excited,” said ACE member Geoff Baker, 25. “We thought a stampede theme would fit well in the existing area of the park, and the footers seemed to indicate a Rocket ride was likely. We’re just waiting for the official announcement, but we all know what the thing is, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Surprising Baker and pretty much every other person remotely interested in Hersheypark or roller coasters in general, it was learned today that the park would indeed not be receiving any Intamin products. Nor, for that matter, would any coaster at all be forthcoming. Instead, the park released a statement through Screamscape to this effect: “There’s a cloud of dust on the Horizon, and when it settles there’s gonna be 10 wild horses in the corral!”
At a press conference later in the day, former VP of Operations Franklin Shearer was trotted out to lend his excitement to the official announcement, and to explain the Screamscape blurb. “We’ve got a real thrill for all you cowboys and cowgirls next year,” he exclaimed. “Get ready to experience the extreme terror and thrills of a real live…Pony Ride!”
Confused enthusiasts initially thought Shearer meant to make a joke, but it turned out to be completely factual. According to the park, guests will wait in a “highly themed atmosphere” while in line, then individual riders will be led into the pony corral. From there, “the Rodeo Technicians will help the rider mount a pony, which will then be led around in a few circles inside the pen, achieving top speeds of over 4 miles per hour.” Guests will then have a wide variety of gift shop products available to commemorate their once-in-lifetime thrill experience: cowboy hats (“management not responsible for the loss of headgear not secured before riding”), T-shirts, onboard ride photos, and cruel leather whips.
Shearer noted that a big launched coaster would be out of place at a family-friendly ride environment such as Hershey’s, and that a fun attraction for the entire family made more sense for everyone involved. He also pointed out that “ponies break down a lot less than Top Thrill Dragster.”
ACE members are already complaining about capacity, with some wondering aloud at the press conference whether 10 of the animals would be enough to keep the potentially huge lines moving. One member pointedly asked Shearer whether there would be any Fifth-Row Ponies made available for “Guests of Larger Than Average Size,” to which Shearer replied that “someone would look into it at some point.”
Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors Jumps the Shark
Recently, a disturbing number of unflattering comments about the lack of humor being produced lately by ARN&R have been appearing in coaster forums, coaster club gatherings, ARN&R's email inbox, ARN&R's weekly raucous press conference, the New York Times, and, oddly enough, on Iron Chef. Aside from the statements by national humor experts that they “far prefer the Onion,” “declared the entire WEBSITE not funny,” thought “this site sucks,” threatened to sue (yes, it’s true) and strongly disapproved of the continued ARN&R focus on mullets, gravy, Jessica Alba, and enthusiasts wasting loads of time “flogging their thunder dolphins,” there was brought up the troubling question of whether ARN&R had already Jumped the Shark. Sources close to ARN&R report that, sadly indeed, this is true. Pop culture experts are reportedly stunned with the Dark Angel-like swiftness with which the fledgling amusement satire blog committed its Shark Jumping.
At 6:oo PM on Tuesday, July 30th, the intrepid reporter JCK donned a bathing suit, life preserver, water skis, and leather jacket, greased his hair back, smiled, and went roaring across Lake Erie within full view of Cedar Point. Upon reaching full speed, JCK performed a dramatic leap over a large shark inexplicably and ominously located in his way. Landing amid a huge and impressive splash of lake water, JCK turned to his throng of female admirers, holding his thumbs up and saying “Aaaayh!” Most observers believe this pathetic stunt demonstrated the desperation the site has reached in trying to create any humor at all for its mass of literally pairs of eager readers.
“I really don’t see why our website running a promotion where we had one of our writers jump a shark is indicative of failure or a downturn in our blog,” said the Editor-in-Chief. “This was merely a new way to explore and develop a character loved by millions…hundreds…well, some of his friends, anyway. I guess. But the point is, our website is certainly as viable and popular and meaningful as it has ever been.”
The Editor-in-Chief (who requested several times for reporters to address him as Supreme High Admiral without success) then detailed a substantial list of story ideas that would be developed this season on ARN&R. “We’re always looking for ways to stretch our characters and keep the audience on edge,” he said. “So we have a number of plotlines and special tricks in store to keep everything smart and fresh. For instance, we’ll have a number of guest stars. Whitney Houston will come sing for Rick Shroeder and the cast of ARN&R, and Paul Ruben will appear with Nancy Reagan to denounce drug use. We have not received commitment on this, but our casting department informs me that we are about 85% likely to have a spectacular cameo appearance by Charo that features her acting skills and some dancing and singing. I believe she has also recently written a very profound Requiem Mass that should feature prominently in the episode.”
He continued: “And we’ll also have a number of Very Special Articles, including the one where someone gets touched funny by that guy in the back of the shop, and maybe one of the writers has to decide whether to lose his virginity, or perhaps someone gets a really awful grease smear on their rare Boblo Island shirt after riding Raptor in the rain, and it just won’t come out no matter what. We’ve also realized that our current cast is going to need a little help staying fresh and at the forefront of national attention, so we’ll be adding some new writers next week: Cousin Oliver, Godzookie, and Mark Wyatt. And of course we will have a wedding episode to conclude the season. And it might even be a cliffhanger!” The Editor-in-Chief then visibly squirmed with delight in his seat.
Votes have been flying in at the Jump The Shark webpage, as ARN&R haters share their opinions of when they feel the website Jumped the Shark. The most popular votes, aside from the obvious literal jumping of a shark by JC ”The Fonz” K yesterday, were for the following: Gravy Mentioned for First Time(10/6/02), JCK Allowed to Post Articles (approximately 11/8/02), Porn Alluded to for First Time (10/8/02), Jessica Alba Referenced for First Time (12/19/02), and one strange vote for ARN&R Now Locatable Through Google Search for “Suck on Barney Ass Dripping With Vaseline" (approximately 7/29/03).
[Editor’s Note: Reports that the jumped shark in question was not a real Lake Erie inhabitant, but in actuality was the not-entirely-convincing mechanical shark from the Jaws attraction at Universal Studios in Orlando, are unconfirmed at this time.]
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Breaking News -- Six Flags Reports Zero Malfunctions On Coasters, Public Shocked
Earlier this morning, Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. reported that on Tuesday, July 29th, none of their roller coasters malfunctioned throughout the whole day at any of their theme parks anywhere in the entire world. The general public as well as Six Flags management were understandably very shocked by this unexpected, almost unbelievable, announcement. The SEC immediately announced an investigation into what it termed potential attempts at stock manipulation.
"No trains got stuck upside down. No guests were trapped in ridiculously uncomfortable positions for several hours on a lift hill in the boiling summer heat. No wheels or lap bars came flying off of any coasters in mid-course. Heck, we didn't even have any loose bolts fall off of any coasters and smack any guests on the head. It was actually a very, very boring day," explained Six Flags COO, Gary Story.
Concerned that a lack of high profile roller coaster related malfunctions could considerably reduce the park chain's significant summer media exposure, park management issued a memo to all of their ride operators and park maintenance workers instructing them to "if at all possible, slack off even more than you usually do" and also to "stop paying so much attention to manufacturers' suggested maintenance procedures for roller coasters since they are really only suggestions anyway." Six Flags will also begin distributing cases of beer to ride operators at the start of each shift to facilitate their "relaxation."
In a further effort to increase the probability of newsworthy monumental mishaps, Six Flags quickly ordered seven new Vekoma giant inverted boomerang coasters, four Intamin hydraulically launched coasters, three Premier Rides LIM/LSM shuttle coasters and two S&S/Arrow 4-D coasters for immediate installation at selected Six Flags parks worldwide. The installations will be handled by thirteen-year-olds with severely reduced attention spans.
Hollywood Squares to Tape Episodes at Next CoasterCon
Producers of syndicated game show Hollywood Squares announced today that they would record a week's worth of episodes at the next CoasterCon event of the American Coaster Enthusiasts. According to spokeswoman Emily Rankin, the opportunity was too good to pass up.
"You've got fifth-rate celebrities like Timothy Bottoms hanging around these things," said Rankin. "And the crowds eat it up. I suppose for the next one they'll probably get what's-his-name, that dude who was in that really lame movie Thrill back in the '90s...you know, that guy. Sabato...Antonio Sabato Jr., that's it! Yeah, he's had a great career. Can't wait to hear what he has to say about amusement parks."
Rankin said that she was hoping that the show could perhaps book Fabio and Walter Bolliger on the same show, along with Rob Estes (of Melrose Place, reportedly temping as a large chicken character outside a Popeye's Chicken in Indianapolis) dressed up as a large goose. "And maybe Lonny Stevens -- you know, federal agent number one from Rollercoaster -- can show up too!" she added, giggling.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Satan: Hellevator "Just Like Real Elevators in Hell"
In an exclusive interview arranged for ARN&R by Six Flags's public relations department, Satan shared his views of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom's drop ride, "Hellevator."
"It's an exciting experience," said the horned one as plumes of smoke billowed around him. "It is very much like riding the elevators in Hell. It is most like the Prudential Death Insurance Building in downtown Hades City, where you are slowly carried up to the top floors and, if you do not get off in the claims adjustment department, you are dropped rapidly to the bottom of the building."
Beezelbub also noted that the Hellevator at SFKK had similar restraints to the elevators in Hell. "I've never quite known why, but our building codes down there require over-the-shoulder restraints for even the mildest of elevators. I guess I understand it for the Prudential Death Insurance Building's elevator, what with the 50-plus miles per hour drop, but most of our elevators are incredibly slow, and yet they require a lengthy boarding process with careful checking of your restraints."
He noted some differences between SFKK's thrill ride and the elevators in Hell. "Well, you know, it is Hell, so we have to do something different. The operators of Hell's elevators generally plunge a corkscrew into your ears prior to releasing the elevator to lift you to your destination. I understand that happens relatively rarely at Kentucky Kingdom, although they do have a much higher incidence of finding tobacco juice on the ride's seats than we do. That stuff's nasty."
Intamin AG, the designer and builder of SFKK's ride, expressed pride at the devil's endorsement. "We used a seance to research elevators in Hell, and we're pleased to know that our detailed analysis paid off. And we're thinking about incorporating that corkscrew idea."
American Coaster Enthusiasts, Mullets Galore Merge Websites
In its latest in a string of unusual policy moves, the American Coaster Enthusiasts today formally merged with the Mullets Galore website. Although the ACE leadership had, in recent months, been kicked out of its offices and forced to relocate in an outhouse, produced a magazine with unwise and insensitive concentration camp "humor," and announced its planned Gravy Exhibit at the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives, few industry insiders expected that ACE would so quickly ally itself with a website about mullets.
"This is a really brilliant move on the part of the ACE Ruling Council," said ACE Supreme Chancellor for Life Carole Sanderson. "Since we don't have an office, our publications are always tremendously behind schedule, and it takes new members months to receive their cards, we just up and decided that we were taking too much time maintaining our fine ACE website and updating events news three or four times a decade. We felt that a merger with a similar group would alleviate some of our difficulties, and we were lucky enough to find some very willing help in Mullets Galore."
Sanderson added, "Really, the aims of ACE and Mullets Galore are essentially the same. ACE News is always laden with event and wedding photos that prominently feature mullets, while Mullets Galore will use its merger with ACE to garner a tremendously abundant and easy source for hilarious pictures of bad hair: coaster events."
Said Immediate Past Dictator for All Eternity Bill Linkenheimer III, "I'd particularly like to call ACE members' attention to a couple of photos already produced by the synergistic combination of Mullets Galore and ACE Online. If everyone could access the Mullets Galore website, then click on the "classifications" section, they will see a number of pull-down menus of different mullets. By going to Section III, Number 22, ACE members can see a nice photo of a prominent member of the Coaster Preservation Cretins (formerly Coaster Preservation Useless F%*ks). And then please check out Section X, Number 97, to get a great view of a loyal ACE member about to engage in a typical ACE Buffet featuring an entire live hog for each member's consumption."
Linkenheimer also noted, "We're also letting the Mullets Galore website run all the merchandising for ACE in the future, since their 'Fear the Mullet' T-shirts at the online shop are way better than that crap we sell."
Sunday, July 27, 2003
Coaster Enthusiasts Witness Most Disgusting Thing Ever
Two members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts yesterday witnessed the single most repulsive thing ever in the history of the human race, sources tell ARN&R. According to eyewitnesses, a man...or perhaps a Cro-Magnon relic or Orc...attempting to board the Gwazi Lion at Busch Gardens Tampa is indeed the pinnacle of yuckitude produced as of yet on this planet.
Said ACE member James Langenkirk, 31, "Darren and I were just minding our own business, wallowing and festering in the 110-degree, 98-percent humidity of the Gwazi Lion line, waiting for the world's slowest ride ops to leisurely check each belt, then leisurely check each bar, then leisurely go have a nice dinner and take a nice big dump, then leisurely wander over to dispatch the trains, when I saw the most horrible thing I've ever witnessed. And I grew up in rural Alabama, so, trust me, I am damn well qualified to speak on horrible things. This...person...came in and..." Here Langenkirk waved his hands in the air, unable to find the words to fully describe the suffering and terror he endured.
His traveling companion Darren Carson, 52, then chimed in. "James alerted me to the unholy monstrosity, and I wish to God he hadn't. We looked over and there was this 350-pound guy with long, stringy, greasy hair and scabby arms and open, weeping sores on his mouth trying to ooze his Orca-like bulk into the Lion train. It was all I could do not to gag right then and there, but then James pointed out his T-shirt, which said 'PETTING ZOO' and had a huge arrow pointing down at his crotch. Oh, the humanity."
Carson added, "excuse me, but I need to run to those bushes over there. Just talking about it is gonna make me puke."
While Carson was busy with his copious vomiting, Langenkirk told ARN&R that his friend had "screamed like a little girl" in terror when he saw the T-shirt, and it had taken paramedics fourteen minutes to revive him with smelling salts and intravenous fluids after he passed out. Carson refused to confirm or deny these statements, claiming that he "sort of blanked most of the day out after it happened."
The disgusting guy on Gwazi Lion told ARN&R that he planned to arrive at the park the next day with a T-shirt that says "How about a 68 position? That means you do me and I owe you 1!" Upon overhearing this unfortunate news, Carson resumed his explosive ralphing.
Intamin In Negotiations To Purchase Kia Motors
Swiss thrill ride manufacturer, Intamin AG, has recently been negotiating with Hyundai Motors to purchase Korean automobile manufacturer, Kia Motors, a subsidiary of Hyundai. Intamin hopes to acquire Kia in order to diversify their product portfolio, which currently includes roller coasters, water rides, spinning flat rides and an electronics department dedicated to supplying, configuring and servicing the control systems that operate those rides. Intamin also hopes that sharing technologies between the two companies will help both companies to grow exponentially into bigger, even more successful, corporations.
Here is what Sandor Kernacs, president of Intamin, had to say to ARN&R about Intamin's proposed acquisition during a recent exclusive interview:
"We don't want all of Intamin's chickens to be in one cradle. In this day and age, heterogeneity is the key to success and prosperity. We here at Intamin truly believe that diversifying our product offerings and adding commodities with proven records of high quality and extreme reliability to our portfolio will only enhance our presence in the world marketplace. It's clearly a win-win situation for Intamin and for Kia."
Kernacs went on to discuss some striking similarities between the two successful companies. He keenly noted how any major new Intamin roller coaster installation is just as reliable as any brand new Kia automobile. He also noted that the technology and parts used to manufacture an automatic transmission for a Kia Spectra are exactly the same parts that were used to construct the hydraulic launch mechanism for Intamin's Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster at Cedar Point. Kernacs further noted that all of both companies' products come with a ten year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and three year/36,000 mile unlimited roadside assistance. Finally, Kernacs very astutely pointed out that the only two vowels in Kia are 'i' and 'a', and the only two vowels in Intamin are 'i' and 'a'.
Intamin expects to make a formal offer for Kia Motors within the next several weeks. In the meantime, in order to avoid having "all of Intamin's chickens in one cradle," the company is exploring other tantalizing takeover opportunities including plans to purchase telecommunications giant, MCI/Worldcom and Major League Baseball team, The Detroit Tigers, both proven winners according to Kernacs.
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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