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Thursday, October 23, 2003
As any regular reader of ARN&R (all two or three of you people) knows, we just can't get enough of seeing our names being used and referenced on this great World Wide Web of ours. So we thought we'd share with you a few examples of our influence being felt lately:
-Coasterbuzz discussion about the "ban list" at amusement parks
First of all, we're very pleased to see out old buddy Coaster Preservation of the Coaster Preservation Organization "Formly" Club popping up for an intellectual discourse in which he assures everyone that either the list is not real, or the webmaster of CB has created it, and he doesn't care. It's kind of hard to tell what he's babbling about, actually. And, while this pleased us, we were far more pleased to note Coastaplaya giving him the ol' bitch slap upside the head (Figuratively. Too bad.) by using the favored "Thunderp*ssy" moniker for him. And we were yet again more pleased that Peabody and PKIEMPSOB remembered our touching, very special episode of King Cobra smelting itself rather than be overtaken by CPO("f"C). By the way, Peabody, has your institution of higher learning gotten around to clearing all that debris out of the concert hall yet or not?
-Coasterbuzz discussion of the infamous diatribe against the ACE use of concentration camp humor. (In case this escaped you, here's the original article.)
Fascinating stuff, this.
-And another discussion on Westcoaster regarding the same.
To the best of our knowledge, no one who writes for this website has ever had it implied that we might potentially be considered "forbidden fruit," but we certainly plan to share it with hot chicks so we can get more action.
-Sadly, no forums currently seem to be discussing super-composer Gordon Beeferman, which is a huge shame.
Put On Your Sunglasses
We got a little distracted there with the ACE fun, and so we forgot to do the Site O' the Weak on Monday. So here's one for the half-week, and it's really only half-lame. It's Lawrie's Carnival and Amusement Park Pages!
If you can manage to block your eyes from the design and color selection horror show, this is probably actually a pretty decent site, if you happen to be looking for information about Finland's amusement parks and carnivals. But...those colors! They burn! They burn!
In any event, thanks, Lawrie! We're glad to know you're a big boy! And we're only slightly creeped out by your interest in watching cheerleader competitions ("There may be literally hundreds of stunning looking girls in mini skirts performing just for you...")!
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Editor's Note: We've posted an addendum to the end of the story about the Rollercoaster! story down below. Please take a look.
Six Flags CEO Comments on Financial Condition
Six Flags, Inc. (NYSE: PKS), recently held a press conference providing the financial community with its financial guidance on its likely future performance. ARN&R was, of course, there.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to welcome each and every one one of you to the Six Flags 2003 Financial Guidance Press Conference,” began Chairman and CEO Kieran Burke. “It is with great pleasure that I begin with a review of our past performance.”
“In 2000, in our second full year of operations after Premier Parks acquired Six Flags our net income was a negative $75 million dollars. In 2001, we surpassed those results and lost $85 million dollars. In 2002, our best year yet, we lost an astounding $128 million dollars. The 3 year total of our losses is an impressive $288 million,” Burke concluded to rousing applause.
“Additionally, in 2002, my total compensation was $1.08 million. Our CFO James Dannhauser earned $649,000, and our COO Gary Story earned $727,000. This is a total of $2.025 million in compensation for our top 3 executives in fiscal 2002, and we're hoping to top even that this year. We're looking into some innovative ways to pay our park employees even less; right now, we're considering paying them in potatoes and other inexpensive food products."
“We are all aware that new rides and attractions are an important part of growing our business and eventually making money, to the exclusion of spending money on anything that might actually enhance our guests' visits like cleaning up the human excrement. We spent $334 million in 2000 for new rides and attractions, with $160 million in 2001 and $146 million in 2002 systemwide.”
“Our management team continues to cut operating budgets and raise prices for in-park purchases, admissions, and our favorite, parking fees. This we feel drastically reduces the pleasure of our guests due to closed rides, minimal capacity, severely reduced staffing, and the priceless feeling of being completely robbed. We're especially proud of that."
“Finally, our stock price hit $30 in 2000, $12 in 2001, and the all-time low of $3 in 2002."
“The executive management is very proud or our results. We expect to lose even more money on a systemwide basis this year. We have further cut spending on new rides and attractions. We have slashed budgets to the point where our management at the park level can hardly afford to buy toilet paper for their own offices. Best of all, our guest satisfaction is at an all-time low – even worse when Bally killed people in droves at Six Flags.”
“In closing, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support. Wall Street, our Board of Directors hand-picked by me, and our institutional investors have made this all possible. You all have made the three of us filthy rich while we have run a perfectly good company completely into the ground. I am proud to say that I am a graduate of the Harvard School of Law. Lawyers can accomplish anything! Thank you again for making this all possible. On your way out, please be sure to buy some more stock that Mr. Dannhauser is selling at the back door.”
MorganlyVanguardChaseWachoviaFleetSalomon Bank raised their rating on PKS stock immediately after the conference to a “STRONG BUY."
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Editor's Note: Thanks to all of you who have copied us on your e-mails to ACE. Judging from the responses we've seen, they are still trying to justify calling a hotel a concentration camp rather than giving a straightforward apology and acknowledgement that it was a mistake. Please keep it up, and keep copying us on your notes.
And now, back to the show...
Kennywood and Dollywood Reunite for New Album of Duets
(Nashville, TN) After nearly twenty years apart, the famed parks Kennywood and Dollywood have finally found the time to get together at a Nashville studio to record an album of duets that the pair hopes will capture the same magic as their 1983 smash 'Islands in the Stream.'
"We've just been so busy," said a reflective Kennywood. "I've had to deal with the whole Steel Phantom to Phantom's Revenge transition, and don't get me started on that tragedy on the Whip. That really can take a lot out of a park. By the time I got things on my end in order, Dollywood was busy putting the finishing touches on the Thunderhead deal. It just doesn't leave a park with a whole lot of time to record sappy duets."
Dollywood was unavailable for comment, but ARN&R was able to obatin a list of some possible song titles:
Please Baby, Don't Taer Me Down
Lookin' for a Threesome in all the Wrong Forums
You're the Reason God Made Those Vekomas
Where Were You the Day the Whip Stood Still?
I Gave You all the Gravy in Texas, and that Still Wasn't Enough
The duo is still finalizing arrangements for the recording. Presently they are deciding between Avril Lavigne production team The Matrix and P. Diddy for production duties, and 50 Cent is in negotiations for a guest rap on the album's likely first single, "Number One with a Mullet."
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Wacky Metaphors with ACE's Rollercoaster!
Two issues back, ACE's Rollercoaster! magazine had the first of two stories about the European Coaster Odyssey, where a bunch of people with more money than you went to various parks in Europe, wolfed down vast quantities of food, and rode a pile of coasters you'll never ride. The story was annoying enough for all the obvious reasons.
But one of the surprising reasons to dislike the story was the bizarre choice to compare an uncomfortable hotel called Pontin's to a concentration camp. Yes, a concentration camp: "Nicknamed by ACEers as a prison camp or worse (a 'Pontin-tration' camp!), Pontin's brought new meaning to the word 'basic.'"
Indeed, folks, a crappy hotel is equivalent to camps where millions lost their lives.
Apparently some other people felt as we did, and the most recent issue has a letter to the editor pointing out that the comparison was "wildly inappropriate and offensive."
"Oh, good," we thought. "Here's a chance for ACE to apologize for what was obviously just a stupid mistake. And look, a response, presumably from said editor."
Alas, no sensible and straightforward apology followed. Among the rest of the weaseling (which took more than twice the space of the original letter), the editor contends that the term "concentration camp" is a "valid phrase with no restrictions on its use in either spoken or written comunication" and that "no reference to any particular historical event was made or can be reasonably implied." (We expect the editor, who evidently has some issues with terminology, means "inferred" rather than "implied.")
This is, of course, a pile of crap. Did any of you reading this think of anything besides the Holocaust when you read "concentration camp"? And if you did, did you think of some other harsh prison camp for political prisoners, enemy aliens, prisoners of war, and the like that would legitimately be compared to an uncomfortable hotel?
Well, by a fortuitous coincidence, the new issue of Rollercoaster! arrived at the same time as a leaked ACE memo suggesting some future metaphors for authors to use, reproduced below in full in an ARN&R exclusive. (We were unable to reproduce the spaghetti sauce stains. Sorry.)
* * *
To: Rollercoaster! writers
From: Your fearless leader
Re: More valid phrases and journalistic metaphors
After the great response we got from declaring a hotel without hot water, barracks-style beds and cold floors to be equivalent to camps where millions were killed with poison gas, I thought I'd help you out with some ideas for headlines for the stories you're currently working on. No need to credit me; I'm just doing my job!
- Removal of Hercules Like Being the Victim of Sexual Assault
- Absence of Buffet at Event Shows Us What It's Like Being Ethiopian
- Trim Brakes: Our 9/11
- Line for Son of Beast worse than Trail of Tears
- Preferred Parking Charges: Same as Segregation and Lynching!
- Shivering Timbers not Winning Golden Ticket: Ethnic Cleansing?
- Enthusiast Stuck on Coaster Endures Same Tragedy as Sailors Dying on Disabled Submarine
- QBot and Fast Pass: The U.S. Caste System
- Enthusiasts Attack Buffet With a Blitzkrieg Expediency That Would Make Hitler Proud
- Ride Ops At Disneyland Move With Khmer Rouge-Like Speed
- Guests Waiting For X Understand the Pain of Stalin's Labor Camps (Young Teen Led Off By Security Another Victim of the Purges)
- Park Ban List Like 1950s Blacklist
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Seriously, folks, it's insane to think that such a comparison ever makes sense. Please write to the relevant ACE folks (and copy us) and let them know that they should get a clue.
[Ed. Note: Some people have taken this article as meaning that the Rollercoaster! editor didn't apologize at all; that's not quite accurate. The term "apology" did appear, and the editor did, sort of, apologize that the reader took offense. There was no actual apology for using the term, merely regret that others were offended by its use -- along with an attempt to argue that taking offense was unreasonable. ARN&R regrets the confusion and should have made that clear in the initial posting. (See, that's not so hard.)]
Scandalous Secrets of LeSourdsville Lake Revealed
Park enthusiasts and local families were justifiably upset when LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park closed its gates indefinitely following the 2002 season, and the park remained closed all through the 2003 season with no indication that it would soon reopen. Although it was long assumed that the park had failed to operate based on a lack of funds, a new and terrible secret about the small park has been alleged.
ARN&R managed to obtain an interview with a former employee of the park. This employee, who is referred to from this point forward as Ride Dude X, admitted to ARN&R that the entire amusement park was just "a front for a massive sex farm."
"That was place was just all about the booty," said Ride Dude X. "It was all, like, family fun this and all that, but our real money was in selling adult tapes, lap dances, and renting out 'special fantasy rooms' for couples who like their wood a little rougher and a little more greased down than the Screechin' Eagle, if you catch my drift. And let’s not get started on the so-called rides we operated…ever wonder why we had attractions called the Serpent and the Zipper?”
Ride Dude X went on to note that "the local P.D. shut us down because of some obscure county law that prohibits people from using their genitals as whips or bludgeoning devices or some crap like that. But they didn't ever release that information to the media, probably because the police chief came here to rent stuff like Splendor in the Ass, Pulp Friction, You've Got Tail, and Wookies 'n' Cream."
When ARN&R representatives expressed skepticism over this news, Ride Dude X produced the following damning evidence to back up his claims:
“The K-Y Ride was our best seller, and our greatest downfall,” said Ride Dude X. “When the police busted us, they broke down the doors of the K-Y Ride and metric assloads…let me rephrase that…tremendous amounts of personal lubricant products poured and flowed everywhere. It looked like that K-Y fight scene in Old School, but with big fat cops and park workers instead of hot naked chicks.”
Local police department officials refused comment on the matter. ARN&R cannot verify if Ride Dude X’s information has any basis in fact or not, but we will vigilantly pursue the matter until the truth is certain.
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."
Anything you e-mail us is fair game to go on the site or to be used in any other way, including printing it up real big and posting it outside AbsolutelyReliableTowers.
Sorry, your IQ must be this high and your age at least 18 to be among the intended readers of ARN&R. Please enjoy some of our other attractions.
We like gravy and the occasional buffet. The greatest thing ever, however, would be a gravy buffet.