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Saturday, September 25, 2004
Hersheypark Fence-Removal Plan Draws Ire
Hersheypark has announced plans to remove an old wooden fence and replace it with a more modern steel fence. Upon hearing of the removal, several enthusiasts have written angry letters to the park and sparked many debates on internet message boards.
"I think it's disgraceful the way these parks are destroying the atmosphere of the classic amusement park. How many more fences will fall before the entire world is just full of fences with no character, no history? I know I will certainly be crying uncontrollably every time I pass by the fence's former site," said enthusiast Carl Tanner.
Other enthusiasts angrily posted on message boards from their easy chairs about the need to band together, and demand that the park maintain the old fence, rather than tear it out "for no apparent reason." The Wooden Fence Preservation Club has been formed in light of the incident.
When interviewed about the reaction, one Hersheypark official had this to say: "It's just a f***ing fence! We have ten coasters and someone's complaining about a fence?"Another park official mentioned that the fence was so old, the entire thing was falling down, and could have released a mudslide that would have blocked the entrance gate.
Tom Hough, who has never actually been to Hersheypark, has pledged to boycott the park until such time as two, or perhaps even three, fences of the same vintage are replaced at the park. "I just can't sit here and do nothing. I mean, really, is attendance going to be affected that much by having a steel fence instead of a wooden one? I have figures from seven different parks that put in wooden fences and saw bigger attendance jumps than those that put in steel." When it was pointed out that the "parks" were public parks and not amusement parks, Hough wet himself.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Rolucster Vare Good!
There are those who feel it isn't really nice when we make fun of children.
Our response? We aren't nice.
But, more importantly, when children create a website announcing such illuminating thoughts as "I MADE A ROLUCSTER IN CAMP" and "CAMP IS VARE GOOD I LIKE WEN WE DID THE ROLER COSTERE!" it's okay to make fun of children. Or, at the very least, the teachers who let them play with Borax and glue immediately before vainly attempting to write coherent sentences for a website (at least according to one writer on the webpage).
By the way, we're more than a little disturbed by one of the kids talking about how "I like the Fist Day." What the hell kind of camp is this, anyway?
Thus, our Site O' the Weak: BETR Kids Science Camp Newsletter.
Geauga Lake Plans New Ride For 2005 Near "The Dominator"
Geauga Lake has given ARN&R a sneak peek at the plans for their new ride in 2005. Called "The Submissive," this underground ride is a combination dark and water ride, with guests inhabiting a flume-like boat. With a taboo-breaking, state of the art, restraint system and some of the most extensive theming in Ohio since the Tombraider ride at Paramount's Kings Island, "The Submissive" will be quite a challenge for the manufacturer, Sally Interactive.
One of the most interesting elements of this ride will be its location. In one of the most novel ride installations in memory, "The Submissive" will be laid underneath "The Dominator," and will be almost entirely underground, with various small sections rising up to intersect with the 200-foot B&M floorless. John Kinzle, ride engineer at Sally Interactive, spoke to ARN&R about how the 2 rides will interact.
"We hope for 'The Dominator' to enter 'The Submissive' as many times as physically possible. During its course, we'd like to make it so that 'The Dominator' enters 'The Submissive' in many different ways, including the rear (of the station) and the mouth (of the tunnel)."
"The Submissive's" plans also include being penetrated by other nearby rides, but mainly "The Submissive's" plans deal with multiple penetrations by "The Dominator."
Kinzel is also hopeful about the progress of construction. "We've broken ground on numerous other rides in Ohio without incident, so we feel it's going to be extremely quick and easy to break "The Submissive."
Stay tuned to ARN&R for more details on this fascinating new ride.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
SFOG Finds New Ways To Infuriate Guests, Cleverly Foiling "Stop Infuriating Park Guests" Corporate Memo
With the park season winding down, it's time at Six Flags corporate headquarters to reward those parks that have gone "above and beyond" in the pursuit of alienating customers. In this tight and competitive race, Six Flags Over Georgia makes their pitch in this verbatim transcript of a high-level meeting:
"Well, in a nutshell, it was tough to alienate people this year," reports SFOG's General Manager Tim Davis. "A corporate memo came out at the start of the season explicitly telling us not to infuriate or annoy our guests. Not only that, but it listed in the memo numerous practices long held dear at Six Flags parks that were now banned. Practices like employees spitting on guests, paying children to throw rocks at passing coasters, encouraging rampant line cutting, permitting metric tons of feces to collect in the bathrooms without cleaning them, and, of course, our favorite, running single train operation on coasters when the park is at 80% capacity or below. These were all now banned behaviors."
"With that memo specifically telling us not to run single train operation, a lot of us in the SFOG head office were quite concerned as to how to properly annoy our guests with our hands tied like this. Thank God, Jim Brewer in maintenance had a solution."
"What Jim pointed out, and I’m still awestruck by his brilliance, was that the memo demanded we run multi-train operation, but said nothing about the train having to be occupied."
"So, we immediately implemented a rule -– whenever a coaster was in danger of not having a line, operators should immediately begin dispatching one train empty. Ride operators should continue doing this until the park closes, reassuring our guests that at SFOG, you can always be guaranteed of a line that leaves the station."
"But wait! Here’s the kicker! We then gave our employees a list of reasons that were completely absurd as to why we do this. We ask the employee to choose his own favorite, or just switch 'em around as the day progresses. The reasons are completely different, but share one element in common -– they make absolutely no sense."
Reasons employees were instructed to give out included:
• "If we don’t do this, the ride won’t have a line."
• "I dunno."
• "I just do what my boss tells me."
• "They don’t want trains to stack."
• "It’s better for the coaster this way."
Davis concluded, "So, thanks to a last minute save, we were able to continue infuriating guests."
Asked what SFOG would do if their ingenious practice was included in the next "Stop Infuriating Park Guests" corporate memo, Davis replied, "I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure. But rest assured we’ll figure out something. We have a creative team, and we’re dedicated to doing whatever it takes to annoy a substantial amount of our customers every year."
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Taste Our Power
Two incidents have recently occurred to demonstrate that ARN&R is now the ultimate power in the universe. First, our Site O' the Weak, Brian and Robs [sic] Coasters, went down shortly after receiving our award. Apparently, the operators of the site felt that the ruthless mockery of the site they have been receiving online outweighed any potential benefits of maintaining it. It causes us deep suffering to be denied the pleasure of seeing all those spelling mistakes and poor formatting, and we're not alone: posters to Coasters2k.com also appear to be heartbroken. But chin up, little campers: at least the Brian and Robs [sic] Coasters Forum is still fully operational!
Secondly, almost immediately after our piece on Boomerang Bay appeared, Paramount's Great America removed a picture of Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan from its front page. Complete coincidence, you might say? We find your lack of faith disturbing...
An ARN&R Exclusive
Robert Johnson, an avid coaster enthusiast who posts as GForcejin on CoasterBuzz, will be releasing a self-published book of haiku poems concerning being a roller coaster enthusiast. The book is to be available via the third or fourth pop-up ads on both CoasterBuzz and Screamscape at the end of this month. Additionally, visitors to Ultimate Rollercoaster will, for their convenience, have the book automatically ordered for them and placed on their credit card via spyware.
Johnson has been kind enough to give ARN&R a preview of the work, titled Screaming in 5-7-5, the Ups and Downs of a Coaster Fanatic. Johnson recently sat down with ARN&R and explained why this project is so special to him. “What has made this project so magical is that it combines three of my greatest passions -- exhibiting the misery of my tortured soul, my love of complaining about amusement parks, and my mildly creepy obsession with everything Japanese.”
Here’s a preview of some selected haiku:
Six Flags Refreshment
Thirsty, so thirsty
Where are the water fountains?
Miles of concrete hell
Ride operators don’t care
If I live or die
This slack rule be damned!
My kingdom for just an inch!
“No,” replies my gut.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Paul Hogan Relieved of Duty at Boomerang Bay
Officials at Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara, California announced today that Paul Hogan has been asked to leave the park. In addition the Australian theming from the waterpark was removed.
Public Relations Director Mark Gazziele was closed-mouthed about the issue, but did issue a press release to ARN&R. It read:
“We at Paramount’s Great America are sorry to let Mr. Paul Hogan go. While we appreciated his efforts we felt he did not quiet understand the concepts of 'sobriety' and 'clothing' well enough to keep him on staff. In addition, our repeated requests for him to stop playing Midnight Oil and Men at Work in the waterpark were ignored. We wish Mr. Hogan the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
As of this morning the park still had Mr. Hogan on its website but said that his image will be gone shortly and all of his feces will be dredged from the kiddie pool.
When reached this morning, Mr. Hogan said nothing as he was passed out in a pile of his own sick.
ARN&R has learned that the drunken Australian often went around the waterpark holding his man unit in front of women saying, “Now this is a knife.” Apparently most of the guests did not take kindly to a throbbing Hogan while trying to play in the wave pool.
An announcement of the new theme is expected soon. Currently Thrillride.com’s “Wild Rumors” section is abuzz with rumors that the waterpark will be themed to “Police Academy 5 - Assignment Miami Beach." Enthusiasts are already calling it another creative gem for Paramount Parks.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
Park Visitor Confused by Strange Blue Tint to Sky
Rye Playland visitor Reggie Harrison, 41, was extremely confused by what he described as a "weird blue discoloration" to the sky during his visit to the park Sunday.
"It was pretty creepy," he told ARN&R. "Instead of the natural dark grey or jet black colors that everyone knows the sky should be, it was this freaky blue color. Sky blue, even. And there was this nasty yellow-orange thing up there shining down on us. What the f*ck as that thing? It was totally messed up and just was really scaring me. I actually called the local news station and they said some other people had called in about the terrifying blue color of the sky, and they would look into it."
Harrison also noted that the "soothing horizontal moisture" that he was accustomed to experiencing every single day of the entire 2004 summer was notably absent on Sunday, leading to his concern that drought might be imminent in much of the country.
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.
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We like gravy and the occasional buffet. The greatest thing ever, however, would be a gravy buffet.