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Friday, March 24, 2006
Let's Just Pile On, Shall We?
You know us. We don't like to kick someone when he's down.
Oh, wait a minute. Sorry, we were thinking of someone else. Actually, we don't mind kicking someone when he's down at all. And that's why we're targeting the Flash Pass system again. And it's not the name and overall concept this time, though that would be ample reason to rip this repulsive beeper that actually allows rich people to pay extra money to cut in line at many Six Flags properties.
Nope, it's the Flash Pass website itself, poorly constructed enough that it's our new Site O' the Weak.
Those of you who read our site regularly (in other words, pretty much no one) might have gleaned the knowledge that at least one of the editors uses and adores Firefox. So any of you rubes who still favor IE as your main browser won't be annoyed by the fact that the site looks like garbage in FF, and some links fail to work.
However, since lots of you still, for some unfathomable reason, actually do still use IE, we'll also mention sucky things about the website that apply no matter what is being used to view it. The main problem is the ease of transmission on information. Or, to put it better, the lack thereof. If you want to describe how your cut-in-line upcharge beeper thingie works, maybe it would be easier to discuss it all on one easy-to-read page. Instead, these people make you click buttons again and again and again, so each click brings you a sentence or two of information. Why? Of course, then we have things like the expected obfuscation of facts (read "Isn't using Fastlane like line-skipping?") in a bald attempt to euphemize the term "paying extra to cut in front of people," as well as occasional passages that appear not to be written by someone still in junior high (read "What is that beeper thing called?").
Flash Pass stinks as a concept, it stinks in practice, and it stinks as a website.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Flashers to Have Free Reign at Six Flags
In a move that some industry experts find surprising, considering the new focus on families and small children being made by Six Flags, the park chain has just announced a new flasher-friendly policy to take effect at several of its properties this season.
"Flashing is great," said a junior Six Flags marketing strategist in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "For one thing, it's awesome to see naked people. You've got your boobs, those are cool. And penises. Some people like those. Heck, a lot of people like both! And then there's the thrill element. You never know when you might get flashed at a Six Flags park. Will it be in line for a Superman ride of some sort? Will it be while you're trying to eat your hot dog? Or changing your baby's diaper? Who knows?"
"The kids will love it," he added. "They'll just love it."
But not everyone will be able to show their naughty parts all willy-nilly, the rep said. The ability to shock other park guests with nude body parts is an upscale privilege reserved for those who buy the new Flash Pass, formerly known as Lo-Q.
Guests who pay to receive their Flash Pass will have the right to flash anyone else in the park - man, woman, child - at numerous randomly selected times during the day, specifically when their pass beeps at them and text-messages "Next Flash Soon!" When this message is received, the guest merely holds the Flash Pass up to one of dozens of handy Exposure Stations throughout the park, and at that point is granted a five-minute window to whip out his or her genitalia in public. Each Flash Pass holder can expect to receive the flashing privilege twenty times per day, spaced over a number of hours.
"By charging approximately thirty dollars per day for a rental of the Flash Pass," said the strategist, "we ensure that only a certain number of patrons are waving dicks and tits randomly at other unsuspecting guests. If we just gave out Flash Passes to everyone in the park for free, there would be none of those great looks of wonder and childish whimsy that we expect to see on people who are getting flashed for the first time at a major family vacation destination. This way, it's controlled so that it's the right number of times to make it a fantastic experience for everyone without becoming so commonplace that anyone tires of the thrill of having sexual organs jiggling in their face."
Pricing for the Flash Pass will differ depending on the park. Six Flags Great Adventure, for example, will offer a one-person rental for approximately thirty dollars per day. "For a discounted price," added the strategist, "other visitors can buy on to the same Flash Pass, reducing the overall price for each flasher, but increasing the pleasure and fun of someone who faces, say, six penises instead of just one."
Six Flags will also market exhibitionist-appropriate clothing, such as a Flash-themed trench coat.
Shapiro Unable to Enter Fiesta Texas
New Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro continues his tour of the continent's Six Flags properties, making suggestions, demands, and threats for the benefit of the employees and local media at each stop. But, at least for the moment, not at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
When Shapiro approached the front of the park to begin his tour this past weekend, the park's managers were most embarrassed to find that the gates had been left locked by accident. The flustered managers, after frantic searching, insisted that none had a key on them, and that probably all of them were stolen out of their pockets earlier in the day by some type of pickpocketing mastermind. A locksmith was called, but he stated that he was completely overbooked and would be available next Monday at some point.
Shapiro, using the genius-level skills that enabled him to reach his current status, snapped his fingers and had the SFFT employees and media follow him to the back gate. "The employee entrance uses a different set of keys," said Shapiro. "There'll be no one to stop us this time."
However, admittance to the park was not meant to be, as, shockingly, all the locks to the employee entrance turned out to be in place but stuffed with gum. "Bunch of savages in this town," noted a frustrated Shapiro. Upon being thwarted by the impassable locks, Shapiro then eyed the park fence for a possible leap into SFFT using the athletic skills he gained from watching ESPN poker tournaments, but someone had, in the middle of the previous night, installed rolls of military-issue razor wire in a double lair around the entire perimeter. "We've had some trouble with young hoodlums recently," explained the park's VP of Operations. "This is just the latest prank they must have pulled. These bratty little kids today."
Shapiro indicated that he would return to SFFT at some point in the near future, perhaps after making another try at touring La Ronde, and make his assessments of the property then.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
ARN&R would like to announce what may be its first contest ever, the 2006 Springtime Do Some Absolutely Reliable Taxes Sweepstakes. In this exciting contest, readers of the website are all invited to offer their services to JCK, one of the ARN&R Co-Editors-in-Chief, by doing his taxes for him this year. A successful winning entry will give the contest winner the right to write an article for the world's leading amusement park satire blog, Absolutely Reliable News & Rumors.
"My f*cking taxes are taking me so much f*cking time and are really f*cking pissing me off, I mean giving me such incredible pleasure, that I really don't have time for anything else this week," said a harried JCK.
JCK's taxes are said to be remarkably fun for readers to attempt to do, as he is a freelance musician. Needing to be accounted for are approximately 9 W-2 forms, 14 1099's, an investment portfolio, depreciation on musical equipment, five pages of business and travel deductions, and three pages of additional teaching and performance income listings. Forms must be filed with the federal government, as well as in three or four states, depending on how much was made in each of them. JCK reports that typically it takes him two full days to correctly lay out all expenditures, forms, and deductions, and then he still has had to send them to a jerkoff preparer who charges way too much and that he recently caught actually making the three-dollar IRS-form donation to political campaign funds on his behalf without permission.
The rules of the contest: taxes must be filled out correctly and filed on time. If no audit has occurred based on the winning entry within a ten year period, then that winning entry will be considered the 2006 Springtime Do Some Absolutely Reliable Taxes Sweepstakes Victor, and the contest winner will be allowed to write anything he or she wants in an article to be published at ARN&R.
"You win because you get to write for us, as soon as 2016," said JCK. "The government wins because it gets my money, and I win because I don't have to waste a whole week doing taxes, and more importantly, that's one less article I have to write. Though I suppose I'll still spend three hours correcting someone's stupid grammatical errors."
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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