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Admiral Biscuit


Axe Body Spray: Confounding ponies since 1983.

More Blog Posts629

Sep
3rd
2019

Story Notes, Labor Day, plus a challenge to readers · 3:53am September 3rd

Happy Labor Day, Y’all!


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Here in Americaland, we set aside the first Monday in September to celebrate the working mare man. Also in Canada, incidentally; much of the rest of the world celebrates on May 1.


It’s no coincidence that all four of the stories I published over the weekend feature working mares and stallions.

But that brings me to a bigger subject. Alaborn pointed out in the comments on Night Guard that “All of the stories in the Similar box are also by Admiral Biscuit.”

Well, I want to fix that.

I want y’all to fix that.

I want all of you reading this to consider writing a fic about a pony working on Earth. Doing what? Well, I leave that up to you--there are so many possibilities, really. Lots of pony skills translate to the real world, of course; they have chefs and bakers and millers and train engineers and painters and printers and thatchers and farriers and sailors and tinkers and coopers and dancers and singers and librarians and projectionists and popcornmakers and farmers and wheelwrights and dozens of other occupations.

Besides the ones that would translate directly into a similar occupation on Earth, there’s no reason a pony might not be interested in some bit of earth tech they don’t have back in Equestria. Your headcanon might vary on what ponies do and don’t have, of course, but I leave that to you.


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This isn’t a contest in the sense that there are prizes or anything like that. So there’s not gonna be a cutoff date or rigid rules. If I remember to, I’ll make a group that we can put these fics in, and as long as it’s not mature, I’ll blog about it and link to it.

I can offer one bit of advice for those who might be struggling for inspiration. Next time you’re at your job, think about how a pony might do it. Next time you’re out shopping or walking around or whatever, look around you and start replacing the people you see with ponies.


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You won’t regret it, I promise.

Now on to the story notes!


Night Guard

Inspired in part by Harry Chapin’s A Better Place to Be (hence the chapter title).

Also inspired by Present Perfect who says “All bat pony names include the words 'dark', 'moon', 'night' and/or 'wing'. [She] lucked out and got all four!”

Thanks also to Bugsydor and Duke of Battington who voted on the cover art, and also discussed just how much white space there should be on the right side.

Hawthornbunny made an edited version of it, too:

:rainbowlaugh:

The idea of them stealing aluminum ingots is based on a former co-worker, who used to be a security guard at a metal factory. He said he saw a guy once come in through the back who was built like a NFL linebacker and was chucking hundred-pound ingots over the fence.

I asked him what he did about it, and he said he hid under the desk until the police showed up.


Shipt

Now, this is the oldest story in the group, at least in concept. One day when I was shopping at Meijer, I noticed a woman wearing a Shipt shirt, and then I started seeing more of them, and I eventually learned what the app was.

As soon as I did, I got it in my head that this was something ponies on Earth would do.

It’s also autobiographical in the sense that I told y’all above that the way to write stories like these is to replace people with ponies when you’re out and about, which I do all the time.

I really did used to work at Firestone, and I do only tend to shop at malls for special occasions (birthdays and such).

There really are a large variety of shopping carts in American stores. The little carts at Polly’s that said “customer in training” don’t say that any more--the posts are still there, but the signs are gone.

All the various brands of foods are ones that are available at Meijer, with the exception of Gielow pickles. I chose that brand because I used to go to school right next to a Gielow pickle factory, back when they were called Aunt Jane’s pickles.

Also worth mention, the Blockbuster on Cedar St. in Lansing really is a paint store now. It’s actually a PPG paint store . . . I forgot which brand it was and wasn’t smart enough to look it up before publishing. :derpytongue2:


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Better Homes and Gardens

Wysteria, Sweetberry, and Tiddlywink are all G3 ponies. Also, Tiddlywink is a breezie, which I didn’t know until somebody pointed it out in the comments.

I did used to work at a lawn service. Back then, we rode to the jobsite in the back of the pickup. We also didn’t do anything with the landscaping (that was somebody else’s job). I only got to use the weed whacker and the blower, both pieces of equipment I don’t think ponies would like too much. They’re more traditional when it comes to farming equipment.


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Window Washers

Pre-read by none other than ROBCakeran53!

Obviously, a job which would lend itself to pegasi.

I was inspired by this wholesome image on Reddit:

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Scrim and Cammy are named after window washer’s tools: A scrim, a type of rag (basically, cheesecloth), and a chamois cloth.

All the mentioned locations in New York City are real (because of course they are). Ceviche is a Peruvian seafood dish, which Junior’s really sells. Carrot dogs really are a thing, too . . . and of course there’s are also faux hot dogs which are vegan.

New York Style hot dogs are topped with sauerkraut, onion sauce, and brown mustard.

I got a little bit distracted during the writing process with figuring out if Ladder 59 would respond to a non-fire call along with Engine 43. The answer was yes, they would, and I also learned that Engine 43 has a pirate flag on the back of it.


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(It also, you will note, has cutlasses across the grille)

There really is a little red lighthouse at the base of the George Washington Bridge, and in fact there was a book written about it, which is the only reason it’s still there.

While Cammy’s suggestion that it should have been put on top of the George Washington Bridge is absurd, it was in fact moved from New Jersey to its present location in New York in 1921.

Comments ( 72 )

Oh, and while I was writing the blog post, I won sixth place in a 1000 word writing contest. That fic will be along presently.

Wanderer D
Moderator

Fuuu.... dammit. I need to think about this.

Dan

It's sad that all people remember William H. Taft for is being the fat guy who got stuck in a tub (which is apocryphal). He did as much or even more for the labor movement and trust busting as his predecessor and former friend Teddy Roosevelt.

5115486

The problem is Teddy Roosevelt was the Chuck Norris of his day. The not making this up disclaimer is very prominent at times when talking about him. I mean the guy was shot and the bullet went through his speech he was about to give, it was folded over so twice the paper to go through. He then gave a 90 minute speech before he sought full medical treatment.

Was looking at one of the pictures in this and was like, "...haven't I seen that cutie mark on a nixie tube spec sheet someplace...?"

I might be able to do a story or two like that. :)

Oh....I might actually have to write a thing now...you...you did this. Expect something at some point. I officially have an actual writing goal, but don't expect it to be over the top awesome. Most likely it will be awful, but I shall give it a shot for you because of that awesome story you wrote about driving a truck to BronyCon. XD

Yeah, but you been wrote all the interesting ones already....

I almost enjoy the blog posts as much as the fics... I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Do you have some definition of working pony you want us to hew to?

Canada, **** yeah... doesn't really have the same ring to it, and it's missing a syllable. However, I've noted before that "Equestria, buck yeah!" isn't, and ending in the same vowel sound will help with other songs.

*is Canadian*

Challenge, accepted.

Hmm... Pony on Earth isn't exactly my strong suit, to say nothing of mundane-made-interesting stoty conceptd, but I'll see if I can come up with something. Still, no promises.

Been working on a story since this morning—takes me way too long to write things nowadays—and I'm feeling pretty satisfied with what I've got so far; I'll probably be able to finish it in a couple more hours. Trying my best to not bore myself (or readers!), but I gotta say, you still make writing SoL look easy, Biscuit!

edit: burnt out at 1977 words for the day.

I have a few concepts lying around. Will see what I can do with them.

Here in Americaland, we set aside the first Monday in September to celebrate the working mare man.

I'm a little late, but still: happy labour day!
regnum.ru/uploads/pictures/news/2017/05/01/regnum_picture_149364086575088_normal.jpg

I'm working on something that might fit the description, but in a fairly loose sense. Not so much about the job as the trip home afterwards, but since the character in question works for the transport company... maybe?

It's taking a long time, longer than I'd like, but I'd rather my first serious attempt at a story wasn't terrible.

5115484
Do it, you know you want to.

5115486
Yeah, but Taft didn’t ride a moose. So of course nobody remembers him. :P

5115489
No, he was better than Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris never rode a moose.
hoaxmuseumimages.s3.amazonaws.com/1912roosevelt_lg.jpg

5115490
Heh, nixie tubes. If I was more of a electronics guy, I’d totally have a nixie tube something.

5115517

Oh....I might actually have to write a thing now...you...you did this. Expect something at some point.

:heart:

I officially have an actual writing goal, but don't expect it to be over the top awesome.

It doesn’t have to be. Write what you know, that’s my advice. Or what you’re interested in. Write another ponyfic about a pony truck driver, but this time get the details more right than I could. Or one about a pony truck driver being stopped for a DOT inspection.

“How do I check tire pressure? I just whack them with a hoof, officer.”
“No, the engine doesn’t have any oil leaks; this truck is powered by a magic crystal.”

Most likely it will be awful, but I shall give it a shot for you because of that awesome story you wrote about driving a truck to BronyCon. XD

:heart:

5115520

Yeah, but you been wrote all the interesting ones already....

Bulls:yay:t.

Just sticking with the theme of New York City, what about the one about the pony who pulls carriages in Central Park? A taxi driver from Manehattan who wants a change of scenery. What about the pony who has her own food cart in NYC? Or the fashionista who destroys the clear diamond market out of spite? The buddy cop story with one of the partners (probably the rookie, but could go either way) where one of them is a unicorn? Or the one where pegasi are working as bridge inspectors?

How about a unicorn doing imaging in the ER?

5115534
I strive to make my blog posts both entertaining and educational. And also to have thematic pony pictures in them.

So I say you should feel fine about that.

5115564

Do you have some definition of working pony you want us to hew to?

Yes: A pony, doing a job, on Earth. That’s all. I personally tend to favor blue-collar jobs, ‘cause that’s what I do for a living, that’s what I understand, but a job’s a job. And maybe the job doesn’t even have to be mentioned; maybe it could be a pony commuting on a subway or bus to work, or trying to ride one of those electric scooters I hear they have in big cities.

Ideally, the fic would also focus on why the job is easier or more difficult for a pony, but of course it doesn’t have to. That’s not a requirement at all. Also ideally there would be some mention of how the pony got along with humans, but once again, that’s not at all a requirement. And of course, it could be told from any perspective: pony, human observing the pony, human co-worker, whatever.

To my mind, the main bullet point is pony working a job on Earth; everything else is up to the author.

Heck, it doesn’t even have to be modern. An earth pony working the fields in medieval Europe would be interesting, don’t you think?

5115570

Canada, **** yeah... doesn't really have the same ring to it, and it's missing a syllable. However, I've noted before that "Equestria, buck yeah!" isn't, and ending in the same vowel sound will help with other songs.

*is Canadian*

On the other hoof, you’ve got money that smells like maple syrup and has cool pictures; we’ve got money that smells like cocaine and strippers and has a bunch of dead presidents on it.

5115734
In my experience, pony on Earth is basically the same as human on Earth, but with a pony.

Or a kirin, or whatever; I’m not picky.

5115748

Been working on a story since this morning—takes me way too long to write things nowadays—and I'm feeling pretty satisfied with what I've got so far; I'll probably be able to finish it in a couple more hours.

Yay!

Trying my best to not bore myself (or readers!), but I gotta say, you still make writing SoL look easy, Biscuit!

Practice helps, as well as being able to get in the (horse)shoes of somebody else.

edit: burnt out at 1977 words for the day.

1977 words, you say? That happens to be exactly the same number of words Window Washers is, as well as the exact year of my birth.

Coincidence? I think not.

5115853

I have a few concepts lying around. Will see what I can do with them.

Yes! Do it!

I'm a little late, but still: happy labour day!

Thank you! I did little except write ponyfic, so it was a good day.

5115901

I'm working on something that might fit the description, but in a fairly loose sense. Not so much about the job as the trip home afterwards, but since the character in question works for the transport company... maybe?

That’s a perfectly fine story. I got no problem with that at all. For a lot of readers, I’m sure, commuting to and from work is as much a part of work as work is, if you know what I mean.

It's taking a long time, longer than I'd like, but I'd rather my first serious attempt at a story wasn't terrible.

Take however long you want. There is no end date.

5115930
Hm, I think you might be onto something...

Bah, well I tried to connect the land records of the location I'm using in my story to your trail, but unfortunately all I found out is that the land is worth five million dollars in taxable value, haha!

I have no idea how deeds should work on land like this, but it also says the final transfer of ownership was $10. What a steal!

5115933
Thank you. I've come to accept - begrudgingly - that I write very slowly. Trying to push myself to work faster has never worked, and sometimes it's worth a reminder that I'm doing this for fun.

It's slightly daunting to write, because it's not exactly writing what I know; it's set in the capital of a country I've never lived in, based around a job I've never done. But that's partly what makes it fun, in a way I've never found writing to be before; most of the ideas I've had have come from something found during research.

5115927
Some of you guys try to deride it as "Monopoly money" but we do that for the same reason Monopoly does: it's vastly easier to tell our fives from our fifties. (Our ones and twos are even easier due to being coins, but that's a whole other discussion)

5115929
And the "on Earth" would be a bit of sticking point, because even 5115734's EQG stories wouldn't translate well to Earth, with Oversaturation's sequels being the most blatant about it.

5115927
And, with a felt tip marker you can easily tart up the Canadian $5 to feature Mr. Spock.

5115918
Alright, I might have a couple of ideas now. Maybe since freight is awful right now I will do some of said writing of ideas.

I had a story idea some time ago that could sort of fit this. Of course, the way I write it probably won't appear for ten years.

Doggonit, Biscuit. Here I am, working on a story centered on a pony doing a day (or evening job, to be technical) job, and you have to go and add that “on Earth” stipulation to completely ruin its qualifications.

5115936

Bah, well I tried to connect the land records of the location I'm using in my story to your trail, but unfortunately all I found out is that the land is worth five million dollars in taxable value, haha!

Hey, that’s a nice bit of cash!

I have no idea how deeds should work on land like this, but it also says the final transfer of ownership was $10. What a steal!

Real estate is weird in very many ways. I’m no expert on that; what little I know is about my own tiny fiefdom--1.3 acres of Jackson County (MI) land which luckily pays less in taxes that my Ingham County neighbors. Also, buying it during the recession meant that the valuation was low and they can’t legally raise it too much each year unless I foolishly make expensive renovations to my house.

5115940

Thank you. I've come to accept - begrudgingly - that I write very slowly. Trying to push myself to work faster has never worked, and sometimes it's worth a reminder that I'm doing this for fun.

I don’t think that there are rules to how fast you should write. It’s whatever works for you, IMHO.

It's slightly daunting to write, because it's not exactly writing what I know; it's set in the capital of a country I've never lived in, based around a job I've never done. But that's partly what makes it fun, in a way I've never found writing to be before; most of the ideas I've had have come from something found during research.

There are advantages and disadvantages to writing what you know vs. what you don’t. I mean, when you really get down to it, most of us don’t really know what it’s like to be a pony, so we’re already at a disadvantage there. I’ve never lived in NYC, nor worked as a window washer, which put me at a disadvantage with Window Washers, whereas I used to live in Lansing and frequently shop at Meijer, which put me at an advantage during Shipt. I think that the best stories are the ones that strike a balance between what we know and what we can extrapolate from research, interviews, and whatever else, and a lot of time writing about what we find interesting--even if it’s not something that we’ve personally ever done--is the best kind. Plus we learn a lot that we didn’t know from doing it . . . heck, that’s why most of my stories come with an attached blog post, to stick all the other stuff I learned in. :heart:

5116024

Some of you guys try to deride it as "Monopoly money" but we do that for the same reason Monopoly does: it's vastly easier to tell our fives from our fifties.

Oh, I got no problem with your money. Ours sucks, yours has space stations and trains and all sorts of other fun stuff on it. Sure, it melts in the sun, but how often is that a problem in Canada?

(Our ones and twos are even easier due to being coins, but that's a whole other discussion)

Hey, we’ve got dollar coins, too. Of course, nobody uses them, ‘cause you can’t snort coke up a Sacagawea dollar, but still. . . .

And the "on Earth" would be a bit of sticking point, because even FanOfMostEverything's EQG stories wouldn't translate well to Earth, with Oversaturation's sequels being the most blatant about it.

It could probably be done, but there’d be a large suspension of disbelief from the reader :P

On the other hand, most of us work “real jobs” on Earth, and writing about that but with a pony put in is really in the spirit of the contest, so....

5116066

And, with a felt tip marker you can easily tart up the Canadian $5 to feature Mr. Spock.

One of my friends put Kiss faces on George Washington . . . or whatever. Remind me later, and I’ll dig up a pic of the Homecoming Queens as Kiss, as illustrated in felt-tip in my H.S. Yearbook.

5116075

Alright, I might have a couple of ideas now. Maybe since freight is awful right now I will do some of said writing of ideas.

Yes. <rubs hooves together> This pleases the Admiral.

5116257
Well, to be perfectly honest, I’ve got more than a few of my own stories which focus on ponies doing pony things in ponyland (and there’s an actual published book version, even), so I’m onboard with that kind of story, too.

While this ‘contest’ is technically for only PoE working ponies, you better believe I’ll also blog about workingponies in Equestria.

Next time you’re at your job, think about how a pony might do it.

Heh heh
In my particular case, FiM ponies already do my job.

Remember these guys?
vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/e/e0/Mailponies_in_the_back_mailroom_S8E10.png

That is what I do IRL
:derpytongue2:

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