Cheerilee looked happily out the window, observing the unending rain. Ponyville had so many sunny days that it was easy for its inhabitants to take them for granted, to crave nothing less than a rainy day, and so far, this was what they were going to be having all weekend. She felt that the day would be perfected when the class would almost certainly pleasantly surprise her, because today was Daddy's Day, and she felt that perhaps the upcoming presentations would be pleasant, perhaps even cathartic, to her. She had planned and prepared for everything, making the schoolhouse much shinier than usual, and even taking the trouble to prepare a snack table to make the fathers feel more welcome. It was funny how the time could fly, it felt like forever since she began to cheerfully watch the rain pattering on the window, but almost suddenly to her, she could hear the bell. It was a bell that hung right over the doorway so it would ding whenever somepony came in to the schoolhouse.
The first to come to class was Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom was always a diligent student, always coming to class on time. Coming with her was none other than Big McIntoch, her older brother, and Cheerilee's coltfriend. Cheerilee couldn't help but smile sweetly at his presence. She was followed shortly after by Diamond Tiara and Filthy Rich, not a surprise at all, wearing one of his usual red ties with a golden bit symbol printed on it. Then came Sweetie Belle and her father, Hondo Flanks, wearing one of his usual loudly colored shits, a mess of brightly colored flowers over an over-elaborate pattern. Cheerilee couldn't help but wonder if his mustache was fake.
They were followed by Silver Spoon and a silver stallion she never seen before. He had a tall mane-do, wore a maroon ruffle in his pronounced collar, and wore a pair of violet sunglasses. His ears were unusually long for a pony, and she wondered if perhaps he had some donkey blood running in his veins, for in spite of the misconception that all hybrids are infertile, there was always the small chance that hybrids, particularly hinnies, could reproduce.
After them came Scootaloo and a Przewalski's horse whom Cheerilee had also never seen before. As a Przewalski's horse, his height was a match for that of Princess Luna and Shining Armor, his face was long and horse-like, his eyes were pitch-black and shiny, his mane was cropped short, and he wore a dark longcoat with unusually large lapels for a stallion's coat. He also had wings, indicating that he was a Khiimori, a Przewalski's Pegasus.
Diamond Tiara snickered to Silver Spoon, "did Scootaloo bring Bighoof to school for show and tell?"
His appearance was so similar, and yet so unlike, that of the average Equestrian pony, with so many features that the Equestrians generally considered to be archaic, that to see him here was something akin to seeing somebody bring a man who looked exactly like a Yeti, or perhaps a man who literally was a Yeti, to school.
More and more foals had followed, all bringing their fathers to school, most of whom Cheerilee had never even met.
Then there was Pipsqueak, and his father, who looked almost identical, and both looked absolutely filthy.
Cheerilee was delighted! So many new ponies to meet! So much to look forward to! Beaming on her class, she said: "I can see you all brought something for Daddy's Day! So I would like you to start right away! Who will be the first to start?"
"ME!!" they all shouted in unison.
Cheerilee laughed sweetly, and said, "oh dear, so many good choices." Cheerilee already suspected that this would be the case, and prepared accordingly. "I suppose we know what we must do now, don't we?" The foals all cheered, because it was time for the hat. Whenever they had a hard time making a decision, Cheerilee would get a top hat filled with little pieces of paper with their names in it. Cheerilee got her hoof to scoop out the first name on the list: "...Snails." Even Cheerilee couldn't take much joy from that name.
Snails, however, cheerfully walked to Cheerilee's desk, ready to give his presentation to the class. Then a seemingly crippled stallion confined to a wheelchair rolled from the corner. He looked much like Snails, but he was bespectacled, and his head was limp to one side. Snails smiled stupidly and gestured towards his father: "This is my dad, Squids. He does smart science stuff!"
Then from a device attached to his body and mounted on his wheelchair, a digital voice began to speak: "Hello, I am Dr. Squids. This is my son, Snails, my wife and his mother is Lady Percilla Percy, and I am an astrophysicist."
Apple Bloom raised her hoof. Dr. Squids observed this and inquired, "did you have a question?"
"Well, yeah!" Scootaloo responded, "what does an astrofisical- astro-"
"Well!" Snails exclaimed, "an Astrophysical looks at Celebrity bodies really really hard!"
The other students giggled at Snails' choice of words. However, Squids didn't find it quite as amusing: "Snails, we've been over this, you don't know what I do and you'll never know what I do! Never talk about what I do in public!"
Again, the foals giggled, "why, because you don't want the rest to know what turns you on?"
"Diamond!" Cheerily exclaimed.
"No!" the voice cut in. "An astrophysicist," he started with a slight edge to the otherwise flat artificial voice, "studies celestial bodies and devise theories based on their observations of them as well as established physics. Our Princesses may be able to manipulate their positions, but they did not create them. Their beginnings and their endings are still largely unknown to us, but I may be able to have some answers. For example, in theory, after comparing and contrasting our own sun with numerous other celestial bodies, I have concluded that our sun is essentially a main sequence star, a smaller star that undergoes nuclear fusion to convert hydrogen into helium, thus sustaining itself and generating massive amounts of energy, and as such the most likely fate of our own sun will be that as it fuses larger and larger elements, it will turn into a red giant, and as it expands, it will gradually devour the planets in our sky, including Equus itself. Luckily, Ponykind will probably not be around for that to happen, because it will probably destroy itself with our increasingly advanced warfare first."
"But friendship is magic!" Sweetie Belle squealed in protest.
"Yes, and so are most of our current weapons of mass destruction" the digital voice replied. "Why our Beloved Princess trusted one of the most dangerous six-fold weapons to six fillies barely in adulthood is beyond me, except perhaps to maintain her remaining sanity, as continuous exposure to the arcane force that the Elements of Harmony radiate can induce psychosis on their wielders, which is most probably what happened to Princess Moonbutt."
A chill seemed to have overtaken the room. Such disrespect for their princesses was extremely rare in Equestria. It was a potent chill that one would never dare disturb. This chill was growing, like a cancerous silence, overtaking and defeating all thoughts of opposition, except from one brave colt.
"Hahaha, Daddy said 'Moonbutt'!" chortled Snails.
Few would think that Dr. Squids' voice box would be capable of a loud groan, but strangely, it was. Apple Bloom took the opportunity to raise her hoof in question.
Squids turned toward her. "Yes?"
Apple Bloom tapped her chin to think for a moment, looking for the right words. "Didn't you say the other stars move?"
Apple Bloom then paused again, "and our sun is a star, right?"
"Sooo...." Apple Bloom again, paused in thought and to search for the correct words, "does that mean that each star has another Equus with its own Princess Celestia on it?"
"No, don't be stupid!" exclaimed Snails. "Each star has another Equus with its own marshmallows on it!"
Squids, however, seemed to be genuinely impressed by this, though it could only be expressed through his words: "That is a remarkably good question. Does each star have a planet with intelligent life on it, making the stars move? That is still being debated today. Initially, this was the mainstream belief, that all stars move because all stars have intelligent life that has laid claim them, but after observing them through mobile telescopes, it seems to be at this point, a very far-fetched thing to believe. As it turns out, not every star is attached to a planet that can support life. In response to this, the two main claims are that either an advanced civilization has already laid claim to the unattached stars, or that as all matter is essentially inclined to move, and so stars and planets alike are by no means an exception when left to their own devices, and what's more is that when faced with larger objects, they will be drawn to them. All matter has its own gravity, and the larger the object, the more gravity it has, and will draw smaller objects to it. When drawn to a larger object, the smaller ones will move in predictable, circular orbits."
Scootaloo cut in: "Yeah, Rainbow Dash is smaller than my dad, but she tends to fly in circular orbits around him!"
There was yet another pause. Through his machine, Squids stated "no, that is different." Squids' face was immobile, and his voice artificial, but somehow, it was not hard to imagine some measure of annoyance. "My book explains this phenomenon better than I can in any words. Have any of you read my book?"
The Przewalski's horse shyly raised his hoof, and Diamond snickered "Bighoof reads?"
However, that wasn't enough for Dr. Squids. "Did you buy it or borrow it from a library?" Squids interrogated.
"I got it from the library." the Przewalski's horse confessed.
"You cheap bastard."
"Okaaayyyy, heheheheheheh" Cheerilee began, trying to keep the situation under control, "well I think we should move on to the next-" But Diamond raised her hoof, and Squids wasn't one to ignore a question.
"Yes?" Squids inquired.
"If you're so smart, why is Snails so dumb?" Diamond asked plaintively.
"Diamond!" Cheerilee cut in sharply.
Dr. Squids seemed unfazed, and his artificial voice answered her question without offense: "Unfortunately, from both genetic and environmental factors, most expressions of intelligence are derived from the mother."
The room gained a most tense silence, seemingly devouring the room in a most destructive fashion.
It was broken yet again.
"Oh-ho-ho-ho, well, okaaaay, that was a...thoughtful, presentation, Mister- sorry, Dr. Squids." Cheerilee was desparately trying to keep everything together. "So, who is going to be next?" She scooped another name with her hoof. "Snips."
Snips cheerfully trotted up to Cheerilee's desk, and a similarly-colored stallion, but an Earth pony, trotted rather miserably to the same desk. Snips began his presentation: "This is my Dad, Teddy! And he is just like Snips' dad, because he talks about celebrity bodies too!"
"Celestial bodies" Teddy corrected.
"Does he lecture in big Universities like Dr. Squids?" Cheerilee asked sweetly.
Snips had no end to his enthusiasm. "No, better! He talks about them almost every day in a museum!"
Teddy nodded and confessed sadly, "I'm basically a long-term, paid docent in the planetarium, while all the younger guys who volunteer for free stay for a summer break and move on to other things, never to return. Snips thinks my job is cool though."
"Aw, don't be so hard on yourself, Dad!" Snips said, trying to make him feel better.
Teddy shook his head and went on: "My wife is the real breadwinner, she's the director of Equine Resources of the local Railway company. Kind of a miracle really, her career as a stage illusionist was largely ruined by your local culture. But if you kids have some questions about stars and planets, please ask me anything that can be answered on a grade-school level. I would like to say I set up that limit for your benefit, but the real reason is because I don't know any more about celestial bodies than the average stallion."
Snails stared with a blank stupidity that only a member of the House of Percy could manage, and he asked this question: "Can you tell me what a black hole is, but in an easier way than my dad would say it? I forget."
Teddy sighed heavily, and explained in a flat voice that strongly indicated depression. "Well, a black hole is a powerful mass that grabs all things in its range into a seemingly eternal orbit, but with each passing millennium, anything caught in the black hole's orbit will slide closer and closer to it, until it finally sucks them in and crushes them, with no hope of escape. With that in mind, my career would be the best example of one."
The silvery stallion asked "may I ask you about Uranus?"
For a while, Teddy's face contorted in utter horror and disgust, but then it suddenly changed to a defeated resolve, "well, it's not like I have any dignity left," and with that, he lifted his tail. Cheerilee had to intervene to prevent this story from becoming M-rated: "Nonononononono! He was asking about the planet Uranus! Not your...you know..."
"Oh..." Teddy said in a most emotionally flat manner. "Oh well."
Apple Bloom raised a hoof. "Yes?" Teddy asked glumly.
"How do I not end up like you?" Apple Bloom was always genuinely worried about her future, and Teddy wasn't helping much.
"Apple Bloom!" Cheerilee scolded.
However, Teddy was utterly unfazed. "Well, I would recommend staying in school-"
"No! Don't stay in school!"
They all turned to face another pony. He was Doosh Dolots, the father of Liza Doolots, standing in the back of the the schoolhouse. He was a lean Earth Pony with a slicked mane. "Oh sure, I stayed in school long enough to learn the ropes, but the more and more I kept going, the more and more it held me back! Do you want to know why? They weren't teaching me how to survive or feeding me, they were basically giving me long, drawn-out sensitivity courses! It was fucking useless!! What's more, it was costing me! My family could barely afford to pay for my fucking lunches and my fucking supplies!! You know what they did for a living? They ran a fucking flower shop!"
Cheerilee began to sweat: "Calm down Mr. Doolots-"
"No, I'm not calming down until they learn the truth! The richest one percent of this country owns half of our country's wealth. That's twenty trillion bits. Did they really get it from staying in school? No, because school just straight-up can't teach you that. Everything you're ever going to learn, it's going to be almost inapplicable to the market in any capacity. This vacuum is filled by the daring, those whom they brand as evil, as greedy. By those who no longer buy into their lies, by those who now see that we can't look at other ponies and say, 'nopony should have this much', but instead have learned that instead, everypony should have this much. Don't listen to the Mercantilists kids, they are only holding you back! Greed, for lack of a better word, is good, greed works. Greed is magic."
Snips wasn't going to let this stallion put his father down! "My dad says being greedy is bad-"
"Your dad wouldn't know how to pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel!" Doosh's sudden snap surprised Snips so much, his mouth hung open and tears welled up in his eyes.
However, Teddy lacked his son's fighting spirit. He sighed and explained in his flat, depressed voice, "sadly, this is true. I tried to pour piss out of a boot once. It didn't end well."
Doosh then gestured towards the window towards a very dingy apartment building. "see that building over there? First place I ever bought. Flipped it, and made 2,400,000 bits! It was better than sex!!"
Apple Bloom smiled brightly! "I wanna make over two million bits too!"
"Mm, yeah!" Sweetie Belle chimed in agreement.
"Mr. Doolots, please sit down..." cautioned Cheerliee. However, if Doosh even heard her, she was completely ignored.
"Then quit school and start working and selling shit! The Equestrian education system is holding you back. It doesn't teach you what it really takes how to make money. Do you really think Cheerilee is really teaching you anything useful? Look at the inside of one of these books she gives you - look at it! Nothing but propaganda and sensitivity-course material! You know why? So that people like me can dominate the market and prevent people like him," he pointed at Hoity, "from being ample competition!! Normally, I benefit from this, but when I see my daughter go to this school, I worry about her. Public school does not exist to make you smart, it exists to make you stupid!!"
"SIT! DOWN!" Cheerilee was getting very stern with him now. However, she realized that the Equestrian government often adjusted her cirriculi every year, to focus primarily on the Equestrian language, and math, and little else, even though she made many requests for more emphasis on science. Every time she requested more funding, it was consistently denied, and the budget was slashed further. Was there maybe some truth to what he was saying?
Sulkily, Doosh sat down. Cheerilee huffed heavily. "Well, I guess that concludes Liza's presentation."
"But I didn't get to speak!" Liza protested tearfully.
"It's okay kiddo, Daddy spoke for you!" Doosh said softly.
Cheerilee got a new name from the hat: "Archer."
Archer trotted to the front of the room: "Hi, my name is Archer! And, well" she said, going from chipper to serious, "...my daddy can't be here today?"
"Aw, too busy?" Cheerilee asked, trying to be as sympathetic as possible.
Archer grinned again, and said with a little hop, "nah, too incarcerated!"
Cheerilee's eyes went wide. "Oh Archer, I'm so sorry-"
"Naw, it's okay!" she chirruped happily. "My dad is a badass! He got imprisoned for unlicensed mercenary work!"
Sweetie Belle took a moment to think about those implications. "You mean your dad illegally kills people for money?"
"Sure does! That's why Diamond Tiara doesn't fuck with me!" she added smugly. Cheerilee noticed that Diamond never ate in Archer's presence, and wondered about that.
Cheerilee huffed: "Okay, that's enough Archer-"
"Piss off, lawmaker," she hissed venomously, "when my daddy gets out, we're going to get even with everypony who stood in our way!" She then took a moment to scan her entire class, and added with a touch of menace, "everypony."
Twist, short for Twisty Turner, hopped happily in front of the desk: "Hi, my name is Twist!"
"Hey Twist" the class said in glum unison. From the back - nopony could identify who - somepony shouted "shoot yourself!"
Twist just smiled brightly, trying to make things feel better. "Thith ith my dad!" And with that, a short, white sort of a character had hopped next to Twist, and waved to the class.
"Angel Bunny is your father?" Sweetie Belle squealed in shock.
Twist nodded, "after my mom got Freeshooter to kill my dad, Angel Bunny stepped up to the plate. It's an inter-species relationship."
"BUT THAT'S AN ABOMINATION TO TAU SUNFLARE'S CREATION!!!" Apple Bloom shrieked.
"Wait, your mother had your father assassinated?" Cheerilee was shocked, but Twist completely ignored her.
"For your information, he'th a sapiant being," Twist began in a dignified tone, "and is more than qualified to be a suitable partner to my mother, and a suitable daddy to me."
Cheerilee tried to explain this nicely: "I'm sorry Twist, but he's a rabbit."
"Is he a good daddy?" Archer asked nicely.
"Well, he beats Mom a lot..." Twist began, but then she turned and saw Angel giving her a hard stare.
"...Um, to the door, tho he can open it for her?" she finshed with uncertainty.
Angel nodded in approval.
Cheerilee wasn't sure about this. "Well, we should move on to the next daddy!"
Twist lowered her head sadly and trudged away to her desk. "Speciesist," she muttered to herself, while Angel proceeded to kick Cheerilee in the shins. Cheerilee tried to nudge him away, but Angel looked ready to put up a fight...until a foul smell took over, and then, making a disgusted face, he hopped away.
Cheerilee turned to the source of the smell, and found Pipsqueak on her desk, grinning broadly, and already speaking - even though she never called upon him.
"My name is Baldrick sir, and so is my daddy's! Well, he might be my daddy, we're not sure. Mommy was a hooker, see? But anyway, me and my maybe-dad? We have the same name!"
Cheerilee was surprised by this impromtu presentation: "Um...yes. What's your first name?"
"I'm not sure, I think it may be Sodoff."
"Yeah, 'cos when my dad was in school, they'd always tell him 'sod off pipsqueak!' So I'm named 'Sodoff Pipsqueak Baldrick' after me dad, but I'm called Pipsqueak to help ponies tell us apart!"
Baldrick the elder, who had been silent this whole time, simply smiled and nodded, saying "that's my boy!"
Cheerilee cocked a skeptical eyebrow at Baldrick. "And what do you do for a living?"
Baldrick the Elder paused in deep thought. "Well, I think I'm Blackadder's dogsbody, and I think my daddy was a nun."
Cheerilee shook her head: "Baldrick, this isn't about your father, just- wait, did you say a nun?"
"Sure did!" Baldrick smiled cheerfully.
Cheerilee pointed towards him, trying to make sense of this: "But Baldrick your father couldn't be a nun!"
"He was too a nun! I know 'cos whenever the bailiff asked what his job was, and he'd always say 'none'!"
She then drew a new name from the hat: "Button Mash."
"Hi, my name is Button Mash, and my dad is Bon-Bon! However, Bon-Bon said I don't have a dad, just two moms, so she wouldn't come-"
Cheerilee cut him off: "Now Button, we talked about this, you can have two mommies-"
Button happily shook his head: "Nuh-uh! You need a mommy and a daddy to make a foal! And that's me!"
Cheerilee wasn't sure how to explain this to him. "But Button, you can be brought up by two mommies-"
"You need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby, right?"
Cheerilee was caught off-guard. "Well, yes, but-"
Button mash folded his forlimbs in all smugness: "Then she's my dad!"
"I think you had a daddy who left you for another mommy, and your mommy got you yet another mommy, and that other mommy was okay with it because she got kicked out of the house by yet another mommy who got tired of that mommy hiding so many things from her."
"I'm sooooooooo confuuuuuuuuuuuuused!" Button exclaimed, dramatically holding his head in mental agony.
"Um...maybe you should talk about it with your mommy at home" Cheerilee then proceded to scoop another name from the hat. "Let's see...Silver Spoon!"
Silver Spoon trotted towards the desk, and hopped on Cheerilee's chair, raising her hoof for the sake of dramatic flair: Friends, Equestrians, Countrymares! Lend me your ears! I have come here to bury Diamond, not to praise her!!" Most of the foals cheered at this, except for Diamond Tiara, who looked sick to her stomach, Sweetie Belle, who had a mature sense of empathy, and Button Mash, who wasn't paying attention in the first place.
Cheerilee simply rolled her eyes. "Silver, just talk about your father please.
Annoyed, Silver nodded. "'Kay. Well, this is my dad, Hoity-Toity, and he's gay for a living!"
"Silver!" Cheerilee spat out, but Hoity raised a hoof to discourage the scolding.
"It's alright, it's a joke at home!" Hoity chuckled. "Anyway, I'm bi. To the next subject, I have a rather decent line of clothes if I do say so myself, and I certainly have made sure most fashion artisans are superior to my own! After all, I have very high standards, and these must be applied to the world of fashion."
"No shit!" Silver exclaimed proudly. "Dad and mom had a really ugly divorce, so they were both competing to buy the best presents to win me over! Naturally, he won. Better taste."
Cheerilee's eyes went wide, and then she tried to think of something to say about this: "Aaaaaalright. Let's move on to the next name, shall we? Diamond Tiara!"
Diamond Tiara gulped nervously; she had the whole presentation prepared, a whole list of things to say, all designed to thoroughly impress her classmates. "Okay...this is my dad, he-"
"STOP RIGHT THERE!!"
She turned and saw her mother, Spoiled Rich, right at the doorway. Her eyes were in furious flames as she gazed upon her daughter and Filthy Rich.
"Diamond Tiara", she began, "this is your father." She had dragged a purely white Earth Pony stallion with her, and he looked frightened. "His name is Double Diamond. He is your real father. I conceived you with him when we got squiffy, but he disappeared for years before he ever came back. But how the Hell was I supposed to know that he was trapped by some nutty cultist?? Anyway, when I was pregnant, I needed support, and my parents introduced me to Filthy Rich and made me marry him! I thought he was so enthusiastic about us because he loved me, but noooo, he was after you!! That is why Filthy Rich comes to your room at night" Filthy Rich suddenly looked cornered and defeated, but his wife went on, "oh yeah, I know about that, Mister!!" And with that, she stormed away, dislocating the door in the process. Diamond Tiara could only look away from her classmates, unable to face them.
"Oh dear, Diamond..." Cheerilee was trying to be sympathetic, but she was not sure what to say. "Well, maybe I should just draw another name from the hat." Filthy Rich was also about to get close to Diamond, but Cheerilee swatted him away. Cheerilee glared at him, the Przewalski's horse, his now soon-to-be-ex coworker looked shocked, and Doosh looked furious.
"I'll...show myself out..." mumbled Filthy.
Diamond Tiara just nodded: "Okay."
The Przewalski's horse studied Filthy with a very careful scowl as he left the schoolhouse. "Wow, no wonder they call you Filthy!" quipped Hoity. Cheerilee didn't even bother to correct him. Filthy left, and Cheerilee noticed that Diamond relaxed instantly, realizing that maybe there was a lot of truth in what Spoiled said. She almost told Diamond she could leave, but realized that if she did, she might be going back to an abusive home. Maybe here was better for her.
"Okay...Sunny Daze...and be sure to bring your sister Peachy Pie!"
They got up and sighed, which was strange, because the whole class was used to them working well together. But then they saw their father; he was a tall Earth Pony stallion with a height that could match the Przewalski's horse, and a pale grey coat with berries for a Cutie Mark. His face was stained with globs of jelly.
He was Hughbert Jellius.
"Hi," Sunny Daze sighed. "This is our dad."
"He's nuts," added Peachy Pie.
However, Hughbert looked disapprovingly at them for their remarks. "Neigh, I am but more enlightened than the rest! Swallow the red pill, or shall I say, the red jelly, and listen to the truth!"
"Oh joy," Peachy sighed, "here it comes..."
"When I was a little foal, I went to a fair, there were all kinds of competitions, prizes to be had! But the thing that caught my attention was a sign that said, 'Eat the Most Jelly and Win a Prize!' I naturally participated, and it was then that I found my calling! I won third place, but that was still pretty good, and my Cutie Mark was gained that day: Berries. They represented the jelly that I was to become a part of! At first it was a challenge, oh such a coy tease she was, the jelly, but then...as I really got to know her, when I truly, finally, understood her, I saw that there was so much more... Jelly! She was a passion! A love! A lifestyle! It meant something so much deeper!! Everything you ever needed, Jelly had to offer! See how much taller and beautiful-er I am than most stallions? It's the jelly, my little ponies."
"Well," Cheerilee said, trying to be polite, "that's very interesting-"
"Oh, it's beyond interesting! Did you know that all life began in a jelly? It's the very life-force of all living things! It surrounds us, and binds us, and penetrates us...mmmmmmmmm..." his face twisted into a euphoric smile, "...and binds Equestria together!! We are all the Jelly's children! Peachy Pie and Sunny Daze are actually the children of the Jelly! I and Sunnyside are mere Jelly-Mates, having fathered and mothered them together in the stead of the jelly, and raised them under the jelly's name!!"
Sunny Daze began to try to reason with her father. "Dad..."
"I am not your real father, merely the paternal representative of the jelly! And now I have an opportunity to tell all of your fillies the truth, a truth I discovered from a long meditation fully submerged in jelly, in her soft, cooling embrace....
....There is no God."
Most of the foals made faces as though he had publicly regurgitated and then said he wrote a fanfiction about it. "You're insane!" Sweetie Belle squealed.
Indeed, Equestria was a place in which gods regularly exerted their power over the mortal denizens all the time, from Discord the Harbinger of Chaos, to Princess Celestia, the Mistress of the Sun (but don't tell Mrs. Sun about the affair between Celestia and Mr. Sun, or it will make her very upset and things very complicated for Equestrians everywhere). Indeed, provable deities were so commonplace in Equestria that Atheists there were regarded the same way that Scientologists are regarded among our own.
Squids was the first to point this out: "Gods are real beings among us, Discord demonstrated his absolute power over Chaos numerous times, mastering Entropy and proving himself to be immortal. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna may only be part-goddess, but they still have tremendously long lifespans and can individually manipulate multiple celestial bodies. To deny the existence of the gods and their kin is similar to denying gravity and evolution."
Hughbert scoffed at this: "Sir, you are among the sheeple and should take the red pill! They're all illusions derived from carefully mastered performances, and because they too discovered the miracle of the all-jelly diet and have gained the powers that come with it!"
"Speaking of which," Squids continued, "it sounds as if you spend so little time submerged in jelly and so little time actually breathing, that I suspect that you are cutting off some circulation to your head."
Cheerilee had to clean this up, fast. "Well, time to move on! Let's see, Sweetie Belle!"
Sweetie Belle smiled brightly at her fellow classmates. "Hi! My dad is a professional hoofball player!
Apple Bloom was surprised. "Really? I've never heard of him!"
"Well, turns out, it's really easy! You just make stuff up and jot it down on paper!"
Cheerilee cocked up a skeptical eyebrow: "Wait, you're saying...he plays fantasy hoofball? He does of fantasy hoofball?"
Aura just shook her head and made a suppressed "snirking" giggle. "Fantasy hoofball is just Dungeons and Dragons for jocks!"
Cheerilee shushed her, and then proceeded to talk to Hondo: "Mr. Flanks, what do you do for a living?"
He rubbed the back of his head. "Ah, I'm in marketing-"
Hoity scoffed: "That would explain your atrocious taste!"
Cheerilee raised her voice: "Mr. Toity!"
Sweetie Belle just looked confused. "Well, I don't know what you're talking about, but I do know that every night, my dad gets a great big bottle of scotch, eats twenty or thirty of those biscuits with the little pink icing in the center, and then he collapses on the floor and screams for his insulin, and mommy goes and buries it in the back yard!" she finished with a squeaky voice.