Cider Theater Blues

by A Random Guy

Swear-ese is a thing.

They weren’t in Rainbow Dash’s house anymore. With a snap of his fingers, Discord changed their location to a theater stage. Different ponies rushed up and down the stage, some in costumes, some talking to those in costumes, and some hauling costumes around. The pegasi jumped at the sudden change, the older of which being the more vocal about the situation. “What did you do?! Where are we?”

“Trottingham Garden Theater,” Discord said, stretching out his arms. “My troupe has is performing the opening show of My Fair Pony here tonight, and we’re down for the count. I believe you two know Big Mac, correct?”

Scootaloo broke away from staring at her new surroundings. “Of course, he made a mess at the Sisterhooves Social today.”

Discord nodded. “And was he in a dress?”

“I wasn’t going to say that, but yeah, he was.” Scootaloo shuddered as the image of Big Mac walking around as a lady crossed her mind. “I never want to see that again.”

“Sorry to disappoint you, my dear”—Discord waved a claw at all the ponies working on the stage – “But when you work in theater, you tend to find ponies don’t dress their gender, both on stage and off. It’s a weird world, and I love it. Big Mac, in fact, is supposed to play the part of my character’s mother. His dress today is part of his role. Unfortunately, he needed to take care of some ‘family business’.”

“Wait, Big Mac does acting? In a dress?”

“He’s very good at it.”

Rainbow Dash stepped out of the way as a large stallion pushed a cardboard background across the stage. “So what’s this play about, anyways?”

A cane popped out of thin air, which Discrod took hold of and pressed against the tailored suit he now wore. “The play is called My Fair Pony. See, I’m playing the role of Voice Box, a gentlecolt who specializes in linguistics. One day, he meets a young mare named Flower Basket, a starry-eyed filly with ambitions and a terrible accent. Voice Box makes a bet with a friend that he can teach Flower Basket how to speak like a proper lady. But, as per how all these things go”—His cane slumped over and melted into a puddle, dripping between his fingers. The puddle then bubbled into a pile of tiny clown pegasi, pegaclowns if you will – “Shenanigans ensue.”

Scootaloo watched as the pegaclown pile rolled off the stage, juggling pies up in the air and splattering themselves as they came down. “And we’ll be replacing Big Mac, right?”

“Oh, heavens no. I wouldn’t trust your acting skills to save a play made by the Baby Cakes. Instead, you’ll be replacing the colt who’s replacing Big Mac. Now, be a good filly and cover your ears.” Out of nowhere, one of the pegaclowns hopped up to Scootaloo and shoved a wad of cotton down her ears. Discord cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled at a crowd of ponies. “Hey Butch, you little $@&#! Come over here, I got your replacements!”

A large stallion unicorn, possibly bigger than Big Mac, broke away from the crowd. Similar to Big Mac during the social, he wore a frilly dress, large wig, and high heels, all of which contrasted the five-o-clock shadow he had on his face. He walked up to Discord and glared at him with a sneer. “Discord, you piece of #!!@, where the &@#$ have you been?! Ponies are gonna take their %*!$ing seats in an hour!”

“Rainbow, Scootaloo, this is Butch,” Discord said, pointing a thumb at the cross-dressing stallion. “His native tongue is Swear-ese, so mind your manners.”

“What?” Scootaloo yelled, failing to pull the cotton from her ears with her hooves.

“What are these %^~@ here for?” Butch glared at the pegasi, sizing up their smaller body types. “Don’t tell me they’re my &~$% replacements.”

“Sorry Butch, they’re the best ponies I could blackmail on such short notice. You’re so good at what you do, I had to get two ponies to do your job a fraction as competent as you. But hey, they’re your problems now. Show starts soon. Tell them what to do. Ta-ta.” Discord waved at them, walking off to join the other members of the theater production.

Rainbow rubbed her shoulder, taking small steps away from Butch’s intense glare. “Um… I don’t know what we’re doing.”

“Of course you #^% don’t,” Butch barked, the giant wig bouncing on his head. “I’m gonna tell you what you’re doing so you don’t %&$ it up!”

“Alright, what do we do?”


“The #`~$ lights, that’s what you’re doing!”

They now found themselves in the rafters above the theater stage. Cables, ropes, and lights were strewn all over the place, creating a tripping hazard for any pony who didn’t pay attention. It perplexed Rainbow Dash how Butch was able walk up here in a dress and high heels. Instead of risking the tripping hazard, Rainbow Dash hovered above the catwalk. Behind her, Scootaloo busied herself by picking out the last of the cotton. “Why did you wait till we got up here to say that?”

“Shut the $~#& up. This is what you’ll be doing.” Butch pushed his dress out of the way to lean over the rail. He grabbed hold of the light and moved it around. “You point the light at the actors, but don’t shine it in their &$% eyes! Your filly friend can turn on the lights from the control console over there. It’s #%~@ simple to use, a filly can do it. There’s a script of what lights to turn on during the play. Follow that, and you won’t %@# up. Any questions?”

“Um, do we get paid?”

“$!@& no, this is a volunteer troupe! You do it for the love of the $#!~% job.”

“Okay… You know, I once was in a play.” Rainbow Dash soared up a couple feet and puffed her chest out. “I did the Canterlot Hearth’s Warming Eve Pageant not too long ago. I think I know what I’m doing.”

“My &#@ niece is doing the pageant in Manehatten this year, which is bigger, and more @#!~ challenging. Don’t try to impress me! Just do your &%$ job!” The wig leaned to the side as Butch snapped around and stormed off the catwalk. His voice shifted from a masculine, buff sailor, to a masculine lady of the top echelons of Equestria. “Pardon me, but I must depart to powder my nose. The theater does not treat one’s makeup kindly.”

After minutes of picking, Scootaloo finally removed the last bits of cotton in her ears. “Um, I didn’t catch any of that. What are we supposed to do?”

Rainbow Dash pointed to the control panel on the other side of the catwalk. “I think he wants you to turn on and off the lights.”

“Oh, okay.” Scootaloo watched her steps as she navigated the cluttered catwalk. She hopped over the console, where she met a row of switches, each marked with a number corresponding to a light on the stage. On the side of a console, there lay a pamphlet detailing which lights needed to be turned on and when. At first the script blurred together, but as Scootaloo read it, it made sense in her mind. “Oh, this is simple. How hard can this be?”

Rainbow Dash hovered next to a light, playing around with it and testing its full range of motion. “Yeah, this is going to be a cake walk. Pointing lights at a bunch of ponies, that’s not a challenge.”

“Not gonna stop her,” Scootaloo sang as she practiced with the switches, “She’s the utter victor!”

“Gotta give her room,” Rainbow Dash joined in, twisting a light around that Scootaloo flipped on, “the finish line is going”—