• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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Estee


On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)


T

Rarity likes to believe that her intellect, social grace, and etiquette can get her out of virtually any situation. Trees, however, are notoriously difficult to reason with -- as is the pony who stuck her in one.

So to get her out of this, she has logic, reason, magic, careful consideration of all available options, and her true best efforts going into solving the problem.

...it's going to be a long night.

(This story takes place after On The Application..., but it's not necessary to have read that one before this.)

Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group. New members and trope edits welcome.

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 76 )

are notoriously different to reason with

I think you mean 'difficult'.

Weirdly this is the second story in which a pony is assaulted with bird mess I've read recently.

Ouch. Remind me not to get on Rarity's bad side. :twilightoops:

4096757 :

:facehoof:

And the lesson here is 'Never think that because you managed some kind of wrapup on the mistakes in the main text, you actually saved yourself any embarrassment.' Thankee: fixed.

Huh, I think I just lost all sympathy I had for Rainbow Dash in "Stupid Direction-Face". Serious jerk move, Rainbow. :unsuresweetie:

Hee! Rarity is just so well-suited for comedies. :duck:

One teensy spelling mistake - there's an "achool" there, which by context should be "school".

4096991
Rainbow's always been a bit of a jerk, if one with a good heart. :rainbowderp:

Jarkes #7 · Mar 17th, 2014 · · 14 ·

...Okay, how the heck did you get into the featured box with only 87 views, whereas my recent story only made it to the "Popular Stories" sidebar with the same number of views, and even then was only there for a few hours?

...I'm starting to think that the feature box system is rigged towards writers who are already popular.

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I have absolutely no idea how that one got past me. *sigh* Thankee and also fixed.

4097257
Well, the view counter doesn't update immediately, so this story has more than 87 views right now. And, iirc the feature box looks at how fast a story gets its views/likes, not just the total number. Also also, the popularity of the other stories in the box might be relevant.

The Lesson of the Day : Never peave off a unicorn who knows how to carve trees and who has a very good imagination. Otherwise you may find that creativity angled in your direction, as well as every tree in Ponyville sporting your face and other... um... parts.

But this was still hilarious. Also, when I pressed the like button, the number went up by 5.

4097306 So basically, yeah, it's rigged towards people who are already popular. That explains why some authors manage to get every single one of their stories in there...

4097257

In all honesty, I treat the workings of the Feature box like Vorbis. As in 'You do not ask someone like that what they are thinking about in case they turn around and say "You."'

I don't know what's worse, vengeance from Dash or verbal assault from Rarity. :rainbowderp:

Great story!

"Applejack," she said pleasantly, "who's watching the stand?"
"Big Mac."
"And why didn't I see him go down the road?"
"Had Spike send him a letter an' told him t' sneak behind y'for the best view."

The Bearer of Honesty, ladies and gentlemen!

A fantastic one-shot. Rarity's poise and dignity always make her a ripe target for a little humiliation, though she handled this quite well. I have to admire her willingness to experiment with various ways of getting down. (And really, considering all the ways teleportation can go wrong, from Harry Potter splinching to Star Trek technobabble, she was extremely lucky just to conjure glass.)

Also, using the term "grouping" instead of "hand" was clever and subtle.

In short, thank you for this. :twilightsmile:

I cannot find anything to nitpick on this one.
And I'm a bastard who finds something wrong to nitpick with almost every story I read.
And you made me chuckle.
Congratulations, thumbed up and fave'd.

Hilarious, as always. I don't know what we'd do without you, Estee.

Pahahahaha!

Excellent work, as per usual!

Revenge, Rarity style, elegant, delivered calmly, and with great panache...!

Good on Spike too...

You can't possibly expect me to believe that Rainbow is stupid enough to leave a pony up in a tree all night long because she wanted something to take her frustrations out on. Even she isn't that stupid. I further refuse to believe that all her friends wouldn't be mad at Rainbow for doing that to their friend. Rainbow doesn't exactly do cruel things to her friends for shallow anger.

That's my take on it. Yeah, I'm a negative nancy.

So, let me see if I've got this straight.

Rarity's vengeance was "reading" that Rainbow Dash was watching over her, and bluffing that she didn't know, so Rainbow Dash would keep doing it and be too tired to whip up a bespoke snowstorm.

And then showing her hand. Er, grouping.

I'm not sure how that could be more perfect.

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Not rigged, rigged would suggest certain authors were more or less likely to make the featured box because the creator of the box likes or dislikes their work. The featured box is simply angled towards popular stories as opposed to good stories, which, all things considered, is the best they can do if the website admins want to keep the featured box fresh and full of good content (If it were based on the top rated stories, it would potentially go to a story with one thumbs up, and, therefore, a 100% rating. If it were based on the number of faves, it would never change)

An excellent story, friend. Truly wonderful.

"Oh, bother."
Which somehow seemed as if it would have been more appropriate to being stuck halfway through a ridiculously narrow Diamond Dog hole.

I have this huge grin right now. It always pleases my nostalgia to see people reference Winnie the Pooh.

Dan

Does "stud poker" have any additional meaning or connotations for ponies that it doesn't for humans?

I must say that all your comedy fics are extremely entertaining. Please bring more.

One word to describe this story: circumlocution.

That means "an extremely roundabout way of saying something".

Used in a sentence: "the story was admittedly funny, but suffered from so much circumlocution that it was almost too insufferable to sit through."

This was a thing of weirdly horrible beauty, and one of the best things I've read all month. Thank you for an hour well spent. Also, you definitely write one of the most convincing Raritys I've ever seen on the site.

The bird hopped closer. Its head bobbed up and down.

I saw this and immediately knew where it was going because I've seen my pet bird do this. Apparently it means he's claiming territory. :raritydespair:

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Stud poker is the ponies' version of strip poker... a prerequisite is that they wear officially-acknowledged gowns (for mares) and suits (for stallions) as their buy-in. Of course, said clothes are much too expensive for poor Fluttershy's fragile finances, so these six won't be playing any time soon.

Dash is mischievous, but not cruel !

The setting was rotated between residences, which had already put them in the clouds once and had the second Twilight-assisted ascension scheduled for winter.

Perhaps I'm just dense today, but I don't get what you're saying here.

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The game occasionally rotates to Rainbow's house, which means Twilight needs to cloudwalk-enchant several players in order to prevent abrupt game dropouts. "Ascension" just means the altitude gain required.

Since I was pretty critical of On The Application..., I feel I owe you a critique of this story as well.

Your writing is still quite engaging, especially Rarity's voice. And the bit with the raincloud was quite clever - I really should have picked up on that sooner.

Your pranks are still a bit mean-spirited for my taste, but here at least it fits with the tone of the story. You also don't paint Rainbow as being in the right, which is a huge improvement.

I did find the rest of the Mane Six' reaction to Rarity's predicament puzzling. I get that Rainbow's jerkass tendencies were turned up to eleven for comedic effect, but why are the rest of them so blase about Rainbow stranding Rarity in a tree overnight? Especially with nothing to suggest the rest of them knew Rainbow had spent the night keeping an eye on her.

Overall I liked this one much more, kudos.

4102528
I assume Rainbow told the rest of them that she'd been watching over Rares before they arrived.

Are you bucking kidding me?! She tries to help Rainbow, and that's how she's treated for it?! And her only revenge was to go along with it cause Rainbow didn't see the consequences?! Oh, and she thanks Rainbow for caring, for caring?! At the very least she could have got hypothermia for bucks sake! And Twilight refuses to help her out cause she was left hanging from a fountain for ten minutes?! (which she totally deserved as I recall). If I were Rarity I'd say "buck you all, I have no friends" the moment I was back on the ground. How could anyone think treating her that way was acceptable, she was trying to help! I think they all owe Rarity a huge bucking apology!

4103559 You can assume that if you like, but the story never says that. And it doesn't really jibe with how she reacted when Rarity called her out on it. Plus, if Rainbow stayed there watching over Rarity the whole time, when would she have had the opportunity to tell the others?

502 Fiction? What kind of group is...

...oh.

Guess they picked up a lot of new members yesterday.

So...


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...we now turn to the comedy portion of our program, in which I will attempt to explain how I viewed that which led to Common Misbehavior Issues Of Prismatic Pegasi (among other things) to absolutely no belief whatsoever. Please note that I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. This is the Internet and the next person to change their mind based on the words of another will also be the first. However, I do ask that you keep any attempt at Death Of The Author strictly figurative.

Additionally, I'm currently in an insomnia cycle, so hijinks may ensue.

(Incidentally, if you read comments before story, Spoiler Alert.)

Okay.

*deep breath, mostly because it may be the last*

I typically try to avoid the characterization of pure Rainbow Jerkass. However, when I work with her, I do keep some things consistent. She has an Ego. Her impulse control is typically on a level with Scootaloo and she's got the shortest temper in the cast: a bad combination. Among the Mane Seven, she's the most likely to seek a physical solution to any confrontation. There are confidence issues present, masked behind bluster. She's too competitive for her own good and feels anything she actually deems worthy of entering is an event she has to win. Admitting when she's in trouble or overmatched seldom happens: see Ego. On the whole, she takes losing about as well as -- *looks at calendar* -- a #1 seed who just went out against a #16 and if at all possible, she'd really like to blame the refs. She has major problems with apologizing because that means she was in the wrong, and will do twenty minutes of verbal somersaults to do it while not doing it. She also has a tendency to not necessarily plot out every possible outcome from her actions, and she rarely plans too far ahead to begin with.

And she pranks. Dear sweet pony gawds, does she prank. And it's not always well-considered or timed.

So here we are on the road under Moon (and to anyone peeking in from TV Tropes, it's a style choice). Rainbow has just lost. Furthermore, she's been consistently losing for a few years now -- and not only that, unless somepony else ran out of chips on a given night and tied her, she's been coming in last. She initially recognized that there's an element of luck to the game and that's why she didn't go up after the first beatdown. Or the second. But she's been told (by purposefully-distorting books which she actually went through the effort to read) that it's also very much about skill. So she studies and practices and does everything she can to improve and win this competition and keeps right on coming in last anyway. And incidentally, she's been getting her tail regularly kicked by Fluttershy.

So in Rainbow's mind, she's done everything right. She has been to the table enough times that any luck factor would have had more than enough chances to balance out. And yet she still went broke yet again -- followed by getting low draw from the cleanup deck and spending extra hours polishing up the Acres to Applejack's standards, which are not exactly spit-rub-go.

Rainbow is not a happy pony.

So she finally voices it -- something which isn't necessarily easy for her to do. Rarity talks to her. And no matter what Rarity meant, regardless of how she was trying to say it, this is how it comes across: 'We know exactly how to beat you. Frankly, we could beat you any time we liked and keep it up forever. You would always come in last , from now until the Princesses switched shifts. Oh, and incidentally, each of those losses? Entirely your fault in every way. Not only that, but you are so very easy to read, you'd be amazed by the number of other things we can beat you at. Oh, and I may think I've simply been amused by my own wit, but really, I'm laughing at you. Laughing. At. You... Loser.'

At this point, Rainbow's surface temperature could be applied to rock for creating Spike's next swimming pool.

So her temper flares. She makes a bad decision. She can't go after the pony who's beaten her the most badly because she doesn't prank Fluttershy. But Rarity is right there. Rarity has just humiliated Rainbow and now the favor will be returned. It's Rainbow's way of getting control back and winning at something, proving herself superior again. What will embarrass Rarity just as badly as Rainbow was just humiliated? A night in a tree ought to do it. And into the branches Rarity goes.

However...

...now we turn to a few of Rainbow's positive traits, things I also try to keep consistent when writing her.

She's a gracious winner (once the gloating stops).

While she's capable of nursing grudges, she frequently calms as quickly as she flared.

She will embarrass her friends with pranks and take them through humiliations, but she doesn't hurt anypony -- and she never inflicts more than what she thinks somepony can handle. (Her estimate can be wrong there -- but she truly tries.)

And she is not going to abandon a friend who has just been placed in a situation where the unicorn is potentially helpless should any disaster come along.

So she doubles back. She grabs a cloud and perches there, out of Rarity's casual viewing angle. And she watches. She wants to make sure Rarity's okay -- that this will not go beyond the level of prank-revenge. She's also amusing herself through witnessing Rarity's attempts to escape plus the interactions with the locals and my, isn't Rarity funny!

She can't resist a good feed line. She doesn't consider enough options to include chilling, although she would rescue Rarity if the unicorn appeared to be getting sick (and pegasi in this *groan* 'verse have little trouble gauging body temperature). But on the whole, she's standing guard. She will not fall asleep on that job. Because revenge is being expressed as a prank -- and nothing more.

Applejack comes by in the morning, hears Rarity call for help. She knows Rarity was carried into the tree and she's seen the images carved into the bark, so she's got a pretty good idea which pony did it. Then she looks up to Rarity's level again -- followed by going further up. And that's when she sees Rainbow.

So now AJ knows this is a prank in progress. Rarity's in good hooves. AJ's hardly going to interfere with a good prank. She may not know what triggered it and doesn't have to just yet, because that can wait for when it's over. It's a prank, plain and simple, and Rarity is perfectly safe whether the designer knows it or not.

Applejack becomes part of the prank.

She goes into town, heads to the library, tells Twilight (with Spike not hearing anything just yet) what's going on -- exactly as AJ sees it. Twilight is now part of the prank, along with taking the opportunity for a little delayed revenge of her own. AJ heads for the market. Twilight recruits Pinkie...

So what we wind up with is four Bearers helping Rainbow out with what they feel is something harmless, one standing guard, and one stuck in a tree. Oh, and a dragon who's more than a little peeved about how everypony else is taking this. Subtract one camera.

And over we go to Rarity. Who knows Rainbow has been there the whole night. Rarity knows who Rainbow is, even if she can lose sight of certain aspects while demonstrating that she's picked up a bad habit from Twilight. Rarity is fully aware that Rainbow would not abandon her, and so takes the time to thank her for that. Because they are friends, and two of the things Generosity grants are degrees of (eventual) forgiveness and, when needed, extra chances.

But...

...vengeance must be had.

And how does the vengeance manifest? 'Yes, I can in fact read you when we're away from the table. I do know how you act, think -- and don't think. I was perfectly aware that you would completely forget about your rather difficult, extremely strenuous upcoming assignment in favor of taking amusement from me. And now I will take amusement from your knowing that you cannot prevent me from anticipating you so very well. There is nothing you can do -- other than change -- which will make me overlook your very obvious weaknesses. You could have taken me back down immediately, or not started things at all. You did not. So everything which happens next, you did to yourself. I knew you would. And there is nopony you can blame but yourself.'

...yeah, that's gonna leave a (non-cutie) mark.

Okay, that's about all the futility attempt I can handle in one shot with this little sleep, so I'll just sit back and let the sound of everyone yelling at me keep me up.

And blast away, blast away, blast away all.

4105072

Those are a lot or words to say that Rarity and Rainbow have a rivalry because Rarity is smarter, more intuitive, manipulative, and socially skilled while Rainbow is more physically capable and min-maxes her specialties. And they both believe this makes them better than the other rather than as good as each other in different ways.

My take? Rainbow is blunt and Rarity is sharp as a tack. That can be taken in many ways... and I mean all of them.

4105559

Those are a lot of words

You should see the kind of rambling pointless overdone futile effort I can put in when I'm fully awake.

To me, Rainbow and Rarity usually have a fairly minimal rivalry. They've learned to each appreciate what the other does, but it can still be hard to see the point. There can be touches of envy: Rarity knows the group would benefit if she was more physically capable, Rainbow has the very rare moment of wishing she could talk her way out of something. But they seldom find themselves in direct conflict.

However, when it does happen, stand way back.

(Side note: I think it's very easy for some ponies to feel as if Rarity is talking down to them. Price of accent and airs.)

Oh my god. I was glancing at the popular stories section, and I saw the short summary of this. And normally, that kind of short summary wouldn't really draw me to a story, vague as it is, but something inside me said "hey, maybe it's someone like estee," AND THEN :pinkiegasp: IT WAS ACTUALLY ESTEE.

Also, applying the most recent episode seems to have confirmed a bit about either earth pony geomancy or the power of a cutie mark outlined in Triptych. Maud can go through stone like a power drill.

:rainbowlaugh:
Was a little worried at Rainbow's sudden OOC at first, but I should've known she'd be watching. That ending was great.

4105072
A very detailed and sensible explanation... just, not one I think actually justifies Rainbow's actions. I can understand why she could behave completely unsympathetically, but I still think she's behaving completely unsympathetically. If all the other bearers, being used to her, thought this was okay to go along with, then I think they're being dangerously callous about it and that an outside voice is needed to come along, take one look, and say "you guys have gone so far over the line that the line is no longer visible in the distance". I like to think that's what Spike did.

4105072
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I'll try to come up with a response that explains my point of view without too much verbosity - that may take a bit.:twilightblush:

One point I'd like to go ahead and address is Applejack noticing Rainbow. You mention in the story that Applejack looked beyond Rarity. But that's it - there's no hint to the reader that those words have any significance. It seems like you were spare on details to avoid giving away that Rarity knew about Dash. Which leaves the reader no way of reconstructing events even after they know what's up. For all her folksy ways, Applejack's not a particularly stoic pony. It seems unlikely she'd have no reaction upon spying Dash. You've already established Rarity's eye for detail, so she should have noticed AJ's reaction.

4105072
Nothing you've said here makes the prank any less mean-spirited. And while it may be on the outer edge of believable behavior for Dash - given her impulsiveness, temper, and disinclination to think about her actions - it's far too mean-spirited for the rest of the Mane Six to just accept.

As an author it's your job to put the characters through interesting experiences. Since you're the author you know Rarity isn't going to be hurt, emotionally scarred, catch a cold, or be anything other than be mildly discomfited from this. And of course Rarity's not really hurt at all - because she's just a fictional character. The trouble is, you write the Mane Six as if they also know that.

For socially conscious Rarity public humiliation is a greater pain that the physical discomfort of a night outdoors. Yet her friends all show up to mock her when Rainbow comes to get her down.

Applejack has no reason to carry on with Dash's prank. As an experienced outdoorsmare she would know better than anypony how cold, miserable and unpleasant a night stuck in a tree might be. Also I can't say that Big Mac would pass up the opportunity to ogle Rarity's derriere. But AJ doesn't seem like the sort to take advantage of her friend in that way.

Pinkie Pie loves a good prank. But to her a good prank is one in which the prankee laughs along with the pranker. Rarity's not laughing.

Twilight, well in this universe, Twilight has reasons why she might be okay with this. Although, since you've now established the prank in Application was only for a few minutes, I think she'd consider an entire night stuck in a tree a wee bit excessive.

And then there's Fluttershy - sweet, everkind Fluttershy. She'll scold the bird for crapping in Rarity's mane but gives Dash a pass? The same Fluttershy from Five Hundred Little Murders? I just can't buy that.

If this were clearly setup as an AU where the Mane Six are jerks - like Friendship is Witchcraft or Letters from a Disgruntled Friendship Student - that would be one thing. But, without any clues to the contrary, we readers take these as canon versions of the Mane Six and as canon versions they're out of character.

Except for Spike. :moustache:

EDIT: 05/20/14 removed one sentence for being overly judgmental.

4105072 Oh I completely understand everyone's motivations in this story, I do, it's just that they treated Rarity terribly. Honestly she was trying to help her friend. If I had been Rarity, after being left in a tree all freaking night, I would have yelled at Rainbow. Something like "this is how you repay a friend who helps you? Or something similar, guilt trip her like crazy, cause that's what she deserves. I get Rainbow's flaws I do, but Rarity's 'revenge' (which I still think is pathetic) doesn't address those flaws at all. What angers me most is that Rarity made one comment, a comment meant to help, and nearly all her friends punish her for it. I mean if I were friends with them I'd be afraid to say anything around them, with friends like them who needs enemies. I mean if Rarity had said something truly insulting and not meant to help then I could understand this reaction, but really if this is what can happen for one little comment, I wouldn't want them as friends.

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Oh, good: kept my perfect record of making things worse through any poor attempt at reply intact. I was worried about actually staying in place for once. I really need to have more faith in myself.

I would give up here and go to bed, but insomnia.

...incidentally, this is why you never see me comment on someone else's story. I feel obligated to quarantine the disease.

*sigh*

So rather than go any deeper into this through answering fresh charges, I'll just close the window before Still Worse results.

4106965 Aw, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you feel bad. I get what your story is, I really do, I just don't think the Mane Six are those kind of ponies. However, they might be, and that's fine. Hey, your story got me thinking and feeling things, that's always good. I did find myself chuckling at many things in this story, I just felt everypony's reaction to what Rarity did was a bit over the top, but hey it did make for a good story. I think Rarity needs to get some serious revenge on all of them though (except Fluttershy and Spike), especially Rainbow Dash. I hope you keep writing stories like this, please don't be discouraged.:fluttershysad:

Note about me: Love RD, really don't like Rarity. That said, this little ditty was magical. It had the perfect mix of Rarity torture and karmic justice to make it all work, and not have it all cascade into torturing Dash back. Of course, Rainbow got her just desserts, but it didn't make me upset like it could have. However, I can't really say Dash is that readable. Sure she isn't terribly subtle, but I'd leave 'hand' organization patterns to Twilight. Plus Element of Honesty Applejack couldn't have been great at poker. But... I digress. :twilightsheepish:

It was well written, for sure, as well as being funny and memorable. (Seriously, I'll be remembering 'that one fic where RD put Rarity in a tree' for quite a while) Nice work! :pinkiehappy:

4107828 lying and choosing silence are two very different aspects. If AJ were to play poker and instead of speak or anything and maintain silence while also not really playing and instead mimicking her opponent I imagine she would be quiet good at poker.

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You don't have anything to apologize for, nor should you ever censor yourself to avoid upsetting me or backtrack your words unless you've truly changed your mind. And those last two apply to every reader on every story, every time. I haven't deleted a comment yet. I'm aware that my subconscious can get an oar in and sometimes, there are things to be found which I missed.

I just have a few factors in play right now. One is the insomnia. Secondary: I feel like I have never explained anything in a Comment section and been believed. It's an exhausting streak on a Rainbow level.

And there is a line between 'This is what I-the-reader perceive' and 'This is what I know you meant, so just admit it already!' I always accept the former, no matter how much I disagree with the contents. The latter... that can grate. Sometimes I might falsely detect a crossing. On other occasions, the line gets vaulted.

Tell me what's on your mind, every time you see fit, for that universal "you". But unless "you" are ready to James Randi-prove your psi on the spot, don't say you read mine.

Feel versus know.

(However, there's clearly an argument to be made that I haven't caught up on sleep yet. And this post may be it.)

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Hence why I stopped. :facehoof:
I know my argument isn't the most solid, but nobody is that readable. I realize it was played for laughs.

4106965
But at least you haven't been accused of pianocide yet... :derpytongue2:

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