• Member Since 28th Aug, 2011
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Cold in Gardez

Stories about ponies are stories about people.


The last time the Cutie Mark Crusaders worked on the school newspaper, they used gossip, rumors and innuendo to drive circulation through the roof. Their brief rise and rapid fall taught them a valuable lesson about truth and honesty in reporting. Apologies were made, hugs were exchanged, and everypony lived happily ever after.

For about three weeks, anyway. Now the Crusaders are back in the newspaper business, and it won't be lies that set the town on fire.

A short story about the triumph of enthusiasm over ability.

Written for the December Writeoff Event, Behind Closed Doors.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 144 )

This was fun in the writeoff — one of my Top Five! — and it's just as fun here. Just when you think it can't get any funnier, it keeps throwing in those amazing punchlines out of nowhere. I can say without hesitation it's worth a read.

Re the changes since the Writeoff: squaring the circle of "getting the voice sounding like Apple Bloom" and "keeping the hilarity of the original tone of genius juvenile delinquency" definitely isn't an easy problem, but this is a good stab at it. :twilightsmile:

I want to like this. It was humour and well written (as most of your work is). The subject matter being what it is, however, leaves a sour twist in my gut. I can't help but think of the ramifications outside the story's scope and sympathise with the afflicted parties.

Emil #3 · Dec 17th, 2014 · · ·

And then an anonymous benefactor pays off all of the FFP's debts, claiming that the price was well worth the entertainment.

Four years later, a routine audit of the Royal Treasury shows that an amount exactly equal to the debts was taken from the vaults that day under the authorization of the Princesses...

I have to admit, adding the bit about the lawyer at the beginning improved the CMC 'voices' a great deal. It not only sets the 'hook' firmly in the reader, but aligns the legal language with the age of the kids and improves the whole story afterwards. The only improvement I could think of adding would be 'legal fees' somewhere in the accounting. :pinkiehappy:

I am loving how she was trying to pass the blame onto Cheerilee! xD

If this is going back to your roots, then excuse me while I get myself a good patch of soil to plop myself in.

Please note that the lawyer fees are not included in the aforementioned 18,523 bit expense reported.

I'd say Apple Bloom's voice is still a little off, but it's already impressive how much the new sentence in the beginning improved it.

As for the rest of it... Man is this a nice treat :pinkiehappy:
You do the "fols be foals" thing really well, and there are some amazing lines inbetween. Still, it does feel a bit slow or otherwise weird a few places; I think this is a story that could be top notch, if only it you went through it a few times with an editor.

I lost it when Twilight left in the middle of Applebloom's statement. Brilliant!

I could not control my laughter at the snails under the pillows scene. That was perfect. I only hope and pray this gets turned into a comic one day. If lucky a nice dramatic reading with some really nice VAs playing all the foals and some ruckus from the ponies as Apple Bloom goes about talking about all the debt she's gotten the school into.

Simply magical. But that Diamond Tiara cameo. Brilliant. Little miss perfect do no wrong by the adults giving the CMC some firm pointers on past lessons forgotten by the very ponies who apparently didn't learn anything. :rainbowlaugh:

I just loved Twilight's reaction. The amount of prints. The chaos. THIS is a CMC story. I think I'm going to read this one more time before bed. Good show!

Huh. How did I get here?

This was pretty enjoyable on the first reading. On the second, it only improved.

For instance, knowing what had happened made me more aware of Apple Bloom's constant ducking and weaving. Oh, she says she accept responsibility, but the entire apology is constructed to deflect it by playing on their youth. It was worth reading again just for that.

The main problem I had in the initial draft was Apple Bloom's voice. It sounded too much like a lawyer. It still sounds like a lawyer, but the extra material at the start kind of frames the rest of the narrative and makes it easier to believe that it is Apple Bloom speaking.

Good stuff.


How do you think the CMC payed the lawyer? :unsuresweetie::applecry::scootangel:
Hence the term "royalties".


What about Scootaloo? Who forgave her?

Comment posted by Silent Dream deleted Dec 17th, 2014

Scootaloo will be allowed to be up for adoption in twelve years. Until then, she has a nice blanket and a sturdy box.


They didn't kick her out onto the streets?

Somewhat like Honey Mead, I want to like this, mostly to give more in-depth compliments on how tactful and well-worded your prose was, and how the humor was eased into the narrative like the scales of a reptile, rather than being delivered as an endless setup/knockdown cycle. But I'm too distracted; I can't picture Spike being that smegging ignorant.

Nonetheless, a fine read.

That was great! My favorite bit was towards the end when reveal they still don't know what's really going on.:applejackunsure:

Oh dear frag, Crusaders...!

Well, Ponyville, all I can say is, all of this could have been avoided with some basic sex education couldn't it? Silly ponies.

(My Mum was a family planning nurse, so I got it at an early age, myself, and it didn't do me any harm. ... Admittedly in my specific case, it was also fairly irrelevant, but there you go...)

I believe his was an attempt at Cringe Comedy. However, in my personal reading experience, that was more akin to soul crushing comedy and I don't even HAVE younger siblings to be embarassed by proxy with. Why? WHY?! ...The impending and so obvious disaster was making me feel physical distress, while the fillies were blatantly trying to be forgiven with what seemed to me like the smug taunting of a Sombra knock-off. This, what magnificent construction.

It had me cheering for Diamond. Freaking. Tiara. What?!

It was well-written, but never again... Never again. :raritycry:

What about Scootaloo? What happened with her?

:duck: "Come along Spikey, Twilight is expecting us back in a few weeks"
:moustache: " Yeah, All this for playing a round of patty cake"

:facehoof: "Spike ! Who do you think you are? ROGER RABBIT?"

:unsuresweetie::scootangel::applecry: Awe come on !

:eeyup: Eeyepp !

"Already, Applejack has forgiven me for what I did, and she says that I can move back into the farmhouse after the first major snowfall. Until then, the hayloft in the barn is comfortable, warm, and far more than I deserve. Every time I fall asleep in it, listening to the lowing cows below me, and the bats in the rafters above me, I am reminded of her love."

Tough love at its finest

“I’m not sure. She says its boring grown-up pony stuff that I wouldn’t want to help with.”


“Well, It looks like snooping to me!”

*it (That's a comma, not a period.)

5393562 You should always be cheering for best pony. That shouldn't be a noteworthy occurrence.

So Sweetie and Apple Bloom we know about but what happened to Scootaloo? Just a grounding?

Honestly this all should be blamed on the lack of Sex-ed. This could have been avoided and the fact that they are getting punished for this is really unfair.


That was more information than I ever wanted to know about.

Comment posted by Jonathan Jack ONeill deleted Dec 18th, 2014

This is fantastic, then your stuff usually is :raritywink:

I did think that you missed one decent joke by having the candidates for the other pony with Twilight being a shortlist of one given that there aren't many mares who describe themselves as both great AND powerful, but hey inveterate Twixie fan here.

This was never a mystery to me as a kid... Especially when you're trying to sleep but the house is shaking and you can hear EVERYTHING. :pinkiesick:
You know you're due for a horrible morning when your thoughts that night are along the lines of, "I've got school in the morning. Just finish up so I can sleep already, ffs."

Neat story, though. I'll be thumbing up and favoriting.

Very amusing, very Crusaders. That's pretty much all I can say. Consider this liked:)

I can, however, empathise, albeit with more knowledge (I feel that somewhat worsens it though.) With only a single wall separating...:raritydespair: I'm just thankful for the invention of earphones and MP3 players.

Welp, now I know why my room was upstairs and theirs was down... Anyway, when I was little, I always slept late. This continued until I was about nine. Eventually, I started waking up at six, while my parents were asleep, as to watch the better cartoons. Once, I went to the kitchen to get breakfast, because they were usually still asleep. After I was done, I heard strange (to me at the time) noises coming from the room. I went to investigate, and found the door was locked. You know, somewhere in some encyclopedia, there should be an entry on the tenacity of children... I lugged the ladder from the garage up the hill to their room. What I saw set me on the path to turning into what I am today. I believe lyrics fitting to this situation would be, "My childhood spat back out the monster that you see."


They're still working on Rainbow Dash forgiving anyone. Or doing much more than kinda gibbering.


Maybe when enough of the anti-anxiety drugs kick in.


Those three kids have ruined their futures forever. Yay!

5394829 you sure?????????????

Comment posted by cpl_scipio deleted Dec 18th, 2014

5394318 did you ever try banging on their door and yelling at them to quiet down?
i had a similar issue: my room was next to my mom and stepdad's room, and the apartment walls were paper thin. :twilightangry2:
told them to quiet down just one time, and it NEVER happened again.

Unfortunately, some of us were 'blessed' with being overly smart. And knew what was going on before we were technically supposed to.

(stifled giggling) My god, those foils and colts did the F.B.I. proud.:rainbowlaugh:

Hehe wow this was fun. I actually laughed out loud. Several times. The 'confession-apology' is a great way to tell a story.

You know, one time a radio comedian I love got on air and started apologizing profusely. It was deep felt and he really meant it. But he never said what it was for! LOL it was an act and it was hilarious!

5392948 Not to mention the whole "I accept full responsibility, and did I mention that you can't press criminal charges against a pony under the age of 12?"

As far as sounding like a lawyer is concerned, they are being helped by a lawyer, so its sort of a melding of their voices; the lawyer is telling her how to phrase things so she can say what she wants without getting into trouble.


The follow up will be when they find a book on the Hinny Scale and try and figure out how many Ponyville residents are donkasexually inclined. Other than the donkeys, that is. That data was from the first run.

The stunner will be Pinkie Pie on that one when they realize a mare really doesn't normally get that into welcoming balding older jacks to a town full of earth ponies...


The what scale?
And donkeys? Ewwwww.

When I read this, I couldn't help but think "Doesn't Sweetie Belle live with her parents?"

Anyway, fun read.

The Hinny Scale, named for Alfalfa Hinny- a famous researcher (and crossbreed between her pony father and donkey mother) from about seventy years pre-Nightmare-Moon. Her research was foundational to the study of snuggleology, which is the polite, scientific term for the study of when a stallion and a mare love each other very much and perhaps find uses for decorative bridles, unusual jam-related lubricants and in this case, attractions to related four-legged species that many Equestrians considered "un-natural".

Thankfully, in the modern age cases of donkasexuality are considered simply normal, versus some kind of deviant mental illness.

She was supposed to be the Element of Honesty

I thought the elements didn't exist anymore:rainbowhuh:


Most Excellent.

5393367 Spike is one thing, but I can't picture a filly who grew up on a farm (which does keep animals) being kept this ignorant about these matters. Especially when her sister is this bad at lying of all kinds.

Also, are we to believe that every single filly and colt in Ponyville is being kept completely and utterly in the dark about these matters? Not even an "it's what you do with your special somepony, and it's a thing between the two of you" brush-off? I feel that this story escalated a little too far in the interest of comedy, shattering my suspension of disbelief - and yes, even (perhaps especially) a comedy needs that suspension to work.

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