Comments ( 71 )

Just... well done!

I am your dentist
I enjoy the career that I picked!
I am your dentist
And I get off on the pain I inflict!

So alcohol is the solution?

Fluttershy isnt mentioned because shes always depressed already.

Aw, this was so nice. Kinda my thought process sometimes, but where's my cider? >~<

Also, I caught a typo:

“Rainbow!” Twilight gnashed her teeth, her eartips turning read. “Stop repeating yourself! Don't you realize how annoying that is?”

Thank you for writing this... whatever it is, really.

Another story with a Radiohead song title?

OK Computer Skirts

I wish I had friends to trip over me.

“What in the hay are y'all lyin' in the street for? Is this the new 'dabbin' fad that the young folks are all into?”

This isn't even an exaggeration. First you hear about dabbing and planking and then the first time you see it you go "wait, that can't actually be it".

Hap #8 · Aug 6th, 2017 · · ·

Alcohol is only part of the solution.

About 40% of it, actually. The rest is water, carbonyls, carboxylic acids, tannins, polyphenols, and terpenes.

Someone get DJ Capricorn in here. She's good at getting depressed mares back on their hooves.

I think a lot of us have hit a certain level of this feeling in our lives, some of us more often than others. It is quite possibly the most profound waste of time I can imagine, an awful trap of spiraling logic that paralyzes you and prevents you from enjoying anything.

I loved this. It sort of echoes my own thoughts when my depression rears its mind-numbing head. The issue though comes when you don't remember what it's like to be happy because the times that you are are so few and far in between.

I've been struggling with a steadily growing depression for almost 4 years now. Most everything is just dull; not bad or good, things very rarely make me have a reaction like that anymore. For example: I can no longer identify things I like and things I dont like; most things just are and blend into each other and as a result I am near unable to form opinions on things or make descisions aside from just saying 'I guess' to someone. After all it's just easier to half heartedly go with someone else's flow.

Wether from negative or from positive feelings, I cherish the time that I'm no longer mired in the malaise, but sometimes that just makes sinking back into it all the more sad. I distinctly remember the first day of this years galacon (the first convention I've ever been to), when I started feeling happy. I remembered thinking, surprised: ''huh, so this is what it felt like'', because I genuinely couldn't remember the last time I had felt that happy.

Anyway, I think I lost sight of where I was going with this; but in words that Twilight may say: "Yes, Rainbow. Alchohol is a solution."

...I'll see myself out.:facehoof:

Oh no. Why right now? Why did I drink?

“Why s-sure you do!” Twilight chuckled, gesturing in the air. “You could be doing flight stunts! Practicing for the Wonderbolts! Kicking clouds! Flying east!” She grinned, wagging her eyebrows. “You could even be playing practical jokes on the rest of us like you always used to.”

lol so many chapters left to read!!!

Loki #13 · Aug 6th, 2017 · · 4 ·

She's half way there. Of course, cosmically speaking, life is entirely meaningless. The further you zoom out, the less anything we do here matters. Curing cancer, making love, Donald Trump. If the solar system just went and disappeared one day the universe as a whole wouldn't notice. So in the grand scheme of things we don't matter and we serve no purpose other than our own.

And that is the crux, the fact that there is no ultimate paradigm governing what we have to be about we can make the choice ourselves. People struggle to find meaning for their existance and look to religion, other people, whatever. Few of them realize that meaning isn't something that can be taught, it's something that has to be chosen. Once you get there, things just fall into place.

What is this tone? I don't believe I've ever encountered it before. Skirts has found a place in between ridiculous self parody and straight faced dark sadness and wedged himself in DEEP.

“Must be reallllly convenient to have a name for things you can't fix.”



Oxygen.. need
laughing to much..

Rainbow Dash here is the one pony who would appreciate Background Ponyness.

You are the only writer on this site whose stories I upvote and favorite before I even read. I just know by now it's gonna be a gem when it come to you.

:rainbowlaugh:Thanks, I needed a pick-me-up like this.

Flying east takes soooo long!

“Allllllllllrighty then...” Applejack nervously tipped the brim of her hat back and slowly pulled the cart towards Sugarcube Corner. “...and this is why I never subscribe to Facebuck.”

Damnit, she could've just told me she didn't have one, instead of leading me on all this time!


I find it odd that when I first saw the title of this story, my mind instantly said "this is a shortskirtsandexplosions story." And lo and behold, it was. The word "detritus" also gave it away; should I be worried that the word "sapphiric" isn't also in there?

Now I'm treating you like a meme, so let's get serious and talk about the story. I find it coincidental that it came up at this time of my life, as (and this is personal) everyone around me is suffering from depression. I'm not (at least I think I'm not), so I think I have a more detached view of this story than others will have. It's also eerie how some of the things included here coincide with research that I've done recently into depression, to the point where I feel that you've hacked into my life. You haven't done that, have you?

Have you?


I haven't done a long review in a while, because I've considered myself too dumb to do so. If any part of this feels idiotic, then please chalk it up to my severe stupidity, and forgive me.


“I'm not depressed,” Rainbow droned. “I'm just bored.”

Should I be concerned that this viewpoint makes sense to me? How you can just look at the world and nothing interests you? That is a symptom of depression, and with how obstinate people are (and Rainbow Dash included), it all makes sense. For a story about depression (or is it even?), I appreciate how this is used to create tension among the characters. It's easy to attribute motionlessness and listlessness to depression; it's not as easy to attribute it to boredom, especially when nothing can rouse the person experiencing it. I feel that it's hard for people to understand that sometimes, you just want to be bored. Or maybe you don't want to be bored, but you need it. Or maybe you just need to be left alone to ruminate on death and eternity. I dunno, depression is a touchy subject and not one that I completely comprehend, but those are things that I've observed.

The mellowness of Rainbow Dash's dialogue was really tight (tightly constructed, that doesn't mean that it's dope, yo), and none of it felt flabby. The other characters' dialogue was nice as well, everything revolving around the main theme. Only three parts of it felt out of place, but I'm not going to criticize it here. I'm more trying to engage with the text, but I just wanted to state my experience with the story.

Anywho, I agree mostly with Twilight's and Rarity's point of view, that there's not enough time to get everything done and it'll eventually be forgotten, but one should have fun doing it regardless. I can see all of the other points of view as well, except for Applejack's, oddly enough. I've just witnessed too many people lose themselves in it for me to get behind it. But it helps people out sometimes, I suppose, so I can't really get up in arms over it. Also, I'm typing, and my arms are down for that, so I can't get them up for it.

Pinkie Pie was trotting gaily along, humming to herself. Sugarcube Corner rose in the distance—

How was it doing that? Why was it doing that? Did it do it of its own accord, to greet Pinkie Pie?

I know I'm exaggerating, shaddup.

It was an important detail that this was all taking place on a sunny day. Is it right to call that juxtaposition? Or is it just another fact of life, that it was a sunny day when Rainbow Dash decided to lie down in the middle of the road? Or is it to coincide with the Radiohead song? In any case, I feel like it was an important detail. I can also appreciate how minimalist the setting is; usually I'd say that a story needs more, but given how important the dialogue is, and how little everything around Rainbow Dash matters, the sparseness is appropriate. Especially when Sugarcube Corner is rising to do goodness-knows-what. :raritywink:

Does banana bread have any significance? I'm not asking for the story's sake; I just want to understand if the choice has any significance to you or someone else.

“Knives are real,” Rainbow droned. “Nooses and arsenic are real. 'Depression' is just a word."

I hope you don't mind if I share a personal aside (and if you do, them please let me know): in my research on depression, I came across a theory from scientists that depression isn't actually a thing, but not from this logic. The theory stipulated that what we call "depression" is just sorrow—an actual emotion—that is curable by medication. The theory stated that thinking depression was real was harmful, not because it corrupts the mind into a self-fulfilling prophecy, but rather because it gives pharmaceutical companies unnecessary power over people's natural emotions and makes them closer to being a mindless puppet while also polluting the body. I did say earlier that this story seemed coincidental, and this is partly why.

It doesn't have much relevance to the story; I just wanted to express that I can understand that someone can think that depression isn't a thing.

What is odd about it is that this discussion comes into a story about a malingering sense of nihilism. Why would the questionable existence of depression factor into her mindset that nothing matters? This isn't to rebuke what you have, but rather to put forth my genuine curiosity. It would make sense for Rainbow Dash to brush off the feeling of depression, or accept it and continue being so without hope of consolation, but given that she feels cancer is something that exists and cannot be stopped, saying that depression isn't a thing because it can't be controlled or cured doesn't make sense to me (or, on another vein, that cancer is a thing that can't currently be cured, and so that wouldn't be something that exists... either? That sounded so much better in my mind).

Perhaps it's a cry for help? Perhaps she is afraid of cancer's incurability but knows it's a real thing, so depression being mainly a mental thing gives her a chance to rebuke it? So her friends could find some other way to help her through this? That may be a stretch, but I think it's worth looking through the possibilities.

On that note, I want to talk about two things together, if you don't mind.

“That... sounds less like a crime and more like habit.”

“No.” Rainbow summoned the strength to shake her head. “The real crime is going back to sleep... and waking up the next day to do it all again.”

“You say that now...” Rainbow muttered. “But after all the cider is gone and I wake up from the reverie, I'll just be back to where I was again.”

“Mmmhmmm...” Twilight nodded. “...and sometime after that, you'll be happy again also.” She wagged her eyebrows. “Is that a crime too?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Twilight laughed.

Rainbow wasn't smiling; perhaps it would have ruined it.

Nevertheless, Twilight wrapped her wing around Rainbow and Rainbow returned the gesture as they both shuffled into Sugarcube Corner... and into the warm (Is this word even necessary? I mean, it's not cold outside, so saying it's warm wouldn't add up to much.., unless Rainbow's feeling cold inside. Ooh, that may be the first true insight into her internal feelings, from being cold and empty to rekindling her spirit. :derpyderp2:) echo of friends.

I think these passage highlights the everlasting importance of friendship. Every one has the exact same day, and exists in the exact same uncaring plane of existence (theoretically). Time doesn't really care what you do and what you don't do. The universe considers you smaller than a neutrino, as something that can be ignored while it's busy birthing galaxies and the rest of the cosmos. Time existed before you were a thought, and will exist after you're forgotten. Your own body, environment, friends and circumstances can betray, harm and kill you at any time. Why should you care for anything? You're just a temporary speck, and whatever you set out to do in a day will only exist in that day, and you'll have to do something different the next day, and the day after, and the day after. It's always new, so it's almost like nothing you do that day matters.

Your friends, however, will remember you. They will remember the goodness and the accomplishments you do, and no matter how much time has passed, you can go back to them and be an almost timeless version of you. You are preserved with them, and they care about you and your state of being, in the past, present and future. There is something that cares about you in this universe, something that you can give goodness to and will actually remember that. That is why I consider friendship important, and I did gain this specific insight from this story.

So thank you.

I didn't catch any spelling or grammar errors, and I had to double-check to see if fuchsia was spelled correctly (it was, I had just forgotten how to spell it). So no worries there.

 “What in the hay are y'all lyin' in the street for? Is this the new 'dabbin' fad that the young folks are all into?”

Pinkie lifted her fluffy head with a smile. “No, you're mixing it up with 'planking!'”

Oh, you younguns and your dabbing and planking and shuffling and twerking and donner and blitzen...

I am curious as to where Fluttershy was. Maybe she was the one who was making Sugarcube Corner rise; she's got a hell of a set of hooves on her. :rainbowhuh:

For the last part, I will separate it into three different scenarios. Please read the one that applies to you the closest, and feel free to ignore the rest.

If you, shortskirtsandexplosions, wrote this story for someone who's suffering from depression

I like how the tension doesn't provide a clear winner in the debate. You were uncompromising with how dark the outlook on life can get, and I know that some people can relate to that. You can use up all of your mental powers to figure out if life has any meaning, and if you should even bother doing anything when eternity will erase all traces of it eventually. And then at the end, a pint or mug of cider is what ends up solving the particular issue; I may be against alcohol in general, but it makes it feel more human, more down-to-earth. It's a very nice thing you did for this person, if that is what happened.

And if that particular person reads this, then don't forget to have some fun, like the story suggests. It may feel like you're not able to do anything, and I am not a therapist or counselor, but in the end, fun is what we call enjoyment in experiencing life, right? Also, don't forget that there are people that care about you. I hope this helps, as it is not just my intention to goad you out of depression, but to help you get to a good place.

If you, shortskirtsandexplosions, are yourself depressed

The chapter title, "You and no one else," gives me this impression. I get the impression that you're the type of person that needs to look into the void of the extremes of life, including the meaning of it, for catharsis' sake. In that case, I hope it helped you out. And got you to grab a pint of cider. Or ale, or whiskey or vodka or ponies or whatever gives you that warm tingly sensation. And if it needs to be reiterated, there are people that care about you. From my research, I have a sneaking suspicion that saying "people care about you" may be detrimental to people with depression, and if you feel that way, then I apologize.

The internal debate you posted here gives me some insight into how you operate as a philosopher, and your willingness to poke fun at reality ("fly east!" "...the comments section...") were nice. The focus on the important things and the mundane, like brushing teeth, painted a vivid picture and immersed me into both the characters and your mind. I just hope I'll be able to find the monorail back to the entrance... I won't encourage you to stop because you need help; I will wish for you,, the strength to keep on keeping on. That may be the only thing I can contribute.

If you, shortskirtsandexplosions, are not suffering from depression

The odd dialogue choices I mentioned yonks ago become a touch more criminal in this instance. It's not that they're confusing; it's that they make the story feel less genuine. That, however, may just be me, for I'm very picky about word choices in stories of greater moral and social weight. The few meta instances may also be a tad trolly—but maybe that's a good thing, so you're attempting to lighten up your readers with some humor. It's almost like a gentle push up from someone's idol; perhaps some people need a chuckle with their depression-related literature. I am a bit of a prude, however (and a massive idiot to boot), so take that with a grain of salt.

All the same, your confrontation of the philosophy of depression in a setting like MLP:FiM feels true to the show and also like it can be applied to humanity in general. It's a genuinely good story. Nice job.

So that ends my review of this story. I thought, for the most part, that everything worked out for its benefit. The philosophy behind it is both humbling and intense, the characters are genuinely likable, all of them, and the sparseness of setting helps focus the story greatly. The writing is top-notch, and the language is, for the most part, significant. It's overall a good story.

This was deep....

Another great little SS&E piece looking at depression and nihilism. Also 8349050 said basically anything I could want to on this story.

The universe was created to give humanity a place to live. Do you feel important yet? :pinkiehappy:


“So it's basically when parts of the body have free reign to run to the finish line, no matter what the rest of the body tells them.”

rein not reiGn
Reins are used to steer a horse
Monarchy, etc.

"Hard" cider I hope ;)
Barenaked Ladies - Alcohol

Sounds so familiar in the family, and this is a family member that has their own house, car, gave up on dogs because they didnt live long enough, goes to new areas to buy stuff occasionally. And who regularly beleives Im taking the piss because compared to me, hes normal.

All I know is that a few years back I decided to have a go at running a thought experiment on total simulation, and I decided to do a pre analysis, and set up some mental engines and protections on the actual thought experiment itself.

Three days later when I returned to coherent thought, I discovered the mental equivalent of a sealed shut badly deformed neutronium blast door, with a single blinking indicator light, for saying the experiment within had been run.

On the far side of that door lies terminal chaos and madness.

Lets see how long it takes for someone to rediscover the wideband holographic atomic level assembler I was looking at in various research articles back at univresity in the late 1980s.

Then again, how long before someone demostrates yes, you can do logic processing with the wave version of quantum mechanics, by using a pressed CD with the right data on it. A billion gigapoint transform in the nanosecond it takes light to reflect off the surface, for less than a dollar.

Now run that as a neural net.

So much fun stuff possible.

So very, Intresting Times.

I have to apologise, apparently Ive lost my notes in which I beleive I demonstrated algorithmic approximations to behaviour that which humans would call mental, neurological disorders, in which the resource availablitiy distribution of a neural net by a watchdog neural net, doesnt match the resource requirement of the processing load demanded, giving whiteout, overrun, brownout, underrun, and so changes which probabilities are used to access information.

Difference in infomation is hallucination, which is a toxicology injestion response.

But, every time Im successful at something, I get ill. Apparently Ive been trained to have a reward aversion response. And then people decry me for asking if anyone else can do it instead of doing it myself if its so easy.

I just try and be here for companionship. No good for freindship as such cos Im broken. Thats why Ive been working for the last 30 years on computer designs, that aint broken. Cos I cant be repaired. But the design can.

Be a deep space scout.

Good verses Evil

Do your best to let the next guy know what killed you.


Let the other sucker go first.:trixieshiftright:

Well shit, you captured that perfectly. I can really relate to the thoughts and feelings of Rainbow, all of which I have experienced at one point or another throughout my life. Gives me some motivation to actually go out and do something good for myself rather than sitting around doing nothing but waiting for the end of the day. Thanks for both making me feel sad and lifting my spirits. Even when I'm being harsh and hard on myself and the world, I will always have people that care about me to keep me going.

...Skirts, you've been a real downer lately.


Damn, you good, skirts?

Nihilism at it's best!:pinkiecrazy:

Every candle only burns for so long, but every moment of light is worth burning for, whether short and brilliant or muted and long.

space is a waste~

You do it to yourself, just you.
And that's what really hurts.

Don't have anything else to add that isn't said already. Neat Radiohead song (regarding a narcissist, which really is a whole other thing I don't wanna get into), existential nihilism, a mention of arsenic (which is too nice of a word for something so dangerous. Ar~se~nic) and friendship, duh. Nothing wrong with a bit of friendship. Not a big fan of drinking your problems away though, but drinking with friends? Makes a whole lot of difference in the world sometimes.

Just that if you're writing this as an outlet, then I'd sure want you to give a little bit more. Might sound cold when I say this, but I feel as though the conundrum of emotions are still being held back to an extent. To put it in a nicer way, it should be fine to let a little of whoever's going through this situation — you, relative, friend of a friend — slip into the story. Doesn't detract from the fact that it's a great story, no question; just wanted to know who or what this story is standing for, if it is standing for anything at all.

No hard feelings, hopefully.

If anything, Skirts has written a lot more cutesy silly fluff in recent years.

Anyone wondering where Fluttershy was, as if the mane six are some kind of toy set, can shove it. I'm giving this an upvote for no other reason than one M6 being neither included nor mentioned.

We must be reading different stories then, 'cause I've been reading this and Appledashery and Ofolrodi, and it's bummin' me out, dude. :twilightoops:

Life is just nature's way of keeping meat fresh

I am impressed. Usually depression I encounter in various stories is the hopeless suicide kind. Rare is it that I have seen someone convey a more apathy focused version. If Dash had a little bit of occasional rage at the futility it would have been pretty close to a mirror of what I was like before I started taking medication to normalize my brains chemical output. My compliments.


So much fun.

What's surprising, is that this is a very accurate depiction of my own feelings right now. Lethargy and apathy.

A nice zinger to be sure :twilightsmile:

“And why should there be?” Rainbow muttered. “Cancer is just a product of life. Your body does what it does best—what it knows how to do—and still it ends up being a knife in the back. ”

She actually has a point about cancer, our cells are literally programmed to die, a cancer cell is just one that refuses to die.

Funny though that cider is now the cure for their depression. Or at least a suppressant.

“Why s-sure you do!” Twilight chuckled, gesturing in the air. “You could be doing flight stunts! Practicing for the Wonderbolts! Kicking clouds! Flying east!” She grinned, wagging her eyebrows. “You could even be playing practical jokes on the rest of us like you always used to.”

...I get it!

“Woohoo!” Pinkie Pie—fluffy again—hopped after her. “I just can't wait to drink the comments section! Er... I mean whole pint of cider!”

Because Skirts knew how fucked our brains would be after reading this!

We're programmed to want unlimited stuff...

I need it!
I want it!
I can't live without it!

“Allllllllllrighty then...” Applejack nervously tipped the brim of her hat back and slowly pulled the cart towards Sugarcube Corner. “...and this is why I never subscribe to Facebuck.”

Truer words have never been spoken. The life you live is your own, not a contest or entertainment for others. If you need others to validate your life, or you need theirs to fill the emptiness in yours. You have way to much free time on your hands.

Rainbow Dash froze in the middle of being frozen. One ear moved. Then the next. Finally—with the grace of an exploding interrobang—her deadpan face lifted. “Did she say cider? ”

There she is. I was wondering if she was in there somewhere.

“Woohoo!” Pinkie Pie—fluffy again—hopped after her. “I just can't wait to drink the comments section! Er... I mean whole pint of cider!”


This story reinforces my opinion that the modern world, and most forms of mass media or social networks, work so hard to try and make a population of people that believe in nothing. That is to say, that a lot of people nowadays don't have strong convictions, or a solid moral foundation.

The Universe is such a huge thing, and we are so small in it, that if you don't have something greater the yourself to center on, then you can be washed away, or worn down into dust. That's why people in all ages have tried to be part of something larger. A Family, a tribe, a clan, a city, a nation or the human race. Everybody wants more then anything not to be alone.

I can't remember who said "Stand for something, or you'll fall for anything" But it is a good one.

Can we expect a 'Pop Is Dead' inspired story anytime soon?

 “Would it... make you feel better if I joined you?”

For the first time that entire afternoon, Rainbow didn't have a retort. Not even a sigh.

I think that's the most important part of this story. Let's die together, Skirts.

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