• Member Since 25th Mar, 2015
  • offline last seen Yesterday

The Hat Man

Specialties include comedy, robots, and precision strikes to your feelings. Hobbies include hat and watch collecting. May contain alcohol.


A series of strange and singular stories picked properly from a proliferation of perplexing and pleasing prompts now audaciously authored into an annotated anthology by a meticulous, methodical man in a high, haughty hat.

...Or, to put it simply, this is a collection of tasty, bite-sized stories typically written for speed-writing contests or just because the fancy took me!

I hope you enjoy them! Kindly consider adding it to a bookshelf as stories will be ongoing.

Cover art by Colby Green at Snailbunny Designs.

Chapters (12)
Comments ( 47 )

And this is one of those reasons why Pinkie secretly has a major in psychology.

Her party cave has a psychiatrist's couch in case of emergencies. :raritywink:

“Rainbow!” Applejack shouted, seeing her friend standing over the shards of a smashed vase. “What in the hay is wrong with you! Ya can’t just go smashin’ other ponies’ things to find loot!”

“Oh, no, it’s all right,” Cookie Cruncher said, waving her hoof dismissively. “I’m not sure why, but I’m fine with it.”

“See?” Rainbow Dash said, sticking her tongue out at Applejack. “It’s fine! You guys keep talking to her. I’m going upstairs to look through her dresser and stuff.”

This story was an absolute delight to read and I have rarely laughed this much over a fanfic, well done. This is good comedy through and through. :pinkiehappy:

That doesn't suprise me that mrs.Drops is cheating on Mr.Drops.

The bigger surprise is that she just admitted it. :rainbowlaugh:

I wasn't expecting Maud to actually take the potion, so an alternate ending popped into my head:


"Okay, Maud," Pinkie Pie said, "so the potion wasn't the best of ideas, but my new idea is going to knock your socks off! So go get some socks and put them on, so it can knock them off!"

Maud Pie tilted her head the tiniest of fractions. "What is it?" she said, looking at the small object Pinkie was holding. It was a small yellow disc with three black marks on it: two dots on one half, and a straight line on the other. It looked a little like musical notation.

"It's an emotion badge!" Pinkie said, holding it up with the dots on the top half. "I just stick this to you -" She pressed it against Maud's chest, and it clung as if taped in place. "- and anypony who looks at it can see how you feel!"

Maud slowly blinked. Out of her field of view, the horizontal line curved downward and tilted to one side. "I don't get it."

(Fake author's note: 😐 😕)

It was about that last few paragraphs that the Veritas serum Sweetie slipped in everyone's food began to kick in.

And then the wine. So much wine. In vino, mor Veritas. By the end of it, Lyra and Bon Bon had found out they all had membership in the same herding club and had probably done things together the two mares never, ever wanted to know. But did.

600 bits of wine, a few dessert brandies and a jelly donut later is a story that will remain untold. By me. And don't ask Lyra, she just sits there and froths a bit something something married something half sister.

Cute idea! But I think you may have misconstrued the ending a bit. You see, it's actually meant to be ambiguous as to whether Maud took the potion or not. Draw your own interpretation from that as you will, though. :raritywink:

I guess what I meant is that I expected her to reject the potion.

10850209 I meant that I expected her to clearly and unambiguously reject the potion in a way that could not possibly be misconstrued.

...given the cover art, I was expecting - okay, hoping beyond hope - that at least one of these would be set in The Iron Horse timeline.

...I miss Turing and her family...and her world...

Well, these were fun! Unsurprisingly. :)
Thank you for writing!

I should probably clarify this a bit...
See, the purpose of having Turing, Gadget, and 002 on the cover is mainly to imply that my characters and imagination are influencing me as I write, just as the other canonical characters are. It's also a nice bonus for longtime readers. :twilightsmile:

But to the issue, I'll start by saying that there are unpublished Iron Horse stories and they will be published. The only question is if they'll be part of this anthology or not.

The dilemma is that I want this collection to be open to anyone and everyone. The kind of thing anyone can pick up and read some enjoyable stories. I worry that having entries from the Turing-verse will be problematic for those readers who would be in unfamiliar territory. Of course, the flipside is that it might be an enjoyable and easy way to introduce new readers to The Iron Horse characters, and I of course also want to keep my longtime readers and fans of Turing Test happy. Hence the dilemma. :twilightblush:

So, to reiterate: there will be more Turing Test stories. The only question is if they'll end up in this collection or elsewhere.

Hope that provides some helpful information. Thanks for commenting, and let me know if you have any opinion on the matter. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you for that information. I do enjoy the story snippets presented so far, and I'm definitely looking forward to what comes next in The Iron Horse-verse. Hearing there are stories of it already written but not yet published makes me very happy and eager to see what comes next.

...heh, had this silly idea a while back of 002 building 'children' of her own to duplicate the magic of the non-pony races, starting with one based on Changelings...only to get frustrated when said new bot promptly decides they want to go meet the rest of the family.

Lovely collection and a wonderfully heartwarming capstone. You don't see Starswirl solve a problem without banishing it very often. Thank you for it all.

Glad you liked it! There should be a few more new entries soon!

The illusion of a spark never lights the fire.

Well, that was interesting. Not quite a utopia, indeed.

Well, a properly cast one, at least; I can imagine some young unicorns having different experiences while trying to figure out their magic. :D

I like it.

From time to time I stumble upon writings like this which help me (even if temporarily) with fighting my laziness. / lack of motivation

(Though I'm happy at least that I know my passions.)

It's a temporary help (to get a longer-term one I'll need to keep improving my discipline and openness more and more) but it's a help nevertheless.

Thanks. :)

Quietly horrifying, and all too believable as Equetria's future imperfect. Very nice work.

On the morning of Clipper's 21st birthday, Hayworth woke him with a polite, but loud chime.

"Good morning, Clipper. I have an important message for you from Optimal Enterprises. Now that you are 21 years old, you are eligible to -"

"Ugh," Clipper said, voice muffled by his pillow. "Hayworth, it's too early for this -"

Hayworth continued as if Clipper hadn't spoken. "- join an experimental program to cure Automation-Based Delayed Development. If you would like to participate -"

Clipper looked up from his pillow, still bleary from oversleeping but vaguely aware that Hayworth was saying something actually important.

"- simply read the text on your hoofheld device aloud, which will constitute your signature and authorize Optimal Enterprises to treat you for this condition."

It took a moment more for Clipper to process what he'd heard, but when he spoke, it was with an eagerness he hadn't shown in some time. "If I do this, they can give me a cutie mark?"

"While the process is experimental, results to date have been highly successful," Hayworth said, tone as neutral as always.

That was all Clipper needed to hear; the pegasus groped at his bedside table, retrieving his PDA and squinting at the screen until the words came into focus. "'I, Clipper, do hereby authorize Optimal Enterprises to enroll me in the Satisfaction Program and to take whatever measures are necessary to cure my ABDD and provide me with a cutie mark,'" he read. "So now what?"

Hayworth didn't answer. Clipper's bedroom door sliding open, revealing two severe-looking ponies in matching OE jumpsuits, was answer enough.

"Hello, and welcome to Mane and Tail!" Clipper said, grinning broadly at the young unicorn and the older earth pony as they stepped into the salon. "I'm Clipper, and I'll be your personal assistant today. How may I assist you?"

The older pony's lip curled in distaste, but she replied politely, "My daughter needs a mane cut, so she'll look nice for her birthday party."

"I'm eight!" the younger pony said, a single spark jumping from her horn in her excitement. "And I just got my cutie mark!" She turned to show it off, a cluster of yellow flowers, and her mother smiled indulgently at her.

"Primroses for my little Primrose," she said. Then her expression turned sour again as she looked at Clipper, who just grinned at the two of them.

"That's wonderful!" he said, turning slightly to show his own, an electric trimmer and comb. "I remember how excited I was to get my own cutie mark. What kind of mane cut would you like?"

As Primrose chattered and Clipper led her to one of the styling stations, her mother shuddered slightly, looking around the salon at the other ponies working. All of them had bright eyes and broad grins, as if nothing brought them more joy than working at this strip mall haircut shop. All of them had cutie marks related to cutting, styling, or cleaning. And all of them, in the corner of those cutie marks, had an identical symbol: a horseshoe-like U curled around a disc sliced to look like an E, all in chrome.

These next-gen automatons are so creepy, she thought. They almost look like real ponies.

Well... that was f:yay:king horrifying, thank you!

But seriously, well played. I doubt I'd write an "Outer Limits" style twist like this, but I enjoyed the darker take on the story. :pinkiecrazy:

I briefly considered an alternate last line that didn't have those dark implications, instead implying that Clipper, and the other ponies, had been forcibly given cutie marks (in a variation of Starlight Glimmer and Twilight Sparkle's respective cutie mark manipulation spells) and, with them, the desire and urge to act on the resulting special talents, so they were Very Happy doing what they'd been assigned.

I did say it didn't have those dark implications.

Well, that was quite intriguing. I definitely like the idea of Flim and Flam being the ones to come up with the concept of "credit cards" for Equestria...and the way they're doing it is actually on the up-and-up. Everyone involved knows exactly what they're getting into from the start (assuming they read the contracts fully), and everyone makes money. And currency being metal in Equestria, it even makes sense that whatever percentage per transaction that Flim and Flam receive as the 'credit company' is probably less than those businesses pay handling that much heavy gold.
...I like it.

"Rarity asked as they stood in the aisle at Barnyard Bargains a few days ago."
"Rarity asked as they stood in the aisle at Barnyard Bargains a few days later."?

(I wasn't reading with editing in mind, but that one jumped out at me.)

“Ma’am, please, you’ve broken so many doors already!” cried the secretary chasing her.

Applejack has dramatic entrances to spare, and she will keep using them until she finds somepony who can appreciate them.

And it is always nice to see the Flimflams use their talents constructively... though I do have to wonder when and how the other shoe will drop. Those two can never stay out of the game for long...

So...Smolder is Gender Fluid? ...I can see it.
Very adorable and heartwarming, nice seeing them like that.

And I've now gotten to the three of these, and enjoyed them; thank you for writing. :)

Lovely stuff in all three. Very different tones in each, but all of them were enjoyable.

Oh, this is adorable. I do love a good bit of "They've never even been in the same room"-tier crackshipping, especially when the pairing actually works.

Yeah, I love that too. :heart: This was done for the May Pairings thing, but it ended up being too late for it. Still, I thought it was a fun little story that deserved to see the light of day.

"and started tell him about them on her"
"and started telling him about them on her"?

Nice. :)
Glad I finally got to this, and thank you for writing!

Login or register to comment