• Member Since 31st Aug, 2018
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Ghost Mike


Hardcore animation enthusiast chilling away in this dimension and unbothered by his non-corporeal form. Also likes pastel cartoon ponies. They do that to people. And ghosts.

E

Even if it probably won't measure up to those back in Canterlot, Twilight is so excited now that the Ponyville Science Fair is upon them. A chance to see what the town's young minds have cooked up to show their intellectual prowess to the wider world? She can't wait!

Course, she didn't count on Pinkie Pie entering what she assumed was a foal-only event. Turns out that due to an odd loophole, there's nothing stopping grown ponies from competing.


An entry for the first Thousand Words Contest.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 11 )

Poor Derpy. A muffin that inducted electricity would probably win any science fair in the human world.

Comment posted by MechaTomX deleted May 28th, 2022

Blueberry muffins have more energy than bran muffins.

A cockatrice makes things into rock.
Pinkie was raised on a rock farm.
Coincidence?

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For all we know, maybe she did win last year. :raritywink: Though such a victory would just give a repeat performance all the more reason for disqualification.

In any case, given how inconsistent electricity and its relation to magic is in the show, it’s in the eye of the beholder how impressive a muffin lamp is in Equestria.

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Was wondering how long it would be before someone spotted that. Good spot!

Maybe in a longer piece that was actually about the ramifications of Pinkie’s study proper, rather than the face-turn of her project losing points from minimal evidence and not getting more than one sample instead of its supposed “ridiculousness”, it might have been more than an Easter Egg. But I liked using it this way.

My frank appraisal it that it's nice. Not great or spectacular or griping or anything. Just nice. like a cool breeze just floating along.
While I am not going to favor it, it does (barely) get a thumbs up from me.
It almost needs to be longer but with how light it is making any longer might just bring it down. I could see it being a prolog to a greater, or at least larger, story.

Fun stuff, but the titular gag just doesn't hold up for me. The side attractions land better, but as you noted, the whole story ends up feeling lightweight. Mind you, it's very hard to avoid that with a thousand-word maximum limit. You still managed to fit an entire plot arc in here, which is more than I can say for some entries.

And yeah, after last year's lemon poppyseed dynamo, Best Pony really shouldn't expect a repeat with the same project. :derpyderp2:

Again, quite entertaining. Thank you for it and best of luck in the judging.

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I’m in complete agreement that the titular gag doesn’t quite work, mostly just skating by with a “I get it, but eh” reaction. Mostly due to the difficulty of crafting 1,000-word stories, a skill I don’t feel I’ve nearly mastered yet; I can’t even claim the first 1500-word draft was better, the tightness all came in the planning stage.

Hence framing the main plot as basically a framework for silly project gags scattered throughout. For if it fumbled, at least there’d be enough chuckles that the reader enjoyed their time. Helped by ending on the best gag (though I think the Lyra/Spike bit is very nearly as good), one I set aside 100 whole words to sell, knowing it needed them. I’m happy to hear it was quite entertaining for you, that’s the best-case scenario for this featherweight piece. Thanks very much!

In some alternate universe, I’m sure, I instead wrote an episode-length story in “Trade Ya!” mode with different science fair stories for many ponies, and I have no doubt it was better. Maybe some day in this universe.

“Isn’t this exciting, Spike?” Twilight skipped into the Ponyville Schoolhouse. “Young minds bursting with creativity, ready to show their intellect to the wider world!”

“Intellect.” Spike’s eyes lingered on Snips and Snails straining to remove green goo from a placard reading ‘Does Slime Make Plants Grow?’ “Right.”

this is already a great Twilight/Spike interaction! augh, Twilight's perhaps-unwarranted enthusiasm is just so infectious, i love her

“You hungry?” Like a hoof to a harp, Lyra was beside Spike. “How’s about some gem-sprinkled cupcakes? My treat!” Leg around him, she steered him away, though Spike didn’t seem bothered whatsoever.

ahaha well, that is a bit worrying!

Next to Twist’s study on sweets coated with donut powder, Filthy Rich’s butler was setting up a diamond worth display while Diamond Tiara lounged. Her mouth tightening, Twilight scanned past Pinkie, stopping on Sunny Daze and Peachy Pie’s tray of snails underneath ‘Do Gastropods Like Poetry?’ –

aww, visual gags that could be ripped right from the show, in prose form!

“But – Pinkie, what are you doing? You can’t compete! Science Fairs are for pupils! Foals!”

ahaha, yes, Pinkie is the perfect foil to Twilight's rule-bound indignation!

Frowning, Twilight started reading. “‘Olive Orange. One of the brightest young minds of his generation. After a unicorn circus mishap turned him into a stallion, there wasn’t time to reverse-engineer the age spell. But as he’d toiled away on his project for weeks, the Ponyville Science Fair committee extended the age limit.’”

i mean, did the spell also put him in a time hole to accumulate an adulthood's worth of experiences and knowledge? if not, Equestria's interpretation of just what constitutes a pony's age does raise some worrying questions...

‘A Study on the Prophetic Effects of Birthmarks as They Relate to a Pony’s Destiny. By Madame Pinkie Pie’.

aww, great to see Madame Pinkie making a comeback! augh, that was so cute on the show

“…Your scalp?” Time seemed to slow as memories Twilight would have rather forgotten resurfaced. “That wouldn’t be the one you showed me while we studied your Pinkie Sense, would it?”

ahaha yeah, Twilight really would have rather forgotten that!

How foolish could Pinkie be, to come up with a borderline-revolutionary idea, and then squander it on artistic opinion?

aww, Twilight! haven't you learned what Pinkie Pie's all about by now?

“Don’t worry, Pinkie.” Smiling, Cheerilee leaned in. “Between you and me, yours is the best adult project so far.” She trotted off, leaving Twilight and Pinkie alone.

ehehe, a fun distinction

“Oh?” Twilight felt a weight leave her chest. If they were evaluated on different criteria, she supposed letting grown ponies compete wasn’t so bad, odd historical holdover be darned.

do love how much Twilight cares about how the rules of things work

“Hey Pinkie.” Spike walked up, pulling a cart loaded with cupcakes. “Cool project! Beats Lyra’s, anyway – she needed a comparison for her ‘Dexterial Fingered Glove’. Like redoing data this late will work out.”

ah, her need for Spike makes a lot of sense, in retrospect!

Cheerilee looked to her companions, all equally unamused. Shaking her head, she whipped out a rubber stamp. “Dis…quali…fied.” Puncturing the verdict, she trotted off, leaving Derpy to wilt down.

you know, given Derpy's established track record in competitions, i definitely expected this to end on the absurdist note of everypony around praising her brilliance to the skies, much to Twilight's chagrin! but still, a perfect and adorable bit of Derpy logic, and grumpy Cheerilee is always a great Cheerilee.


a fun slice of life that feels very much immersed in the world of the canon show! it was great to spend a bit of time with these characters, as well as to reminisce about canon events, as Pinkie points out directly in her fourth wall-breaking way. thank you for writing it!

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Well, this was a pleasant surprise! I see you've posted similar reactionary play-by-play comments on very nearly all entries for the Thousand Words Contest. Wrote them up on initial read while judging and saved them in reserve for after the winners announcement, eh? That's very nice of you! As others have noted, it can be very hard to feel good if one's story doesn't get much or any reactions, and something like this really boosts one's morale. Especially when it's commenting reactionary thoughts you have as you go – for the author reading that, it's like sitting in a cinema watching an audience watch a film you worked on. Or something. So, thank you very much.

this is already a great Twilight/Spike interaction! augh, Twilight's perhaps-unwarranted enthusiasm is just so infectious, i love her

Me too. If you haven't gathered, the Twilight/Spike relationship and interactions is one of my favourite/most important things in the show. Any chance I get to write them, I take it. And yes, I had her in Look Before You Sleep in mind as I wrote this.

aww, visual gags that could be ripped right from the show, in prose form!

Well, minus the projects having readable titles here when the show has no onscreen readable text (excepting one or two early episodes). Adapted for the new medium! That said, it's another reason why this would perhaps work great as a comic: I can just picture a one-page panel of the schoolhouse with these and other project gags, and it is glorious.

i mean, did the spell also put him in a time hole to accumulate an adulthood's worth of experiences and knowledge? if not, Equestria's interpretation of just what constitutes a pony's age does raise some worrying questions...

Yeah, I'd say this is the one part that actually suffered from cutting down the word count (everything else that felt rushed got there via the planning stage). This explanation flowed a little better initially, and had better comic timing, rather then just skating by uneventfully.

aww, great to see Madame Pinkie making a comeback! augh, that was so cute on the show

But is this a comeback? Maybe this happens before It's About Time. :pinkiegasp: Let's just say the strikethrough on the Madame part is telling…

ah, her need for Spike makes a lot of sense, in retrospect!

The fact that I, someone heavily against using fandom memes for a cheap gag, included a side wink at Lyra's human obsession should illustrate how much I knew this gag would kill.

you know, given Derpy's established track record in competitions, i definitely expected this to end on the absurdist note of everypony around praising her brilliance to the skies, much to Twilight's chagrin! but still, a perfect and adorable bit of Derpy logic, and grumpy Cheerilee is always a great Cheerilee.

This ending is basically the whole reason for the story; it lived in my head as a four-panel comic for months. And fair point off that flashback in The Cart Before the Ponies, but if anypony would not give Derpy a free pass, it'd be Cheerilee. Plus, never give the audience what they expect if there's something better.

as well as to reminisce about canon events, as Pinkie points out directly in her fourth wall-breaking way

I mean, I wouldn't say that was the point of the story, given most of the past events referred to were invented for this story. Pinkie saying that was just her putting a sunny disposition on anything, as she does. But in another sense, this was a deliberate yet subtle throwback to those early show years, with Twilight and Spike's particular characterisation especially feeling very akin to something like It's About Time.

I'm not gonna claim the characterisation here is standout, you wouldn't have to search far to find similar quality in fics back then (or now, if there were more than a trickle of new fics set in the Unicorn Twilight era these days). It's nothing many authors couldn't do in their sleep. But it is subtly effective and has a base competency, and judging by your remarks on varying moments of Twilight, Pinkie and Spike, it worked. Paired with the fun side gags, which is really the point and justification for the whole story (it very much is a cartoon sitcom in written form), it's enough to skate over the plot's main thrust not quite working, and make this a nice, humorous little snack. Thanks for reading, dear!

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