• Member Since 24th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago

Wise Cracker

Just some guy who likes chaos magic, ponies, and Blender. Getting moderately good at vector art in Inkscape and Synfig, learning animation, maybe some web design when he can.


Rumble's got his cutie mark! Yay!

And he's hiding it. He doesn't seem too happy about it. Yay?

Making his way to the library for some advice from Twilight, Rumble must now come to terms with the talent that Fate has bestowed upon him.

Easier said than done when your cutie mark is an embarrassing one.

Submitted to the second Author Support Writing Prompt, with the theme "You are a foal, and you have just received your cutie mark."

The original got positive feedback, and very helpful comments. It actually won the prompt, which was quite a surprise considering the rush job. The comments have been heeded, hopefully this version is better content-wise. Some scenes are radically changed compared to the original, hopefully for the better. My thanks to BronyMaster; Peregrine Caged, SunnyDaze and Tricondon, this story would not be the same without your input.

Edit: While it's been in the Padded Cell for a while (no clue how it got there and how it got there so quickly), it is now also posted on Discord's Domain, since Equestria Daily is just too scary for me. Exuberance!
Edit again: No more Padded Cell? *le sigh*
Edit 3: Return of the Author. Now gotten under the hooves of WRITE, and reception was positive. Some alterations may happen at a later date.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 91 )

Probably the funniest thing I've ever written was, "Yeah, it's a gynecology cutie mark. I'd show it to you, but...it's a gynecology cutie mark."

Oh, and: He did't look threatening, he genuinely looked like he was just asing a friendly question

Ok. Its good, but somehow i cant come up with much to say. Loved the implication thing were the readers left to (try to) figure out whats actually going on before its spelled out (i failed twice).
Still, nice. 1 Like from me.

For a second I thought... umm.... hehe...

But great story. Loved it. Only one mistake I could find.

I can be should have an 'a' after be real bully without even trying

Thanks for catching that one. A lot of the original is still there, but the final confrontation was re-written. It's hard to catch in the Edit mode...anyway, glad you liked it!

So... does this mean that Rumble can activate V.A.T.S now?

8 Trigrams; 64 Hooves!

Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery? I'm not sure, actually. I guess what his talent is about is feeling soft spots and instinctively knowing how and where to touch them. So: think Byakugan, but in the hooves, not the eyes. And obviously he doesn't have the whole Gentle Fist Style combat going...I'm saving that and Sharingan ponies for the Flight Camp sequel. :pinkiehappy:

Dammit, man, you posted it before I could even reply that. But really, that sort of thing is also going to show up in another work in the works.

No. It's the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System. Basically, you have a really good idea on which part of the body you should target if you want to disable your enemies.

I thought most bronies are well ware of Fallout as- Wait...you got the joke, didn't you?

...Now that I think of it, Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery actually sounds relevant.

Now I get the joke, yes. And no, Fallout is one of those things I'm not aware of. I'm Flemish; according to our television stations Korra premiered three weeks ago and there's only one season of MLP. Games-wise...I don't play much anymore. But yeah, that would be a fair comparison.


Caught and corrected. Again: that bit got revised a few times, even while it was in queue, I think. Oh well, serves me right, I suppose.:twilightsheepish:

I was thinking more of Fist of the North Star myself.


If this is complete, don't forget to mark it as such.

Wow. Can't believe I missed that. Blame it on working on the cover pic for so long. Doing the entire pony before cutting to the head is not an energy-efficient way of going about it, turns out...

Anyway, hope you like it.

dat power of suggestion. I was freaking out at first, like "ZOHEMGEE SEX!!"
Made me lol, thanks.

Ah, yes. The power to destroy an opponent's nervous system with little more than a few well placed strikes. :rainbowdetermined2:
Martial Arts Masters and Chiropractors from around the globe will be beating a trail to his door.dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_Rainbow_dealwithit.png

Haha, this is seriously well-done. You had me going for a while there. :rainbowwild:

Great job!

Reaction to first part:
Reaction to last part:
Well played, well written, and well resolved.

oh god i lost it at the last line...

"with all the dignity of Big Macintosh in a girdle":rainbowlaugh:

Thanks. I'm pretty proud of that one, actually. The whole thing was supposed to be a bit of a social commentary on the fact that girls are now allowed to behave outside of their gender roles, but guys still need to compensate when they act girly in some way. In other words: Scootaloo can be a tomboy, but Rumble has to be a manly man...or a stalliony stallion, I'm not sure. I should get a pic of Rumble walking off with a smug look, actually, or him getting new clothes. Anyways, I digress.

As I said when I first submitted this to the prompt:

The first half is a sex joke, the second half is a joke about the sexes. And judging from the reaction, not a bad one...:yay:

You can thank the good people at Author Support for the resolution. Originally Rumble just talked about his talent and only mildly threatened Diamond Tiara. This was considered a bit bland by the judges, and in retrospect I have to agree. The problem is that this story was pretty happy-go-lucky in tone, and adding violence creates a dissonance to this. As a matter of fact, one person felt it out of character and even out of show style that Twilight would show a foal how to hurt others. It's a fair point, so I made that bit a little more cautious. I found a middle ground that I hope everyone is okay with.

One thing that didn't make it in, F.Y.I., was the scene shifting to the books he now carried. One would be titled "Caring Hooves: 100 Points Everyone Wishes You Knew". The other would be called "Regions of Agony: 100 Spots Everyone Wishes You Didn't Know". It seemed funny to add it, but it's kinda pointless. Too much tell, not enough show, I guess.

Anyways, thanks for the comments and the likes. I'm shocked at how popular this thing is, actually. It's never going to get featured, but still...:yay:

It's a pretty well-written story, though I'd think some people would be a bit confused as to what exactly was Rumble's cutie mark. It's never really out-and-out stated.

Some lieing Train Wreck Explorer just Choo Chood this story. Hopefully it can get removed as fast as possible.

1304722 It was added to the Padded Cell. That's a good thing, and should be considered an honor.

1304799 isnt the padded cell a way of saying "how the buck do people like this?!" idk, that's what i was able to infer

Thank you Padded Cell, this was really good. I would love to give you something to improve with, but beyond spelling issues, nothing to be found. Loved what you did in the beginning. "Why, there are lots of ponies who do it for a living, even right here in Ponyville.", the mental image of pony prostitutes still has not left, and is still really damn funny. 5/5 my good sir.

Isn't the padded cell for when people need to unwind. What's better than a humorous fluff fic that had 59 upvotes to 0 downvotes when it was added?

1304873 ah. that makes more sense.

Wonder who the idiot who saw the thing enter TWE and downvoted it was?

This is an awesome bit of commentary, but you could really take this into at the very LEAST a few more chapters, if not more, maybe delving into Rumble's life after earning his Cutie Mark, exploring his new talent(s) involving it, learning whatever trade he takes an interest in given his skill with his hooves....et-cetera. Or maybe skip to him being older, bypassing all of that stuff to just get into his life when he's older, or maybe the love life that comes with him growing up.

Much like Rumble's special talent, you have plenty of options there. Of course you could also just leave it a one-shot of coolness, but I really think it could be even better as something with more chapters to it. You're a good writer, I'm confident you could concoct a damn good storyline for this whole scenario. :raritywink:

1304943 actually not me.

1304825 "The padded cell" is the place where people put stories when they think they have the makings of a classic. Personally, I don't think this story was that good. But it was a pretty good fic. =3

1305049 the name "padded cell" is a bit misleading

Wasn't blaming you... just was asking a rhetorical question.

1305074 ah. it kinda seemed like u were. My mistake.

1305057 Heh, yea. I get that. Honestly, I'm not sure what the motivation for that particular name was, but as it's called that I s'pose there's not much we can really do about it, eh? :twilightsmile:

This was a great story. A chuckle-worthy take on Rumble's cutie mark.

Yes, it was out and out stated. It's a slender pink hoof pushing into line that represents some pony's back. It's described right after Rumble laments that it's pink. Don't tell me I deleted that bit by accident? Though, to be fair: I guess I should really make a pic of it. Maybe it is unclear. On the 'to-do' list it goes!

Spelling issues? Where? Some readers have already pointed out silly things I missed, the reviewers at Author Support offered grammar advice (I didn't know spacing inside the quotation marks was wrong...might be a cultural difference). Oh, if you're referring to the spelling of 'encyclopaedia', I tend to put things in British English. That might have confused some.

Great. That's exactly what I needed: another story that's dying for a sequel :facehoof:. First Quorum Sensing sequel, then Ponyville's First Warrior Meet (spoiler alert: sequel to my Flight Camp thingie), then maybe I'll look into this if I can come up with a good plotline. Problem is: I keep writing the same young male characters: gentle, shy, but capable of hurting others and scared because of it. I'd have to think on it to see how I can make that more original.

And, incidentally: that one downvote came quite quickly after posting, I think it had 20 votes up at the time. I don't mind; some people just don't like this sort of thing. And any addition to a group means more exposure, so yay! :yay:

Delightful read. I love how you turned the sex joke around.

"feeling kinky" LOL

and you damn well can picture kids saying crap like that and completely misinterpreting the meaning.

That was what I was talking about. The differences between British and American always surprise me.

You don't have to be proud of who you are, what you do, or what you like.

But you don't ever have to be ashamed of it either.

One of the best messages. (Massages?) :derpytongue2:

Write on! :twilightsmile:

Heheh, thanks. One of the main things I wanted to do with this story was to make a light joke fic that still had some depth and plot. I've seen a few stories get really popular with just the joke, but I rarely find myself liking those. People who don't like the joke can still enjoy the message, at least that's what I hoped for.

Man, this thing's my most popular story yet. What the hay? :rainbowderp:

((This is going to be pretty minimalist for one of my drive-by critiques.))

Rumble did have slightly feminine features
-Interesting. The first thing I thought of when you started getting into this was this:

(at around 48 seconds)
(and later this)
[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5uqmfJ9mGw#t=10m08s] (at around 10 minutes, 8 seconds)
And noting that the masseuse seems to be male, and slightly more thick-limbed (and thus muscular by implication) and larger-bodied than the average pony. Of course, I later made the connection that you were making a point about it being OK for a male to have "girly" traits.
Still later I am put in mind of the "Fluttershy Kills Massages a Bear" scene which certainly demonstrated a need for strength. I wonder if that scene inspired you? Of course, I could see Fluttershy being tired if she had to do that twice in a row. Then again, the muscle tissues for endurance aren't as bulgy as those for short-term raw strength.

With a sigh, Twilight closed the books and revealed their covers.
-I like keeping the mystery at this point, but some readers may be a bit slow, so you might want to slip in something about Rumble being happy he had stayed up late studying "Pressure Points for Self-Defense" or whatever you want to call the book... probably something a bit more general than that being about martial arts, rather than pressure points specifically.

It was rare to see a boy with good colour coding.
-I suggest replacing "coding" with "coordination".

-I never even noticed the masseur pony. Damn, there goes that sequel idea... :derpytongue2:
As for inspiration: I saw the prompt and I thought: "Okay, everyone's going to do something with being happy to discover their talent. I need some sort of way to make getting a talent seem plausible (since in my headcanon they get it from pride, not the act), yet they can't be too happy about it after getting it. So Rumble walks in, he wants information on his cutie mark, and he's embarrassed about it."

I literally just took the prompt and went with it. That, and I'm a practising chaoist (fancy way of saying 'into magic of all sorts'), so I have books on massage and pressure points lying around. What inspired me was 'Path Notes of an American Ninja Master'. Particularly important are the bits where the author insists that in all martial arts the softer hand is considered the best, and that a lot of Oriental doctors are also martial artists. Or vice versa, I forget.

Soo...this weird stuff is my stock in trade, really. Dash of Gold handled nigredo/Dark Night of the Soul from a biological perspective, my Flight Camp fic handled (spoiler!) Kundalini Syndrome ponified, Quorum Sensing used morphic fields and...well, quorum sensing as a plot device. This one handles pressure points and gender stereotyping, my next entry into the prompt involves the occult history behind the use of gems. I'm also a big fan of Jungian psychology, what little I know of it, and I like to think it shows.

-The book titles...yeah, some readers might have problems with that, but I've already got one last punchline for the end, and putting that in between it would dilute some of the impact, I feel. Putting it in as an epilogue? Maybe, but I'd need a good reason for that. Why would he stay up all night if he's not that overly excited about it? He can wait, as it stands now. It just seems like a scene that belongs in a different story. And as for the actual book title: see above comments for that.

Again: my main concern was to get a oneshot comedy fic that's not just about one big joke. People can still like it even if they see the punchline coming a mile away (which some have, btw). I'm getting response about how funny the sex joke is and how accurate the social commentary is, which is pretty darn surprising from where I'm sitting. I didn't think it'd catch on, really :twilightblush:. It's not featured, but I don't care: people like it.

-Word 'coding' changed to 'coordination'. How that happened, I have no idea, that's just embarrassing :unsuresweetie:. The odd thing is: my sister has a book on colour coordination (used to fix my OC, Doldrum Whimper), but I didn't think of the right word in English.

Thanks for the feedback, it means worlds to me.

Rumble is now one of the most badass and masculine colts in Equestria.
That boy is going to get all the mares when he's older.

Last line, you mean, or the confrontation or threatened dress-up? The last line was just to drive home the main point of the story. It's also a mental image that I'm sure will haunt a few nightmares.

1511112 The last line, mostly. I lost it. :eeyup:

This! This is possibly the cutest and simply most hilarious thing I've read in quite some time. Congratulations on making laugh so hard I can barely breath. Thank you!

How to respond to such a comment? What could possibly convey all the emotions elicited by such constructive feedback.

I can't think of anything. Fluttershy, you have any ideas?


Oh, and please upvote. It's been hanging just below the triple digits thumbs for a while now...

Well, hi there! OtterMatt here, membership and assignment admin with WRITE. I puzzled over why I saw this story coming across my reviewing requests spreadsheet. I mean, of course I recognized it; it's not every day someone makes it to the Padded Cell folder. The story was, of course, rather good, so I pondered over why I was seeing it now, wanting for opinions. Well, in the end, I decided to give it to the most critical person I could find: me. :pinkiecrazy:

You want to know if this little story of yours has a chance to make it to the vaunted halls of EqD, do you? Well, there's three or four people at least in WRITE who know what it takes to make it (I'm one), and I can definitely say that you have a shot. With that in mind, let's parse through this comedy and see what roadblocks might pop up to hinder your path.

First off, if there's ANYTHING the prereaders can point at from a grammatical or mechanical standpoint, they will. It's one of the only things they have that isn't opinion, and they like to sound objective where they can. With that in mind...

“Hi Rumble,” the unicorn greeted

Because this is an address, there needs to be a comma between "Hi" and "Rumble." But you got the comma before the attribution right. I'm SO glad I don't have to try to walk you through that minefield. :raritywink:
There's a couple of places scattered here and there where I might have changed up the sentence construction for clarity, or used commas differently, but to go over that here would be far too tedious and overinvolved for this forum

Instead, let's move on to the plots—er... the plot. :eeyup:
First off, this is a short fic, only 3400 words. Because of this, every word counts. Overall, I think you've done a good job of selling scenes with an economy of words, but certain parts really seem to flash by without enough weight. For instance, the flashback scenes. Yes, I know you're still trying to play it coy and hold the innuendo joke, but those scenes are WAY too short. They either need to be expanded (not my pick), or dropped and moved into narrative. Having flashbacks that short really works better if you're making that mechanic a core part of the narrative (and if your fic is longer). Besides the fact that it would flow better being described by Rumble himself, it could also be really humorous watching Twilight's distinctly uncomfortable reaction to his storytelling. As it stands, her response is a little too dismissive for the situation (more on that later). Shortfic can work really well, but you've set an additional challenge for yourself by shifting moods halfway in. Also, innuendo humor really won't get you to EqD, so I'm so glad that you've taken it in a deeper direction. The question is just if you made it solid enough to stand on its own. I'm not certain if it is, but that's such a personal opinion that it's hard to really make outright. The only way you'll have anything useful on that is to send it in and see what they say. If they think it's too weak as it is, I'm sure I could find a few places and ways that it could be expanded and filled out.

One thing I know the prereaders are going to bring up is showiness. Right now, you've got a bit too much telling going on in the fic, and by that, I mean you're telling the audience things that they either can't or shouldn't know from the narrative alone.

The purple mare shot a glance towards the door. If anyone came in right now, he’d never live down the embarrassment. Her caring streak was playing up again: the same streak that silenced the voices warning her never to supply the Cutie Mark Crusaders with potentially dangerous potions. At least this time there was no alchemy involved, not yet, that is. And she was the only expert on this matter.

“That was the best backrub I ever had!” she exclaimed, buzzing her wings in excitement. She actually got off the ground a lot more than he’d seen so far, which to him meant he’d apparently done something right. She looked so happy and relieved, and he realised it was all because of him. Rumble felt pretty good about it, even if the sentiment did come with a weird feeling in his stomach and an itch on his hind legs. He felt an odd sort of pride at the sight, one he couldn’t immediately place. It felt profound, somehow.

I've marked a few passages with purple to point out the parts of those that are telling. Some telling is unavoidable, and good, especially things like backstory or exposition, but these places are more about things that you could reword to show the audience rather than merely telling them. It's like in the S3 opener; Celestia could very easily have just told Twilight that dark powers make the kingdom bad and all that, but instead, she shows her the results. You have to do something similar as a writer, and it's not always easy working in a text-based medium.

I'll just touch briefly on characterization. Rumble is pretty good. He plays the confusion and discomfort we expect. The problem is that Twilight doesn't come off as herself, unless you inform the audience that she's not having a great day. She seems a bit short, and a bit too curt in dealing with an obviously distressed colt.

“Oh, you got your cutie mark! Congratulations!” she exclaimed as she clapped her hooves.

Concerned, Twilight walked over to him.

Good, but compare those reactions to these:

“Well, it could have been worse, I suppose,” Twilight offered with a shrug.

Twilight groaned and rubbed her forehead with her hoof.

With a sigh, Twilight closed the books and revealed their covers.

These are the reactions I would have if I were made to deal with kids that age. Mostly because I'm not very good at it, but while these may be the actions you're trying to portray, they're not the right reactions. Shrugging is dismissive. Groaning displays frustration and irritation. A sigh indicates that she's annoyed that Rumble isn't catching on. Very subtle word choices work to give the audience not only the picture of the scene, but the feeling behind it. Twilight should be more concerned, more caring—or at the very least, more consistent.

When you came to WRITE for a review, you asked two very distinct questions, and I'll finally lay out the answers to those now.
1) What are your chances of making EqD? As it stands right now, I wouldn't expect this to pass. It might just be worth it to send it in, though. My first effort is almost always just an effort to test the waters, and see what the prereaders point out. Still, I would expect that they would make very short allusions to the items I mentioned above. I do think that this story could become good enough with some TLC, though.
2) How good is your best? You know what? I've read a LOT. I've worked on reviewing some of the better stories this site has ever seen, and paid an uncomfortable amount of money on college literature courses (and, you know, the rest of the courses, too). I mention these things just so that I can give my opinion some weight, but I like this fic. It's fun, quick, and has a whiff of the heartfelt to it. I think it can be made to be better, but what it shows me most is potential.
When I read this, I get the sense that you, as a writer, have a lot of talent. I can not urge you enough to keep writing, keep developing your style and technique. Come back and see us at WRITE, maybe even beg one or two of us to be prereaders for your next story, but I'd be quite happy to see more of your work in the future.

Final Verdict: 4.5/5 Pinkies :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiesmile:

- OtterMatt, WRITE Assignment Admin and Composer Laureate

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