Ponycidal Christmas

Jan 31st, 2012 | By | Category: Columns

Dear Jonathan,

I’m still pissed off I didn’t get an iPad for Christmas. What are some things you wanted for Christmas that your parents didn’t get you because they were bastards?


There were three things I consistently asked for Christmas when I was growing up: a good book, a pony and a cape. I got plenty of books, I even got a cape, but my dream of a pony has always eluded me.

Recently, I was issued a challenge while out for beers. That is, my friends were drinking beer and I was feeling brave and had Wild Turkey. That evening did not end well for me, and subsequently, I forgot the details of the challenge that I had been issued. All I knew was that I was hung over and had something to prove. And the challenge had to do with ponies and literature. Game on.

So below are the opening sections of some of my favorite novels, which have been mildly edited to include ponies. Yes, this is sacrilege. The real question is, was the challenge met successfully? Was this even the original challenge? Did it even have anything to do with ponies?!

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

When the pony boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a bridle, a small lunch in a paper box and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister’s address in Van Buren Street, and a small pistol.

The pony, who happened to be clairvoyant, sat down next to the perturbed eighteen year old Caroline Meeber and looked directly into her eyes and said, “In a few moments, a frisky salesman named Charlie Drouet will introduce himself to you and thus will begin a series of events that will involve you becoming a kept woman by two separate men, years of internal emotional debate until you finally break free of their control and become a successful Broadway actress. I say cut to the chase! Take this pistol and rob him and thrive!”

Caroline Meeber nodded and prepared herself as Charlie Drouet waltzed onto the train.

Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

Like most farm workers in those days, my mother distrusted ponies. When death drew near she told me her life-savings were in a tin trunk under the bed and muttered, “Take it and count it.”

But it turned out that the ponies had a hand in my predicaments. I went to medical school only to find that the system was corrupt: practicing on the poor in order to aid the rich. Then, I befriended Godwin Baxter, a good but ugly man. He introduced me to his Frankenstein-esque creation, Bella, a drowned woman resurrected with the brain of her unborn child. I was intrigued, on the verge of love, and then discovered she was into pony play. That’s when things got pretty spicy.

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill

When I was a young girl, my mother read me a story about a wicked little pony. She did not believe in the power of friendship or rainbows. And while she was selfish and horded all of her delicious apples for herself, she grew into a sturdy mare and was then sent off to the glue factory. It made me and my sisters sad, but we were bratty anyway.

Now I’m a 50 year old ex-model turned cleaning lady with Hepatitis C. And my flamboyant friend, Veronica, is dead. But I feel better for having learned the lessons that terrible little pony taught me.

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Lawrence Selden paused in surprise. In the early rush of the Grand Central Station his eyes had been refreshed by the sight of Miss Lily Barton. She was sitting aloft a magnificent golden pony, holding her parasol in a threatening manner. She did not look amused.

As he approached, his mind poured into a river of really deep thoughts – like how he loved and she loved him, but that the pressures of high society demanded she marry above her own station and how this would ultimately cause her scandal, degrade her and end with her suicide. While he considered this, Lily’s pony galloped forward and she struck him on the head with her parasol and Selden fell down dead.

“Let us ride, Princess Butterscotch,” Lily said, stroking the pony’s mane. “We are off to avenge my reputation before it is even sullied!”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in the world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.”

Of course, I later realized that the Great Gatsby’s money had come from his network of pony servants who ran illegal bootlegs during Prohibition. The ponies had made him rich, and the ponies worked hard. And when the ponies worked hard, they got drunk. And when they got drunk, shit went down. It was only then I realized that social status was nothing but an equestrian metaphor!

Philosophy in the Boudoir by the Marquis de Sade

First Dialogue

Madame de Saint-Ange: Oh dear brother, let us discuss our scandalous bisexual affairs in such perverse manner that it will incite the French government to execute our author!

The Chevalier: Have you ever seen a horse’s cock?! It’s huge!!


Got a question? Send it to jonathandefenestrates@gmail.com!



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