True Story©... My Little Pony

 




    Kids are, well, kids…
I say that to say they’re loud, they talk too much, they’re restless, they test boundaries and they have not yet learned that it is not normal to repeat EVERYTHING they hear.

[Phlip note: to that last point, and given my breaking out into song with the last thing said to me, maybe I am still a kid?]

I say all that to say that the raising of kids should probably be more metered than the parents of gen-X’ers like myself had available to us.

    Y’see… I never told anyone this, but before the beard and alcohol, I used to BE a little kid. I was overactive, I talked too much and I had a VIVID fucking imagination. Imagine that, ALL of that. But something was always off, and we would later learn to call that ADHD.

    There were attempts to control this short of medication (nope, not in the 80s!) and asswhoopings (yes, plenty of THOSE in the 80s!), and the middle ground that was attempted with me was bribery. I should put “bribery” in quotation marks because there seemed never to be a real intent to actually pay the bribe, but just to move the goal posts until I lost interest.

… like the time they promised me a pony…

A pony?

Yes, a motherfucking pony!

    To the 8-12 year-old mind, it is of no consequence of “where the fuck we gon’ PUT a pony and how we gon’ FEED a pony?” it is just “OMFG, PONY!!!” So what starts out with the loftiest of intentions of doing one’s chores, doing well in school, not telling the neighbor lady to eat a bag of dicks and finishing our vegetables OFTEN falls aside due to the fact that KIDS ARE KIDS! With that said, I never got that motherfucking pony and I got a WHOLE lot of highly questionable asswhoopings.

    Which brings me to a day at work a few weeks ago.

WAIT!

    I need to interject here how I have somehow earned the role of neighborhood dad… See, we left my pops when I was 11 and there was not much “fathering” to take place in the intervening years and I HATED that shit and swore never to exhibit that level of absenteeism with my own child/ren when they got here. I have kept and will continue to keep my promise, and that lands us in the new house two years ago. My little one finally has neighborhood children outside to play with in a neighborhood with  traffic for them to do so safely. I am always a close monitor without being a helicopter parent; usually from my opened garage on my PlayStation or computer, or maybe on the weight bench. Whatever, I am always available. A bike needs to be fixed, a kid needs a bandaid, or $3 for the ice cream truck (I have gotten around this one by simply buying a large box of ice cream bars at the grocery store), I have noticed I am the ONLY dad in this damned neighborhood and therefore “neighborhood dad.”
    Not to let you in on anything more than you need to know about me, but I really only like MY kid and those of people close to me but somehow despite this I have accepted this neighborhood dad role, if only to give these kids – especially the boys – something I often wished for at their age.

    … so anyway, work a couple of weeks ago…
I was talking to an also-virtual coworker friend named Glassley. She and her husband own a small farm with a few horses, some chickens and a bunch of damned dogs. They had taken in a pony for God-knows-why and that was the one they didn’t quite have the bandwidth for. Since he had been free to them and now I got all this fenced back yard space, they were willing to trailer him up and he would be free to me.




“So what you’re telling me, here, is that I’mma finally GET my pony!?”

    In preparation for Spirit to arrive and considering the grass don’t grow in the winter, I swung by Tractor Supply on Friday at lunch and got everything that a perfunctory Google search told me that I would need and I was ready for him.
Saturday morning, Glassley and her husband Bird backed up to the gate to let the new guy in. An hour and a half later, Ava wakes up… She comes down stairs, give me a big hug and speaks to each dog individually and then goes to the kitchen to get herself a cup of coffee with whipped cream.

… the excited squeal that came from my kitchen at that moment is the absolute proof that God exists.

Ava: “Daddy, a pony!”

Me: “Yeppers!”

Ava: “What’s its name?”

Me: “His name is Spirit”

Ava: “Can I touch him?”

Me: “He’s very nice… Yes you can.”

Ava: “Can I tell my friends?”

Me: “Little girl, it is 9:41am… You can tell them, but when they come outside later.”

    She paced… She is ABSOLUTELY my child, because dammit, she PACED. She walked back and forth across the living room and kitchen, to the deck doors to look at him. Outside to touch him and talk sweetly to him. She took Yeti to the yard to meet him and talk to him. She texted her cousins and her little friends from school for TWO FUCKING HOURS.

    At noon, my previous position as “neighborhood dad” was supplanted by that as “neighborhood god.”
If the kids thought I was cool because I have RC cars, model cars mounted on my garage walls, a PS5 and a 240SX, they were near-willing to sacrifice the weakest among them to ride the pony in my back yard.

    While the kids squealed happily in the back, I cobbled together a rudimentary pull cart from pieces I found on Craigslist so Spirit could pull us around the neighborhood and show off to the retirees. EVERYONE ate it up. Parents were STOKED that the kids wanted to play outside and not on devices and gadgets. It was so much so that people who had not spoken since the Block Party gathered in the street to converse while the elated children had the time of their lives.

… and it was fun until it wasn’t.

Wife Person™: “Phillip, we need to talk.”

Me: “FUCK!!!”

Wife Person™: “Don’t do that.”

Me: “Aight, aight aight… What’s up?”

Wife Person™: “It’s about Spirit.”

Me: “Oh, I knew. What about him?”

Wife Person™: “Let me just say first that I love what you’re doing. You’ve taken this ‘neighborhood dad’ thing on full force and you’re loving it and–…”

Me: “… mmhmm…”

Wife Person™: “And the kids are loving it.”

Me: “You can stop fattening the hog now, g’head and get that knife ready.”

Wife Person: “People are complaining about him pooing in the street during your little cart rides…”

Me: “Nah-uh! My buddy would NEVER poo in the streets of Greensboro!”

Wife Person: “Phillip…”

Me: “And besides, what about the little lady with that big-ass Anatolian Shepherd a few doors up? I have SEEN that dog shit in the street–…”

Wife Person: “… Phillip!”

Me: “Damn thing’s shit is damn near big as mine.”

Wife Person: “PHILLIP!!!”

Me: “… shit look ‘bout the size of a small hors–… Fuck, I’ll pay the kids ten bucks to scoop it.”


    Okay, so we got a minorly shitty situation here, right? I bought a large poop scooper when we got Yeti and I built a firepit in the yard, so the kids handled it pretty quickly.
There was a MAJORLY shitty situation festering though. Apparently my giving the kids rides with a pony went viral on TokTik and got a lot of local attention. In came the traffic with people looking to muscle MY neighborhood kids aside so their snotty crotch goblins could get a chance and that wasn’t even the worst part. The internet is both the world’s greatest tool and its worst weapon…
The mention of Ponies brings forth a group called “bronies” and rather than risk my website by linking to that shit, I am gonna ask you to just Google it but not in mixed company.

    Now we have a problem… A dangerously toxic community of My Little Pony enthusiasts have descended upon my subdivision and are getting entirely too close to a group of children whose mothers and grandparents have spent the last two years trusting me with.
This just will not do…
I tried calling the police, but apparently just LOOKING like a registered sex offender is not enough to get one of these weirdos arrested, and I was assured under no uncertain terms that brandishing a pistol at one of them actually was enough to get me arrested. Gathered in the public street, but JUST so as to not disturb traffic – think similar to kids playing in the street – but thereby preventing any attentive Papa Bear such as myself from letting my littles NEAR them, chanting “let us see Spirit” at all times of the fucking night.

I had to do something…

    I called Glassley and Bird and explained the situation. They agreed that they could work out a situation in-house for them to keep Spirit on their farm, but that Ava and I – and any number of the neighborhood kids – could come and visit him any weekend we were free. Later that evening, I no longer had a pony at my house anymore.

    … and to be frank, maybe my parents weren’t wrong to not get me that damned pony in the first place!

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