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ardashir
Eric Hinkle
United States
AKA 'Abbott and Costello in 'Playing the Ponies, part 3'. Right after part 2 right here: ardashir.deviantart.com/journa…

I'm beginning to wonder if I should put these in my gallery as fiction entries. Anyway -- Bud and Lou having lost their job at Sweet Apple Acres and in need of money, hear that Rarity needs someone to help get a completed order of hers to Canterlot. But they have to know math, so she asked Twilight to help make sure they do. And so...

(Bud and Lou are standing inside Carousel Boutique, facing Rarity and Twilight. Lou is watching the ponies. Bud keeps darting looks at Rarity's jewel bins, which are filled to overflowing. Twilight is standing beside her, talking. Spike is with her and eying Rarity adoringly as usual.)

RARITY: Oh, Twilight, please pardon me, I have to talk to these, er, gentlemen. Business, you know. (Twilight nods and Rarity turns to Bud and Lou.) Well, gentlemen, I just want to be sure I can trust you to handle this job properly. I heard from Applejack how you did on her farm. (She gives them a stern look.) This is an important order. I don't want any mistakes.

BUD: You have nothing to worry about, Miss Diamond, I mean Rarity. I know my way around money.

LOU: You should, ya keep chiseling me out of mine. Just the other day ya gave me a five for two tens. (Bud gives him a dirty look. Lou flinches back.)

BUD: Never mind him, lady. That's just one of his little jokes. (Takes Lou aside and whispers.) Lou, stop clowning around. Look, I heard around town that this dame can find precious gems with her horn. We help her and she can pay us with enough of those stones to live like kings for the rest of our lives. (Turns back to Rarity.) Oh, please madam, don't let me interrupt.

RARITY: Ahem! All you have to do is ride the train to Canterlot and keep an eye on my dresses. Deliver them to the address I give you, collect the money, and then come back here.

BUD: Now wait a minute. How many dresses do we have to deliver?

RARITY: Well, I have seven orders for thirteen dresses each...

LOU: Oh, so it'll be for twenty-eight dresses.

(Rarity, Twilight, and Spike all stare at him in disbelief.)

RARITY: Wait, twenty-eight dresses?

SPIKE: Gee, Twilight, and you said I was dumb.

TWILIGHT: Seven times thirteen is ninety-one, not twenty-eight!

LOU: Oh no it ain't. You musta gone ta a bad school, they didn't teach you nothin'.

TWILIGHT: (Choking) Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, a bad school? Now listen here you... (Stops as Rarity calms her.)

RARITY: Now, now dear, let's just explain it to him. (She turns to Lou.) How did you figure that seven times thirteen is twenty-eight?

LOU: Do ya want me ta show ya? (Both ponies nod. Twilight's horn glows and a blackboard and some chalk slides out from offstage. Lou turns to Bud.) Bud, I'm gonna show them how ta do math. You don't mind, do ya?

BUD: Anything so long as it gets us this job. (Lou turns back to the ponies. He picks up a piece of chalk.)

LOU: Okay, here we go. (He chalks down 7)28( on the board.) I'll show ya by dividing, just like I was 'taughted'.

TWILIGHT: 'Taughted'?

SPIKE: Did you go to school, stupid?

BUD: (In a huffy voice) Yeah, and I come out of it the same way! (Turns back to the board.) See, now here we got seven inta twenty-eight. Now see this cute little two here? (He points at the two. Twilight rolls her eyes but nods.) Now see, seven won't go inta two. Not one itty bit.

TWILIGHT: Glad you know that much.

BUD: (Ignoring her) So we take that two and we put it off ta the side. (Rubs the two out. Makes like he's holding it and turns to Spike.) Here, shorty, you can hold this.

SPIKE: Uhhh... (He looks at Twilight. She shakes her head but nods. He takes the 'two'.) Yeesh, this feels stupid. (His hands drop and it sounds like something heavy crashes to the floor, denting the boards. He and Bud both jump. Both Twilight and Rarity stare in shock. Lou turns back to him and shakes a finger at him.)

LOU: Now, I told ya ta hold on ta it! (Spike hurriedly picks the still-invisible two back up. Lou turns back to the board.) Now where was I? Oh yeah, seven can't go inta no two, so that's aside for right now. Now how many times can seven go inta eight? (Looks expectantly at Twilight.)

TWILIGHT: (rolls her eyes). One.

LOU: Right. And so we take seven from eight (chalks a seven under the eight) and we get a one, right here. (Chalks a one under the seven). Now I take the two back. (He turns to Spike. Spike uneasily hands the 'two' over. Lou turns to the blackboard.) Now we set this two right here. (Chalks a two before the one.) Now how many times does seven go inta twenty-one?

RARITY: (Wary) Three.

LOU: Right, and so we put the three right up here (chalks a three beside the one, making thirteen) and see, ya got thirteen!

SPIKE: Wow, it does work!

TWILIGHT: No! (She wipes the board.) That's not how it works! (She writes 7x13 vertically.) Now show me how this ends up as twenty-eight!

LOU: Sure, okay. I'll show ya. There ain't no need ta be gettin' all 'exaspermarated'. See, here we got seven times three, and that's twenty-one. (Chalks a twenty-one down.)

TWILIGHT: (Her mane is starting to get a little wild-looking.) Yes...

LOU: And here we got a one, and seven times one is seven (chalks a seven down underneath the twenty-one). And ya add them.

TWILIGHT: (Looking downright frazzled.) Not this again!

LOU: (Ignoring her) And seven plus twenty-one is twenty-eight! 

TWILIGHT: (Snatching the chalk from his hands with her magic) I'll prove it to you!

BUD: Lady, if I were you, I'd stop while ya still can.

RARITY: Darling, you might want to listen to him. (Twilight turns on her, looking like she did in 'Lesson Zero'. Rarity recoils.)

TWILIGHT: No! I am settling this! Discord and Pinkie Sense made more sense then this! (Turns back to the blackboard. She chalks seven thirteens down vertically.) Now! (Turns to Lou.) Watch this! Do you still think this adds up to twenty-eight?

LOU: Yeah, and I'll prove it to ya!

TWILIGHT: (Laughs madly.) Oh no you won't! Not this time! (She turns to the blackboard, points out every single three as she counts.) Three, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, twenty-one...

LOU: (Grabs the chalk from her. Goes to the 'ones'.) Twenty-two, three, four, five, six, seven, twenty-right! There! (Writes down a twenty-eight. Hands the chalk back to a stunned looking Twilight.) Now if ya went ta school you'd have ta pay good tax money ta learn that.

BUD: (To Rarity) Okay, have we got the job?

RARITY: (Weakly) Do you swear I'll never have to hear that explanation again? (Bud nods solemnly.) Yes, you've got it. You'll find the dresses down at the railroad station. Here are the tickets. (Hands a pair of tickets over held in her magic.) Please, just go. I'll pay you when you get back. (Bud and Lou walk out. Rarity goes to Twilight. Her mane is a mess and she looks like her brain just stopped working.) Darling?

TWILIGHT: He... I just... And I watched him do it three times, and...

SPIKE: I got this. (Grabs a glass of water and throws it into Twilight's face. She starts and yells.)  It's what I have to do every time she reads her notes about Discord.

RARITY: Twilight, darling? I have to ask you a favor. A big one. (Twilight looks at her, rather bleary.) I need you to go to Canterlot with those two to make sure they get it right. (Twilight looks horrified.) Please, darling! This is such an important order, it was placed by Princess Celestia herself. I want to be sure it goes right.

TWILIGHT: (Unhappily) Okay. If it's for Celestia, I'll do it. (She heads for the door.) I just hope I don't have to hear any more of their lunacy. (As she nears the door Lou comes back in. She says, tired) You might as well know, I'll be going with you.

LOU: Hey, great! I can teach ya more advanced math-a-matics stuff. (Twilight shivers.) Like how a pony has eight legs.

RARITY: What?!? How does -- (Falls silent as Twilight wraps Rarity's mane around her muzzle to silence her.)

TWILIGHT: Don't! For the sake of my sanity, don't ask!

LOU: Oh, well. (Turns and leaves, saying) See, ya got two front legs, and two back legs, and two right legs, and two left legs. Four twos make eight. (His voice fades as he leaves. Twilight turns to Rarity, looking slightly crazed.)

TWILIGHT: See, Rarity? (Giggles hysterically) It all makes perfect sense when he says it! And I'll be listening to it for hours! (Starts to leave but stops at the door to look back at Rarity.) Rarity, you're my very dear friend, but right now? I. HATE. YOU. (She leaves a shaken Rarity behind.)

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:iconardashir:
Thanks. Given my story 'Wolf in Pony's Clothing' this fits so very well.
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:iconpackwriter:
packwriter 1 day ago  Professional General Artist
Thank you again for the favorite!
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:iconardashir:
Very welcome!
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:iconardashir:
Saw it, faved it, very fine work! Thanks for the link.
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