A Pair of High Performance Ponies - a fable... is third in a series of four animal fables. The first is The Oddbirds, the second a fable...because someone dared me and the forth is dare written into the body of the third. We'll see if she takes the bait and manages to cough anything up. I can't tell you why we did this because we'd probably get into a boat load of trouble. Or something. :-)
Back when stirrups were rarely seen outside your friendly neighborhood obgyn's office (and only then in the bedroom), a bridle was generally considered a spelling error (in polite company) and a snaffle bit might possibly have something to do with those leftover crumbs in a box of what once contained salt water taffy there were two ponies of roughly the same coloring, temperament and gate. If you looked at their teeth you could also be fairly certain they were foaled in the same year. They might not have measured quite the same at the whithers but there was enough right to make a fair enough pony pair had they actually crossed paths.
Paths were crossed.
(of course they were, you knew that was coming, right?)
Two ponies cantered into a clearing, one a few weeks in front of the other but the first might as well have been waiting for the second to show up because there wasn't much going on in the clearing but a gathering of Animals milling about. Some of the milling was aimless (and therefore marginally harmless), some in a bit of a frenzy and one miller in particular was in a perpetual state of jaw clenching, teeth gnashing, eyeball rolling, ear crunching, head splitting, bunion producing existential angst. She suffered horribly. All the time. Perpetually.
There were forty-two Animals in the clearing. This is known because the pony who came late to the party is a little funny about counting and could probably still draw you a diagram of all the Animals in the clearing and give you their names, ranks, seriel numbers and department codes. Of the forty-two Animals in the clearing the two ponies recognized each other right off and even though they were sorted into two distinctly separate paddocks it didn't really seem to matter. As a matter of fact it so much didn't seem to matter that within a few weeks the late to the party pony was jettisoned from her paddock (by the miller in the perpetual state of jaw clenching, teeth gnashing, eyeball rolling...do I really need to continue or can I just refer you to the paragraph above?) to the paddock of the either early or on time pony who then proceeded to ignore her.
Thank the gods.
Because the late to the party pony had no freaking CLUE what she was doing in the wrong paddock and she needed just enough time to herself to work it all out before anyone figured out she had no idea what she was doing...
...and so she did. Because she was that sort of pony.
Eventually symbiosis occurred. Probably you could interview all forty-two Animals in the clearing and not a single one of them, including the two ponies could tell you how and when it happened but one day they were separate and the next day they were trotting side by side in near perfect sequence.
They were very competitive. Anything one of them wanted to do the other wanted to do as well. And so they did. One pony said, "I think I want to gallop the quarter mile in three seconds because it's never been done" and the second pony said, "good idea, lets go." And so they did. There was a lot of that. Another time one of the ponies said, "let's jump over six of those buildings and I think we can do it if we start from way up there." and the other pony said, "are you shitting me?" The first pony just gave the other pony a whithering look until the other pony sucked it up and agreed there might be worse things than death by multiple building dismemberment. They made the leap.
This went on for a very long time and they grew into a near perfect matched set of high performance ponies. Life was good. They had no idea.
The high performance ponies became spoiled and arrogant. They were allowed to roam the forest, meadows, clearings AND the castle at will and turn in their expense reports pretty much whenever they felt like getting around to it. They earned bonus castle credits that far exceeded their base expectations which by and large managed to piss off upper castle management to the point of revisiting the entire pay for performance concept.
The high performance ponies were very sure of themselves. They were also allowed to run around nearly naked. In retrospect this doesn't seem like all that big a deal because an Animal comes into the clearing naked in the first place anyway, right? What they failed to notice was that none of the other Animals were running around naked. Or nearly naked. OK, maybe they might have noticed a little bit but they chalked that up to being 'special high performance ponies'.
This could very well have gone on forever.
No. I'm sorry. That simply is not true. Eventually one or the other or both ponies would eventually have gotten tired and tried to lay down or stop jumping sixteen buildings or something and figured it out sooner or later but something happened first.
There was a change in management.
Nope. Wait. Back the truck up.
There was a MERGER.
And THEN there was a change in management.
After the MERGER all of the managers were so upset they all quit. Every bleeding one of them (except for the one with existential angst (see above), aparently that one got left behind, poor thing; called herself a Director with a little 'd', like this: director - well I suppose she had it coming then and later was subsequently tormented to no end by the very existence of Late To The Party Pony (not that she wasn't tormented by the very existence of the high performance ponies IN THE FIRST PLACE) but oh boy have I gotten off track). Yup. All of them (they actually walked out and started their own company that did really, really well but (CUE UP FABLE NUMBER FOUR FLORKOW THE RADICAL UNBLOGGER IF YOU CAN'T COME UP WITH ANYTHING BETTER subtle, eh?) that's another fable of it's own and even involves Pony Number One so maybe SHE'LL ACTUALLY WRITE SOMETHING FOR A CHANGE). That's like having every adult in your life walk out on you when you're sixteen years old because that's about what those ponies were up to. Except they didn't actually know.
The reins were all dropped in the middle of the clearing. All of the other Animals looked down at the dropped reins, picked up their own lead lines and mourned their missing masters. And then they sat there and waited for the new masters to come. The ponies just shook their manes and ran off to the next set of jumps trailing a verrrrrryyyyyyy long set of leather lines behind them......
Enter new management stage left.
She had the subtlety of two tons of radioactive kryptonite after an all night bender and possibly the worst case of hemorrhoids this side of the Mississippi (I'm just sayin').
The second pony (otherwise and forever known as 'Late To The Party Pony') was off gallivanting in Ireland when it happened so she wasn't there to smack the piss out of the Pony Number One although I'm not sure it would have done a damn bit of good in the long run because it is the nature of such radioactive kryptonite bearing hemorrhoid wearing upper managers to separate and destroy so it would have been this way no matter what at some point or another. Probably.
TTRK (Two Tons of Radioactive Kryptonite) picked up one end of the rope and started to pull it in. She gave it a little tug and in a sing songy voice called for Pony Number One to come. Pony Number One turned, looked down and noticed the rope for the very first time. I mean really noticed it. Pony came to a standstill and looked TTRK straight in the eyes and said, "I. Don't. Think. So." (later, Late To The Party Pony said, 'Dude! cut that shit out!' but that really wasn't the point) and the battle began. By the time Late To The Party Pony got back from Ireland it was all over except for the torture. Pony Number One was hog tied and hung suspended from the ceiling of an inner office.
It went downhill from there.
I'd like to tell you they both got out clean but they didn't. Pony Number One was water boarded for twelve straight weeks and then jettisoned unceremoniously into oncoming traffic. During these twelve weeks of water boarding Late To The Party Pony locked herself in the dungeon and later, for oh so many reasons, wished she'd walked right out into traffic with Pony Number One. The umbilicus was severed and all communication between the two ponies ceased immediately.
What happened to Late To The Party Pony afterward is hardly relevant because THAT is the story of what happens when you sell your soul to the devil for a glass corner office and NOT about a pair of high performance ponies. Lets just say it wasn't pretty.
Many years later but before websense came along and locked down all social networking sites in corporate environments Late To The Party Pony was sitting in a bright sunny cube with a lovely view overlooking a church green. In her bright sunny cube she was still a high performance pony but she was in the process of recognizing and learning the names of all the tack on her body. Bridle, bit, saddle, reins, martingale, stirrups, oooh! spurs! ouch! and slowly working her way out of some of them. Most of that is another story also. She was also discovering the novelty of something called Facebook and on Facebook she found the profile of Pony Number One...
And not too many days later at all as if those years were collapsed in on themselves an entirely other sort of shit hit the fan and Pony Number One and Late To The Party Pony were together in a different sort of lockstep entirely.
No tack at all and high performance all the way.