Finding a Shetland Pony in a Pile of Poop by @rcpjallen plus a #Giveaway

CAllen post

One of my grandma’s favorite sayings when an imminent disaster on our Indiana farm turned into a hilarious moment was, “Well, I just found a Shetland pony in that pile of poop.” Everyone would laugh. I didn’t, because I was too busy looking for the pony! It wasn’t until much later in life that I understood her metaphors, and eventually, how they would help me in my writing.

Let’s face it, we all poop. (If you don’t, please seek medical attention immediately!)  When I’m contemplating a humorous scene, poop is a metaphor for anything problematic or “not usually funny.”  For instance, a funeral, a physical or mental condition, bad grades, getting grounded, bullies, and a million other issues can all be poop.  The idea of ‘finding the Shetland pony’ takes us to the hilarious result – something that happened through the unexpected, through a person, place or thing that is not usually funny.

The poop and pony lesson here is that the potential for humor is in everything. It doesn’t have to start out as funny. Actually, a very funny situation can begin as something not funny at all.

lamar
For an example, come with me into my first book, How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy.  In this story, Lamar likes a girl named Makeda.  When he goes to her house to visit, Makeda’s grandma is always on the porch.  Makeda has warned Lamar that her grandma is senile.

Senility is not funny. Lamar visits Makeda again, and Grandma has a bowl of peanuts in her lap.  She offers some to Lamar, and he eats them — a lot of them — totally forgetting, or ignoring what Makeda had told him about Grandma’s senility.  Here’s the ensuing conversation between Makeda and Lamar.

 

“Are you eating peanuts from Grandma’s bowl?”

I nod because I’ve got a mouth full of them.

“Didn’t I tell you she was senile?”

I nod again.

“Those peanuts used to be chocolate covered. Grandma sucks the chocolate off, then spits the nuts back in the bowl.  We try to stop her, but she keeps doing it.  How many have you eaten?”

 Hello, Shetland pony!

The idea is to create a well-developed storyline out of a poopy situation. And then, add a humorous punch at the end. Your question may be, “Where can I find these opportunities for humor?”

crystal allen
They are everywhere! Here are a few places to consider:

  1. 1. An incident from your childhood, or someone else’s; (Don’t mention real names, or you’ll become poop to them!)
  2. 2. Joke or riddle books;
  3. 3. “What if” ideas

Yep, it’s that easy! So, try taking my grandma’s famous farm advice, and remember – “Where there’s poop, there’s ponies!”

 

AllenC_headshotCrystal Allen is the author of How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won A Bubba-Sized Trophy, The Laura Line, and The Magnificent Mya Tibbs – Spirit Week Showdown, all published by Balzer and Bray.  Her next book, The Magnificent Mya Tibbs – The Wall of Fame Game, will launch on January 30, 2017. Crystal lives in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband, Reggie, two sons, Phillip and Joshua, and very loveable dog, Angel. You can follow Crystal at https://twitter.com/rcpjallen and visit her website http://crystalallenbooks.com/

 

If you are registered for Kidlit Summer School, you can download a worksheet of Crystal’s writing exercise at our Exercise Book. This is a password-protected area — only members allowed! Please check your email for the password.

GIVEAWAY! Crystal is giving away a copy of  The Laura Line, and of The Magnificent Mya Tibbs – Spirit Week Showdown. For a chance to win, please leave a comment below.

Don’t miss your chance to get perfect attendance! Leave a comment on this post within the first 24 hours. Moderators have to approve first-time commenters, so your comment may not show up immediately.

215 comments on “Finding a Shetland Pony in a Pile of Poop by @rcpjallen plus a #Giveaway

  1. Amy Benoit says:

    Love your bubba-sized sense of humor, Crystal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness…thanks for sharing that nutty piece from your book. It cracked me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mavis Penney says:

    I’m keeping my eyes on the ground and my expectations straight ahead. Gotta be a Shetland pony there somewhere! Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandy Perlic says:

    That saying is hilarious! And your last example: perfect! Thanks for teaching us about humor in a humorous way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yangmommy says:

    After spending a week helping at a horse summer camp, I definitely agree that “where there is poop, there are ponies!” 🙂 Your Grandma was a wise woman!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Angela Turner says:

    I laughed out loud at the peanut story! Thanks for sharing that story and the writing advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Patti says:

    I suppose some scenarios are harder than others to find a funny line. Would a deep thought also count (adding heart)? I vote yes. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Barbara Senenman says:

    Great post! With all the poop around these days, there must many Shetland ponies waiting to be noticed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Terrific post! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great post! You’re grandmother sounds like a wise woman.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Traci Bold says:

    I love your sense of humor Crystal! Your analogy is spot on and made me laugh. Looking forward to reading your books. Keep up the excellent work.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. marlainagray says:

    I completely love this metaphor, and I giggled at the scene from your book. Thanks, Crystal!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jill says:

    As I read this, I kept thinking about the time my nieces staged the photo of their pony in front of the living room Christmas tree. Somethimes where there are ponies, there is also poop. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Kate Giard says:

    This has got to be the best expression ever! What a terrific approach. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mindy Hudon says:

    This was so much fun! I’m still giggling over the peanuts! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ha! This is perfect! Off to look for some Shetland ponies…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Michelle Leonard says:

    Fantastic!! Thanks for this and for being a part of KLSS, Crystal!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Aimee Haburjak says:

    Ha! This is hilarious. In my house we always say “too much poop” (do to lots of animals and kids).
    After this post, it’s clear I need to be looking for more ponies. Looks like lots of humor could be lurking around waiting to be added to stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There’s got to be more Shetland Ponies out there. I’ll keep looking for the poop to share in my in my manuscripts. Thank you, Crystal.
    ~Suzy Leopold

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sue Heavenrich says:

    Got a chuckle from reading this. Off to find some ponies!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I love the metaphor. That was a real gift from your grandmother. Thanks for a terrific post.

    Like

  22. Funny story about the peanuts!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Mary Worley says:

    Thanks for the encouragement to find humor in the “not usually funny” stuff of life. Love the scene you shared. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Shirley Johnson says:

    Fun post! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ha! Can’t stop thinking about those peanuts!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ha! Can’t stop thinking about those peanuts!
    – Amanda Sincavage

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Juli Jones says:

    ROFL. Thanks for your insight! I’ll have to dig through my childhood and see if I can turn a rotten moment into something hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Funny saying and great idea. Thanks!

    Like

  29. Ashley samson says:

    Hilarious! I love the pony story and the way she used the technique with the grandma and peanuts, so funny! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Thanks for the smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Funny stuff! I love this post.😋

    Liked by 1 person

  32. dbyatt says:

    Haha I love that saying – I’ll be sure to look for the pony amongst my poop.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. janebuttery says:

    Your ideas are full of fun. I loved the exercise sory too. Thanks, Crystal.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Jenifer says:

    Nice post and interesting expression. Good approach for humor. By the way I can’t find the password for the writing exercises. Would appreciate it if anyone would e-mail the password so I can continue with this workshop.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Sam Altmann says:

    Love that analogy! You had me laughing out loud 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Oh, no! Those peanuts! I should have seen that coming. (My mom’s 100 year old and senile. And she would do this!) Love the Shetland pony saying. Thanks for a useful, memorable post, Crystal.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. That’s a great saying! I’ll have to remember that one =P

    Liked by 1 person

  38. laurielyoung says:

    This is not only a good writing lesson, but it works well for life, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. cburillokirch says:

    Loved the story about the peanuts! Thank you for such a great post that left me smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Last Fall, I took half-a-day off for my BFF’s brother’s funeral. A guy several friends had been trying to fix me up with walked out to the porch as I was leaving (learned later this was on purpose) and we have been together ever since. Funeral visitation turned into new best buddy- aka something very sad helped me find something wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Definitely a post for the books! The poop and ponies visual is a hoot and one I’ll remember. Thanks for the reminder to be on the lookout for the funny because you never know when poop will present itself. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Judy Bryan says:

    Love your grandma’s sense of humor . . . Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Andrea Mack says:

    Thanks for reminding me that everything has the potential to be funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Awww, reminded me of my pony when I was a kid. Made me laugh out loud too. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Marla says:

    Tee hee hee. Great humor, great tips. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  46. writersideup says:

    Crystal, you—and your Grandma—had some excellent advice! I’d be hard-pressed to forget “poop = ponies” 😀 Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Ramona says:

    Love the peanut story – the horror of it – and the instant feeling of wanting to spit them back out – hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. writeknit says:

    I hope you serve a nice bowl of peanuts at your book signings – good way to find out who has read your books. LOL Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Susan Schade says:

    Love your humor! Thank you for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Loved this post. The line about the “former” chocolate covered peanuts was priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

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