Weighing up a problem by Truro
Rarity felt pretty good as she got out of bed that morning. It was a cloudless Sunday Morning, the shop was closed for the day and she could treat herself to a little day off. Thankfully, she didn't have a hangover from the night before when her parents came around for cocktails. She felt sorry for her mother. She'd taken up a new diet, but it wasn't doing her any good. As she hopped into the shower, her pretty little head was full of thoughts about what she was going to do. First a little breakfast, then a quiet stroll through the town to show off her latest dress design, followed by lunch with Spike (there was this new diner that served gems that he was eager to try out) and then meet Fluttershy at the spa for a little touch therapy before returning home and cuddling up with a Mills & Boone.
She stepped out, wrapped that royal indigo mane in a towel and stepped onto the scales, that oh so important part of her usual get-up-in-the-morning routine.
Her heart stopped.
"Oh my g…"
The scales read two stone heavier than her ideal weight!
"It can't be!" She cried with enough volume to blow a star house down. "How could I have put on weight?"
She paced around in a frenzy of panic.
"Okay. Don't panic. Just relax and…I SAID DON'T PANIC! Oh, but how can I not! I've become bloated! How can I show off my new dress now that I'm too big for it? This is a disaster! A complete, total, utter unmitigated unparreled DISASTER!"
Her cat; Opal was getting a bit frustrated waiting for Rarity to get over her tantrum and get the breakfast out. She just looked at her owner with a look that probably translated to, "Are you going to cut the drama and make our breakfast or what?"
No such luck, I'm afraid.
"Right! I've got to burn off this excess weight!" and she headed straight out the door, without bothering with breakfast.
First port of call was the library to cancel that lunch date. Not one morsel of food was going to pass her lips until she had lost that access weigh. Even though it was tearing her heart out to let Spike down at the last minute. She stood outside the door, taking a deep breath. He put a hoof to the door…
"No! I can't do it! I can't tell him that I have to cancel! He'll be crushed! But he's a dragon! He's broad shouldered enough! But I hate to have him think I'm flaky! But it's only lunch! It's not like he's asking you to marry him! But I don't want to cause a scene…"
Then she was struck by an idea. A way to break off the meeting and still keep her dignity-
Slip a note under the door and run like hell.
Then it was over to Sweet Apple Acres to see the one pony that could help her.
In the bright glow of the morning sun, Apple Jack stretched out her powerful ropey muscles, forged by twenty years of apple bucking.
"Apple Jack! I need help!" Rarity called as she ran up to her.
She explained her dilemma.
"Meh. That's no problem." Said Apple Jack with the closest body gesture to a shrug that a horse is capable of.
"My dear girl, it's a complete disaster! I plead; you must help me lose this extra weight!"
Hear those last four words, Apple Jack's face lit up like a pinball machine. That huge smile and those youthful freckles made her look like a girl on her sweet sixtieth. She finally had someone to work out with! (Rainbow Dash doesn't count because she usually sleeps until midday.)
"Well, you're in luck, honey! I was just about to go for a run! Stretch yourself out and we can hit the road!"
Under normal circumstances, this would have been a very awkward dilemma for Rarity. The thought of getting all sweaty, getting grease in her hair and covering herself with that sour odour of sweat would normally be enough to make her skin crawl. But it was an emergency. She had to lose those two pounds!
It started with a gentle jog through what Rarity could only assume was a garbage dump. Then along the railroad track, and then Stirrup Street.
"Think fast!" someone called. Rarity yelped as a large projectile shot past her head, just catching her on the ear. Apple Jack jumped and spun in the air, catching said projectile; a large golden delicious.
"Thanks! Come on!"
Another five miles of jogging they past some trees.
"Roll buck 'em!" Apple Jack called, flipping onto her forelegs and kicking the tree, leggings spinning like a steam engine piston.
"In…" pant "the middle…" pant "…of the…run…?" wheeze.
"Darn tooting! Stallions in Italy do this work out all the time!"
With a huge groan, Rarity flipped onto her forelegs and followed suit. She slipped and ground her stomach across the grass, leaving a huge green stain. She picked her self up again with an annoyed grunt and kicked the tree. Her hoofs chopped at the tree like a machine gun, which she knew would utterly destroy her pedicure. Her anger at her perfect white coat being violated with grass stains fuelled her kicks as if they were rocket fuel.
"Okay! Back to the run!" called Apple Jack, satisfied with the damage done to the tree (and Rarity's hooves).
Another five miles of stomach piercing stitches later and Apple Jack dropped to the ground.
"Time for some push ups!" she lifted herself up on one fore hoof, while the other was behind her back. She did one rep then switched hooves.
Rarity copied her posture and slipped, getting a face full of brown mud.
"No! No! BOTH hooves for a beginner!"
Now you tell me…
One hundred reps later, Rarity's forelegs felt like they had been run through a cheese grater. As they continued running, every step was pure agony. She bled a waterfall of sour stinking sweat and all she could taste was salt. Her greasy hair stung her eyes as she started to slow down.
"Come on, Rarity! Keep going, you big prima Donna! Get the led out! We're getting strong now!"
Not many of Rarity's body parts had much feeling in them, but the parts that did, felt Apple Jack was having a bit too much fun with this.
They stormed back into Ponyville and raced towards the town hall, Rarity wanted to scream.
LOTS of stairs.
Apple Jack exploded into full sprint up those hundreds of stairs. Rarity followed after her with more stitches than a homemade blanket.
At the top, Apple Jack let out a huge Texas yell, punching the air and holding her forelegs triumphantly against the Ponyville skyline.
Rarity made one last push and with every last piece of strength in her body, she finally stepped off that top step.
"Well, that was a nice workout, huh Rarity?"
Rarity could only answer with a series of heavy sighs and deep breaths.
After a short rest, the two of them returned to Carousel Boutique to shower off. Rarity was sure that after such torture, there was no way in hell that she could still be over weight.
As Apple Jack was putting some food out for Opal, a loud scream cause her to drop the can and its contents all over the floor and race to the bathroom.
"What's wrong?" she barked, bursting into the room.
"Those scales still say I'm overweight! That workout didn't do anything! I went through all that for nothing!"
She fell to the floor and started pounding at the bathroom tiles.
"Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing!"
The cowgirl tilted her head.
"You might have just put some muscle on. Muscle weighs more than fat, you know."
"It reads the same thing it did this morning!"
"Well, you've got to give your body some time to recover after a workout. But first thing tomorrow, you'll be right as rain!"
"Oh my goodness…You mean tomorrow I'll be even heavier?"
She grabbed the earth pony by the shoulders.
"Rarity, don't you thin you're taking this too seriously?"
Before she could reply with a chorus of "No I'm bloody well not! This is an emergency you brainless blonde bumpkin!", the doorbell rang and she had to answer the door. This is a good thing, considering that Apple Jack had a back kick that could probably send her to the moon. Providing she lost that weight.
Rarity opened to door and let Twilight in.
"Rarity, I can't find Spike. Do you know where he's gone?"
"I'm sorry Twilight; I haven't seen him all day."
"Didn't you two meet up for lunch?"
"Well, my dear, it's like this…"
She gave her explanation.
"Oh Rarity! No wonder he's gone missing! He was looking forward to that lunch!"
"I was looking forward to it, too, you know. But I can't let one morsel of food pass my lips until I get rid of this weight!"
Twilight rolled her eyes.
"You know, starving yourself and exercising till you drop isn't the right way to lose weight. Getting in shape can take a while and there's no real quick fix…"
"Quick fix!" Rarity cried, with her eyes glistening "Of course! You can just magic the fat away!"
"Magic it away?"
"Yes! You've got magic spells for hair growth, repressing one's appetite, growing wings, walking on clouds and teleporting, so you must have something that can help! Just hit me with a little weight loss spell, and everything will be dandy!"
The purple unicorn sighed. It was a sigh that betrayed a complete lack of enthusiasm.
"Rarity, there's no such thing as a weight loss spell."
Rarity's jaw dropped.
"Why do you think so many mares go onto those fad diets? I'm sorry Rarity, but it's just one of those problems that take a while to solve."
Rarity just couldn't believe it. All that useless stuff they could do with Magic, yet they couldn't do the one thing that would solve this humongous calamity. Magic, to Rarity now seemed very much like our own cell phones- you can use them to browse the internet, listen to music, play games, watch videos and check the closing prices of the Tokyo stock exchange- everything but actually make a bleeding phone call!
Apple Jack had finished in the shower and joined the two unicorns outside.
"You know, sugar cube, I think you're taking this thing with your weight a little too seriously. So what if you're a little heavier than you were yesterday? You look fine from where I'm standing."
Rarity, still depressed, locked the door and the three walked into town to look Spike.
"Besides," Twilight added "Remember when we talked about judging book's by their covers? It's what's inside that counts."
"Exactly. Want to know what diet I'm on? The 'Who Gives A Cowpat Diet'! Where you just eat what you want, when you want!"
"That's a great way to go about it! Look at Pinkie. She eats all the time and as a result, she's always happy!"
"There, see?" Twilight said smugly, "This problem is nothing more than…"
"Pinkie! Of course! She's always eating, but she's still around the same size as me! Twilight, you're a genius!"
A white blur shot off in the direction of Sugarcube Corner, leaving two little ponies face palming themselves.
Pinkie was at Sugarcube corner. She was almost always at Sugarcube corner, even when it was her day off from work. This is a result of the hyperactive pink earth pony having a very hungry sweet tooth, and the corner's confectionary being just-that-good.
"Pinkie! I need a word!"
Rarity about to bemoan her problem, stopped.
"You said you needed a world, so I gave you one!"
Pinkie's randomness had sunk in, and Rarity shook her head.
"No, I mean that I have a problem and I need your advice."
"Okay. Fire away!"
"How do you stay so slim?"
"Okay, let's see. Um….nope. I don't think I've heard that one before!"
"This isn't a joke Pinkie! I need to know how one who works in a bakery keeps such a trim figure!"
"I don't keep figures, silly! I keep plushies! They're way cuddlier!"
"For Celestia's sake Pinkie! I just want to know how you can eat so much and not put on any weight! What's your technique? Special pills? A certain exercise routine?"
"I don't really do anything special"
"You must do something! For breakfast, you eat a large bowl of porridge with sugar, honey and maple syrup, then for brunch you have an enormous stack of pancakes with angel delight, chocolate spread and peanut butter, for lunch you have a daisy sandwich with a large side order of extra crispy hay fries and a side salad, then snack on some cupcakes, for afternoon tea you have a pot of the sweet tea with a large pile of Scottish shortbread, often followed by more cupcakes, for dinner you have a cheese and onion pie, with mashed potatoes made with cream and butter, served with a selection of seasonal vegetables followed by a huge apple pie for dessert, then you munch on a selection of chocolates before supper, and when you get around to having your supper you have treacle toffee pudding, swimming in butterscotch sauce served with a jug of custard, and when you go to bed you take up a whole pack of chocolate chip cookies and a flagon of milk in case you get hungry during the night! Now how can you eat all that and still not put on one single pound?"
Pinkie blinked. Never losing that wide eyed smile.
"Oh, that? It's just genetics!"
Silence. Rarity with her mouth open. Pinkie with her eyes wide and her smile broad.
"You see, some ponies have genes that let them digest food faster. I have them. When you've got it, flaunt it!"
The last thing Rarity wanted to hear. Well, the last thing she wanted to hear, after, "Hi Rarity! When's it due?"
Her poor mother couldn't get her own diet to work, and with genetics in play, all hope was lost. She would never fit into the gorgeous dress. The dress she had worked on long and hard to make. Every time she maid eye contact with a pony, she felt those eyes piercing into her. Thinking "Wow, she's so fat." She would have to go into exile.
But then, as she got home, she noticed the door ajar.
She couldn't have forgotten to close the door. She clearly remembered locking it.
Her stomach became a ball of withering snakes.
Oh Celestia, she thought, Opal!
She grabbed a rake with her magic and edged into her boutique. She crept through the empty lobby.
Opal was asleep by the window.
Was she dead?
Rarity could see her breathing in and out.
Rarity covered her mouth to muffle her scream.
A clopping of hooves was heard from the bathroom.
She took a deep breath. She listened closer.
Judging by the hoof steps, there was only one of them. Good. No gang of bullies to back him.
She edged towards the door. Just taking baby steps. Not a sound.
She was at the door.
Her fore hoof hovered above the doorknob.
She steeled herself.
Nice deep breath.
With a furious scream, she swooped at the door know and threw the door open. She swung the rake, slamming the blunt end of the pole into the intruder's head slamming his head into the bathroom wall, with a frightened yell.
All of sudden, Rarity's eyes sprang wide in alarm.
Her jaw dropped at the sight of her burglar.
"Dad, what in the name of Celestia's mane are you doing?"
"Oh, um…hi honey! I was just, eh, fixing your scales."
"Fixing my scales?"
He came over all red, which really shows up on white horses.
"Well, you see, your mom was driving me batty with this new diet of hers. I just wanted to show her that it was a waste of time, so when we were having drinks last night; I set your scales up in such a way that they'd show her being heavier. Then we could get off that low fat junk."
Rarity's magic aurora that held the rake began to glow an angry red. The sparkles of light because like exploding suns as her eyes burned with immeasurable rage.
"Are you telling me…" she hissed "that I have run a marathon with the most enthusiastic race horse in Ponyville, covered myself with sweat, gave up a lunch with Spike, starved myself all day and ruined my one day off this week just because of some stupid prank?"
"What the hell is your problem Dad? Playing such cockamamie pig-headed, ridiculous, schoolboy pranks at your age!"
After another hour of ranting, raving lecturing and threatening to stick her rake in the most unpleasant place a stallion could imagine, Rarity calmed down. She and her father reconciled. He went to the chemists to get something for his headache while Rarity decided to make the most of what was left of her day off and see if she could catch Fluttershy at the spa. Unfortunately, Fluttershy had already gone by the time Rarity arrived.
Not too much of a problem. She could always swing by her cottage later. But at that moment, it time for some alone time. Rarity slid into the Jacuzzi and felt the bubbles gentle sooth her aching body.
Eventually, Twilight approached her.
"Ah. I was hoping I'd find you here."
"Hello Twilight. Did you manage to find Spike?"
"Yes. He's at the diner, downing his sorrows in coffee and doughnuts. All the sugar and caffeine has gone to his head and he's singing really depressing songs. Luckily, there's not one song in all Equestria that Spike knows all the words too, so he won't be singing for very long."
You know that feeling you get, when you've just remember that there was one more loose end to tie up, before the day is truly yours? That feeling of embarrassment you get when it was something important and the effects of this task not being completed blows up in your face? Well, that's how Rarity felt.
As she walked through the diner, all heads turned. That gorgeous red silk dress was certainly every bit as stunning as Rarity was hoping for. She spotted him. Easy enough, because a dragon kind of sticks out in a room full on ponies. And even if Spike were himself a horse, it wouldn't be too hard to notice one slumped at the bar singing "This is the closest thing to crazy."
The singing stopped.
His head turned in her direction. His eyes were wide with surprise.
"Listen Spike, I'm dreadfully sorry about breaking off lunch, but perhaps I could make it up to you with dinner? We could go Dutch."
He scanned her all over, eyes wider than the moon. Rarity had to wonder, was her dress really that amazing?
"S-Sure!" Spike said, leaping out of his seat. "I know a great place! They do really big orders, so I hope you're hungry!"
"Spike, I'm ravenous."