Like Spam For Ponies

6:17 PM (12 hours ago)
to me


My name is Anna and I really enjoy your website. Do you accept any paid posts and if so what are your guidelines on

Thanks for your time,


Ken At Popehat
7:35 PM (11 hours ago)
to annakayhicks

Dear Anna,

Thank you, I am glad you enjoy our website.

We have not previously accepted paid posts, and therefore have not had an opportunity to promulgate guidelines on that particular topic. Our guideline promulgation process is arcane, time-consuming, and to the judgmental uninformed observer might be taken as obscene and illegal in certain jurisdictions. Last time we promulgated guidelines, Ezra disappeared and was never heard from again, Patrick was institutionalized for three weeks, and David was not able to recover his equanimity until he had written a seven thousand word post on the history of artistic portrayals of dogs playing poker. He promised he would eventually post a follow-up treatment of the subset of paintings where the dogs are playing Texas Hold'em, but it's been three years and I'm starting to think he's a fucking liar.

Anyway, the only way we can do this thing, this thing here, is if I short-circuit the guidelines promulgation process and make an executive decision. And so I shall. Here it is:

1. We will accept a paid post from you.

2. The payment shall be in the form of a pony.

3. The prettiness and awesomeness of the pony shall be in direct proportion to the tediousness, banality, and sub-literacy of your guest post. If your post is quite good, you can pay us with any pony, even the sort of tired, dead-eyed pony you can steal from a child's party in a suburb where the home foreclosure rate exceeds 50%. But for each cliche, null-content sentence, questionable segue, or instance of meaningless drivel appearing in the post, the pony must grow steadily more pretty, to the theoretical point where the pony is so pretty that it causes a quantum pony-cuteness singularity. For each spelling or grammatical error in your post, the pony must be one step more awesome, in the sense of "terrifying." If you ever use an apostrophe before an "s" in a word that is plural, not possessive, the pony must possess the ability to breathe fire a minimum distance of twenty (20) feet.

4. The pony must be real, not pretend.

5. No Shetlands. Are you kidding me?

6. Also, hay. For the pony. And, frankly, it wouldn't hurt us to lay some down for Clark.

I trust these terms will be agreeable.

Very truly yours,


She hasn't responded. I'm not somebody who jumps to conclusions easily, but I'm beginning to think one of us isn't taking this negotiation seriously.

Last 5 posts by Ken White



  1. shg  •  Mar 13, 2012 @7:13 am

    You are so much more imaginative than I am. I told her One BILLION dollars. She countered with $12.47 and a pony. It's hard to find hay around my house.

  2. doug  •  Mar 13, 2012 @7:16 am

    I want you to have a pony. Its for the children. Btw, what are your real guidelines for submissions? Its not that give you a boatload of money thing and then maybe we can eat lunch if I sit at the next table thing, is it?

  3. CTrees  •  Mar 13, 2012 @8:31 am

    I'm… actually tempted to start a kickstarter to buy a pony to send to Ken, along with a handwritten post about the coming Congressional election, as viewed through the framework of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. This post wouuld be taped to the pony's bridle, naturally.

    I can dream…

  4. CTrees  •  Mar 13, 2012 @8:34 am

    My kingdom for an edit button…

  5. Josephine  •  Mar 13, 2012 @9:47 am

    Do you really mean to "lay down" some hay for Clark? It sounds to me as if you're confusing hay with straw.

  6. Ken  •  Mar 13, 2012 @9:49 am

    No, hay. I figure he can roll around in it, or use it to construct a rhetorical opponent.

  7. Dwight Brown  •  Mar 13, 2012 @10:04 am

    I would pay money to read a seven thousand word post from David on the history of artistic portrayals of dogs playing poker.

    Good money. Like 300 quatloos.

  8. Rebekah  •  Mar 13, 2012 @10:29 am

    Really requires an image of a Pony.

  9. Cathy  •  Mar 13, 2012 @11:32 am

    I'm worried. This sounds like an open offer that she could choose to accept at any time. And ponies are expensive to stable. Unless you get a fire-breathing one, in which case the situation may take care of itself rather quickly.

  10. SPQR  •  Mar 13, 2012 @11:57 am

    No, Cathy, his point 3 creates a problem of indefinite terms. Not a valid offer … so long as the contract is not construed as being under the UCC.

  11. A Critic  •  Mar 13, 2012 @12:23 pm

    I once saw a sign saying "Found: Lost Pony". I think someone let it go loose because they couldn't afford it. I wish I had taken it and eaten it. Mmmm….pony.

  12. panzersage  •  Mar 13, 2012 @6:27 pm

    All I can take away from this blog post is Ken is a brony. The reality of this may or may not be true but that was all I could think the entire time I read his response.

  13. Damon  •  Mar 14, 2012 @6:25 am

    I'd have asked for the deed to a small island. :)

  14. John  •  Mar 14, 2012 @7:45 am

    I think there comes a point in tedious 'guest' posts where the pony exchange has to morph into a dwarf unicorn. You should have noted that.

  15. Kasey  •  Mar 14, 2012 @2:52 pm

    You know, as much as you complain (rightfully) about blog comment spam, I would think that when someone takes the time to actually send you an e-mail and ASK, you could give her a straight answer.

    but then, as said by several people who actually know you in your starbucks-missed-encounters post, you are kind of a dick. But I love you anyway.

    You could have gone about this both ways, I think… Send her an e-mail saying something like, No, I'm sorry. doesn't accept sponsored posts. However, I am going to write up an amusing post about this conversation, and give you a little free publicity" and then include everything you posted above.

  16. David C. Wells  •  Mar 15, 2012 @8:05 am

    Thank you for this. I fancy myself a snarky fellow, but you are truly the king. I salute you.

  17. andrews  •  Mar 17, 2012 @9:11 am

    In a better world, each spammer would be required to send spam to each other spammer. That situation would last for several minutes, until each spammer's mail server had caught fire. Following which, we would have a much better world because of the reduction in spam.

    In an ideal world, each potential spammer would be boiled in rancid possum grease before they had the opportunity to send spam.

  18. markm  •  Mar 17, 2012 @4:31 pm

    Andrews: Why do you hate possums?

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