I spent the last ten days at the Kerrville Folk Festival, camping on a ranch in Texas with thousands of aging hippies and an internet connection just slightly slower than hair growth. After the seventeenth round of “The connection has timed out—Google is taking too long to respond,” I stopped trying. This distressing lack of perseverance is why I deserted you for two weeks without posting anything.
Kerrville is a music festival that focuses on singer-songwriters, so most of the people there don’t just listen to the music, they write and perform their own. I, on the other hand, do not, so I pretty much just lurk in corners saying “Anybody wanna hear ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane’ again?”
This is not to say I’ve never written any songs.
My first composition, entitled “Magic Enchanted Kingdom Flying Unicorn Pony Horses,” was serialized over two or three years of my elementary education and delivered from my favorite swing on the school playground. It chronicled the exploits of an adventurous and sparkly band of My Little Ponies, including the Unicorn, Pegasus, Earth Pony, and Flutter Pony varieties (not Sea Ponies; they were annoying in the TV show). I used to sing my song from a swing with my eyes closed and imagine that everyone on the playground would spontaneously gather around, drawn by my glorious voice and enthralling lyrics. I was super popular in elementary school.
This song was destined to be a million-seller for sure. Tragically, I was never signed to a major label, so I don’t have a recording of it. What I do have is a cassette tape of me telling stories about the same cast of characters.
I cannot have been older than six when this tape was made. Since I wasn’t big enough to set up the tape recorder myself, it starts with, “Well, I was going to tell a story if my Mama would leave.” Then, with the kind of intensity my adult self reserves for ideological debate or super chicken nachos, I tell about the unicorn flying enchanted kingdom magic horse ponies and their expedition to the big cave to defeat the giants and save Ponyland. Apparently, every one of the adjectives was completely necessary at all times. All of the sentences sound like this: “Then Starlight the sparkly white magic unicorn pony enchanted magic kingdom horse said—flying horse—said ‘Come on!’ and her friend Lemon the yellow flying magic horse enchanted kingdom pony unicorn came, and they flew to the scary enchanted magic cave of giants of Ponyland.”
The magic unicorn flying ponies also went on three successive picnics. You can tell they were enchanted picnics because they included all the delicacies I wasn’t allowed to eat in first grade. “Then Sparkle River and Lickety Split packed Fruit Roll-Ups and Doritos and real corn dogs and purple grape juice!” Flying magic enchanted unicorn sparkle kingdom horse ponies have the best parties. They totally would have listened to my song.