Dress For The Pony You Fear, Not The Pony You Have


My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at http://www.popehat.com. I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called dressup121.com- I'm sure you must have heard of it by now. We are nationally recognized, reliable source for kid's games, and we are located at http://www.dressup121.com/.

I was looking at a few different sites for realty information, and I thought yours was one of the best. I would like to request a link to our website. I realize that sometimes there are set rates involved in this kind of placement of text links, so, please, feel free to name your price. If you need more information in order to review and consider our site for linking, please feel free to contact me via email at annitajohnson@hotmail.com, or, if you would like to talk about this by phone, my direct number is 5446999904.

Best wishes,

Annita Johnson, for dressup121.com

Hey Ken,

I tried to reach you again some time ago but something obviously went wrong, or you just didn't have the time to check my email….that's all right. My name is Annita Johnson, and I am contacting you regarding your site at http://www.popehat.com. I currently work for a company that maintains a website that offers kid's games; it's called dressup121.com and it is located at http://www.dressup121.com/.
I was wondering if you'd be interested in us paying to advertise via text links on your site. I realize that there are sometimes set rates/fees involved in such placement of text links so feel free to name your price. We like your blog and we would love to be a part of it.
If not, thanks for the time and keep up the good work!

Best wishes,

Annita Johnson, for dressup121.com
mail to:

Hi Ken,

I tried to reach you again before, but obviously it didn't work; anyway I thought I should give it another-last-try. We are interested in working with you.
We are interested in a permanent post with a do-follow link to our site and a picture. We prefer you to write the post, but we can write it, too. Please let me know if you are interested, and your rates in both cases.


Dear Annita,

My apologies for the delay in responding to your three attempts to contact me. I forgot how to computer.

I appreciate your praise for our website and the work we have done on realty information. Initially I wasn't sure whether you meant reality information — for we do supply a great deal of information about certain unpleasant aspect of reality, Annita — or realty information, meaning information about the purchase and sale of homes. While we have only provided limited realty information — for instance, advice not to buy in Destin, Florida — I am gratified that what we have done is of use.

I also very much appreciate your exhortation that we feel free to name our price for a text link. I shall do so! Money is actually a little tight these days Annita and I don't mind telling you that some cash to defray certain medical, legal, and psycho-sexual expenses would come in very handy right now. But either Sun Tzu or Cap'n Crunch said that we must never pass up the opportunity for a substantial long-term victory to secure a minor short-term goal. Therefore I would like to name a more creative price.

You wish us to link a site that specializes in dress-up games for children. We will do so on the condition that you create and feature prominently a game teaching children about the patent dangers of ponies. Children are taught to love and cherish and squeal over ponies, Annita. This is like teaching children that whirling sawblades taste like Strawberry Quik. If falls to us — we few, we desperate few — to push back against this message, just as we push back against messages that promote negative body images or tolerance of ironic facial hair.

Children love games, particularly video games with eerie bug-eyed avatars and art styles out of the methadone nightmares of Japanese pornographers, so I see a win-win scenario in a collaboration here. Our proposed dress-up game — tentatively titled PONIES LAUGH WHILE THEY KILL EVERYONE YOU LOVE — would have the following elements:

* Players could choose amongst a variety of high-fashion outfits to dress their avatar stylishly but in the manner best suited to defend against a pony onslaught, only to discover that their painstaking choices are meaningless because no protective clothing — however sparkly — is sufficient to protect against the junvilequine terror.

* Players could choose amongst different outfits suitable for a post-pony-apocalypse, including gnawed tatters, wretched tear-stained shifts, and gowns slick and dark with the blood of their cherished grandparents.

* Occasionally screens displaying, say, different hats would go suddenly black and a screaming pony would appear in 3D in an effort to teach vigilance.

* In-game characters would use fashion situations for pedagogical purposes, like saying "that's a lovely chemise you've chosen, but how are you going to work the buttons when ponies have bitten your fingers off?"

This serves both of our needs, Annita, as well as the needs of the world's children. You've asked us to name our price. That's it.

I eagerly await your reply.

Very truly yours,



P.S. I am aware that Cap'n Crunch may not really be a Captain.


Hi Ken,

I was very surprised by your email! Please give me some time to
forward this to the relevant department; I'll let you know soon. Meanwhile, can't we find a way to sort things out, and do that post?

Best Regards,

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Trevor says

    "The supreme art of war is to subdue the ponies without fighting." -either Sun Tzu or Guybrush Threepwood

  2. SarahW says

    One of these days someone is going to pay up your price, and you will have to link to dress up games and sell me a virtual office address.

  3. Demosthenes says

    Again? I mean, seriously, at some point you'd think Popehat would develop a certain reputation among unsavory marketer types. Must be a constant influx of noobs.

    I like to imagine some of these people, whose minds shattered as they realized the extent of their pwnage, are currently occupying the more fashionable corners of padded cells nationwide…and that the only words that can escape from betwixt their quivering, foam-flecked lips are "Ponies…no…ponies…"

  4. Xenocles says

    You should consider taking their money in exchange for sending your readers over to their sites to cause havoc.

  5. says

    I wish I had the patience, and the genius you display, to reply to dopes like this. I usually just shitcan those emails. Your way seems like a lot more fun.

  6. Demosthenes says

    Hey, Xenocles, I'm always up for a little pro-bono work.

    Can you hear the ponies, Annita? They're screaming.

  7. Shane says

    First, please for the love of god someone make this game.

    Secondly I do like the idea above of a 'please go mock these people links page.' As long as there is a strong disclaimer at the top that you endorse none of their pathetic selves and that any/all of the links go to sites that may contain stupidity and/or malware I don't see the downside of sending along an army of ill wishers.

  8. Mike says

    So, just yesterday I got an email from Journal of Literature and Art Studies, USA, saying "This is Journal of Literature and Art Studies … a professional journal published across the United States. … We have learned your paper entitled Cartagena and the Notion of Diversity in 15th-century Castile from the 2012 Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference. … We are very interested in your paper and would like to publish your paper in our journal."

    Sketchy English aside, this has been widely red-flagged as a shady pay-to-publish operation. It occurs to me that Ken could open a profitable side business licensing personalized pony replies for this sort of situation.

  9. says

    When the pony apocalypse comes, those pony loving bastards won't even see it coming. We won't even be able to say 'I told you so' because they'll all be dead.

  10. Joe Pullen says

    Well as I'm sure you realized the phone # Annita so kindly provided is not a real phone #. Although I suppose you could always try contacting her through the alternate email address associated with the domain registration. There are a couple of other game sites on the same server.

    The AnnitaJohnson Hotmail account goes to an actual address in Oklahoma which for obvious reasons I will not publish here including the fact that it could be an old email addy picked up by someone else since it goes back to 2009.

  11. ZarroTsu says

    She called your bluff.

    I shall start popping the popcorn in case she takes it all seriously. Worst(best?) case scenario there's a My-Little-Popehat dress-up sim on the site somewhere down the road.

    My fingers are cro– no, wait, my fingers are missing. Hum. Excuse me, I have to clean my keyboard.

  12. Votre says

    Gotta give whoever or whatever (if it's a bot) this 'Anita' thingy is full points for persistence.

    Maybe she's really a pony?

  13. Niall says

    Marketeer with a Hotmail account? Really?
    Realty? Really??
    And sublime effort. There have been worse games greenlighted for actual budgets by actual humans. (Or so we think. The release of Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is a perennial question mark on that process.)
    The update is difficult to gauge properly. Confusion escalated to someone else's problem? trolling? bluff called? Who knows.

  14. says

    "Please give me some time to forward this to the relevant department"



    They have a relevant department for that?

  15. Cvkvlv says

    Ken, your entire piece is priceless. However, I am still pondering the existence of ironic facial hair. Are there also sarcastic and sardonic hairs and is it likely to find these in other regions?

  16. Lagaya1 says

    I'd consider writing a fake spam letter just to get one of these wonderful replies, myself. Have you ever considered that maybe you're the one getting punked?

  17. says

    @ Lagaya1: "I'd consider writing a fake spam letter just to get one of these wonderful replies, myself. Have you ever considered that maybe you're the one getting punked?"

    That never happens.

    Sadly, the racing pony 411 email apparently never made it past the Popehat spam filters.

  18. apauld says

    Ken, I've long wondered (though I don't recall ever asking); do your anti-pony views make for pro-glue views?

  19. That Anonymous Coward says

    @Niall – Try the lawyer with yahoo or aol addresses, where the account name is something they thought was cool 20 years ago. This happens. Hell several of my nyms have way more professional sounding addresses.

    @Doctor X – That's cool and all… but I think I found Ken the proper outfits for the families holiday cards.


    Do it Ken, it'll be fing epic.

  20. AlphaCentauri says

    544 is a non-geographical area code:

    When you call one of those numbers, it actually forwards to whichever number the recipient is using at various times. Calling a 5xx area code could conceivably forward to some sleazy 900 or overseas number. So a lot of companies block those numbers for outgoing calls, and they never got very popular.

    Annita Johnson actually seems to be a popular name in Oklahoma. I didn't find anything connecting her to that website, but it may not be her day job. On the other hand, the domain dressup121.com is essentially the same as it was in 2010, at which time the domain was owned by Tuna Gurel in Ankara, Turkey. (It's currently got privacy protected registration.)

  21. Dan Weber says

    I dunno, asking how much you charge to advertise seems much more straightforward than asking to make "guest posts."

  22. Votre says

    I'd like to suggest we standardize on the term: PONYBAIT. That would be anything deemed worthy enough to provoke one of Ken's (by now) coveted 'pony rant' responses.

    We could also add ponybaited, ponybaiting, and ponybaitingly to round out the usage.

    Seems so much more appropriate than the more generic "troll" usages when it comes to getting a pony reply. ;-)

  23. Phil Binkowski says

    Hey Ken,

    My name is Twilight Sparkle, I represent the ponies of Equestria. We are a collective of light-hearted ponies that focus on educating children on the magical benefits of a friendship-based society. I have recently reviewed many blogs regarding friendship and found that your blog (www.popehat.com) was the best.
    I would like to discuss arranging a guest post to your blog about the positive aspects of ponies and pony friendship in particular. I do see from reviewing your site that not all of your coverage of ponies has been positive but I am sure that you would like to host a pony-positive post to provide a point/counterpoint presence to your overall blogging experience. After all, nothing pushes pages views like controversy.

    With regard to remuneration, I assure you that this will be a excellent business opportunity for your blog. While we cannot offer any direct payment for our services, we can definitely help increase your level of exposure to leverage your current audience appropriately for future marketing endeavours.

    Thanks in advance, we look forward to working with you,

    Twilight Sparkle

  24. Pedant says

    I think it's time for Annita to stop horsing around and to pony up. I, personally, am making tracks for their game store as soon as I drink my stirrup cup and rein in my …

  25. AlphaCentauri says

    I dunno, asking how much you charge to advertise seems much more straightforward than asking to make "guest posts."

    But anyone who took the time to read the site before inquiring would know that their inquiry might be rewarded by a custom-created pony post by Ken.

    Isn't there some saying among lawyers that you shouldn't ask a question of a witness if you don't already know the answer? Marketers might consider that strategy.

  26. says

    I regret to inform you that you have failed to achieve big sums of money for the pony apocalypse defense fund. You are over hurry and under reach in your response to horking blank check offer. Please press space bar and to try again.

    Seriously, "name your price" and you want PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS!!!!1! Hand the email to your Destroyer of Worlds and see what you get. Wait. No, she already seems too capable without an unlimited tool budget. Never mind.

  27. Ackerbau says

    I just found a bottle of Californian pale ale called "Dead Pony Club". I reckon this is from a brewery which consented to the rules for guest posts?