Series 2 Episode 05 – The Euclid Alternative
Scene: The apartment. Leonard enters, drops his keys in the bowl by the door, then collapses onto the settee. Sheldon enters from the bedroom area.
Sheldon: Good morning, Leonard.
Sheldon: Yeah, we’re going to have to stop by Pottery Barn on the way to work, I bought these Star Wars sheets but they turned out to be much too stimulating to be compatible with a good night’s sleep. I don’t like the way Darth Vader stares at me.
Leonard: I’m not going to work.
Sheldon: Oh, just because your career’s been stagnant for a few years, that’s no reason to give up.
Leonard: Sheldon, I was up all night using the new free-electron laser for my X-ray diffraction experiment.
Sheldon: Did the laser accidentally burn out your retinas?
Sheldon: Then you can drive. Let’s go.
Leonard: Didn’t I tell you I’d be working nights, and that you’d have to make other arrangements.
Sheldon: You did.
Sheldon: I didn’t. Let’s go.
Leonard: Goodnight, Sheldon.
Sheldon: But how am I going to get to work?
Leonard: Take the bus.
Sheldon: I can’t take the bus any more. They don’t have seatbelts. And they won’t let you lash yourself to the seat with bungee cords.
Leonard: You tried to lash yourself to the seat with bungee cords?
Sheldon: I didn’t try, I succeeded. For some reason it alarmed the other passengers and I was asked to de-bus.
Leonard: Oh, you’re a big boy, you’ll figure it out.
Sheldon: Don’t talk to me like I’m a child. Now, take me to return my star wars sheets!
Scene: Outside Penny’s apartment.
Sheldon: (Knock, knock, knock) Penny, (knock, knock, knock) Penny, (knock, knock, knock) Penny…
Penny (opening door): Sheldon, what is it?
Sheldon: Leonard’s asleep.
Penny: Thanks for the update (begins to close door.)
Sheldon: No, wait. You have to drive me to work.
Penny: Yeah, uh, I really don’t think I do.
Sheldon: But I don’t drive, and I can’t take the bus.
Penny: Yeah, honey, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t do that bungee cord thing, okay?
Sheldon: Penny. Didn’t you recently state that you and I are friends?
Penny: Yes, Sheldon, we are friends.
Sheldon: Then I hereby invoke what I’m given to understand is an integral part of the implied covenant of friendship. The favour.
Penny: Oh, dear God.
Sheldon: I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was interrupting your morning prayers. When you’re done, we’ll go.
Scene: Inside Penny’s car.
Sheldon: Thank you for driving me to work.
Penny: You know this is my day off, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Oh, good. I’m not keeping you from anything. Your check engine light is on.
Sheldon: Typically that’s an indicator. To, you know, check your engine.
Penny: It’s fine, it’s been on for, like, a month.
Sheldon: Well, actually, that would be all the more reason to, you know, check your engine.
Penny: Sheldon, it’s fine.
Sheldon: If it were fine, the light wouldn’t be on. That’s why the manufacturer installed that light, to let you know it’s not fine.
Penny: Uh, maybe the light’s broken.
Sheldon: Is there a “check the check engine light light”? (Penny takes a drink of coffee) O-o-o-oh!
Sheldon: Studies have shown that performing tasks such as eating, talking on a cell phone or drinking coffee while driving reduces one’s reaction time by the same factor as an ounce of alcohol.
Penny: Do you have any alcohol?
Sheldon: Of course not.
Penny: Too bad.
Sheldon: You’re going up Euclid Avenue?
Sheldon: Leonard takes Los Robles Avenue.
Penny: Well, good for Leonard.
Sheldon: Euclid Avenue is shorter as the crow flies, but it has speed bumps, which appreciably increase point-to-point drive time, making it the less efficient choice. But you have the conn. Of course, if you’re not going to slow down for the speed bumps, I withdraw my previous objection. Here’s a fun question. Do you know what the most common street name is?
Sheldon: The answer’s tricky. It’s Second Street. You see, you’d think it would be First Street, but in most towns, First Street eventually gets renamed to something else, you know, like Main Street, Broad Street, Michigan Avenue. Leonard and I often use our commute time to exercise our minds with brain-teasers like that. We also play games. Would you like to play one?
Sheldon: Oh, come on, it’s fun. Ooh! Another bump. Okay. I’ll say an element, and uh, you say an element whose name starts with the last letter of the one I said, okay? I’ll start. Helium. Now, you could say Mercury. That would give me a Y. Ooh. Very clever, that’s a tough one. So I go Ytterbium, which gets you back to M. So you go Molybdenum, and I say Magnesium, you say Manganese, and I say Europium, and, and you’re left with Mendelevium, and there are no more M’s because I believe that Meitnerium should still be called Ekairidium, so congratulations, you win. Do you wanna go again?
Penny: How about we just have a little quiet time now?
Sheldon: All right. Hmm, huh, I’m sorry, I’m finding your reckless nonchalance regarding the check-engine light to be very troubling.
Penny (Pulling over): Get out.
Sheldon: Well, I have to tell you that while I do have a theoretical understanding of the workings of an internal combustion engine, I’m not sure I’m capable of performing diagnostics.
Penny: I said, get out.
Sheldon: Okay. I’ll give it a shot. (Gets out. Penny drives away.)
Scene: The university cafeteria. Sheldon enters.
Sheldon: Oh, Leonard, there you are, I’m ready to go home.
Leonard: I just got here.
Sheldon: Good, perfect timing.
Leonard: Sheldon, I told you, I only have access to the free-electron laser at night. I can’t drive you for the next few weeks.
Sheldon: No, you said you couldn’t drive me to work, this is from work.
Leonard: Howard, help me out here.
Howard: No, just for the fun of it, I’m gonna take his side.
Sheldon: Now, how do you propose I get home?
Leonard: How did you get here in the first place?
Sheldon: Penny. But I sense that’s no longer an option.
Leonard: Look, I need to get to the laser lab, you’re just going to have to find someone else to take you home.
Howard: Oh damn, I picked the wrong side.
Scene: Howard’s motor scooter. Howard is driving, Sheldon is on the back clutching him for dear life and screaming.
Sheldon: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh God, not Euclid Avenue! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Scene: Raj’s car.
Raj: Why did Howard leave you in the middle of the road anyway?
Sheldon: We had a difference of opinion.
Raj: Over what?
Sheldon: Whether or not he was trying to kill me. For the record, I maintain he was. Where are you going?
Raj: I’m taking you home.
Sheldon: Oh, but I’m not going home. It’s Wednesday, Wednesday is new comic book day, we have to go to the comic book store. And then we have to stop at Soup Plantation, it’s creamy tomato soup day, and Radio Shack, there’s a sale on triple-a batteries. Plus, we have to go to Pottery Barn and return my Star Wars sheets.
Raj: I have a better idea.
Sheldon: You want to go to pottery barn first?
Scene: Penny’s apartment, she opens the door, Sheldon is stood outside with his Star Wars sheets.
Sheldon: Can you drive me to Pottery Barn? (She closes the door) Maybe if I turn off the night-light, I can keep the sheets.
Scene: The apartment. Sheldon enters from the bedroom area. Everyone else is present.
Sheldon: Good morning.
All: Good morning.
Leonard: Sheldon, sit down.
Sheldon: She’s in my spot. Don’t look at me like that, everybody knows that my spot.
Penny: Sheldon, you know that we care about you.
Howard: And it’s because we care about you that we’ve decided we have to speak up.
Penny: You’re hurting the people around you, sweetie.
Leonard: So we made you an appointment, and we want you to keep it.
Sheldon: Department of motor vehicles new driver handbook? But I don’t have a problem.
Leonard: Sheldon, you need to learn how to drive.
Howard: This madness has to stop.
Leonard: Penny’s taking you to the DMV, I’m going to bed.
Sheldon: Why Penny?
Leonard: Because rock breaks scissors, goodnight.
Penny: All right, come on Sheldon.
Sheldon: Hold on, I have one condition.
Sheldon: We have to stop at Pottery Barn.
Sheldon: And Radio Shack.
Sheldon: And the comic book store.
Penny: All right! (They leave.)
Howard: Ooh, I want to go to the comic book store. (He leaves.)
Raj: I like comic books.
Scene: The DMV.
Sheldon: I just don’t see why I need a driver’s license, Albert Einstein never had a driver’s license.
Howard: Yeah, but Albert Einstein didn’t make me wet myself at 40 miles an hour.
Penny: Yeah, and I never wanted to kick Albert Einstein in the nuts. You know, I gotta ask, why didn’t you just get a license at 16 like everybody else?
Sheldon: I was otherwise engaged.
Penny: Doing what?
Sheldon: Examining perturbative amplitudes in n=4 supersymmetric theories leading to a re-examination of the ultraviolet properties of multi-loop n=8 supergravity using modern twistor theory.
Penny: Well, how ’bout when you were 17?
DMV Lady (to the person ahead of Sheldon in the queue): Take this to the testing area, put your name at the top, sign the bottom, answer the questions, bring it back, next! (Sheldon moves forward) Application?
Sheldon: I’m actually more of a theorist.
Howard: The application in your hand, give it to her.
DMV Lady: Take this to the testing area, put your name at the top, sign the bottom, answer the questions, bring it back, next!
Sheldon: Excuse me, but I have some concerns about these questions.
DMV Lady: Look at that sign up there.
DMV Lady: Does it say I give a damn?
DMV Lady: That’s because I don’t.
Sheldon: Just, look, see, this first question makes no sense, how many car lengths should you leave in front of you when driving? There’s no possible way to answer that, a car length is not a standardized unit of measure.
DMV Lady: Look at the sign.
Penny: Sheldon, it’s C, just put down C.
Sheldon: I don’t need your help, Penny.
DMV Lady: Listen to that little girl, honey, put C. Next!
Sheldon: No, no, wait, no, hang on, look at this next question.
Howard: Sheldon, why are you arguing with the DMV?
Sheldon: How else are they going to learn? Look, question 2, when are roadways most slippery? Now, okay, there are three answers, none of which are correct. The correct answer is, when covered by a film of liquid sufficient to reduce the coefficient of static friction between the tire and the road to essentially zero, but not so deep as to introduce a new source of friction.
DMV Lady: Here’s your learner’s permit. Go away.
Sheldon: But I’m not done. I have many additional concerns about these questions.
DMV Lady: Don’t make me climb over this counter.
Penny: Come on, let’s go.
DMV Lady: Next!
Sheldon: Aced it.
Scene: The apartment. Howard is setting up a large kit of high tech equipment.
Howard: Okay, that’s it, let’s boot it up.
Howard: This is a state-of-the-art simulator. I adapted it from something a friend of mine designed for the army.
Sheldon: Is that why I appear to be in downtown Fallujah, behind the wheel of an up-armored Humvee?
Howard: I haven’t configured it yet. Let’s see… Bradley tank… transport truck… Batmobile…
Howard: Here we go, red 2006 Ford Taurus on the streets of Pasadena.
Sheldon (sucking in breath): Hmmmm?
Sheldon: Statistically, red cars are stopped by police far more often than any other colour. I don’t want any hassles with the fuzz.
Howard: Fine, what colour do you want?
Sheldon: You know the pale blue of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, before it was digitally remastered?
Howard: Black it is.
Leonard: Okay, now, what you want to do first is turn on the ignition and shift into drive.
Sheldon: I haven’t fastened my seat belt yet.
Leonard: Okay, fasten your seat belt.
Sheldon: Click. Now, are there air bags?
Leonard: You don’t need air bags.
Sheldon: What if a simulated van rear-ends me?
Penny: I’ll hit you in the face with a pillow.
Leonard: Okay, now shift into drive, pull out slowly into traffic.
Leonard: Watch out.
Howard: Oh God!
Leonard: Watch, watch out, watch out for pedestrians!
Penny: Oh God, wait, slow, hit the brakes, hit the brakes!
(Sounds of car crashing. Penny hits Sheldon in face with pillow.)
Sheldon: Thank you.
Scene: The same, only Sheldon and Leonard are present. Sheldon is practicing. There are sounds of squealing tyres and brakes and general panic and mayhem.
Sheldon: Sorry… excuse me… my bad… student driver…
Leonard: How did you manage to get on the second floor of the Glendale galleria?
Sheldon: I don’t know. I was on the Pasadena freeway, I missed my exit, flew off the overpass, and one thing led to another.
Leonard: Maybe you want to give it a rest and try again tomorrow.
Sheldon: No. I quit. (Stands up. There is more sound of crashing and panic, then animal noises.)
Leonard: Aw, the pet store?
Sheldon: Remind me to compliment Wolowitz on the software, it’s amazingly detailed.
Leonard: So wait,you’re just gonna give up?
Sheldon: No, I’m not giving up, I never give up.
Leonard: So what is it you’re doing?
Sheldon: I’m transcending the situation. I’m clearly too evolved for driving.
Leonard: What does that mean?
Sheldon: Leonard, have you ever wondered why my little toes and lateral incisors are significantly smaller than the average for someone of my size?
Leonard: I wonder a lot of things about you, Sheldon, but not… not that.
Sheldon: Well, those are indicators that I’m farther along the evolutionary scale than the average human.
Leonard: No kidding.
Sheldon: Well, no, no, I’m not going to go so far as to say that I represent a distinct new stage in humankind, you know, a Homo Novus, if you will, no, that’s for anthropologists to decide. But I am convinced that the reason I cannot master the plebeian task of driving is because I’m not meant to.
Leonard: Yes, you are, you’re meant to learn how to drive. Please learn how to drive!
Sheldon: No, no. Leonard, I’m meant for greater things, like unraveling the mysteries of the universe, not determining when it’s safe to pass a stopped school bus on a country road.
Leonard: It’s never safe.
Sheldon: Yeah, well, I know that now.
Leonard: Fine. Assuming that everything you say is true, how does the biologically superior Homo Novus get to work tomorrow morning?
Sheldon: Homo Novus doesn’t know.
Leonard: Well, hang in there, maybe you’ll evolve into something with wings.
Scene: A corridor in the university. Sheldon emerges from his office in a shower cap and bathrobe. The others are turning the corner.
Sheldon: Good morning, gentlemen.
Raj: Good morning. Is there some new kind of casual Friday I don’t know about?
Leonard: No, he lives here now.
Howard: Really? Why?
Leonard: Well, since he won’t take the bus and he’s too evolved to drive, he decided it would be easier to just sleep in his office and shower in the radiation lab until I’m finished with my experiment.
Raj: But you finished your experiment a week ago.
Scene: The cafeteria, late at night. Two cleaning ladies enter and find a plate with toast crusts.
Cleaning Lady 1 (in Spanish, subtitles): Oh my God, again?
Cleaning Lady 2: It must be rats.
Cleaning Lady 1: Rats don’t make toast and cut off the crust.
(They are startled by a noise. One of them drops the plate, it smashes on the floor. Sheldon is by the drink machine, he is wearing a cloak with a hood)
Sheldon: You saw nothing! (Sweeps hood around himself and vanishes through cafeteria door.)