Series 04 Episode 20 – The Herb Garden Germination

Scene: A bookstore.

Dr. Brian Greene: My new book, The Hidden Reality, takes on a grand question. Is our universe the only universe? You see, there’s a growing belief among scientists like me that ours may only be one among many universes populating a gigantic cosmos. In The Hidden Reality, I explore this possibility without presuming any knowledge of mathematics or physics on the part of the reader.

Sheldon: Hysterical.

Amy: I’m glad you talked me into this. We work so hard, sometimes, it’s nice to goof off and do something silly.

Sheldon: Agreed. Wait till you hear how he dumbs down Werner Heisenberg for the crowd. You may actually believe you’re in a comedy club.

Greene: You can think about Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle much like the special order menu that you find in certain Chinese restaurants, where you have dishes in column A and other dishes in column B, and if you order the first dish in column A, you can’t order the corresponding dish in column B. That’s sort of like the Uncertainly Principle.

Sheldon: Ba-dum-bump.

Amy: Say, I heard an interesting tidbit about Howard and Bernadette.

Sheldon: Really, Amy? Gossip? I’m disappointed in you.

Amy: Now, now. Evolutionary biologist Robin Dunbar has identified gossip as an aid to social bonding in large groups.

Sheldon: Forgive my language, but poppycock.

Amy: What if he’s right? And by not participating in gossip, society breaks down into small feral bands of tattooed motorcycle riders fighting to the death over the last few cans of tuna fish?

Sheldon: Fine. In the parlance of the urban music scene, what’s the 4-1-1?

Amy: Bernadette is thinking about breaking up with Howard.

Sheldon: I believe our nation’s tuna cans are safe. Excuse me. Dr. Greene, question?

Greene: Yes?

Sheldon: You’ve dedicated your life’s work to educating the general populace about complex scientific ideas.

Greene: Yes, in part.

Sheldon: Have you ever considered trying to do something useful? Perhaps, reading to the elderly?

Greene: Excuse me?

Sheldon: Yeah, but not your books. Something they might enjoy. I kid, of course. Big fan.

Credits sequence

Scene: The apartment. The guys are playing on a Nintendo Wii.

Leonard: Nice shot.

Sheldon: Thank you. My father taught me archery as a child. It’s odd how the activity brings back the smell of Kmart bourbon.

Leonard: Perfect.

Sheldon: I know. What an elf I would have made. Whoo, what do you think you’re doing?

Leonard: Shooting at a target?

Sheldon: With what?

Leonard: An arrow.

Sheldon: Really? I didn’t see you draw one from your quiver.

Leonard: I’m not going to do that, Sheldon.

Sheldon: Leonard, the people at Nintendo can only go so far in helping us recreate an actual athletic experience. We have to do our part, too. (Leonard mimes drawing an arrow and stabbing Sheldon with it.) That was uncalled for, but I’ll play along. Ow! I had an unusual experience with Amy last night.

Leonard: Really? How could you tell?

Sheldon: She was attempting to engage me in gossip.

Leonard: You don’t say?

Sheldon: Yes. I think prolonged exposure to Penny has turned her into a bit of a Gabby Gertie.

Leonard: So, what’s the gossip?

Sheldon: Oh, please, I was just pointing it out. I have no desire to engage in the activity.

Leonard: Fine, don’t tell me.

Sheldon: All right, get this. Bernadette is thinking about breaking up with Howard.

Leonard: Oh. That’s too bad. I wonder what happened.

Sheldon: Mm, it’s hard to say. I can only speculate based on the data I collected watching my parents’ marriage implode. In that case, the woman dives into religion, while the man dives into a bottle-blonde bartender who tries to buy my love with action figures. Oop! Out of arrows.

Leonard: Boy, you sure get your money’s worth out of these games.

Scene: The bathroom.

Leonard: – Priya, can I come in?

Priya: Sure.

Leonard: Oh, God.

Priya: What?

Leonard: It’s okay. You didn’t know. I’ll take care of it.

Priya: What, what did I do?

Leonard: Sheldon doesn’t allow flossing that close to the mirror.

Priya: You’re kidding.

Leonard: It’s a splatter thing. There’s a little piece of tape on the floor you’re supposed to stand behind.

Priya: That’s madness.

Leonard: I know. Just do it. There’s a big inspection coming up, and I don’t want to lose my TV privileges.

Priya: You really need to let me take a look at that roommate agreement one of these days.

Leonard: Mm, I don’t know. I get a lawyer, he gets a lawyer, it’s just easier to stand behind the tape.

Priya: Oh, by the way, a fellow at work said I could use his Dodger tickets this weekend. Does that sound like fun?

Leonard: Yeah! Dodgers are baseball, right?

Priya: You’ll need to explain the game to me.

Leonard: Mm, it’s complicated, but as I remember it, the essentials are, get chosen last, get hit by the ball, cry, go home.

Priya: Well, regardless, I’ve got four tickets, and I was thinking we can bring Bernadette and Howard. She’s really interesting, and I bet I can get used to him.

Leonard: Well, it might not be a great idea to invite those two.

Priya: Why not?

Leonard: Don’t tell anybody I told you, but I heard she might be breaking up with him.

Priya: Oh, too bad. Although I do know one person for whom that’s good news.

Leonard: Really? Who?

Priya: My brother. He’s got a big crush on Bernadette.

Leonard: What? You’re kidding!

Priya: Mmm. I found poems he wrote about her. Very disturbing. Oh, Bernadette, please play my clarinet.

Leonard: Wow, that’s hard to believe.

Priya: Yes. And for years, everyone in my family was convinced that he was the clarinet enthusiast. Hmm. What’s that piece of tape?

Leonard: Oh, that one doesn’t apply to you. You sit.

Scene: The lobby.

Leonard: Hey!

Penny: Hey! How’s it going?

Leonard: Not too bad. Did you hear about Howard and Bernadette?

Penny: ‘Course I heard about it. How did you hear about it?

Leonard: I heard about it from Sheldon. He got it from Amy.

Penny: Oh, damn it. I told Amy that in the strictest confidence. Boy, some people are such blabbermouths. Well, whatever, I’m sure Bernadette can do better.

Leonard: Do you think a sexually ambivalent Indian astrophysicist with selective mutism and alcohol issues is better than a hundred-pound Jewish guy who lives with his mom?

Penny: You are kidding. Raj likes Bernadette?

Leonard: I didn’t say Raj. Who said Raj?

Penny: Okay, give. How do you know? Did he tell you?

Leonard: No.

Penny: Well, then who?

Leonard: I can’t say.

Penny: Priya told you. What a little gossip. You know, not an attractive quality in a woman, Leonard. Not judging, just my opinion.

Leonard: Well, The point is, if this got out, it would destroy Howard and Raj’s friendship.

Penny: You don’t have to worry. Unlike Amy and Priya, I know how to keep a secret.

Leonard: You’re the one who told Amy in the first place.

Penny: In confidence!

Scene: Raj’s apartment.

Raj: Hello, Mummy. Hello, Daddy. How are you?

Mrs Koothrappali (on webcam): We’re very rich in a very poor country. So, all in all, can’t complain.

Dr Koothrappali: So, Priya, how are enjoying staying with your brother?

Priya: It’s fine. But if I’m going to stay in Los Angeles much longer, I think I should get my own place.

Mrs Koothrappali: Why? Is Rajesh not making you feel comfortable? Rajesh, why aren’t you making your sister comfortable?

Raj: I am making her comfortable. Besides, she’s not sleeping here half the time anyway.

Dr Koothrappali: What? Where are you sleeping, Priya?

Priya: It’s a figure of speech, Daddy. It means I-I work late.

Mrs Koothrappali: Please tell me you’re not dating an American. I knew this would happen. Rajesh, are you letting your sister date that little Howard boy?

Dr Koothrappali: Now, hold on. If she is dating an American, that’s not a bad way to go. He’s Jewish. Those chaps are very successful, and they don’t drink a lot.

Raj: It, it doesn’t matter. Howard has a girlfriend.

Priya: For now.

Raj: What does that mean?

Priya: I’ll tell you later.

Raj: Is something going on with him and Bernadette?

Mrs Koothrappali: Who’s Bernadette?

Dr Koothrappali: Doesn’t sound Jewish.

Mrs Koothrappali: You can’t tell by that. Winona Ryder is Jewish.

Dr Koothrappali: Okay, we’re getting off the subject. Rajesh, I want you to try harder to make your sister feel welcome.

Priya: Thank you, Daddy.

Raj: Don’t worry. Everything I have, I share with her. Including my friend Leon…

Priya: Good night, Mummy. Good night, Daddy.

Raj: Oh, my God, I think you broke my toe!

Priya: Well you should have kept your mouth shut.

Raj: Fair enough. Now, what’s up with Clarinet? Bernadette!

Scene: The cafeteria.

Sheldon: I’ve been thinking about Dr. Greene’s efforts to make science palatable for the masses.

Leonard: Oh, yeah? What about it?

Sheldon: That’s all. I’ve just been thinking about it. Now, I’m thinking about fractal equations. Now I’m thinking about the origin of the phrase train of thought. Now I’m thinking about trains.

Raj: Are you listening to this guy?

Howard: Hmm? Oh, I’m sorry. I was somewhere else.

Leonard: Lucky bastard.

Sheldon: Now I’m thinking about Jell-O.

Raj: So what’s up?

Howard: It’s a Bernadette thing.

Raj: Oh, no. I hope everything’s okay.

Leonard: Whatever it is, we’re here for you. You can tell us anything.

Raj: Yeah. Good or devastating.

Howard: I’m gonna ask her to marry me.

Leonard: Marry you?

Raj: What?

Howard: Yeah. I just need to figure out the right time to pop the question.

Leonard: Oh, I’d wait.

Raj: No rush, no rush.

Howard (phone rings): Oh, great. It’s my cousin David about the ring. Hey, David, what’d you find? Oh, sure, a half a carat’s fine. Her freakishly small hands make anything look big. It’s one of the reasons I love her.

Leonard: Man, he’s going to be blindsided.

Raj: I know. It’ll be awful.

Sheldon: Why are you smiling?

Leonard: Yeah, Raj, why?

Raj: Uh, a smile means something different in my country. You know, tears of joy, smile of sadness. India’s a goofy place.

Sheldon: Oh, I’m back to trains. Woo-woo.

Scene: The apartment.

Amy: Did I tell you our lab got a grant to study addiction?

Sheldon: No.

Amy: Fascinating work. I recently trained a capuchin monkey to smoke cigarettes.

Sheldon: Have you learned anything?

Amy: Yes. He looks much cooler than the non-smoking monkeys. Although it’s not much of a contest. The other monkeys just sit around and masturbate.

Sheldon: If you don’t mind, I’d like to stop listening to you and start talking.

Amy: By all means.

Sheldon: Howard has announced his intention to propose marriage to Bernadette.

Amy: I don’t understand. The original piece of gossip indicated an impending breakup.

Sheldon: I know. The group consensus is that his proposal will be met with an humiliating, soul-crushing rejection. Everyone was set a-twitter. Although oddly, no one tweeted.

Amy: It’s not surprising that the story has captured the attention of our little circle of friends. Are you familiar with meme theory?

Sheldon: I’m familiar with everything, but go on.

Amy: Meme theory suggests that items of gossip are like living things that seek to reproduce using humans as their host.

Sheldon: I’m no stranger to memetic epidemiology. At Johnson Elementary School, the phrase Shelly Cooper’s a smelly pooper spread like wildfire.

Amy: I should think so. That’s gold.

Sheldon: Your meme hypothesis does intrigue me. How might we examine this more closely?

Amy: Do you have any ethical qualms regarding human experimentation?

Sheldon: It’s one of the few forms of interaction with people that I don’t find repellent.

Amy: We need to fabricate a tantalizing piece of gossip.

Sheldon: And a second non-tantalizing piece to use as a control.

Amy: Then we’ll track its progress through our social group and interpret the results through the competing academic prisms of memetic theory, algebraic gossip and epidemiology.

Sheldon: Look at you, getting me to engage in the social sciences. You’re a vixen, Amy Farrah Fowler.

Scene: Penny’s door.

Penny: Oh, hey, Amy. What’s up?

Amy: Sheldon and I engaged in sexual intercourse. In other news, I’m thinking of starting an herb garden. Mum’s the word. Gotta go.

Scene: The Cheesecake Factory

Bernadette: Oh, hey, Raj, what are you doing here?

Raj: I just felt like drinking alone, because I’m deep and dark.

Bernadette: Uh-huh. So, uh, Howard’s not here?

Raj: No. It’s just one of those times when it’s just you and me. Like when the three of us went to the movies and you and I waited outside the bathroom while Howard threw up Red Vines and Cherry Coke. Do you remember that?

Bernadette: Yeah.

Raj: Me, too. Good times.

Penny: Hey, 16 wants to order appetizers.

Bernadette: Oh, thanks.

Raj: This was nice.

Penny: What the hell are you doing? Howard is your best friend, and that is his girlfriend. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Raj: I was when I came in, but it’s amazing what liquor does to guilt. Besides what you might not know is, Bernadette is planning on breaking up with Howard.

Penny: Well, I know that. How do you know that?

Raj: My sister told me.

Penny: Oh, that gossipy bitch! No offense.

Raj: None taken. You should hear how she talks about you.

Penny: Okay, listen, just because Howard and Bernadette are having problems, does not mean you should be here sniffing around.

Raj: What can I do? I can’t stop thinking about her.

Penny: All right, try thinking about this. Sheldon and Amy had sex.

Raj: Shut your ass!

Penny: Yeah, it’s true. Amy told me.

Raj: How did that even happen? Did they know that’s what they were doing when they were doing it?

Penny: I-I guess they just figured it out at some point.

Raj: Wow. I can’t believe old Smelly Pooper finally got laid.

Scene: The apartment.

Leonard: Hey.

Sheldon: Hey.

Leonard: Hope you’re hungry.

Sheldon: Interesting. A friendly sentiment in this country, cruel taunt in the Sudan. It’s a lesson in context.

Leonard: Will Amy be joining us for dinner?

Sheldon: Yes, I believe so.

Leonard: Good, good. Everything okay between you two?

Sheldon: Yes. Why do you ask?

Leonard: No reason. I was just talking to Raj, and he mentioned what a lovely glow she has these days.

Sheldon: Did he mean as if she’d been out in the sun, tending an herb garden without wearing a hat or sunblock?

Leonard: No. That’s not what he meant.

Sheldon: Well, we may never know. As my mother would say, the Asians are an inscrutable folk. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.

Leonard: Yeah, you do. You dog, you.

Sheldon: Did you get that?

Amy (on webcam): Every word. Our false gossip meme appears to have reached node lambda.

Sheldon: This is moving faster than we thought.

Amy: Agreed. It appears the rate of gossip transmission is proportional to the number of nodes squared.

Sheldon: I must say, Amy, pretending to have intercourse with you is giving me a great deal of satisfaction.

Amy: Slow down, Sheldon. I’m not quite there yet.

Scene: The apartment, later.

Leonard: Pass the soy sauce.

Howard: Sure.

Amy: Bernadette just asked about my sexual encounter with you. The meme has reached full penetration.

Sheldon: Pun intended?

Amy: No. Happy accident.

Sheldon: This is remarkable. Took less than 24 hours.

Amy: I should let you know that she asked for details about our dalliance.

Sheldon: Interesting. So it went beyond the mere fact of coitus to a blow by blow, as it were.

Amy: Pun intended?

Sheldon: I’m sorry. What pun?

Amy: Not important. I described your lovemaking as aloof, but effective.

Sheldon: I wish you hadn’t done that. That’s going to make me a chick magnet, and I’m so busy as it is.

Howard: Hey, everybody, I got something I want to ask Bernadette, and I can’t think of a better time than when I’m with all my friends.

Leonard: Oh, hold on, Howard. There’s lots of better times.

Raj: Leonard, please. The man is talking. Let him get it out, and let the chips fall where they may.

Howard: Thank you. Bernadette Maryann Rostenkowski…

Bernadette: Oh, God. What’s happening?

Howard: I know things haven’t been perfect with us, and we’ve had our problems, but I just have to tell you, from the moment I…

Bernadette: Howard, let me just stop you right here.

Raj: This is it.

Bernadette: Yes.

Howard: Yes, what?

Bernadette: Yes, I will marry you.

Howard: You will?

Raj: You will?

Bernadette: I will. I will!

Howard: Oh, I love you so much.

Bernadette: Oh, I love you, too.

Leonard: Congratulations!

Priya: Oh, it’s so exciting.

Amy: I wonder what changed her mind.

Sheldon: Perhaps your talk of my sexual prowess renewed her faith in love.

Amy: As good an explanation as any.

Leonard: That’s great.

Scene: Penny’s door.

Penny: Oh, hey, Amy. Bernadette just texted me. Howard proposed?

Amy: Yes, not important. Just stopped by to let you know I’m getting orthotics. Also, I’m carrying Sheldon’s baby. Mum’s the word.

Scene: The stairwell, moments later. Leonard is reading a text message.

Leonard: You’re pregnant?

Amy: Wow. Is there anything on there about orthotics?

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