Series 08 Episode 21 – The Communication Deterioration

Scene: The cafeteria.

Sheldon: Hey, would you like to hear some songs I’ve rewritten to get children interested in the hard sciences?

Howard: Sure.

Leonard: Really?

Howard: Yeah. Well, I like music, I like science, I like making fun of Sheldon. Hit it.

Sheldon: There was a scientist who had a theory and James Clerk Maxwell was his name-o. J-A-M-E-S, C-L-E-R-K space M-A-X-W-E-L-L, And James Clerk Maxwell was his name-o. There was a scientist who had a theory and James Clerk Maxwell was his name-o, A-M-E-S…

Leonard: Uh, okay, okay. Uh, we, we get it.

Sheldon: Perhaps you’d prefer this one. The itsy bitsy spider is not an insect at all, because it haseight legs and two body parts.

Leonard: That’s pretty cool, Sheldon.

Sheldon: Thank you. Do either of you know Beyoncé? I’d love her to get behind it.

Raj: Hey.

Leonard: Hey.

Howard: Hey.

Sheldon: Hello.

Raj: You guys know the new Discovery class missions that NASA’s been working on?

Leonard: Yeah.

Raj: Well, they’re looking to include a message from Earth in case one of them is encountered by alien life.

Leonard: Oh. When I encountered alien life, I discovered that the key thing was not to sit in its spot.

Sheldon: All right, you can’t breathe our air without an inhaler, he’s allergic to Earth nuts, but I’m the alien.

Raj: Anyway, I’m among a handful of scientists that have been asked to submit a design proposal for the message and its delivery system.

Sheldon: Excellent.

Howard: Good for you.

Leonard: Congratulations.

Raj: And I was wondering if any of you guys would like to help me do it.

Leonard: Are you kidding? Yes. What did you have in mind?

Sheldon: I’ll tell you exactly what you should do, avoid the presumption of the Terran sensory input paradigm.

Howard: Yeah, absolutely. You need a device capable of delivering information across a wide range of perceptual modalities.

Sheldon: Any intelligent organism would at the very least need the ability to locate the position of objects in space. So the ideal interstellar lingua franca would be haptic.

Howard: Ooh, how about a 3-D tactile communicator rigged for cross-sensory transposition?

Raj: Exactly what I expected. Two people forcing their ideas on me and only one gentleman who could be bothered to ask me what my thoughts were. You two are out. Congratulations, Leonard, you’re on the team.

Leonard: My mommy raised a gentleman.

Credits sequence.

Scene: Raj’s apartment.

Raj: Hey. Thanks for coming by.

Leonard: Yeah. I’m excited to help.

Raj: I would have included the others, but you know exactly what would’ve happened. They would’ve taken over the project and bossed us around.

Leonard: I get it. Uh, just this morning, Sheldon wouldn’t let me put almond milk on my Grape-Nuts because he said it was a theoretical nut conflict.

Raj: You should have told him to mind his own business.

Leonard: Yeah. That’s better than what I did say, which was, fine, I’ll eat them with club soda.

Raj: What makes them think they’re always in charge of everything?

Leonard: Mmm, they’re alpha males.

Raj: Huh, what does that make us?

Leonard: We could be betas. They’re second in charge.

Raj: Okay, that sounds good.

Leonard: Or we could be omegas. They get pushed around by the alphas and the betas.

Raj: Okay, that sounds like us.

Leonard: Whatever. There’s no alphas here, and this is your project. You’re in charge. How do you want to start?

Raj: I don’t know. How do you want to start?

Leonard: I don’t know. Should we call Sheldon and Howard?

Raj: No. We can do this by ourselves.

Leonard: Okay. Great. How do you want to start?

Raj: I don’t know. How do you want to start?

Scene: The hallway.

Penny: (Knock, knock, knock) Sheldon. (Knock, knock, knock) Sheldon. (Knock, knock, knock) Sheldon.

Sheldon: I bet that started off as a joke, but by the third one you realized there was something strangely enjoyable about it.

Penny: Yeah, I kind of want to do it again.

Sheldon: I don’t recommend it. You’ll be doing it the rest of your life. Anyway, if you’re looking for Leonard, he’s with Koothrappali.

Penny: Uh, no, I actually came to talk to you.

Sheldon: How nice. Here are some topics that interest me, quantum mechanics, trains, flags.

Penny: No, no. It’s about my acting career.

Sheldon: Oh, sorry. That’s not on the list.

Penny: Well.

Sheldon: Oh, wait. No. How about we split the difference and discuss why Austria was an archduchy and not just a regular duchy.

Penny: Okay, look, here’s the thing. I like pharmaceutical sales, it’s going great, but I have an audition for a movie, and if I get it, it could screw everything up.

Sheldon: Hmm. I know exactly what you should do. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you.

Penny: Well, why?

Sheldon: I’m attempting to turn over a new leaf. Earlier today, it was pointed out to me that I tend to force my ideas on people.

Penny: You’re really not gonna tell me?

Sheldon: No, that train has left the station. Now, we can play this one of two ways. You can say, trains, tell me more, or you can just look at me like that and I’ll start.

Scene: Howard and Bernadette’s house.

Bernadette: What’s going on in here?

Howard: I am making molecular cocktails. This sphere is actually a cosmopolitan.

Bernadette: Oh. How do you drink it?

Howard: Oh, just put it in your mouth and pop it like a zit.

Bernadette: I think I’ll have a beer.

Howard: First take a picture with me.

Bernadette: Why?

Howard: Well, Raj and I always talked about learning how to make cocktails like this together, so I taught myself and I’m putting this on Instagram so he can see it and feel like a turd. Say cheese.

Bernadette: Is this about the space probe he’s working on without you?

Howard: You betcha. The very one.

Bernadette: Howard, you’re grown men. You guys don’t have to do everything together.

Howard: I know. That’s why I’m spending tonight with you.

Bernadette: Trying to hurt Raj’s feelings.

Howard: With my honeybunch.

Bernadette: You’re being childish.

Howard: No. He is. So I have a dominant personality. We all know that.

Bernadette: I’m sorry. What do we know?

Howard: In social groupings, I just naturally wind up in charge.

Bernadette: Don’t take this the wrong way, but how many of these little booze balls have you had?

Howard: You don’t think I’m a leader?

Bernadette: I was kidding. Of course you are.

Howard: Right. I couldn’t change if I wanted to.

Bernadette: You better not change, because I love who you are. Now, will you need help cleaning all this up when you’re done or can you do it all by yourself?

Howard: All by myself.

Bernadette: There’s my big boss man.

Scene: The apartment.

Sheldon: So, often on the front of the locomotive is a large iron wedge for clearing objects off the tracks. Now, while commonly known as a cowcatcher, I prefer the more accurate cow exploder.

Penny: Okay. Sheldon, let me ask you a question.

Sheldon: Mmm.

Penny: If I was at a train station and one train could take me to my current job and the other train could take me to an audition for a movie, which train should I get on?

Sheldon: Are you using trains to trick me into giving you advice?

Penny: No.

Sheldon: All right, then. You should take a third train where you audition for the movie but hold off on making a career decision until you have more information.

Penny: Oh. You’re right. I’m worried about something that hasn’t even happened yet. Huh. You are a wise man.

Sheldon: Well, Penny, who’s smarter, the wise man or the person who comes to him for advice?

Penny: Oh, I guess you’re right. Maybe it is the person who asks.

Sheldon: No, it’s the wise man. That’s why he’s called the wise man. You know how I know that? I’m the wise man.

Penny: I’m sorry. What was I thinking?

Sheldon: Uh, just out of curiosity, why didn’t you ask Leonard for advice about this?

Penny: ‘Cause I already know what he’ll say. Wah, wah, wah, you shouldn’t do it.

Sheldon: Ah, it’s just like he’s here.

Scene: Raj’s apartment.

Raj: Okay, so we know that previous attempts to send a message into space, like the Golden Record on Voyager, were heavily criticized.

Leonard: Well, aliens could only play the Golden Record if they figured out how to build a record player.

Raj: Eh. Although, to be fair, I watched E.T. build a telephone out of a Speak & Spell and an umbrella. Dude was like a little brown MacGyver.

Leonard: That would be more helpful if E.T. were real.

Raj: Well, my feelings were real when he was about to die.

Leonard: My God, when he’s on the table and they use the paddles on him.

Raj: And he’s all white.

Leonard: They zip him up in that bag.

Raj: And Gertie can’t stop crying.

Leonard: The flower dies.

Raj: Okay, let’s talk about something else.

Leonard: All right, so it sounds like we need a way to communicate that’s simple.

Raj: And doesn’t require outside machinery to be built to access it.

Leonard: It’s also a problem because we don’t even know if the aliens who find this can see. I mean, they might communicate in a totally different way than us.

Raj: Like when my dog is mad at me, she tells me by peeing in my slippers.

Leonard: That’s actually a valid example. Animals do deliver messages through scent.

Raj: Bees talk to each other by dancing. Whales have their songs.

Leonard: Yeah. Penny has about twenty different ways of rolling her eyes that each mean something different.

Raj: Okay, so, what it sounds like is, what we want is a device that can deliver a message through not only sight, but other senses, as well.

Leonard: The most basic sense that any space-faring civilization would have to possess is touch.

Raj: Ooh. Ooh, ooh. We could make a video-playing device that simultaneously translates the information into a tactile medium.

Leonard: All we have to do is rig up a 3-D communication system.

Raj: We, we can totally do that.

Leonard: I know.

Raj: This is great.

Leonard: Yeah, you know what else it is?

Raj: What?

Howard: Exactly what Sheldon and Howard said.

Raj: Well, thank you for peeing in my slippers.

Scene: The cafeteria.

Sheldon (singing): It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the ear of the bat, it’s the whiskers of the catfish and the walrus.

Howard: Hang on. Not that your song isn’t terrible, it is. but how do you mention bats and leave out sonar?

Sheldon: You didn’t let me finish. And also regarding the bat, it has sonar.

Leonard: Hey.

Howard: Hello.

Raj: Look, I know you guys are upset, but we’ve talked about it, and we think it’d be beneficial for you to be part of the project.

Howard: Well, well, well, did you hear that, Sheldon?

Sheldon: I’m sorry. I was trying to think of what rhymes with nose of the aardvark.

Leonard: We want you back on the project with us.

Sheldon: Well, well, well, did you hear that, Howard?

Raj: Look, we admit it. The idea that you guys came up with was really good, and I’d love your help.

Howard: I suppose it couldn’t have been easy for you to say that.

Raj: It wasn’t, so are you in?

Sheldon: Certainly.

Howard: Sure.

Leonard: Great. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get together tonight and work on it.

Sheldon: Get together tonight? Leonard, stop trying to control everything, and give poor Raj a chance to come up with what we should do. Go ahead, Raj.

Raj: Okay, I think we should do it right now.

Sheldon: Tonight works better for me.

Raj: Okay.

Scene: A hallway.

Penny (voiceover): Okay, it’s just an audition. Why am I nervous? Maybe it’s a good thing. Just means I want it. And I can have it. This feels right. Why did I ever give this up? (Out loud) I’m starting to remember.

Scene: The apartment.

Raj: So, I’d like to try a technique where no one gets steamrolled. When you talk, instead of bringing up a new idea, respect what was just said by building on it.

Sheldon: Uh, building on that, we should order dinner.

Leonard: How is that building on what he just said?

Howard: Building on what Sheldon said, I could go for Chinese.

Raj: Hang on. Building on what Leonard said, no one built on what I said.

Sheldon: Building on building on that, there’s a new build-your-own pizza place on Colorado.

Leonard: Building on that, I’d like to remind you, I’m lactose intolerant.

Howard: I saw the menu. They have soy cheese.

Sheldon: Bah, you didn’t say building on. You’re out.

Leonard: It’s not Simon Says.

Raj: Yeah, you’re missing the point, Sheldon.

Sheldon: You’re out, and you’re out. I win. Who wants pizza?

Scene: The audition room.

Girl: Penny?

Penny: Oh, hey.

Girl: Hey. I haven’t seen you auditioning in a while.

Penny: Yeah, uh, I got a job as a pharmaceutical sales rep.

Girl: You quit acting?

Penny: Well, kind of. But now I get to act like inflamed heart is only a mild side effect.

Second Girl: I heard you can make good money doing that.

Penny: Yeah, it’s going okay, but I do miss this sometimes.

First Girl: Really?

Penny: Mmm.

First Girl: ‘Cause I got to tell you, I am so sick of the humiliation and being treated like a piece of meat.

Audiitoner: Chelsea?

First Girl: Wish me luck.

Second Girl: They’re gonna love you. I heard she’s pushing 40 and everything’s fake.

Penny: Yeah. I started that rumour.

Scene: The apartment.

Leonard: Okay, since we agree on the delivery system for the message, maybe we should talk about what the message could be.

Raj: Well, I think we should show what earthlings look like.

Howard: The plaque they sent up on the Pioneer probe had a drawing of a naked man and woman on it.

Sheldon: Yeah, I never cared for that. It’s advertising to predator races just how soft and squishy we are.

Leonard: Squeeze yourself.

Sheldon: Oh, don’t be offended. You know, of the four of us, you have the most veal-like consistency.

Raj: Well, maybe there’s a way to appear non-aggressive, but also be able to protect ourselves if necessary. Like smiling and waving with one hand, but the other hand holding the severed head of a tiger.

Howard: You want to send a passive-aggressive message out into the universe? That’s ridiculous.

Raj: Oh, you mean passive-aggressive like posting pictures of you and your wife eating cosmopolitan balls that you know belong in my mouth?

Sheldon: Perhaps Howard meant passive-aggressive like asking our group to help on your project, and then only choosing Leonard.

Raj: Look, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but you do have strong personalities and always end up taking over.

Howard: It’s not always.

Leonard: What about when we went to Comic-Con and dressed like Jabba the Hutt? You got to be Jabba’s head, and I got to be his fat slug butt.

Sheldon: We looked great.

Leonard: You let a guy sit on me.

Howard: He was dressed as Princess Leia. It made a nice picture.

Leonard: I’m just saying, sometimes Raj and I feel pushed aside.

Raj: Yeah. Like when you took Sheldon to Texas and showed him all around NASA, you didn’t even think to ask me and Leonard.

Howard: You know what? You’re right. I should have asked you.

Sheldon: Yeah, and if he does ask you, go. It’s amazing.

Howard: Okay, and if we’re talking about being left out of things, you guys went to Skywalker Ranch without us.

Sheldon: Oh, I recommend that, too. That was a magical experience.

Leonard: Wait a minute. Sheldon spent a whole day with James Earl Jones and never told any of us.

Sheldon: I sure did. Oh, my goodness. Well, from Jabba’s head to ice cream with Darth Vader, I’m having a heck of a ride. Yeah, look, clearly, good things happen when I’m in charge. Now, why don’t you boys step aside, let me knock this project out?

Leonard: Sheldon, you’re not in charge. Raj is in charge.

Sheldon: Leonard, who’s really in charge? The person in charge, or those who put him in charge?

Raj: He’s right. If you think about it, we’re all in charge.

Sheldon: No, the guy in charge is in ch… why is everyone so bad at these?

Scene: Penny’s apartment.

Penny: I mean, the whole experience reminded me about how much I hated about that world. You, you know, the anxiety, the depression, the negativity. I don’t want to feel those things. I want to sell drugs to people who feel those things.

Amy: I can’t believe you got up and walked out of an audition for a big movie.

Penny: I did. I mean, I walked in, read for the part, then stunk up the place, but then I walked right out.

Bernadette: Well, I’m glad you have a new appreciation for your job.

Penny: I do, and you know, I don’t think I’ve ever thanked you properly for helping me get it.

Bernadette: Properly, at all. It’s just words I’ve never heard.

Penny: Well, thank you. You’re a good friend, and you changed my life.

Bernadette: You’re welcome. Hey, now that you’re making some real money, maybe you can take your friend out for a nice thank-you dinner.

Penny: Sure.

Amy: And you probably have to invite your other friend ’cause she overheard you talking about it, and it would be awkward to exclude her.

Penny: Okay.

Bernadette: How about now?

Penny: All right.

Bernadette: Don’t forget your wallet.

Penny: I, uh, huh.

Scene: An alien spacecraft.

Sheldon (on screen): Greetings from planet Earth. Just turn left at Alpha Centauri. You can’t miss it.

First Alien: That soft pink alien looks delicious.

Second Alien: I could eat.


 
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