The living room.
SheldonI can't comment without violating our agreement that I'll not criticize your work.
LeonardThen what was "Oh, boy"?
SheldonGreat restraint on my part.
LeonardThere's nothing wrong with the science here.
SheldonPerhaps you mean a different thing than I do when you say "science."
Leonard(Modifies something on his board) Okay, how's that?
SheldonYou actually had it right in the first place. Once again, you've fallen for one of my classic pranks. Bazinga. Well, now, here's a peculiar e-mail. The president to the university wants me to meet him at his office at 8 a.m.
SheldonIt doesn't say. It must be an emergency. Everyone at the university knows I eat breakfast at 8 and move my bowels at 8:20.
LeonardYes, how did we live before Twitter? I guess you'll find out what it is in the morning.
SheldonThat's 14 hours away. For the next 840 minutes, I'm effectively one of Heisenberg's particles. I know where I am or I know how fast I'm going, but I can't know both. Yet, how am I supposed to carry on with this huge annoying thing hovering over my head?
LeonardYeah, I know the feeling.
Sheldon's knocking on Leonard's bedroom door.
SheldonLeonard. Leonard. Leonard.
LeonardSheldon, it's 2:00 in the morning.
SheldonWhy does everybody keep telling me what time it is?
SheldonYou, the president to the university, his wife, their sullen teenage daughter. That entire family is fascinated by what time it is and whether people know it.
LeonardYou went to President Seibert's house in the middle of the night?
SheldonHe didn't respond to my e-mail, his phone number is unlisted. Tell me what my other option was.
LeonardYou could've waited until morning. I know, look who I'm talking to. (Goes into the bathroom)
SheldonDo you remember the grant proposal I submitted to the National Science Foundation to detect slow-moving monopoles at the magnetic north pole?
LeonardHardly a day goes by when I don't think about it.
SheldonOh, how nice. Well, a space opened up at the last minute on the NSF expedition to the Arctic Circle.
LeonardWait a minute. He offered to send you to the North Pole?
SheldonYes. In fact, he was quite enthusiastic. He said, "Frankly, if I could send you tonight, I would."
LeonardOkay. Well, do you wanna go?
SheldonOf course not. I'm a theoretical physicist. A career I chose in no small part because it's indoors. But, if I'm able to detect slow-moving magnetic monopoles there, I will be the scientist who confirmed string theory. People will write books about me. Third-graders will create macaroni-art dioramas depicting scenes from my life.
LeonardSure. Maybe a tableau of me trying to pummel you to death.
SheldonI am on the horns of a dilemma. Can you imagine me, Sheldon Cooper, at the North Pole?
LeonardEasy-peasy. I'm doing it right now.
SheldonI'm not good with cold, Leonard. Yeah, how often have we had to leave a movie theater because I got a headache from drinking the Icee too fast? I can't go.
LeonardThen don't go.
SheldonHow can you say that? The scientific opportunity of a lifetime presents itself and my best friend says, "Don't go."
LeonardAll right, then go.
SheldonListen to you. How can I possibly go?
LeonardSheldon, what are the words I can say right now to end this conversation and let me go back to sleep?
SheldonOdd. President Seibert posed the exact same question.
LeonardHow was it resolved?
SheldonIt wasn't. His wife set their dogs on me and rendered the question moot.
HowardJust imagine. If he says yes, we'll have an entire summer without Sheldon.
RajWe could play outside.
HowardWe could sit on the left side of the couch.
LeonardI could use the bathroom at 8:20.
RajOur dreams are very small, aren't they?
[They enter the apartment]
SheldonGood news, gentlemen. I have tentatively accepted-
Sheldon-the invitation to join the Arctic expedition.
AllIt's not gonna be the same without you. Godspeed.
SheldonThank you, but your sentiments may be premature.
RajOh, I don't like where this is going.
SheldonI would like to propose, that the three of you accompany me.
HowardTo the North Pole?
RajIs this just so we won't touch your stuff while you're away?
SheldonI'll admit that was a concern. But the fact is, I'll need a support team and the three of you are my first choice.
SheldonWell, there're others might be more qualified, but the thought of interviewing them gave me a stomachache. Now, I know I'm proposing an enormous undertaking, so why don't you take a few moments to discuss it? (Goes into his room)
HowardHey, we're not really gonna go to the North Pole with him, are we?
SheldonI'm still within earshot. You may wanna wait for my door to close.
HowardWe're not really gonna go to the North Pole with him, are we?
LeonardHang on, let's talk about it. This is a National Science Foundation expedition. I don't know how we can turn it down.
HowardEasy. Instead of saying, "No, we don't wanna go on an NSF expedition," say: "No, we don't wanna spend three months stuck in a cabin in the Arctic Circle with an anal nutbag."
RajBut if we were part of the team that confirmed string theory, we could drink for free in any bar, in any college town with a university that has a strong science program.
LeonardHoward, this is big science. You could be the engineer who builds the equipment that puts us on the cover of magazines.
HowardI could also be the engineer who builds the crossbow that kills Sheldon.
RajYou still might get on a magazine.
HowardSo, you guys are seriously considering this?
HowardAnd you think you can put up with Sheldon?
RajWell, I'm a Hindu. My religion teaches that if we suffer in this life, we are rewarded in the next. Three months at the North Pole with Sheldon, and I'm reborn as a well-hung billionaire with wings.
SheldonWell, gentlemen, have you reached a decision?
HowardOh, damn it. Peer pressure. Fine.
SheldonExcellent. And just an FYI, as I am the expedition's team leader, protocol dictates that be phrased, "Fine, sir." But don't worry, there will be a briefing.
[Howard mimes building a crossbow and shooting Sheldon.]
Penny(Knocking inside) Sheldon?
Penny(Knocking inside) Sheldon?
Penny(Knocking inside) Sheldon?
Penny(Knocking inside) Sheldon?
PennyWhat do you want?
SheldonI need access to the Cheesecake Factory's walk-in freezer.
PennyNow, honey, I already told you the hamburger meat is fresh and stored at a safe temperature.
SheldonNo, this is to train for a three-month expedition to the magnetic north pole.
SheldonI don't know how that sentence could possibly confuse you, but to elaborate, I am going to the Arctic Circle with Leonard, Wolowitz, and Koothrappali.
PennyYou're all going?
PennyFor three months?
PennyExcuse me. (Goes to Leonard's apartment)
SheldonIs that a yes or a no on the freezer? That woman has the attention span of a gnat.
PennySheldon says you're going to the North Pole.
LeonardOh, yeah. Pretty cool, huh?
PennyYeah, I'm just a little surprised you didn't tell me.
LeonardOh, well, it all happened kind of fast. And we had to get physicals and buy thermal underwear, and study up on, you know, snow and stuff. Sorry, I was gonna tell you.
PennyOh, hey, no, you don't have to apologize. There's no reason you have to tell me. I was just, you know, surprised.
SheldonYes, yes, you were busy, you were surprised, all very fascinating. Now, where do we stand on the freezer?
PennyIs he serious?
LeonardActually, it would help.
Penny(To Sheldon) All right, I'll see what I can do. So, wow, three months at the North Pole. Wow, that is, awesome.
SheldonSorry. But at what point do you put this "see what you can do" plan into action?
PennyJust a warning, Sheldon. The freezer locks from the outside. (Leaves)
LeonardShe seem upset to you?
SheldonNo. She seem upset to you?
SheldonOh, good, I got it right. Are you upset?
LeonardA little bit.
SheldonTwo for two. I'm on fire.
LeonardI mean, I know she's not my girlfriend or anything but wouldn't you think she'd feel a little bad that I'm gonna be gone for the whole summer?
SheldonThat feels like a bonus question. I'm gonna stop here while I'm ahead but I've had a great time.
The walk-in freezer.
SheldonAll right, and the purpose of this drill is to acclimate us to the use of tools in extreme temperatures such as we will face in the Arctic Circle.
RajThen where are your tools?
SheldonRight here. (Points at his head) All right, team, open up your practice kits. As the university did not permit me to bring the actual equipment we'll be using to the Cheesecake Factory, because apparently, I'm "ridiculous", I've provided substitutes which will exercise your fine motor skills. Leonard, you will be doing a series of complex mathematical problems on a vintage Casio model 1175 calculator watch I received when I won the Earth Science medal in third grade. Treat it with respect. Raj, you will be painting sideburns and a Van Dyke on a 6-inch figurine of Legolas the Elf. Now, remember, a Van Dyke is a goatee without a mustache. Wolowitz, you will be completing a series of delicate surgical procedures on the classic children's game, Operation. To begin with, you will remove funny bone for $200.
HowardFor this, I went to MIT.
SheldonAnd begin. (Starts timing them)
Raj(Grunting & gagging) I think I swallowed some paint.
LeonardI can't press any of the buttons with my gloves. (Takes off one glove) Oh, son of a bitch.
SheldonAdversity is to be expected. Continue.
HowardOh, boy, am I gonna get sued.
LeonardOkay, I can't do this.
SheldonGentlemen, use your imagination. Innovate. Did Han Solo let Luke Skywalker freeze to death on the ice planet of Hoth? No, he cut open a tauntaun and used its internal body heat to warm him up.
HowardYou heard the man. Hold him down and I'll cut him open.
LeonardHang on. I know I don't possess the tools of leadership, but I don't understand why we can't assemble the equipment inside the hut and then take it outside.
SheldonI hadn't thought of that. I guess we're done here.
SheldonHere, drink/eat this.
LeonardWhat is it?
SheldonHot chocolate with a stick of butter.
SheldonBecause in the frigid temperatures in the Arctic, we need to consume at least 5000 calories a day just to maintain our body weight.
LeonardSheldon, you know I can't eat butter. I'm lactose intolerant.
SheldonWay ahead of you. That's an "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" stick.
Raj(On video phone) But, Mommy, all the other guys are going to the North Pole.
Mrs. KoothrappaliI don't care what the other guys are doing. If the other guys jumped in the Bay of Bengal and tried to swim to Sri Lanka, would you follow them?
RajIf you were standing behind me nagging, I might.
Dr. KoothrappaliDon 't talk back to your mother. This trip is much too dangerous, Rajesh.
RajNo, it's not. Howard, tell them.
HowardDr. and Mrs. Koothrappali, namaste. I understand you're concerned. But If it'll make you feel any better, my mother is fine with me going. And this is a woman who kept a safety rail on my bed until I was 17.
Mrs. KoothrappaliSo, she has no problem with her son being eaten by a walrus?
SheldonThat's very unlikely, Mrs. Koothrappali. If Raj dies, it'll be from frostbite, gangrene, acute sunburn, or being ripped to shreds by a 1500-pound polar bear.
HowardMa, I'm putting you on speakerphone with Raj's parents. Can you tell them that you're okay with me going to the Arctic?
Mrs. WolowitzArctic? I thought you said Arkansas.
HowardI didn't say that. You never listen to me.
Mrs. WolowitzHe doesn 't tell me anything. He lives a secret life because he's ashamed.
Mrs. KoothrappaliYou're gonna hear all-
Penny(Enters) Hey, Leonard, can I talk to you for a sec?
LeonardSure, but let's go out here where there's a little less yelling and guilt.
[Cut to the hallway]
PennyWell, I got you a little going-away present.
LeonardOh, a blanket.
PennyOh, no no no. Not just a blanket. See, it has sleeves. (Leonard tries it on) Yeah. So you can, you know, be all snoodled up while you do your science stuff.
LeonardOh, wow. Cool.
PennyI'm gonna miss you. (Hugs him) See you later.
Mrs. KoothrappaliI told you no. Why don't you believe me?
Mrs. Wolowitz'Cause it doesn't make sense to me. How can it be that in the entire country of India, there isn't one Outback Steakhouse?
Sheldon's bedroom. Leonard knocks on the door.
SheldonI want a cookie, Meemaw.
LeonardSheldon, it's me.
SheldonBut Meemaw just made cookies.
LeonardListen, I don't know if I can go on the expedition.
LeonardI don't think I can go to the North Pole.
SheldonOkay. Leonard, I know you're concerned about disappointing me. But I want you to take comfort from the knowledge that my expectations of you are very low.
LeonardYeah, that's very comforting.
SheldonComforting is a part of leadership. It's not a part I care for, but such is my burden.
LeonardTerrific. It's just that I don't think Penny wants me to go.
SheldonAssuming that's a valid reason not to go, which it isn't, how do you know this? Did she say it?
LeonardNot exactly. But she said she was gonna miss me and she gave me this.
SheldonWhat is it?
LeonardIt's a blanket with sleeves.
SheldonOh, that's clever. Let me see if I understand this correctly. Her missing you, is an emotional state you find desirable.
SheldonAll right. Well, given that missing you is predicated on you leaving, logic dictates you must leave.
LeonardYes, okay, but I'm gonna be gone for three months. What if she doesn't miss me that long and she meets someone else?
SheldonShe does have a short attention span.
LeonardSo, I can't go.
SheldonLeonard, you may be right. It appears that Penny secretly wants you in her life in a very intimate and carnal fashion.
LeonardYou really think so?
SheldonOf course not. Even in my sleep-deprived state, I've managed to pull off another one of my classic pranks. Bazinga.
The hallway. Leonard knocks on Penny's door.
PennyOh, Leonard, what time is it?
LeonardSeven a.m. I'm sorry it's early. But we're leaving soon and I needed to talk to you.
LeonardWhat did you mean when you said you were going to miss me?
PennyUm, I don't know. You'll be gone and I'll notice.
LeonardOkay. Well, um, what about this? What does this mean?
PennyWine, a credit card and late-night television are a bad combination?
LeonardAll right, fine. What about that really long hug? What did that mean?
PennyThat wasn't a long hug.
LeonardIt was at least five Mississippis. A standard hug is two Mississippis, tops.
PennyLeonard, I-I don't know what to tell you. It was just a hug.
LeonardGlad we cleared that up.
LeonardI guess I'll see you.
PennyOkay. Have a safe trip.
LeonardThank you. Bye.
PennyOkay, bye. (Closes the door and sighs. To herself) It means I wish you weren't going.
The Arctic. Wind is howling.
LeonardWe're out of ice.
SheldonAll right, men, we begin initial assembly and deployment of the testing equipment starting tomorrow at 0700 hours, but until then, you are all off duty. I suggest you keep the shenanigans to a minimum as medical help is 18 hours away by dogsled.
RajWhat are you working on?
LeonardHey, guys, can I just say something? How about we take a moment to think about where we are right now? This is literally the top of the world. Only a handful of people in all of human history will ever see what we are going to see.
SheldonIt is remarkable.
RajSo, who's up for a movie?
HowardGood idea. What do you think? Ice Station Zebra or John Carpenter's The Thing?
RajI say double feature.
SheldonWhat are we having?
LeonardReconstituted Thai food.
SheldonDid you bring the dehydrated low-sodium soy sauce?
SheldonFreeze-dried spicy mustard?
SheldonAnd flash-frozen brown rice, not white?
LeonardUh, oh. Sorry.
SheldonNot to worry. I hid it. Bazinga. (To Howard) You're in my spot. (He scooches away)
Howard(To Raj) There's no time for a crossbow, find me an icicle.
SheldonThree months. This is gonna be great.