A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. HeinleinThe Presentation
Penny was sitting on her sofa, wrestling her hair back into a pony tail. It was the middle of Saturday morning and she didn't have work until the evening, so she'd decided to just take it easy and lounge around her apartment. she'd dressed in a loose fitting top and baggy tie dye pants and was curled up on the sofa with a magazine.
From the landing she heard the sound of the apartment door opposite open, followed by a few muffled thumps, bangs and muttered curses.
ah well, she thought, here comes crazy.
Knock knock knock on the door.
She bounced to her feet, shouting "Who do we love?"
from outside the door she heard the perplexed tones of Sheldon answer "Penny?"
Knock Knock Knock
"Who do we love?!"
Knock Knock Knock
"Who do we love?!"
She opened the door with a smile "Hello Sheldon" then did a double take; Sheldon was standing there in his usual Saturday Batman t-shirt and black slacks, but he was clutching his smaller portable white board to his chest and next to him was a flip chart on an easel.
"I have a problem, Penny"
"oh, don't I know", she grinned sarcastically. "Tell me about it"
Taking her literally as always he picked up the easel and hustled into her apartment
"I'll do better than that, I've made a presentation about it."
Taking over the room he ushered her to the sofa and set the flip chart up in front of her
"here's the problem"
Gesturing with the marker pen he got into lecturing mode "here on the First page you'll see a quote by noted science fiction author Robert Heinlein"
Specialisation is for insects. (pg 248)
"An interesting statement, so I decided to investigate this hypothesis, specifically how if effects myself. I've drawn a simplified graph to show you the results in a way you'll understand"
on the page was a simple XY graph , the almost flat line with a huge spike in the middle labelled "Genius Physicist".
"As you can see, I am highly skilled but highly specialised"
"Then I created comparable studies for other noted geniuses and Nobel winning physicists."
She squinted at some of the labelled points; Safe cracker. Robot voice. Strip clubs. zero point energy. Married. Not good at basketball. sandwiches. Space shuttle. Black holes. Good Dancer. Lots of crazy points, but each graph certainly had a lot more points than the first.
"What the hell Sheldon?"
He flipped back to the first graph, the almost flat line with a huge spike in the middle.
"As you can see, my prowess in physics is such that there are to my knowledge only 16 people in the world who can fully understand my work."
She gawped. He'd said he was smart and she didn't understand him most of the time, but Wow.
"So infuriatingly the vast majority of physicists, let alone common non-scientific people like yourself, cannot appreciate my importance and ability. Here, I am reduced to these other skills to convey my intellect." He gestured with the marker to the flat line of the graph. "And, as you can see, these are areas where I lack both ability and experience. This is a severe hindrance as I am reliant on such people for such things as income, research grants, goods and services"
he taps on the board with the marker, obviously frustrated by this
"So, I have decided I must increase these other categories if I am to achieve my goals and ultimately, the Nobel Prize"
She looked at the carefully lettered categories at the bottom, her eyes getting wider and wider
She laughed incredulously at the last point "Athletics?!"
Sheldon frowned down at her. "I have purchased a set of free weights and a pair of athletic shoes. "
she smiled at that, was he actually serious?
"So, what does this mighty revelation of yours have to do with me?"
He paused, straightening his t-shirts nervously.
"I've noticed that you have a high level of emotional intelligence that allows you to rapidly and accurately understand social situations, plus you have shown an aptitude in translating these rather alien concepts into a more sensible vernacular for me. So, you would be an ideal assistant for me in my project. Will you help me?" he looks at her expectantly.
She frowned, puzzled by what she thought was his attempt at a compliment. "Thanks, I think. Sure, I'll help if I can. But when and how do we start?"
"From your rota I see you're working tonight, would you consider going paintballing with me tomorrow?"
She glanced over at the fridge - how could he read that from here? he'd not even looked. she shrugged, maybe he has Superman laser vision or something. "Sure, sound fun"