The Tampon Paradigm

“Hello, Penny,” Sheldon said as he entered the apartment lobby. “How’s it going, Sheldon?” she replied, as she took envelopes out of her mailbox.

“How’s what going?” He asked with the face of puzzlement. “What?” Penny asked with looking more confused.

“You asked me ‘How is it going,’ I asked ‘What’s what going?’ Or better yet, ‘what’s going where.’ Penny that’s a very simple conversation and it baffles me how you easily lost track. You should really hang out more with Amy Farah Fowler.” He paused and headed to the stairs.

He took the first step then paused, “And don’t threaten me with your crying because that’s lame.”

“Wait there, you freakishly tall piece of…whatever you’re made of!”

He looked back. “Fascinating!”

“Yeah, that. Actually Howard gave me five more things that’ll offend you,” she smirked.

“Who offended who? Penny this is the same ‘What’s what going’ conversation over again! No. I mean, do you seriously think that I, Sheldoor of Azeroth is composed of something else that’s not found in an average, weak human?” Like Spock?” Sheldon slowed his steps.

“You mean like me?” Penny asked.

“What do you mean, ‘like you’?” Sheldon’s brows met to a single line. “You can’t be composed of something else! Well, while I’m convinced that foreign objects thrive inside that nonessential body of yours like silicon, tampons, and semen; I am very sure that you, Lady Penny of the Cheesecake Factory are plainly human!” He continued climbing the stairs with furious eyes.

“Right there and there, buddy,” Penny continued the climbing.

The two reached the third floor without either of the two saying a word.

“May I ask a question?” He broke the silence, halted, and faced Penny. “Is it because you know you’re dumb that you accept belittling comments about you, or you just do not fully comprehend?”

“Hey! I may not be as intelligent as you are, but I know something that you don’t,” she said

Sheldon’s mouth twitched several times –the face he usually had whenever he controls anger. “What, woman?!”

Penny proceeded to the stairs, “I know lots of shoe brands, Disney princesses, and nail polish? Besides, I memorized the Cheesecake Factory menu.”

Sheldon followed, “You’re embarrassing yourself. Penny, I’m sorry but next time you brandish such idiosyncrasies, please— and I’ll say it once— not in my presence! You see—”

“I practiced Kolinahr.” Penny stopped, and as her eyes met Sheldon’s, she clenched her fists and went on. “I practiced Kolinahr when I was fifty eight to sweep out my feelings before leaving my home planet.” She stared on the floor.

“Did Howard teach you that too? Because if he did, I’m impressed! Clearly his lack of possession of a PhD made him more creative in crafting cockamamie stories. But it’s still not a ground for you to make fun of the Vulcans because it’s wrong, Penny! It’s wrong!” The twitching became more intense.

There came total silence, and neither of the two dared to move an inch.

Penny broke the deafening silence. “Why would I mess with my own origin?” She took a step up, leaving Sheldon one notch lower. “For sixty six years, I have endured living on earth and coped with everything here. Sixty six years, Sheldon! It’s enough to make me look human; even you, a self-proclaimed humanoid didn’t notice it for the past four years we’re together.” She took another step.

He followed climbing. “You’re bluffing! That’s absurd. Penny, the Vulcans are clearly creatures of logic and reason and there’s no way you exercised any of them!” He managed to smile falsely.

“I thought you knew that Sybok, Spock’s half brother, was fully-emotional,” she answered.

“Of course I know that! Don’t be silly, it’s right there, at the Star Trek V: The Final Frontier! Penny, how did you know Sybok’s identity? You watch it too, right?”

“Spock’s my brother.” Penny faced him and gave a look of sincerity.

“Your face draws a look of sincerity. I don’t like that.” He withdrew his eyes and diverted them to the carpeted stairs.

She continued climbing the stairs; they’re almost at the fourth floor. “I’m saying this because I know you’re the only person who’ll believe me.”

“But I don’t believe you.” Sheldon continued following her. Penny stopped as they reached the fourth floor, and sat at the stairs. She asked him to sit beside her.

“No. I have a spot, and that’s where I sit,” said Sheldon.

Penny breathed heavily and stood up. “I know you’re not expecting these things to come from me but I’ll speak, nonetheless. My real name is T’pen, and I am Spock’s half sister. I left our planet and explored the earth in 1945 to find a perfectly suitable person that can help us restore peace on the universe,” she breathed once more. “Sheldon, I know you have an eidetic memory, and I want you to use it right now. Here, hold my hand,” she took his right hand and let him feel her palms.

Sheldon, being not used to the human touch, tried to take his right hand, but suddenly got taken aback.

“Dear Lord! You’re the blonde woman who held my hand at the grocery when I was two!” Sheldon shrieks.

Penny smiled. “I think you now have an idea why you have that kind of intellect.”

“Mind meld! You transferred all your knowledge to a two-year old child, observed him until he grew up, and expect him to save the universe with his brain! Now you have nothing left in your brain, that’s why you’re –”

“Dumb, yes.”

“Oh dear Lord!” Sheldon didn’t find the strength to stand, and let himself fall haplessly down the floor. “Oh Lord! Oh God!”

Penny tapped Sheldon on the shoulder, walked right to her apartment door, and faced him. She looked in his troubled eyes, gestured the Vulcan salute, and conversed with him through the mind.

qoSlIj DatIvjaj[1] Sheldon. And yes, this is telepathy. Live long and prosper.”


[1] Klingon for “Happy Birthday”

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