Tuesday 24 April 2012

The Big Bang Theory

There has been quite a lot of talk recently about the similarities between myself and the Sheldon character on "The Big Bang Theory". This week I asked my oldest and closest friend if he really thought we were alike and he said "some weeks I can't remember if I've talked to you on the phone or if I've seen a new 'Big Bang' episode on E4".

Childhood: Sheldon was bullied and ostracized as a child. I was bullied and ostracised as a child.

College: Sheldon graduated summa cum laude, I graduated first in my department. Sheldon has a PhD and I don't.

Appearance: Sheldon is tall, gangly, and slightly effeminate. I'm tall, gangly, and slightly effeminate.

Caffeine: Sheldon is intolerant to caffeine and never drinks coffee. I'm intolerant to caffeine and drink only the tiniest amounts of tea and coffee.

Shower curtain: Sheldon's shower curtain displays the Periodic Table of Elements, my shower curtain displays the Periodic Table of Elements.

Routine: Sheldon lives by a strict routine, he plays Halo on a Thursday, and does laundry on a Saturday. Other than doing my washing on a Saturday I'm completely different, I have Sci-Fi club on Wednesday, band practice on Thursday, and I do my ironing on Sunday.

OCD: Sheldon has to perform certain actions in certain ways, particularly knocking on doors and sitting on his couch. My OCD is much more mild, although I can't sleep on a Sunday night unless I've finished my ironing and had a bath, and I start all phone conversations with my friends with the words "%s it's Richard[note1]"

[note1] Yes I'm showing my age using %s as a string token. Sir, my first software job was programming in C, very similar to your vaporators in most respects.

Patronizing: Sheldon tries to educate his friends during every day conversation, but he comes across as superior and annoying. The first time my favourite ex-girlfriend split up with me, it was precisely because I was "superior and annoying".

Vocabulary: Sheldon uses technical, obscure, or archaic words to express himself. My natural phraseology is commensurately sesquipedalian.[note2]

[note 2] Last week for example I said "pro-bono" when everyone would have understood "for free", and "overcoat" when everyone else would have said "jacket".

Science Fiction: Sheldon watches a lot of science fiction, takes it seriously, and analyses the science being it. I watch and read a lot of science fiction, I take it seriously, and I particularly like "Hard Sci-Fi" where all the physics of the fictional universe matches our own. Moreover I have also already quoted Star Wars' C3P0 in this article.

Sexuality: Sheldon is completely asexual and hates being touched. I have had a handful of failed relationships and have now completely given up on them.

Transport: Sheldon can't drive, favours public transport, and enjoys train travel. I can drive and I like riding motorbikes.

Chemicals: Sheldon has a favourite amino acid, I don't, that would be ridiculous. Although I realised when I was trying to memorize the lanthanides off the shower curtain that I do have favourites[note 3].

[note 3]Lanthanum, obviously; Cerium, the oxide of which is used as a polish, and shares its name with a horse that won me £10 in a sweepstake; and Neodymium because of the magnets and loudspeakers.

As you can see, we're completely different people: I haven't got a PhD, I once had a girlfriend, and I don't like trains.


Richard "Dr Sheldon Cooper" B

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