Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

We’re not all like that

Posted in America, Media, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 9 June 2012

One of the good things about coming late to a TV show is that you get to see loads and loads of the show that is totally brand new. So it is for me with The Big Bang Theory. The synopsis of the show is unimportant. The part that is important is the presence in it of what has come to be seen as the “breakout character”, a theoretical physicist named Sheldon Cooper. Undeniably the funniest character, Sheldon has an incomporable lack of empathy or humility, a distinct lack of social skills, and a minimal grasp of irony or sarcasm. Being a nerd among nerds, as with his peer group, he enjoys science fiction, fantasy, online games, comic books, and all the other things that “nerds” enjoy. In addition to which he is a fan of trains. Of course, it’s cool that there is a character in a hit television show who is a gricer. But it is unfortunate for us all that the character is who he is, as it perhaps reinforces the stereotype of railfans as total geeks with limited social skills. Speaking personally, I’m not a total geek. Merely a partial one. I will admit that I love large parts of science fiction – Star Trek is my great love, while superheroes are damned cool. But I am not a scientist (in fact, I have a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in information services management), and video games are as dull as ditchwater. I also like to think that I can hold my own in most social situations.

There is an episode of The Big Bang Theory that I have just seen; one that must be significant as it is one of the few that has its own page on Wikipedia, called The Terminator Decoupling, in which Sheldon and his three friends travel to a conference in San Francisco, and, rather than flying (which the others want to do), take the train from Pasadena. I know that most people reading this will be fans of travelling by train, and so the idea of travelling from Pasadena to San Francisco, long though it may be, is not one to fill me with dread certainly. Indeed, a friend of mine recently took a trip first to Edinburgh, where she spent a few days, and from there to Aberdeen, by train, and she told me that the experience was not totally heinous. And yet the other three main characters (those with somewhat better social skills) moan that they aren’t flying. Thus purpetuating the idea that travelling by train is “geeky”. Oh well. Fundamentally, who gives a crap in this day and age about what people like. I’m relatively sure the fact that it’s the geeks and nerds in life who are the ones that make the fortunes and get the girls. And no doubt there are some people who have made feckin fortunes and have hot wives and girlfriends that love trains. Bazinga.

Sheldon Cooper is a geeky railfan. Meh, who cares if he’s a geek. BAZINGA!!


3 Responses

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  1. curvylou said, on 9 June 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Well, at least I know what “Bazinga” means now

  2. […] to my previous post, there was something else that occured to me. In the episode of The Big Bang Theory that I […]

  3. Claire said, on 10 June 2012 at 10:16 pm

    I understand how you must feel that gricers are being stereotyped here. TBH, though, Sheldon’s love of trains is the most normal thing about him!

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