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309 - A Party Invitation, Football Grapes and an Earth Chicken

Aired Thursday, December 5, 2019
A Party Invitation, Football Grapes and an Earth Chicken

When Brenda Sparks doesn't invite Sheldon to Billy's birthday party, Mary has Pastor Jeff give a sermon on being neighborly. Meanwhile, George invites Dr. Sturgis to watch a football game with him.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "A Party Invitation" refers to Sheldon not being invited to Billy's birthday party, "Football Grapes" refers to the snack Dr. Sturgis took to the Cooper house for the game, and "an Earth Chicken" refers to Sheldon's comment, as Spock, about Billy's chicken.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothing when a cow approaches the family.


Quote from Billy Sparks

Brenda Sparks: What are you doing out here?
Billy Sparks: Playing with Sheldon.
Brenda Sparks: You're missing your party.
Billy Sparks: But I'm having fun.
Sheldon: Do not be alarmed, our mission is one of peace.
Brenda Sparks: I'm gonna go have a little chat with your mother.
Sheldon: Seems unlikely; my mother's on Vulcan.
Billy Sparks: My mom is on Valium.

Quote from George Sr.

Mary: And then she said she didn't want the other kids to see Billy hanging out with Sheldon.
George Sr.: That boy's only other friend is a chicken and she's worried about Sheldon?
Mary: What do we do? Tell Missy she can't go?
George Sr.: If we're only gonna let Missy go places where they want to have Sheldon, then she ain't gonna get out much.

Quote from Sheldon

Dr. John Sturgis: So if Einstein's analysis of time is correct, the future's already happened, but we'll discuss that in more detail next week.
Sheldon: Or perhaps we already have.
Dr. John Sturgis: Exactly. [laughs]
Meemaw: Good one.

Quote from Billy Sparks

Congregation: [singing] Heart of my Own heart
Billy Sparks: [singing] Old MacDonald Had a farm
Congregation: Still be my Vision O Ruler of all
Billy Sparks: E-I-E-I-O.

Quote from George Jr.

George Jr.: It just don't make no sense. If I'm gonna pay for it with my own money, why can't I get a TV for my bedroom?
George Sr.: You have so much money, why don't you save it for college?
George Jr.: If you're not gonna take this seriously, I don't even know why I'm talking to you.

View more quotes from this episode

Featured Music

Episode Trivia

  • What board game did Mary buy for Missy to give to Billy?
    • Scrabble
    • Connect Four
    • Guess Who?
    • Monopoly
  • What children's song was Billy Sparks singing during the church hymn?
    • Mary Had a Little Lamb
    • Old MacDonald Had a Farm
    • Row, Row, Row Your Boat
    • The Wheels on the Bus

Episode Recap

As Mary hands out the day’s mail in the kitchen, she gives Missy an envelope containing an invitation to Billy Sparks’ birthday party. Mary wonders where Sheldon’s invitation is, so she phones Brenda to say it might have been lost in the mail. Brenda says it wasn’t lost and suggests Mary knows what she means. When Mary wonders if Sheldon was not invited, Brenda says she did know and hangs up.

When Meemaw drops Sheldon off at Dr. Sturgis’s college class, he wonders why she’s leaving him in the hallway. Sheldon wonders if she’s trying to avoid Dr. Sturgis, but Meemaw says no. Sheldon decides it must be because she’s old and is trying to limit her steps. When John walks by, he tells Connie it’s nice to see her. He assumed she stopped bringing Sheldon to class because it would be awkward to see him after their break-up, but Sheldon says Meemaw assured him that isn’t the case.

When Mary goes over to the Sparks’ house to talk to Brenda, she argues Billy and Sheldon are friends so Sheldon should be invited. Brenda says she’s not trying to be mean, but Billy has enough trouble with the other kids without them seeing him pal around with the local weirdo. Mary says she’s not trying to be mean either when she accuses Brenda of being unneighbourly.

After class, Dr. Sturgis walks Sheldon out to Meemaw. John proposes they get coffee together sometime and catch up. Meemaw is non-commital, telling John, “We’ll see.” As she dodges John’s specific suggestions for dates, he gets the picture. Sheldon chimes in to suggest they settle on a specific date because when he wants to go to RadioShack, “maybe another time” means they’re not going.

At home that night, Mary tells George what Brenda said. George is surprised that Brenda is worried about Sheldon when Billy’s only other friend is a chicken. Mary doesn’t know what to do, wondering whether they should tell Missy she can’t go. George points out that if they only let Missy go places they want Sheldon, she’s not going to get out much. When Georgie interrupts them to watch the only TV in the house, Mary and George send him to his room. Georgie points out if they’d let him buy a TV for his bedroom, they wouldn’t be in this situation. Returning to their conversation, Mary admits she hates to see their little boy left out of things. George says they should get used to it as Sheldon isn’t exactly a social butterfly. George doesn’t think there’s anything they can do as it’s the Sparks’ house; if they don’t want Sheldon there, there’s nothing Mary can do.

At the church on Sunday, Mary grabs Pastor Jeff’s attention to ask if he’s still looking for the subject of this week’s sermon. With twenty minutes until the service, Pastor Jeff is surprisingly open to suggestion. Jeff reveals he was going to do Noah’s Ark, but he’s worried Sheldon would eat him alive. Mary suggests it should be on the subject of being neighbourly.

As the congregation sings a hymn at the Sunday service, Billy Sparks is singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”. When the hymn is over, Pastor Jeff starts to talk about the importance of loving your neighbors as you love God and yourself. As Mary nods along to Jeff’s message, Brenda Sparks can’t believe Mary told on her to Pastor Jeff.

Back home, Georgie can’t understand why he’s not allowed to buy a TV for his room with his own money. When George suggests he save his money for college, Georgie accuses him of not taking this seriously. George admits Mary won’t let him get a TV for their bedroom, so he’s not going to let Georgie get one for his. When Georgie wonders why his dad is listening to Mary when he’s the man of the house, George accuses him of not taking it seriously.

When the phone rings, George answers the call from Dr. Sturgis. John says it’s been a bit of a confusing week and he was hoping they could schedule some male bonding time. He suggests going to a bar or taking a brisk walk. After George admits he’s not much of a walker, John says a bar it is. When John proposes meeting at 2:00, George says today’s not good for him. After George says, “Maybe some other time”, John gets the hint and apologizes for wasting George’s time.

When Mary answers the door to Brenda, she tells Mary she won and hands her an invitation for Sheldon. Brenda points out two kids means two gifts and no Play-Doh as Billy will just eat it. Mary goes to Sheldon and Missy’s room to tell him she’s got something for him. When Mary reveals it’s an invitation to Billy Sparks’ birthday on Saturday, Missy is disappointed to hear Sheldon’s going too. Sheldon is not interested in attending a child’s birthday party, but Mary insists he’s going.

In their bedroom that night, George can’t understand why Mary’s making Sheldon go to a party he doesn’t want to attend, whose hosts don’t want him there either. Mary insists Sheldon will have a good time when he gets there, but George wonders whether she’s just trying to avoid embarrassment if Sheldon didn’t go after she made such a big fuss. Mary explains she thinks it’s important that, once in a while, Sheldon does normal kid things. George points out he’s not a normal kid, but Mary says she wants to make sure he knows how to be social so he doesn’t become some lonely adult no one wants to be around.

Fresh off his talk with Mary, George calls Dr. Sturgis. John says he was just on his way out to a party with people. George says his schedule opened up and he’s free on Saturday if John still wants to hang out. John feigns disinterest and says he might not be available, but he quickly admits he is. After George gets off the phone, he tells Mary that Sheldon’s going to that party.

That Saturday, Mary is getting ready to take the kids across to Billy’s party. When Mary calls Sheldon to say it’s time to go, Missy asks if she can’t go alone. Mary insists they’re going as a family. When Sheldon comes out in his Mr. Spock uniform, Mary tells Missy to go on ahead. When Mary tells him to go change, Sheldon says he’s not going if he can’t wear the costume. Mary starts to bargain with Sheldon, telling him if he wears that then he must participate in the party. They eventually settle on Sheldon joining one party game and interacting with the other kids. At the party, while Billy is the center of attention during a game, Sheldon is inspecting a fellow-party goer with Spock’s tricorder.

When John arrives at the Cooper house, Georgie tells him Sheldon’s not home. John explains he’s there to watch a sporting event with his father. Since George only called it “the game”, he doesn’t know which one it is. Georgie explains it’s football. Inside, John tells George he hopes he likes grapes as he brought them as snacks for the game.

Over in the Sparks’ chicken coop, Sheldon is inspecting the chickens. When Billy comes to see what Sheldon is doing, he says he thought Sheldon didn’t like chickens. Sheldon explains he doesn’t like chickens, but as Mr. Spock he finds them fascinating. Billy wonders who Mr. Spock is. Billy only gets more confused as Sheldon explains what he’s doing with the tricorder.

Back in the Cooper living room, John mentions he saw Connie for the first time since the break-up and it was harder than he expected it to be. John is feeling the loss profoundly and it’s made him wonder if she’s going through the same thing. George hates to be the one to tell him this, but he reveals Meemaw is seeing someone new and she seems to be doing okay. John hopes the man treats her well. He also hopes he gets lost at sea and never returns.

Back in the chicken coop, Sheldon tells “Ensign Sparks” there appears to be a white object under this chicken. Billy explains it’s called an egg; people eat them and throw them at him on Halloween. When Brenda comes in to see why Billy is missing his own party, Billy says he’s having fun. Brenda decides to go have a chat with Sheldon’s mother.

As Meemaw leaves her house, she sees John’s bicycle parked outside the Cooper house. When Meemaw goes into the den to say hi, John asks George if it would be awkward if he were to invite her to join them. George says it couldn’t be any more awkward, so John asks Connie if she would like to stay and watch the game. Meemaw guesses John was the one who brought the grapes.

Back at the party, Brenda tells Mary she hopes she’s happy, Billy is missing his own party because he’s busy playing spaceman in the chicken coop with Sheldon. An upset Mary tells Brenda she was right, she shouldn’t have made her invite Sheldon, and she’s sorry. Brenda doesn’t quite know what to do now she’s not butting heads with Mary. Mary admits it’s hard to see Sheldon being left out, particularly since she worries it’s not gonna get better when he grows older. Brenda admits Billy’s not exactly Mr. Popular either. Mary knows it probably bothers her more than it bothers Sheldon, but Brenda recognizes that doesn’t make it any easier. When Mary says she’ll take Sheldon home so Billy can get back to his party, Brenda is no longer bothered as they’re having fun out there. After Sheldon runs through the house shouting that Gallus gallus domesticus pooped on his uniform and the mission is compromised, Brenda says maybe take him home.

As Mary does another mail run, there’s an envelope for Sheldon and Missy from Billy. Missy reads the note, which thanks them for coming. Billy said he had fun playing Mr. Spock and watching Missy throw-up Kool-Aid. When Missy reads on and the note mentions how Brenda threw up because of wine, Mary cuts her off and takes the thank you note away.

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