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413 - The Geezer Bus and a New Model for Education

Aired Thursday, April 8, 2021
The Geezer Bus and a New Model for Education

After Meemaw and Sheldon are involved in a car accident, Sheldon is afraid to get in the car to go to college. Meanwhile, Missy uses their trauma to get out of doing homework, while Meemaw is forced to take the church shuttle bus.

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Episode Notes

  • Title Reference: "The Geezer Bus" refers to Meemaw's description of the church shuttle bus and "a New Model for Education" refers to Sheldon's idea to study remotely.
  • Opening Credits Sequence: Sheldon is dressed in his normal clothes as a cow approaches the family.
  • Montana Jordan (Georgie) is absent during this episode.
  • A flashback of Georgie driving Sheldon and Missy to the hospital in 103 "Poker, Faith and Eggs" was shown during the montage of Sheldon's vehicle-related incidents.
  • Sheldon described a "new model for education where students could learn remotely." Saying it could be "the wave of the future". This episode aired one year into the Covid-19 pandemic during which remote learning became mainstream.
  • Sheldon's reluctance to learn how to drive was well established on The Big Bang Theory. [205]
  • Sheldon's love of Strawberry Quik was established on The Big Bang Theory. [523, 724]
  • After a non-vehicular accident, Sheldon's self-preservation instinct kicked in and he ensconsed himself in his bedroom on an episode of The Big Bang Theory. [402]
  • Sheldon's love of car games was well established on The Big Bang Theory. [205, 402]

Quotes

Adult Sheldon: My mother eventually coaxed me back into a car with a trip to RadioShack. She knew I was nervous so she came up with an interesting distraction.
Mary: Baby, how about we play a car game?
Sheldon: I suppose. Can I make it science-based?
Mary: Sure.
Sheldon: I'll say an element starting with "A," then you repeat that and add one starting with "B."
Mary: I don't think I'll get very far.
Sheldon: Great. Then I'll win. Aluminum.
Mary: Okay, uh, you said "A" for aluminum. "B." Is boron an element?
Sheldon: Yes.
Adult Sheldon: It was the beginning of a new tradition. One that would eventually bring countless hours of joy to Leonard on our drives to work. Much like my mother, he never beat me.
Mary: I don't know an element that starts with "D."
Sheldon: I win. That was fun. Round two. Argon.

Dr. John Sturgis: [on the phone] So, there's no one who can lend you a car?
Meemaw: There is the church shuttle, but that just feels like it's the end of the line.
Dr. John Sturgis: Oh, I wouldn't say that. There's all sorts of depressing steps before the end. You've got full-time nursing care.
Meemaw: Bye, John.
Dr. John Sturgis: Assisted living.
Meemaw: Bye, John.
Dr. John Sturgis: Hospice.
Meemaw: Bye, John.
Dr. John Sturgis: Life support.
Meemaw: Bye, John!
Dr. John Sturgis: Pulling the plug. [chuckles]
Meemaw: Bye, John.
Dr. John Sturgis: Then... you make a miraculous recovery!
Meemaw: Great!
Dr. John Sturgis: But... the hospital bills leave you destitute!
Meemaw: Bye.
Dr. John Sturgis: Bye.

Dr. John Sturgis: [on the phone] Oh, my goodness. Was anyone hurt?
Meemaw: No. But now I got no car for a while.
Dr. John Sturgis: You could ride your bike.
Meemaw: An old lady on a bike? That's not cool.
Dr. John Sturgis: Really? Then I won't ask how I look on one.
Meemaw: You look great.
Dr. John Sturgis: I know. I just wanted to hear you say it. [Meemaw chuckles]

Missy: I can't believe you and Meemaw almost died tonight.
Sheldon: I wouldn't say we almost died.
Missy: Well, that's what I'm saying at school tomorrow.
Sheldon: Why?
Missy: It's called good storytelling.
Sheldon: But it's lying.
Missy: They don't know that.
Sheldon: You weren't even in the car.
Missy: Doesn't matter. Shay McElheney's dad had a kidney stone... she got out of homework for a week.
Sheldon: I can't believe you'd use my traumatic experience to manipulate people.
Missy: Really? I can.
Hey, did the engine catch fire?
Sheldon: No!
Missy: You're in shock. You don't know what happened.

Mary: I can't get him in the car.
George Sr.: So what now?
Mary: So he's not going to school.
Missy: You know, on The A-Team, Mr. T is afraid to fly, and they give him special milk to put him to sleep.
George Sr.: Ooh.
Mary: No!
Missy: Aw.

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Episode Recap

As Meemaw drives Sheldon home at night, Adult Sheldon mentions his reluctance to get a driver’s license might have been motivated by his spotty history with motor vehicles. A flashback shows Georgie driving a nervous Sheldon and Missy to the hospital. A flashback shows a panicked Sheldon in the car with George as they go through a car wash. A flashback to an uneasy Sheldon on a go kart. Back to the night in question, Meemaw swerves after a cat runs out into the middle of the road, sending the car straight into a tree. After the crash, Meemaw asks Sheldon if he’s okay. He thinks so.

As Meemaw, Sheldon and Mary stand around the crashed car, George runs across the street to say the tow truck is on its way. When Mary checks whether she should phone an ambulance, Meemaw insists she’s okay and Sheldon says he’s fine. After Mary asks what happened, Meemaw says a cat ran out into the road, she tried to stop but the brakes gave out. After George says the car’s going to be out of commission for a while, Mary points out the church offers a shuttle service. Meemaw doesn’t want to get on the geezer bus, claiming it’s for people so shriveled up they can’t see over the steering wheel.

As Sheldon reads a physics text book on his bed, Missy takes a break from playing a game on the computer and says she can’t believe Sheldon and Meemaw almost died tonight. Sheldon wouldn’t say they almost died. Never mind, that’s what Missy’s going to be saying at school tomorrow. It’s just good storytelling. Missy hopes she can get out of homework with the story. Sheldon can’t believe she would use his traumatic experience to manipulate people, but Missy can. After she asks whether the engine caught fire, Sheldon says no. Missy claims he’s in shock and doesn’t know what happened.

The next morning, Mary and Sheldon walk to the car so she can drive him to college. As Sheldon approaches the car, his heart starts to race and he has flashbacks to the crash. Mary is already in the driver’s seat by the time she notices Sheldon standing still outside the car. Sheldon says he can’t do it, asking what if there's another crash. Mary argues that’s not going to happen again, but Sheldon says she doesn’t know that. After Mary points out Sheldon is going to be late for school if they don’t set off now, Sheldon says that’s true and climbs in. Mary knows he doesn’t believe in it but she’s going to say an extra special prayer to keep them safe. As Mary prays for God’s protection on their journey, Sheldon climbs out of the car and rushes back inside.

When Mary returns to the kitchen, Missy is eating her cereal and George is drinking a coffee. After Mary asks if she’s seen Sheldon, Missy points to the garage. George asks what’s going on, so Mary explains that Sheldon is having some sort of panic attack. Missy chuckles and says her story keeps getting better and better. Out in the garage, Mary finds Sheldon playing with his train set. Mary tells him he can’t go the rest of his life never getting in a car again, but Sheldon says people did it all the time before cars were invented. After Mary says she’s not going to force him into a car, Sheldon says thank you. Mary returns to the kitchen, admitting she can’t get Sheldon into the car so he’s not going to school. Missy mentions how on The A-Team Mr. T is afraid to fly so they give him special milk to put him to sleep. George is intrigued but Mary says no.

Over at Meemaw’s house, she’s grumpy when she gets off the phone with the mechanic who said the brakes are fine. Dale suggests she probably stepped on the wrong pedal. It happens to people their age. Meemaw says she’s been driving her whole life, she knows which pedal is which. When Meemaw asks if she can borrow Dale’s truck, he isn’t sure. After all, he likes his truck. After Meemaw says maybe she’ll just ride her bicycle to the salon instead, Dale is amused at the idea of an old lady riding a bike.

Later, Meemaw phones Dr. Sturgis to tell him about her car accident. When Meemaw says she’s got no car for a while, John suggests riding her bike. With her conversation with Dale fresh in her mind, Meemaw says an old lady on a bike isn’t cool. John is surprised, saying he won’t ask how he looks on a bike. After Meemaw tells him he looks great, John says he knows, he just wanted to hear her say it. When John asks if Meemaw can’t borrow a vehicle from somebody, Meemaw mentions the church shuttle, but says that feels like the end of the line. John doesn’t agree, saying there’s plenty of depressing steps before the end. John cheerfully lists all the steps as Meemaw keeps trying to say bye.

Elsewhere, Sheldon has a phone call of his own to make, calling Dr. Linkletter at the college. Sheldon explains he won’t be making it to class today. Sheldon says that in the interest of self-preservation, he won’t be traveling in a motor vehicle again. Linkletter is sure there’s a story behind that, but he doesn’t want to hear it, though. When Sheldon asks how they will handle today’s lecture, Linkletter says he could get notes from a fellow student. Sheldon proposes Linkletter give him the lecture now over the phone, but Linkletter thinks that’s preposterous. Sheldon says they could be creating a revolutionary new form of remote education that would be the way of the future.

Meanwhile, when Mary answers the phone at the church, Meemaw says she thought Peg answered the phones. Mary is surprised to find her mother on the line and wonders what she can help her with. After Meemaw says it can wait, Mary wonders whether he mother wants the number of the shuttle bus. Once Meemaw begrudgingly says yes, Mary jokes that she can’t find anything under “geezer bus”. Very funny, Meemaw says. Mary wonders whether it’s under O for “old fogies”. Meemaw thinks her daughter’s not being very Christian, but Mary says she has enough prayers in the bank to coast for the day. After Meemaw demands the number, Mary reminds her mother to tell them if she needs help getting up the stairs when she phones for the shuttle.

Adult Sheldon says that Dr. Linkletter wouldn’t give him what he wanted. Although he couldn’t tell on Linkletter to his mommy, he could go to Dr. Linkletter’s “work mommy”. Sheldon phones President Hagemeyer, explaining he won’t be in class today because of a car accident. President Hagemeyer says that’s terrible and asks if he’s okay. Well… Sheldon remembers Missy’s words about using his trauma to manipulate people. Sheldon finishes telling Hagemeyer that Meemaw’s car had to be towed away, describing it as quite a traumatic experience. Hagemeyer wonders what she can do to help him. Later, Linkletter gives his lecture to Sheldon over the phone. Sheldon says they should invent some sort of video system so he can see when Sheldon raises his hand.

Later that morning, the mail man finds Connie waiting by the curb. After Edwin asks if she’s waiting for the mail, Meemaw says yes as she keeps a look out for the church van. After Edwin tells her she’s got something from Publisher’s Clearing House, he starts rambling about the difference between PCH and Ed McMahon. When Meemaw sees the church bus coming, she tries to get him to wrap things up and move on. After Edwin sees the van and says his grandma sometimes rides it, Meemaw tells him to beat it.

Back at the college, Dr. Linkletter continues his lecture over the phone. After Sheldon “raises his hand”, he Linkletter that he’s put him on speaker phone so now it’s really like the future. When Linkletter asks if he can continue, Sheldon says “head warp factor five”. That’s from Star Trek, which is also in the future.

When Clayton pulls up by Meemaw’s house, he tells her to give him a minute and he’ll help her in. Meemaw insists she doesn’t need any help. As she opens the door and climbs in by herself, Hortense remarks on how she opened the door by herself. Vern says it looks like they’ve got a feisty one. After Meemaw says don’t test me, Hortense says yeah, she’s feisty. When Doris shouts “What?”, Hortense and Vern repeat that she’s feisty.

As the church shuttle makes its way through town, Vern introduces himself to Meemaw. Hortense tells him to stop flirting, explaining she’s his wife. Meemaw introduces herself to Doris, who still can’t hear her. After Hortense asks where Meemaw’s going, she says the salon. Fancy, Hortense replies, saying they’re going to the pharmacy. After Doris finally turns on her hearing aid, she asks what she missed. Hortense mentions Meemaw is going to the salon. Fancy, Doris remarks.

Back home, as Sheldon goes to the refrigerator, the phone rings. He answers a call from President Hagemeyer, checking to make sure everything worked out with Linkletter. Sheldon says it did, although he was a bit irritable. Hagemeyer wants to make sure Sheldon has everything he needs. Sheldon says it would be good if he could dial into the university server while on the line with Linkletter. Like a second phone line? Hagemeyer says the university can take care of that. When Hagemery asks if Sheldon needs anything else, Sheldon says the only thing he can think of is Strawberry Quik, explaining his brother put an empty milk carton back in the fridge.

At school, Missy tells her teacher, Darlene Wilkins, about Sheldon and Meemaw’s crash, saying car crashed into the tree and the engine caught fire. After Darlene asks if everyone was okay, Missy says thankfully yes but she’s still shook up about it. Darlene tells her not to worry about the test today. After Missy thanks her teacher for her understanding, she asks where they are on the homework tonight. Darlene tells her not to push it.

After Clayton stops to take Doris to the bank, Hortense says Meemaw looks like she can get around, wondering why she needs the “geezer-buggy”. Meemaw admits she had a car accident. After Vern asks if she stepped on the wrong pedal, Meemaw says no before hedging with a “maybe”. When Vern says that sort of thing happens, Hortense explains he drove into all kinds of stuff before someone took his keys away. Meemaw says she thinks it would just kill her to lose her independence like that. She has places to go: bowling league, water aerobics, driving her son to college. After Hortense wonders why he can’t drive himself, Meemaw explains he’s 11. He’s special.

When Mary arrives home to find a Lindon Telecom van parked outside the house. After Mary goes to Sheldon’s room, Sheldon talks over the engineer’s whirring drill and explains they’re adding a second line. When Mary tells Sheldon he can’t just add a second line without asking, Sheldon points out he didn’t do it, the university did it for him. Mary wonders why they would do that? Because he asked them, Sheldon explains. After Mary tells Sheldon he will have to get in a car again at some point, Sheldon says it’s not looking like that. Mary is interrupted by the doorbell. When Mary answers the door, there’s a young man with a grocery delivery for Sheldon Cooper. The guy explains he’s got milk, straws and three cans of Strawberry Quik. Sheldon asks Mary to tip him as he’s a little light.

Back on the church bus, Meemaw tells Hortense and Vern about how she was singing karaoke with her girlfriend who used to be married to the man she’s dating. Doris doesn’t know what karaoke is, so Meemaw explains it’s when you get up and sing in a bar. After Vern jokes she’s like a Las Vegas show girl, Meemaw promises to take them some time. Meemaw asks Doris when the last time she got all dolled up at a salon was. Doris can’t remember, Hortense says it’s been years for her, and Vern points to his hair and says he doesn’t spend much time in salons. Everyone is excited when Meemaw says she’ll take them, her treat.

Back home, Mary answers the phone to President Hagemeyer, who is checking the Strawberry Quik arrived. Mary says she appreciates that Hagemeyer likes having Sheldon at the school, but she’s trying to raise a well-rounded individual who will get in a car. Hagemeyer tells her not to worry about it, saying academia attracts all kinds of eccentrics. Mary says that’s not what she wants for her son. Mary says she would like for Sheldon to function in society and it doesn’t help if she gives in to his every wish. After Hagemeyer insists she’s just doing her job, Mary says she’s just doing hers. Hagemeyer understands, but warns Mary that her assistant will be bringing around a big box of Star Trek tapes in a few minutes. It’s too late to pump the brakes on that one.

Elsewhere, Meemaw and her friends from the bus emerge from the salon looking glamorous. Meemaw asks where they’re going next. Meemaw hopes they won’t say dinner, but Hortense points out it is almost 4:00. Hortense repeats the time for Doris who is once again struggling to hear them. Meemaw tells them to just get in the van.

Adult Sheldon explains that his mother eventually coaxed him back in the car with a trip to RadioShack. She knew he’d be nervous so she came up with an interesting distraction. Mary asks Sheldon if they’d like to play a car game. Sheldon asks if he can make it science-based, Mary says sure. Sheldon explains he’ll say an element starting with “A”, then she’ll repeat that and add an element starting with the next letter. Mary doesn’t think she’ll get very far, but Sheldon is pleased as that means he’ll win. After Sheldon says argon, Mary looks for a B element and is pleasantly surprised when Sheldon confirms boron is an element. Adult Sheldon explains it was the beginning of a great new tradition that would bring countless hours of joy to Leonard on their drives to work. Much like his mother, Leonard never beat him.

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