Big Bang Theory – The Parking Spot Escalation


by Kevin Rigdon (@pralix1138)

If you’ve ever wanted to witness a case study of bat-crap craziness, all you need to do is watch the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory, “The Parking Lot Escalation.”  But the craziness doesn’t involve Raj’s erroneous notions that mummies and zombies are actually the same thing, nor does the craziness involve Amy Farrah Fowler’s first bikini wax.  No, the exceptional bout of insanity is the fight which ensues from Howard taking over Sheldon’s parking space.

It seems that Howard is the proud owner of a new car and has been given parking space number 294, which had been assigned to Sheldon, but Sheldon doesn’t own a car.  He doesn’t even drive, but that doesn’t stop him from having what he considers ‘his’ spot.  This is Sheldon Lee Cooper after all, and he loves his various spots.  But the coming clash of the nerdly titans isn’t really about his spot at all, but about Howard being a bigger deal at the university than Sheldon due to the former’s recent space adventure.  Nerds: even we (or maybe especially we) are susceptible to maniacal egotism.

Of course Howard refuses to give up the space leading Sheldon to take Howard’s collectible Iron Man helmet because, as he says, “I wanted it and you weren’t using it.  Apparently, those are the rules we live by now.”  In retaliation Howard takes Sheldon’s diploma, but he’ll have to do better than that…and he does.  Good gracious, does he do better than that!  When Sheldon comes home, accompanied by Raj and Leonard, he finds the miniature Jewish Greek god, Zeusowitz, going starkers on the couch…in Sheldon’s beloved spot.  Now, good people, it takes a special kind of vengeance to spread one’s cheeks on another man’s leather couch.  And this would be heinous enough, but it goes even further with Sheldon’s laptop perched atop Howard’s unfettered man-parts.  Point: Wolowitz.

This abomination cannot go unpunished, thus Sheldon responds in kind.  Not only does he go to the university parking lot and puts his name on Howard’s parking spot, he brings out stuff from his office so he can work there.  Howard drives up and moves Sheldon using his car.  Leonard comes out and attempts to restore order, and while he and Howard are talking, Sheldon undresses, and rubs his own bare backside all over Howard’s driver seat.

Of course, as with most bouts of bat-crap craziness, the effects of this particular nerdwar cause collateral damage.  Amy and Bernadette start going at it in defense of their respective men.  This part was especially funny because I think a lot of folks hold back criticisms of the spouses/significant others of friends in an effort to keep peace.  But when that peace is broken the gloves come off, the claws come out, and it…is…on.  The ruckus builds as Amy attacks Howard’s lack of intelligence, and Bernadette goes after the lack of intimacy between Sheldon and Amy, but Amy, I think, wins the round with a wonderful jab about Howard’s lifelong desire to crawl back into “his mother’s spacious womb.”  Point: Farrah Fowler

The fight between the girls comes to a head in Bernadette’s apartment after she’s had Amy’s car towed for being in Howard’s parking space.  In a moment of Amy-rage, Amy tries to hit Bernadette with the massive handbag, in which she’s carrying around a coffee can full of change, only to miss and hit Penny instead, and they have to take her to the emergency room.

The original fight, between Howard and Sheldon, requires the calming intervention of Raj.  Raj gets Howard to be the bigger man and apologize and even ask for a different space, which, of course, is unacceptable to Sheldon, who has to be the bigger man-threatening a new wave in the war.  Sheldon pseudo-magnanimously gives his parking spot over and requires that he, Sheldon, be verbally recognized as the bigger man.  Raj convinces Howard to let it go, and there is finally a cessation in hostilities.

I loved this episode.  There were some great lines, fantastic scenes of nerd vengeance including the aforementioned defilement of various leather surfaces through the creative use of bared cheeks.  There was even a painful reference to using melted crayons and duct tape for personal grooming–something that is most definitely not recommended.  Definitely a highlight of the season so far.

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

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