To the Writer’s Room at Big Bang Theory;
Thank you. I appreciate the geek culture and humor you have brought to the mainstream. I am not one of those geeks who denounces you as laughing “at” us and not “with” us. Then again, I have never been accused of being overly sensitive or empathetic. So take that as you will.
I did however see some dire implications in this last week’s episode where the guys took to playing D&D while the women went to Vegas. Not in the humor itself, mind you. I’ve been dealing with those types of jokes since Tom Hanks lost his shit and thought a mugger on the streets of New York was an orc bandit. (Forget that in the common rule system back then a cleric couldn’t use a dagger. Brain him with a claw hammer, sure… but not stab him.) For me, the issue was due to the implications that this episode of your sitcom would have towards my game night. Specifically, towards myself – the Dungeon Master for Life™. (Y’all might think I am kidding. Sadly, no.)
First off there was this exchange;
Sheldon – “I’ve never played D&D with girls before.”
Penny – “Oh, sweetie… nobody has.”
In and of itself, a fine joke. Bazinga. Though this left me in the awkward position of having “the talk” with the women in my group. I had to convince them that they actually existed. It was touch and go there for a bit. Trying to talk them down from claiming they were unicorns, I found myself debating the case while simultaneously fighting off Tim Curry and his army of goblins. It the end it all worked out without me having to convert a Scientologist to the side of Fey.
My second issue came with Wolowitz and his impressions that gave voice to his NPCs. While the voices themselves (and especially Dr. Cooper’s reaction to them) were humorous, it left me in a very Leonard-like predicament. I now have to become a junior Rich Little (a shout out to the older geeks in the audience) during my game night. While I fancy busting out a Walken impersonation from time to time, there are only so many situations where you can call for more cowbell in a role-playing setting. The timing… it’s no good… not right…
So suddenly the Alvin and the Chipmunkesque voice of Puff Puff (full name Dandelion Puff That Floats on the First Spring Breeze) the pixie companion of the party isn’t good enough. Now Puff Puff has to sound like Mike Tyson from The Hangover. Okay, that’s a bad example. Those voices are nearly identical. But you get my drift.
In short, as writers know that words have power. And I’m not simply talking about the Power Word series of spells. Words cast about in jest have power. They are the butterfly that sends ripples along the pond of my game night. And Ashton Kutcher is busy enough with being plopped into Two and a Half Men without having to join in on my game night too.
Zombie Joe – DM for Life™
Ref: (pop culture reference cheat sheet)
- Mazes and Monsters
- AD&D (aka 1st Edition): Cleric Rule Set
- Big Bang Theory: Sheldon’s Jokes
- Legend: The Plot
- Legend: The Scientologist in the Ointment
- SNL: Host – Christopher Walken, Don’t Fear the Reaper skit
- Alvin and the Chipmunks
- The Hangover
- The Butterfly Effect
- Two and a Half Men: The Sheen Meltdown