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The Melodic Holiday Impossibility

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~The Melodic Holiday Impossibility~

 

For several months, Penny had been trying to think of a good way to give back to her community. Given the option, she would have bought toys for needy children, or donated canned goods to the local food pantry, but her job at the Cheesecake factory barely paid for her own needs. She needed to find something that she could do that would help people, without costing her much money.

 

She found the answer purely by accident, overhearing a couple of her customers talking as she refilled the salt and pepper shakers at the empty table behind them.

 

“...But Mom seems so unhappy there at the home. Can't we move her in with us?” the woman asked, pleading with what appeared to be her husband.

 

“You know we don't have the room. It's okay, she's just bored. She'll be fine once she gets involved with some of the activities there...”

 

As she moved away to another table, Penny considered the couple's words. There was something she could do, something that would only cost her a few hours of her time. She could sing Christmas carols for the residents of local retirement homes! She considered the idea further. She could even get the guys to go with her!

 

.~.~.~.

 

Of course, that was easier said than done. She broached the idea on “Anything Can Happen Thursday,” as they were eating their pizza.

 

Howard whipped out his phone and made a quick call. One which, by all appearances, he had some trouble extricating himself from. As soon as he hung up, he shook his head in regret. “Sorry, Penny. As I suspected, my mother won't allow it. Too many of her friends are living in those places, and mother doesn't want me to be seen singing Christmas carols.”

 

Raj leaned over and whispered something in Howard's ear, and Howard nodded. “Raj says no, too. For all the usual reasons, he can't sing unless he's drinking. He doesn't think that would be appropriate, and he thinks the old people would be freaked out by him just standing there lip-syncing.”

 

Well, so much for those two. She turned to Leonard, who was shaking his head. “I can't do it, Penny. I don't know any Christmas songs, and I just don't have the time now to learn any. I have a paper due before the first of the year, and I've got to concentrate on getting that done.”

 

“Oh, that's too bad.” Penny might have put up more of an argument, but things had been somewhat strained between the two of them since they had agreed to, as Sheldon put it, “terminate both the sexual and romantic components of their relationship” and go back to being just friends and neighbors. While they still spent time together, it was almost exclusively in the company of the group, and not just the two of them alone.

 

Knowing it was probably pointless, Penny looked over to Sheldon, sitting stiffly in his usual spot on the sofa, looking decidedly uncomfortable. “What about you, Sweetie?”

 

Sheldon scowled. “I was hoping you wouldn't ask.”

 

That wasn't quite a refusal. “Come on, Sheldon, it will be fun.”

 

The eyebrow raised, and he gave a slight shudder. “You have a very interesting definition of fun. That said, I will accompany you, on several conditions.”

 

“What are those, Sweetie?”

 

“First, you will, of course, do the driving. Further, you will do it at a rate of speed that does not endanger both life and limb. You will also take appropriate action regarding your 'check engine' light.”

 

“Certainly.” Penny was so surprised that she would have agreed to almost anything. She made a mental note to cover the offending light with a piece of black electrical tape.

 

“One more thing. We will not be performing any religious songs. I had quite enough of that as a child.”

 

She considered for a moment. As much as she hated to lose out on singing such classics as “Silent Night”, there were plenty of other songs to choose from. “Okay, we can do that.”

 

“Acceptable,” Sheldon agreed.

 

Howard, Raj and Leonard stared at Sheldon in disbelief. Raj whispered something in Howard's ear, to which Howard simply responded with a shrug. It was Leonard who voiced what they were all thinking. “You do know what a retirement home is, don't you?”

 

The look that Sheldon returned was positively scathing. “Yes, I am all too aware of the conditions at such facilities. Despite the objections of my mother and I, the family placed my Meemaw in one three months ago.” When he continued, his words were much softer. “And I hope that there is someone like Penny entertaining Meemaw this year.”

 

.~.~.~.

 

Christmas was rapidly approaching by the time Penny had a chance to sit with Sheldon and practice their singing. She had printed out the words and music for a number of non-religious songs that she hoped he would approve of. Sitting beside him, she gave him a copy of the first song.

 

“Okay, let's try it. One, two, three...”

 

Grandma got run over by a reindeer

Walking home from our house Christmas eve...”

 

Unexpectedly, Sheldon stopped singing and cut her off. “That's ridiculous. Reindeer only live in extreme northern climates. Anyone with any sense would not allow a grandmother to be out walking in those conditions, especially without a flashlight or proper reflective clothing to keep her from being involved in an accident.”

 

Penny sighed. She should have known it wouldn't be that easy. “Sweetie, it's only a song. It's Santa, and a sleigh being pulled by reindeer. It's not meant to be realistic.” She patted him on the arm. “Let's try it again, from the top.”

 

Grandma got run over by a reindeer

Walking home from our house Christmas eve...”

 

Well, that still doesn't make any sense,” Sheldon interrupted again. “Assuming you accept the whole Santa mythology, then Santa and his reindeer fly. Grandma wouldn't have gotten run over unless she'd been walking on the roof!”

 

This time, Penny's sigh was somewhat deeper. “Okay, Sheldon. We'll try something else.” She handed him another sheet of paper.

 

Frosty the Snowman

Was a jolly happy soul...”

 

Penny, as a scientist, I have serious reservations about the concept of the 'soul,' however I'm quite certain that in any case, even my mother would agree that a construction built from crystalline water ice would not have one.”

 

The sound that escaped from Penny was more of a moan. She thrust another paper at him. “Here!”

 

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la...”

 

Sheldon shook his head in dismay. “Decorating with un-hydrated vegetation is a certain fire hazard.”

 

Glaring, Penny shoved another page into his hands.

 

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...”

 

“Dreaming? That would be more of a nightmare than a dream. Can you imagine what snow would do to the traffic in Pasadena? The local public works department has no plows, or other means of clearing the roads...”

 

Penny threw up her hands. “Alright, Sheldon. You pick. What do you want to sing?”

 

.~.~.~.

 

They faced the room full of people, the assembled elders eagerly awaiting the Christmas music they had been promised.

 

“Penny and Sheldon are here to sing for you,” the nurse introduced them, and stepped away.

 

Soft kitty, warm kitty
Little ball of fur
Happy kitty, sleepy kitty
Purr, purr, purr”

 

~The end~