"So this guy was waiting for a bus late at night, and he was getting worried because he wanted to go home, and he thought he missed the last bus, when suddenly, he saw his bus coming towards his bus stop," said the wife, telling me a story as we wait for the second-last feeder bus of the night.
"And then?" I ask.
"It had NO driver!" she says.
"When the bus finally pulled up, he looked behind the bus, and it was the driver and the conductor pushing it!" she laughs.
"Was that a for-real story or was it some joke?"
"I don't know but you can tell it is an old story, right? Got conductor in it. When was the last time you sat in a bus with a conductor?" she says.
The wife and I are chatting at the bus stop, it's close to midnight. At home, she had mentioned ice cream and not having to work tomorrow, and I decided we should just live dangerously and go to the 24-hour MacDs at the interchange for dessert. And we would go by bus.
"We're not driving there?" she asked, when I suggested we bus there and walk home after our midnight date (since we would miss the last bus by then).
"Take bus lah. We used to take bus when we were dating as teens what," I said.
So we took the bus.
It's not like we drive everywhere. The wife takes public transport to work and I ride a bicycle to work daily. But on weekends, we usually drive the family around. Yet it seemed strange that we would go a midnight date, to the interchange, on a weeknight, and NOT drive.
We enjoy the cool night air and talk about everything. I tell her about Ryan sharing some of his army photos with me after he saw my BMT photos on Facebook and Flickr. It was a quiet day in the office with everyone out on Chinese New Year leave.
She, in turn, shares the antics of our kids when she reads to them every night. Isaac would interrupt the wife in the middle of their bedtime story time ritual, and he would nudge Joy with a grin, saying, "Eh, eh, Joy, do your Does Anybody Need Help."
Joy would then make a funny face and use a funny voice to say, "Does anybody need help?"
And the two kids would crack up, disrupting Mommy's story telling.
"What does that phrase mean? Where is it from?" I ask the wife.
"I don't know, but Isaac really laughs out loud when Joy does it," she says,"and it's like an inside joke for the two of them. May be from a tv show. Joy is such an clown."
A 5-year-old and his 3-year-old sibling sharing a private joke only the two of them get. Nice to know they entertain each other.
We get on the bus, reach the Macs, buy our ice creams, and chat like this some more. Then we finished my Oreo ice cream together and we begin our 20-minute walk home, taking a shortcut through the housing estate.
It is almost 1am. There is a cool night wind blowing and I start telling her about the time I rode my bike in Washington DC at 6am in the morning in windy 10°C conditions, wearing only a windbreaker. My nipples shivered, I tell her, it was that cold.
Best date we've had all month.