Dan and Helen are a young married couple I drove from one bar to another Sunday night. And they are the kind of people that make Ubering so much fun.
“I put Knuckleheads as the destination,” Helen explained, “but it’s actually A.J. Gators.”
“Yeah, she totally screwed it up,” Dan said facetiously.
“I did not. It used to be called Knuckleheads and the GPS still lists it that way.”
“She has a hard time admitting when she’s wrong,” Dan confided to me.
“You guys are married, right?” I said.
“Haven’t you learned yet that the wife is never wrong?”
“Oops,” he said. “I forgot.”
“But I’m not wrong for real,” Helen insisted. “It used to be called Knuckleheads.”
“It’s okay, honey,” said Dan. “We forgive you.”
“Wait, we?” I said. “Don’t drag me into this.”
Somehow the conversation drifted to jokes. Dan said, “The worst is a joke that takes a really long time to tell and then ends up being bad. And you have to give a pity laugh. If you’re going to tell a joke, make it short and to the point.”
I took that as an invitation. “What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?”
“I don’t know.”
To my amazement, they both laughed. “That’s what I’m talking about. To the point,” said Dan.
“Wait, I got one,” said Helen. “What’s brown and sticky?”
“Also a stick.” I said.
“Hey, you knew my joke! I love fifty-year-old dad jokes.”
She couldn’t know that I’m exactly fifty years old and, of course, a dad.
She tried again. “What did the fish say when he bumped into a wall?”
“Dam!” I said.
“Sh–. How do you get a tissue to dance?”
“Put a little boogie in it.”
“D–n it! Why don’t chickens wear underwear?”
“You got me on that one.”
“Because their peckers are on their face! I finally got one. I thought for a second you knew all the jokes.”
“Well, I happen to literally be a fifty-year-old dad.”
They both thought that was hilarious.
When we pulled up to A.J. Gators, they spotted a friend sitting outside and called to him.
“That’s Dustin,” Dan said. “He’s the greatest guy in the world. Tell him a joke.”
Dustin, a middle-aged black man with freckles, dreadlocks, and a big smile approached the open passenger side window.
“What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back?” I said by way of introduction.
“I don’t know.”
It took him about three seconds and then he let out a genuine belly laugh. He fist-bumped me through the window and climbed into the backseat with Helen. He wanted more.
“Two muffins are in an oven,” I said, “One muffin says, ‘Man, it’s hot in here!’ And the other muffin says–”
“Holy sh–, a talking muffin!”interrupted Helen. She was so thrilled to give me a taste of my own medicine.
We all laughed.
“I love that joke! It’s totally my go-to joke!” she said. “This guy is awesome. Best Uber driver ever.”
Dan slipped me a twenty as a tip. I protested that it was too much.
“No way dude. This was an awesome ride. You have a great night.”
They all three got out full of laughter and camaraderie.
“This,” I said out loud to no one, “is why I love driving an Uber.”