Archived Story

Write Again … No ‘kin’ at all! (well, not exactly)

Published 6:21pm Monday, May 21, 2012

One of the small pleasures several of we male teachers at Manteo High School enjoyed was having lunch together.

This was possible because we all had classrooms a good bit away from the main building. Plus, we all brought our lunch each day.

This was at the old MHS, and some of us were situated in trailers, and one was in the carpentry building, and one in the band room.

Those outbuildings are probably no longer there, and the main school structure is now the site of College of the Albemarle’s Dare County branch.

We once had a principal who seemed to be bothered by our edge-of-campus lunches. The audacity of us enjoying ourselves.

Enough. Let me get on with my story.

One Monday during our lunch break, Tom asked me, “Did you or Sally go to Washington this weekend?”

“Sally did,” I replied. “Why?”

“I heard on my scanner that someone from Washington was stopped by a Highway Patrolman yesterday afternoon.”

“Where?” I asked.

“I think it was in Tyrrell County.”

Hmmm. (That’s the sound of someone musing.)

At supper, I casually asked Sally if she and Mary Bart had a good trip back to Manteo yesterday. Sarah had stayed with me.

She said all went well.

“Why do you ask this tonight?” she proffered.

“Well,” I said, “Tom heard on his scanner that someone from Washington was stopped by the Highway Patrol.” He said, “The description given of the car was like yours.”

Silence. Only briefly, however.

“I wasn’t going to tell you. Yes, we were stopped. The trooper said I was going just a ‘little’ above the speed limit.”

Hmmm. (That’s me musing again.)

Before I could ask the logical next question, she quickly added, “No, I didn’t get a ticket. He just gave me a warning.”

“Why do you think he just gave you a warning?” I asked. “He probably, very probably, would have given me a ticket.”

A bit of gender bias. (You know what I mean, all you men people?)

“Well,” she started. “When he saw my name on the license, and that I was from Washington (she hadn’t made the address changeover), he asked me if I was related to Bartow Houston.”

“I told him that I wasn’t. Not blood related,” she said.

Not knowing if telling him that I was her husband was a good move — or not — she then said, “But he is my husband.”

It was out. Let the chips fall where they may.

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