At 3:00 am Thanksgiving morning, Mac, Thad, and Michael wiped the table where they had been sitting with the lady vets. They learned two of them were combat survivors. Mac sighed audibly and said, “Ladies in a war zone. I’m glad they’re not my monkeys and not my circus.”

Michael laughed. “They are your monkeys, and this is your circus, especially on Thanksgiving eve. And now they know it’s safe to congregate here and talk freely. We may see more of them.”

Mac smiled. “Providing a safe place to talk proudly about being a service member is our mission.”

Note: The No Thanks Needed is a bar owned by Vietnam Veteran Colm McCarthy. Thad is his son, and Michael leader of the house band. They, too are vets. On Thanksgiving eve, they hold a veterans-only turkey dinner with the food provided by the band members’ families.

Written in response to Charli Mills November 28, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the saying, “not my monkeys, not my circus”. What is the situation that would spawn that aphorism? Have fun with setting and characters! Go where the prompt leads!