"Not My Circus..."
My stories usually begin with a title, and for a long time I wanted to write something I could call "Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys."
When I finally wrote the story, though, I changed my mind, titled the story just "Not My Circus" and used "... not your monkeys" as the opening three words and "Not my monkeys" as the final three words.
There are a number of Easter eggs in this one. The narrator's wife teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, for example, and they live in a townhouse in Reston and eat at "Burger Mondays" at the Glory Days sports bar on Wiehle Avenue. Well, IRL I teach at Northern Virginia Community College (though I teach Communication Studies, not English like my character), and my wife Laurie and I rented a townhouse in Reston before buying a single-family home in Herndon, and we often go to "Burger Monday" at one of the two nearby Glory Days locations. (Neither of which is on Wiehle Avenue, although there is in fact a local road by that name. I just like the sound of it — it's pronounced "wheelie" as in "pop a wheelie" — so I exercised some literary license and put a Glory Days there.)
Although the story was written before the 2016 election, I saw the handwriting on the wall and included not one, not two, but three Donald Trumps. They are three of the four bad guys.
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