He lounged on the couch watching television and eating pizza. The end of another blissful week of unemployment. No prospects on the horizon. He wasn't worried about it, was, in fact, living the dream.

Beside him, his wife cursed through some technical manual she'd lugged home from work. The television blared a local news story about an old codger who ran a landscaping business using women in bikinis. Business was booming.

The story devolved into a flurry of gratuitous video of half-nude women pushing lawnmowers. He gnawed on pizza crust, rapt, and released a chuckle.

His wife glanced up. "What?"

He nodded at the screen.

They watched the story until it cut to a commercial. He muted the volume. They sat in silence.

"There is simply no denying it," he said at last, and he knew there was a tinge of awe in his voice. "That man is a goddamned genius."

She studied him blankly. "Genius?"


"If he's such a genius," she said, "maybe he could score you a job."

He scratched his facial stubble, scrounging for a retort, some soaring rhetoric about dreams, destiny. Maybe then she'd understand. But his mind fogged over. He grunted and flipped the volume back on.

She smirked, shook her head slightly, and returned to her manual.

About the author:

Tom Mahony is a biological consultant in central California with an M.S. degree from Humboldt State University. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Flashquake, The Rose & Thorn, Verbsap, Void Magazine, SFWP, The Flask Review, Foliate Oak, Decomp, Spinnings Magazine, Long Story Short, Flash Forward, Six Sentences, Laughter Loaf, and Surfer Magazine. He is currently circulating a novel for publication.