Thirty Percent
By Tom Mahony, Aug 12, 2009

As they prepared to leave the Mexican restaurant, his wife glanced at the bill. “You left a thirty percent tip?”

“It was good service,” he said.

“The waitress spilled beer in your lap and flubbed my order. Twice.”

He shrugged. “Nobody’s perfect. She was trying hard. The tip is for effort.”

“Effort? Or cleavage?”

“What cleavage?”

“The cleavage she was shoving in your face.”

“She had to clean up the spilled beer.”

“On your crotch?”

“She’s thorough.” He nodded thoughtfully and gazed into the distance. At the clamor and buzz and the world long gone. He drained his beer and eyed the priceless woman he’d known forever. “Incredibly thorough.”

He smiled. She laughed. They left the restaurant.

Tom Mahony is a biological consultant in California with an M.S. degree from Humboldt State University. His fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in dozens of online and print publications, including Surfer Magazine, Flashquake, The Rose & Thorn, Pindeldyboz, In Posse Review, Boston Literary Magazine, 34th Parallel, Diddledog, Foliate Oak, and decomP. His short fiction collection, Slow Entropy, was published by Thumbscrews Press in 2009. He is looking for a publisher for several novels. Visit him at tommahony.net.