Below is the beginning of Dave Lundy’s new novel (still in development) called, “Zero F*cks Given: Fall Semester”, a prequel to the best-selling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.
Zabka stabs his fork through a cherry tomato and some lettuce. Careful not to drip any dressing on his sale-rack suit, he brings it to his mouth. His friends, Bob and Lighthouse, throw their polyester ties over their shoulders and dig into their lunch.
Bob gives Zabka a look of disgust and says, “Who the fuck orders a salad? You know no good story ever started with a salad — unless we’re talkin’ about salad tossing. Anyway, it’s your fault if we don’t have an epic time at Earl’s wedding.”
“Whatever,” Zabka responds. “I couldn’t make it to the gym today, so I’m eating something on the lighter-side. You don’t get a ripped body like mine without sacrificing every once in a while.”
“Why even bother?” Lighthouse asks. “You’re gonna drink a hundred beers at the reception. What’s the use?” He takes a bite of his cheeseburger.
Bob nods in agreement. “And Zabka, why did you make us come to The Steer? I hate this fucking place. Oh, that’s right… because you’re sniffing around for Tracy Cohenstein.”
Lighthouse’s eyes grow wide as he thinks about the last time he saw Tracy. It was the end of spring semester — she was sunbathing in her backyard and he was perched in a tree with binoculars.
Zabka puts his fork down. “Screw you, Bob — stop trying to stir the pot.”
“Who, me?” Bob puts his hand over his heart. “I would never.”
Zabka shakes his head. “Yeah, never.”
The Steer, a Buffalo, NY restaurant-bar frequented by students from Long Island, is busy on this muggy summer day. Bob was indeed stirring the pot, knowing that both of his friends have a thing for Tracy. Zabka’s yearning is on the healthy, red-blooded male side of the spectrum, while Lighthouse’s pursuits lean more toward an unbalanced obsession.
As college friends do, they call each other by their nicknames — Zabka, because his doppelgänger is William Zabka, the blond actor whose character in The Karate Kid is an arrogant prick, and Lighthouse, for his bright-red hair, tall stature, and penchant for walking on his tiptoes with his head spinning, looking out for trouble.
Bob shoves a handful of fried into his mouth and chews while he talks. “Hey, you guys know if the Bills started training camp yet?”
“I think so.” Zabka pierces a piece of chicken with his next helping of salad. “But I don’t know how they get motivated. After losing three Super Bowls in a row, it’s gotta be hard.” While he gnaws on the meat, his face turns green and he spits it out onto the table. “What the fuck?!” He inspects the chicken flesh. “It’s pink inside!”
Their waitress hears the commotion and hustles over. “Is there a problem with your order?”
“A problem?! You’re damn right there’s a problem! The chicken is under-fucking-cooked!”
“I’m so sorry. Let me take care of that and get you a new salad.”
“No. I’ll handle this myself.” Zabka stands and picks up his plate. “This shit was intentional.” He marches toward the kitchen and slams through the aluminum swinging-door. “Who the fuck made my salad?!”
The kitchen staff freezes, alarmed by the uninvited guest.
Zabka scans for the most-likely culprit and eyes a nervous Mexican who’s stopped chopping lettuce. “Hombre! Did you do this?! Did you put raw chicken in my salad?!”
“No, señor. I just make the vegetables.” The food preparer’s eyes implicate his coworker at the grill.
“I see.” Zabka walks over and dumps the salad on the griller’s head. “Why the fuck did you do this? Tell me right now, or I swear, I’ll strangle your neck.”
The man gulps, fully believing the threat. “Okay, okay. Some girl paid me fifty bucks to do it. Please don’t tell my boss. I beg you.”
“Some girl?!” Zabka looks around as if she might be hiding somewhere. “So, a conniving cunt is in our midst, eh. Take me to her and I’ll let you off the hook.”
“She’s out at the bar.”
Zabka punches his palm. “Let’s go, motherfucker.”