“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 3)

This is from the beginning of Dave Lundy’s new novel (still in development) called, “Zero F*cks Given”, a prequel to the best-selling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.

Much to Zabka’s displeasure, an eighteen-wheeler slowly merged onto highway 290 in front of him. Zabka laid on the horn, slammed the Camaro’s gas pedal to the floor, and swerved around the trucker, taking the exit’s curvy offramp at a screeching 75 mph.

Zabka released his tight grip on the steering wheel once he straightened out on Main Street. “Did you see that asshole?” he said to his passengers.

From the seat beside him, Bob answered, “Yeah, the nerve of that guy.” He looked back at Lighthouse, cramped between their luggage, and they chuckled.

It was a sunny afternoon, and Zabka stuck his arm out the window to enjoy the breeze.

“Dude, what happened to the tunes?” Lighthouse asked.

“Yeah, Bob.” Zabka whacked his friend. “Fix that. You’re in charge.”

Bob slid in a Jackyl CD, selected the song he wanted, and turned up the volume. Soon into it, the guitar riff got their heads banging. Zabka eyed a car full of girls with a UB bumper sticker and sped up next to it. He looked over at the girls and sung along with the chorus, “But she loves my cock! — Loves my cock! Loves my cock! Loves my cock!”

The girls were beyond repulsed — so much so that their faces seemed to throw up.

Having witnessed Zabka’s behavior many times before, Bob wasn’t at all shocked — his friend was the poster-child for “not giving a fuck.” But, on the flip-side, the girls’ reactions did make Bob take notice. And a few of their faces seemed familiar — Were those Third Base girls?

As would be expected, Zabka was incredibly pleased with himself. He gunned the engine and took off down the road.

Bob turned down the music. “You know, not to sound lame or anything, but I feel like the way we approach girls might be a touch off-putting and could probably use… oh, I don’t know… some refinement. What do you guys think?”

“What are you talking about?” Zabka replied. “Those bitches ate that shit up!”

Lighthouse offered his thoughts, “No offense, Zabka, but I didn’t get that impression. Bob might be on to something.”

Zabka brushed off his friends. “You guys are crazy.”

“No, really,” Bob said. “Okay, so how many girls did we have in our house last year?”

Zabka shrugged. “Plenty, I’m sure.” He contemplated for a moment. “To start, there was Earthshaker — that ginormous chick from The Base that you banged. Good lord, you truly have no shame.”

“First of all, I did not ‘fuck her.’ We barely got outta the bar before her mouth was playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with my balls. She was like, ‘Nom, nom, nom…’ She just went to town. It was nuts — literally! I’ve never had a girl laser-focused on my sack like that.”

From the peanut gallery, Lighthouse remarked, “I bet you’ve had dudes laser-focused on your sack like that.”

Bob rolled his eyes. “And secondly, we didn’t go to our house. Her house was around the corner, so we went there.”

Lighthouse looked up and tapped his chin. “Oh, I know. There was the woman that hooked up our cable. She was kinda hot.”

Bob replied, “Dude, she was as old as your mom. Plus, she worked for the cable company, so that doesn’t really count. Okay, so who else?”

Hmm… oh, I remember.” His redheaded friend pushed an imaginary button. “These girls rang our doorbell and I invited them inside.”

“You mean the ones selling cookies?” Bob shook his head. “The Girl Scout and her mom? Come on.”

The three of them sat in silence, racking their brains.

“You see my point now? We did a pathetic job last year.” Bob glanced back at Lighthouse and then at Zabka to make sure they absorbed what he was saying. “But here’s the good news — this is a new year and we’re in a new house — the reset button has been pressed. Plus it’s our last year in college. We need to go out on a high note.”

“Should we set a goal?” Lighthouse asked. “Like the number women?”

“Well, there are six of us in the house, soooo… we should easily be able to pull in two girls each. Real girls — not girls working for a utility company or selling shit door to door.” Bob did the easy math. “So that’s twelve.”

Zabka offered, “Shit, I could pull in a dozen myself. What are you guys gonna do?”

Lighthouse said, “Yeah, I could do that too.”

Bob laughed along with Zabka who was slapping his knee.

After Zabka composed himself, he said “But seriously, we need to think this through. The others in the house are Satan, Jimmy the Italian, and Narong — a stoner, a short guy who’s prematurely-balding and talks like he’s been kicked in the nuts, and a puny theatre major from Thailand. Something tells me their contributions ain’t gonna be shit.”

Bob agreed. “Yeah, they’re completely useless.”

Zabka nodded his head. “Yep, so that just leaves me and you, Bob.”

“Hey, what about me?” Lighthouse asked.

“What about you?” Zabka replied. “No offense,” he winked at Bob, “but this is clearly a two-man operation.”

“Yeah, Zabka’s right.” Bob grinned. “But don’t let that stop you from giving it the old college try.”

“I’ll show you guys.” Lighthouse folded his arms. “I may even decide to get a girlfriend.”

“Highly doubtful. But even if you did, that’s not gonna help us much with the numbers.” Zabka passed Grover Cleveland Golf Course — named after the former mayor of Buffalo and President of the United States — and crossed Bailey Avenue. “Hey, there’s south campus. We’re officially back in Buffalo!” He honked the horn twice. “And it feels daaaaamn good!”

A mile or so later, Zabka pulled the Camero into the driveway of their house on Winspear Avenue and drove straight into a pothole, scraping the car’s front bumper. “Fuck!” he yelled.

“Relax,” Bob said, “I’m sure your precious pussy-magnet is just fine.”

Zabka parked and jumped out to inspect the damage. He bent down in front of his car and rubbed the bumper. “It’s not too bad. She’ll be alright.”

“Phew,” Lighthouse commented as he exited the vehicle. “Thank god for that.”

Bob stood and stared at their house. “Home sweet home.” Its rickety siding and badly chipped paint made it look like it belonged in a slum. A rat had torn into a full bag of garbage outside the side door, which didn’t do anything to help the place’s curb-appeal.

“You think Satan is here?” Lighthouse asked.

“I don’t see his piece-of-shit car, so I’m guessing no,” Zabka replied.

Bob pulled his bags out of the car. “Alright, let’s put our stuff inside.”

Zabka unlocked the side door and the three of them walked in. The odor hit them immediately — the type of skunky air that lingered after a reggae show.

Lighthouse said, “It definitely smells like Satan lives here.”

A set of stairs went down to the basement where there was a spare room and the laundry. They followed a few stairs up to the hallway between the kitchen and living room. The interior of their living quarters helped strengthen the case that the structure should be condemned. Zabka turned toward his room which was down a small hallway off the kitchen. Bob and Lighthouse continued upstairs to their respective rooms.

As Zabka got closer to his bedroom, he heard an odd noise — one that oscillated quickly between something that sounded like a rabid squirrel and someone stroking a balloon. He paused for a moment and confirmed he wasn’t imagining things. He opened the door expecting to find a rodent, but what he walked in on was worse, far worse — a naked guy gripping a blowup doll’s head between his legs and doing unimaginable things to “her” oral cavity. Each thrust between its red lips made a squeak from the plastic. The stranger and Zabka both froze and stared wide-eyed at the other.

The sex-doll-fucker screamed bloody murder and kicked Zabka in the balls.

Zabka curled-over in pain and one of Bob’s Ice Cube songs thumped in his temple. He looked up slowly, said, “You picked the wrong nigga ta fuck wit,” and karate chopped the woman free from the intruder’s engorged appendage. He then swung a left-hook and nailed the guy in the eye.

Meanwhile, Bob and Lighthouse heard the commotion from upstairs and came running down. When they entered Zabka’s bedroom, they found their friend standing over a naked guy hogtied with a deflated French maid doll — his wrists and ankles tied behind his back.

Lighthouse entered the room in full alert-mode, his head spinning like a top.

“Zabka, is there something you want to share?” Bob asked. “Trust us, we’re not judging you.”

With a half-smile, Lighthouse agreed, “Yep, no judgments here.” He and Bob shook their heads vigorously. “No assumptions at all.”

Zabka said, “I found this asshole in my room gettin’ it on with blowup Betty. I don’t know who the fuck he is, but that’s what we’re about to find out… either the easy way or the hard way. That part’s up to him.”

Scene 2 | Scene 3 | Scene 4

zerofucksgiven

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 1)

This is the beginning of Dave Lundy’s new novel (still in development) called, “Zero F*cks Given”, a prequel to the best-selling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.

Saturday, many years ago…

Zabka stabbed his fork through a cherry tomato and some lettuce. He brought it carefully to his mouth so as not to drip any dressing on his sale-rack suit. His friends, Bob and Lighthouse, threw their polyester ties over their shoulders and dug into lunch.

While he chewed on a bite of a greasy cheeseburger, Bob glared at Zabka and asked, “Who the fuck orders a salad? You know no good story ever started with a salad — unless we’re talkin’ ’bout salad-tossing, of course. Anyway, it’s your fault if we don’t have an awesome time at Earl’s wedding.”

“Whatever.” Zabka’s hand shook as he sipped his Bloody Mary. “I couldn’t make it to the gym today, so I’m eating something light. You don’t get a ripped body like mine without sacrificing every once in a while.”

“Seriously, why bother?” Lighthouse asked. “You’re gonna drink a hundred beers at the reception. What’s the use?”

As college friends do, they called 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; Lighthouse, for his bright-red hair, tall stature, and penchant for walking on his tiptoes with his head spinning on the lookout for trouble; and Bob, the jovial moniker for Robert.

The Steer, the restaurant-bar they were dining in, was busy on that muggy summer day. Located near the University at Buffalo’s city campus, it was mostly frequented by students from Long Island. Its dark wood interior and the bull’s skull and horns that hung on the wall gave the place a western vibe. A country song by Billy Ray Cyrus was playing in the bar.

Bob said, “Good lord this song sucks. Achy-fuckin’-Breaky Heart? What is this bullshit? Why’d you make us come to this hellhole, Zabka? I hate this fucking place.” He watched a group of girls in matching sorority shirts and with matching nose jobs, chat up the bartender. “Oh, that’s right… because you’re sniffing around for Tracy Cohenstein.”

Lighthouse’s eyes grew wide as he thought about the last time he saw Tracy during junior year, at the end of spring semester. She was sunbathing in her backyard, and he was perched in a tree with binoculars.

Zabka put down his fork. “Screw you, Bob. Stop trying to stir the pot.”

“Who, me?” Bob placed his hand over his heart. “I would never.”

Zabka shook his head. “Yeah, never.”

Bob was indeed stirring the pot, knowing that both of his friends had a thing for Tracy. Zabka’s yearning was on the healthy, red-blooded male side of the spectrum, while Lighthouse’s pursuits leaned more toward an unbalanced obsession.

Bob gulped down some beer and shoved a handful of fries into his mouth. “Hey, remember the last time we came here? The bouncer launched some douchebag off the steps outside and into the street.”

“Oh yeah, that was hilarious,” Lighthouse responded. “No offense, Zabka, but I’m shocked that’s never happened to you.”

Zabka threw his arms up and leaned in. “Who’s got the balls to try to throw ME out?!” He looked around. “Show me! I dare someone!”

Bob paid no attention to Zabka’s outburst. “Actually, I’m surprised they didn’t toss you outta Third Base last night. What a shitshow.”

“Please,” Zabka scoffed. “They’d never. Plus most of that had nothing to do with me.”

Lighthouse shook his head. “Yesterday was a fiasco.”

“Fiasco isn’t quite the right word… It was a clusterfuck.” Bob studied his scraped knuckles. “One huge clusterfuck.”

Lighthouse asked, “Can we talk about something else?”

“Sure. How about hangovers?” Bob finished his beer and raised the bottle. “Hair of the dog.”

“More like shit of the dog. Dog shit — that’s what I feel like. So no, I don’t want to talk about hangovers.”

“Okay, then how about the Bills? You guys know if it’s preseason yet?”

“Yeah, I think the first game is tomorrow.” Zabka picked up his fork and speared a piece of chicken along 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 tough.” As he gnawed on the meat, his face turned green. He spit the chicken out onto the table and inspected the flesh. “What the fuck?! It’s pink inside!”

Their waitress heard the commotion and hustled 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 stood with his plate, marched toward the kitchen, and slammed through the aluminum swinging-door. “Who the fuck made my salad?!”

The kitchen staff froze, alarmed by their uninvited guest.

Zabka scanned for the most-likely culprit and landed on the man who’d been chopping lettuce. “Hey, fuckface! Did you do this?! Did you put raw chicken in my salad?!”

“No, sir. I just make the vegetables.” The food preparer’s nervous eyes implicated the man at the grill.

“I see.” Zabka walked over and dumped his salad on the cook’s head. “Why the hell did you do this? Tell me right now, or I swear I’ll strangle your neck.”

The man gulped, 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 looked around. “So, a conniving cunt is in our midst, eh? Where is she? Keep talking and I might let you off the hook.”

“She’s out at the bar.”

“Good. Take me to her.” Zabka punched his palm. “Let’s go, motherfucker.”

Scene 1 | Scene 2

zerofucksgiven