“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”.

Zabka steered off the New York State Thruway and drove his black Camaro north on highway 290. He was singing along with the Grateful Dead song on the radio — “Livin’ on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine. All a friend can say is ‘Ain’t it a shame?’ Truckin’… up to Buff-a-lo!” A slow-moving eighteen-wheeler merged in front of him and wrecked his joyous mood. He laid on the horn and floored it, veering around the trucker and taking the exit’s curvy offramp at a screeching 75 mph.

After straightening out on Main Street, Zabka loosened his grip of the steering wheel. “Did you see that asshole?” he said to his passengers.

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

Zabka stuck his arm out the window on that sunny afternoon. He floated his hand up and down like a plane as it cut through the wind.

The radio station switched to a commercial, and Lighthouse asked, “Dude, what happened to the tunes?”

“Yeah, Bob.” Zabka whacked his buddy. “You’re in charge — fix it!”

Bob slid in a Jackyl CD, skipped to the song he wanted, and turned up the volume. It didn’t take long before the guitar riff had 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 them and shouted along with the chorus, “But she loves my cock! — Loves my cock! Loves my cock! Loves my cock!”

The girls were repulsed to the point where 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 expected, Zabka was incredibly pleased with himself. He gunned the engine and took off down the road.

Bob turned the music down. “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. Whaddya 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. And to Bob’s point, women haven’t been exactly throwing themselves at our feet. He might be on to something.”

Bob added, “Yeah, Zabka. You don’t really have the Don Juan seduction-thing goin’ on.”

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. The chick 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’s eyes rolled. “Also, as I recall, we didn’t go to our house. We went around the corner to her place. And finally, she wasn’t that big — you tend to exaggerate. She just had a tiny bitta junk-in-the-trunk.”

Zabka threw his head back and laughed. “Haha! She didn’t have a tiny bit! She had a ton! Her ass looked like two overstuffed garbage bags full of marshmallows!”

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 of 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, they arrived at their house on Winspear Avenue. The roof over the front porch was covered in bird shit, and the paint on the siding was chipped badly. The lawn looked like it had never been mowed and was covered with yellow dandelions. To top things off, a rat had torn into a bag of garbage and made an impressive mess near the side door. All things considered, it was one of the finer looking college houses on the street.

Bob smiled. “Home sweet home.”

Zabka pulled the Camero into the driveway 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 drove around back and parked in the backyard. He jumped out to inspect the damage, squatted in front of his car, and rubbed the bumper. “It’s not too bad. She’ll be alright.”

“Phew,” Bob said as he opened his door. “Thank god for that.”

Lighthouse climbed out from the backseat. “You think Satan’s here?”

“I don’t see his piece-of-shit car, so probably not,” Zabka replied.

The three of them pulled their bags out of the Camero and walked to the house. Zabka unlocked the side door, and an odor hit them immediately as they walked in — the type of skunky air that lingered after a reggae show.

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

One set of stairs went down to a scary-looking basement where there was a spare room and the laundry. They followed the other short set of stairs up to the hallway between the kitchen and living room. The ragged 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 between something sounding like a rabid squirrel and someone stroking a balloon. He paused and listened to confirm he wasn’t imagining things. He opened the door expecting to find a rodent, but walked in on something far worse — a guy, fully nude, holding a blowup doll’s head between his legs while he did unimaginable things to “her” oral cavity. The plastic squeaked from one last thrust.

The stranger and Zabka locked eyes in the most uncomfortable way. They stood still like statues in a Mexican-standoff, entangled in an unwanted three-way. Slowly, Zabka’s eyes turned to rage. Sensing impending doom, the doll-fucker panicked and kicked Zabka in the balls while screaming bloody murder.

Zabka curled-over in pain, his nuts thumping like the bass in an Ice Cube song. He looked up, calmly said, “You picked the wrong nigga ta fuck wit,” and karate chopped the doll’s head free from the guy’s engorged appendage.

The intruder covered himself and stammered incoherently.

At that point, Zabka was done being friendly. He swung a left-hook and nailed the guy in the eye.

Having heard the commotion, Bob and Lighthouse came running down from upstairs. When they got to their friend’s bedroom, they found Zabka standing over a naked guy their age, hogtied with a deflated French-maid doll, and a dirty sock shoved in his mouth.

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, this is a judgment-free zone.” He and Bob nodded their heads vigorously. “No judgments whatsoever.”

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

Scene 2 | Scene 3 | Scene 4

zerofucksgiven