“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 5)

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 pressed his foot between the naked guy’s shoulder-blades to keep him down on the floor. Bob and Lighthouse stood nearby, scratching their heads.

“Where the hell is Satan?!” Zabka yelled. “I want to know who this fucktard is!” He pushed his foot down harder on the trespasser. “Where did you come from?!”

The perverted sap wriggled — his screams muffled by the soiled sock in his mouth.

“Shut-up when I’m asking you a goddamn question!” Zabka kicked the guy in the spleen.

Lighthouse raised his hand. “I gotta question. Does this plastic-sex-doll-thing count as a woman in the house? It does, right? And like, shouldn’t we write this down somewhere official? For record-keeping purposes?”

Bob massaged his chin. “Yeaaah, so it sounds like we need to lay some contest ground-rules.” He leaned against the door entry. “The first rule being — and probably the most important — is that the woman must have a pulse. The second rule is that someone else in the house must be here to confirm it. I don’t trust any of you fuckers to…” Two unknown arms wrapped around Bob’s neck, buckling him forward. He twisted 180 degrees as he fell backward and squashed the person choking him onto Zabka’s uninvited guest. Bob turned over and discovered a short Thai person with an indistinguishable gender, sucking air from the wind being knocked out of them.

Zabka pulled Bob up from the ground and yelled at the newest intruder, “How many more of you maniacs are there?!” He used his foot to keep both of them down.

The Thai spit a loogie at Bob and it splattered on his face. “You fucka! You no belong!”

Bob wiped himself clean, leaned down, and punched the spitter in their gender-neutral mouth, scuffing his knuckles in the process.

Lighthouse was on full-alert, bouncing around in circles like Bluto Blutarsky before they took Neidermeyer’s horse into Dean Wormer’s office. “Who’s next?! Bring it!”

Bob shook his hand in pain as it began to bleed. “What a fuckin’ debacle. Are we sure we’re even in the right house? This is messed up.”

A faint noise was coming from above them — like someone strumming an acoustic guitar. Instinctively, they looked up and followed the sound through the walls while it made its way down the rickety stairs. Slowly, as it got louder, they recognized the riff from “Locomotive Breath” — gin gin gin gin, gin, gin — being repeated over and over again.

Lighthouse put his dukes up and elevated on his tippy-toes.

Bob thought to himself, This imbecile ain’t sneaking-up on us. He grabbed the nearest thing he could use as a weapon — the naked guy’s boombox — and readied to hurl it when needed.

Zabka applied additional pressure to the Thai’s sternum while making the shhh-signal.

In silence, they waited…

Then it came into the room — a guy dressed only in boxers, his eyes as red as the devil’s. He saw the ambush awaiting him and, after a noticeably delayed reaction, ceased playing that riff.

Bob and his friends lowered their guard, and he said, “What the fuck, Satan?! Who are these guys?! And why are they in our house?!”

Satan laughed like a snake, “Sss, sss, sss,” if a snake could laugh and be stoned. “These are our roommates for the summer. That’s Narong, and the naked dude you tied up — very creatively I might add — is Mike.”

Lighthouse asked, “And when exactly were you planning on sharing this information with us?”

“When the time was right… which I guess was now.”

Zabka took his foot off of the captives. “These fuckers are damn lucky I didn’t send them to the hospital.” Narong sprung to his feet. “Is this one a dude or a chick… or a combo? I don’t even know what’s going on here. Can someone please explain?”

Narong got in Zabka’s face. “I man! What you, fucka?!”

Zabka, who was about a foot taller than Narong, pushed him away and shook his finger at him. “Now that I know you’re a man — or at least claim to be — I strongly advise you not to do that again.”

Bob looked at Satan and asked, “So what are you doing with the rent you are collecting? I assume you are collecting rent, right? We’ve all been paying our share this summer even though we’re not up here.”

Satan took off his acoustic guitar and set it down. “Don’t worry fellas. I’ve been putting it into an account that I’ll use to fund our utilities until it runs out. That work?”

His official roommates for the upcoming school year nodded in agreement.

Zabka said, “As long as we’re essentially getting paid outta this, I can deal with it.”

“Yeah, I look at it as beer-money,” Bob added.

Zabka took the sock out of Mike’s mouth and pounded his hand on the bed. “This is my mattress… I best not find any jizz on it.”

Mike lifted his chin off the floor and looked up. “No, no, you won’t. There’s none.” He worked a few sock fibers to the tip of his tongue and blew them out. “Now can you please untie me?”

“I’m sicka lookin’ at ya — so yeah, I can do that. And then you’re gonna take all your shit outta here and move into Jimmy the Italian’s room. You understand me?”

“Loud and clear.”

“Good.” Zabka grabbed Mike’s bound wrists and ankles, and freed him.

Bob pulled Lighthouse outside the room and said to him, “Hey, all that shit was crazy, but I need to talk to you about something. It’s kinda important.” The two of them had become good friends back in high school when they both played on the JV soccer team.

“Okay, yeah,” Lighthouse replied. “Let’s go to the living room.”

They arrived and sat down on a couch that was older than they were. Bob began, “As you already know, the last few years have been pretty shitty for me. After my parent’s divorce and having to leave Union College, and then transferring here… well, I’ve been pretty much on my own. Paying for tuition, rent, my car… basically everything with loans and crappy jobs here and there.”

“I’m sorry, buddy. I didn’t realize that.”

“Thanks. Yeah, I haven’t told anyone.” Bob hung his head. “It’s gonna be alright, I just need… and I hate to ask this…” He looked up. “I just need a little help with rent for the first couple of months. Could you…”

“Done,” Lighthouse replied before he finished asking. “I got you covered.”

“Thank you. I really appreciate it.”

“Don’t think anything of it. Okay, let’s go put our bags away and set up our rooms.”

At the end of the previous school year, they moved all of their things from their old house on West Northrup to this house, and used their bedrooms as storage units, never bothering to arrange them.

Bob asked, “You really want the room up in the attic?”

“Yeah, I kinda like it up there — I can escape from the shenanigans.”

Bob laughed. “Yeah, good luck getting away!”

They both walked up to the second level where there were four bedrooms and a bathroom off of a square, central, hallway-type room. Lighthouse had left his luggage there when they heard the commotion coming from Zabka’s room. He grabbed it and continued up the stairs to the attic.

When he got to the top, there were two doors, both shut. One went to his bedroom, and the other had a padlock on it. The locked room also had a sign taped to it with the following written in green crayon, “Darkroom. Entry prohibited! Photography development.”

Lighthouse noticed a bright light coming out from under the door and lowered himself to the floor. He tilted his head and peered through the crack. Befuddled, he stood back up and yelled, “Satan!”

Scene 4 | Scene 5

zerofucksgiven

“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 turned his black Camaro off of the New York State Thruway and headed north on highway 290. He sang 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 Buffalo!” An eighteen-wheeler merged slowly in front of him, wrecking his joyous mood. He laid on the horn, slammed the Camaro’s gas pedal to the floor, and veered around the trucker, taking the exit’s curvy offramp at a screeching 75 mph.

Zabka loosened his grip of the steering wheel after straightening out on Main Street. “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.

It was a sunny afternoon, and Zabka stuck his arm out the window. 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, 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 girls from Third Base?

As 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. 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. Women aren’t exactly throwing themselves at our feet. Bob 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 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 down 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