“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

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 2)

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”.

Friday (one day earlier)…

Tracy Cohenstein sat on her couch with a box of tissues as the final scene in Pretty Woman began. Having watched it nearly a dozen times, she was able to quote practically every line. She’s been told she looked like a younger, and perhaps even more attractive, version of Julia Roberts, the female star of the movie. Tracy’s dark brown eyes were the kind that pulled you in and could’ve been Van Morrison’s inspiration for “Brown Eyed Girl” had she been born when he wrote the song. Her appearance was unblemished except for one flaw — one embarrassing, well-hidden flaw.

Tracy watched intently as Richard Gere’s character stood through the limousine’s sunroof — a bouquet of red roses in hand and Verdi’s La Traviata opera playing for all to hear. Julia Robert’s character came out of her top-floor apartment and onto the fire escape as he began to climb. When the couple met in the middle, their lips inches apart, Tracy pulled out a few tissues.

She mouthed along while Richard Gere asked Julia Roberts, “So what happened after he climbed up the tower and rescued her?”

With a half-smile, Julia answered, “She rescues him right back,” and they kissed.

Tears ran down Tracy’s cheeks — just your average day in Hollywood where a rich businessman “saves” a prostitute. Not feeling the least bit odd about longing to be Julia Robert’s character, Tracy’d gladly turn a few tricks to have a fairytale like this one come true. While the closing credits rolled, she wiped her tears and wished Chad Stanwick, the president of Sigma Alpha Mu, would be her “knight in shining armor.” Ironically, if the rumors were true, her two crushes, Richard Gere and Chad Stanwick, shared the same fetish — a peculiar one only satisfied by prostate-tickling gerbils.

Tracy moved from the couch into her office and shut the door. On her desk was a studio microphone, and behind that, a VCR and small TV. She retrieved a set of headphones out of a drawer and plugged them into the TV. A videotape labeled “When Harry Ate Sally” waited for her — a play-on-words for what happened to be her favorite romantic-comedy. Frightened, yet curious, she shrugged — Work is work. You see, Tracy had the type of voice that oozed sex. One time at synagogue, while reading a passage from the Torah, she managed to arouse ninety-percent of the congregation. Now a broadcast major at the University at Buffalo, one of her audition tapes landed in the right hands and led to a part-time job doing voice-overs — actually, more like moan-overs — for pornographic movies.

Tracy popped in the tape and watched Harry and Sally start their drive from Chicago to New York City. The atrocious acting, horrific dialogue, and road-head that followed was par for the course. She fast-forwarded the movie, watching the actors boink at high-speed like rabbits until she reached the famous diner scene — the one where Harry and Sally banter about women faking orgasms. Harry claimed that no woman has ever faked it with him, and then he proceeded to climb under the table to prove it. In sync with Sally’s crescendoing orgasm, Tracy pounded the table and shouted her own version of “Yes! Yes! Oh! Oh!” into the microphone. When Sally finished, and all eyes were on her, a woman at another table repeated the original movie’s line and told her waiter, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Naturally, the waiter was more than happy to oblige and, like Harry, serviced the woman. Then, just like in real life, an orgy broke out.

Sally, now engaged in a threesome, said the dirtiest things in the rare times her mouth was phallus-free. Slurping and voicing-over these parts was easy for Tracy, but she recognized her muffled-gagging skills still needed some work. Fully immersed in the film, Tracy closed her eyes and genuinely moaned. She then had a worrisome feeling — not because of the unholy things being done to Sally’s holes, but because the men sandwiching her onscreen-identity reminded her of Zabka and Lighthouse — an unexpected turn-on. She admonished herself, I’d never!

Tracy thought back to the shit those two dimwits pulled when they all lived in the Ellicott dorm. Her anger grew, coincidentally, in perfect timing with the scene and came across as intense pleasure. While Sally got stuck more than a pincushion, the well-hung gentleman with a curly blond mullet — Zabka’s twin from the waist up — flexed his pecks. At the same time, the other stallion’s bright red hair reminded her of Lighthouse. His face, buried so deep between Sally’s legs that only the top of his head showed, he looked like Ronald McDonald eating a Happy Meal. As the scene came to a dramatic, DNA-filled conclusion, the only logical recommendation the Department of Public Health could make was to torch the diner.

Tracy stopped the video, took off her headphones, and wiped sweat from her forehead. Having not thought about Zabka and Lighthouse in a while, her feelings were conflicted as she wondered, Whatever happened to those campus idiots?

Scene 1 | Scene 2 | Scene 3

zerofucksgiven

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 1)

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”.

Once upon a time in Buffalo, NY…

Zabka stabbed his fork through a cherry tomato and lettuce, and brought it to his mouth. His hand shook, which made it a challenge not to drip any dressing on his sale-rack suit.

Bob glared at his friend. “Who the fuck orders a salad? No good story ever started with a salad — unless we’re talkin’ ’bout salad-tossing, of course.” He chuckled while Zabka pondered his insightful commentary. “Anyway, it’s your fault if we don’t have a blast at Earl’s wedding.” He threw his polyester tie over his shoulder and then devoured half of his greasy cheeseburger in one bite.

“Whatever.” Zabka’s head was pounding 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.”

Lighthouse, their college housemate, asked, “Seriously, why bother? You’re gonna drink a hundred beers at the reception, just like you did last night. What’s the use?”

As buddies do, they called each other by their nicknames — Zabka, because his doppelgänger was William Zabka, the blond actor in The Karate Kid whose character is an arrogant prick; Lighthouse, for his bright-red hair, tall stature, and penchant for walking on his tiptoes with his head spinning, looking out for trouble; and Bob, the jovial moniker for Robert.

It was a muggy summer day, and they were having lunch in a restaurant-bar called The Steer. Located near the University at Buffalo’s city campus, it was popular with 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.

“Good lord, this song sucks donkey-balls.” Bob was physically agitated. “Achy-Fuckin’-Breaky Heart? What is this bullshit?”

Zabka laughed. “I’d Achy-Fuckin’-Breaky that guy’s nose if he was here.”

“Why? You made your barber give you the same stupid mullet.” Bob closed his eyes and shook his head. “But seriously, Zabka, why’d you make us come to this hellhole? 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 his fork down. “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.”

Pfff,” 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.”

“I’m still scarred from what I saw,” Lighthouse said. “Can we talk about something else?”

“Sure. How about hangovers?” Bob finished his beer and raised the bottle. “And 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?” Zabka asked. “Their first preseason game is tomorrow.”

“Come on, I thought we were changing subjects.” Bob rubbed his temples. “The Bills are good, but they’re the NFL’s version of a hangover.”

“Buffalo is done,” Lighthouse said. “They lost three Super Bowls in a row. It’s all about Miami this year. Go Dolphins!”

Zabka picked up his fork and speared a piece of chicken along with his next helping of salad. “Fuck Marino and fuck Miami.” As he gnawed on the meat like it was a piece of gum, his face turned green. He spit the chicken onto the table, inspected its pink flesh, and dry-heaved. “What the fuck?! It’s raw inside!”

Their waitress heard the commotion and hustled over. “Is there a problem with your order?”

“A problem?! You’re goddamn 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