This excerpt is from Dave Lundy’s new novel, “Zero F*cks Given” (still in development) — the prequel to the bestselling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.
Zabka steered his black Camaro off of the New York State Thruway and drove 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 turned and looked at Magnum in the backseat, cramped between their luggage, and they chuckled.
Zabka stuck his arm out the window on that sunny afternoon and floated his hand up and down like a plane as it cut through the wind. “Are you guys excited for tonight?”
“You mean for Earl’s shindig?” Magnum asked.
“That’s exactly what I mean.” Zabka had a shit-eating grin on his face.
Bob examined his friend. “What are you up to? You got somethin’ planned?”
“Let’s just say I have a few tricks up my sleeve.”
This made Bob happy. “I expect nothing less.”
Magnum added, “I hope it includes girls.”
“Of course it does, dummy.” Zabka bounced up and down. “We need to christen the new house.”
“Speaking of girls,” Bob said. “I was just thinkin’… how many girls did we have in our house last year?”
Zabka shrugged. “Plenty, I’m sure.” He began a mental tally. “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 ‘bang 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.”
“I bet you’ve had dudes laser-focused on your sack like that,” Magnum remarked from the peanut gallery.
Bob rolled his eyes.
Zabka added, “She certainly didn’t have a nut allergy!”
“Certainly not!” Bob chuckled before continuing. “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 little bitta junk-in-the-trunk.”
Zabka threw his head back and laughed. “A little bit?! She had a shit-ton! She was shaped like a pear, and I thought her ass was two garbage bags overstuffed with marshmallows!”
“Okay, enough,” Bob said. “You made your point.”
Magnum 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.” Magnum stroked his mustache. “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, man.”
The three of them sat in silence, racking their brains.
“You see my point now? We had a pathetic year.” Bob glanced at Magnum and then Zabka to make sure they absorbed the gravity of it all. “Did anyone even get laid?”
Magnum moved like he was going to say something.
“Your hand doesn’t count, Magnum.” Bob made a circle with his hand. “We had zero, zip, nada, none. Zero fucks.”
“Okay, Bob,” Zabka responded. “You made your damn point. The closest we got was your cock-n-mouth tryst with Earthshaker. I agree, it’s embarrassing.”
“All that aside, here’s the good news — it’s a new year and we’re in a new house. We’ve officially hit the reset button. Plus it’s our last year in college. We need to go out on a high note.”
“Should we set a goal?” Magnum 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 quick math. “So that’s twelve.”
Zabka offered, “Shit, I could pull in a dozen myself. What are you guys gonna do?”
Magnum said, “Yeah, I could do that too.”
Zabka slapped his knee and laughed along with Bob. “But seriously, think this through. The others in the house are Satan, someone Satan knows, and Jimmy the Italian — so, a stoner, probably another stoner, and a short guy who’s prematurely-balding and talks like he’s been kicked in the nuts. Something tells me they won’t be chipping-in.”
“Yeah, they’re completely useless,” Bob agreed. “No way they’re putting any points on the scoreboard.”
Zabka nodded his head. “Yep, so that just leaves me — the lone wolf.”
“Whoa… don’t put all your vaginas in one basket.” Bob tapped his chest with both hands. “I’ll contribute.”
“Perhaps,” Zabka replied. “I guess you did show some promise last year.”
“Yeah, and what about me?” Magnum asked.
“What about you?” Zabka replied. “With all due respect, this is clearly a two-man operation. But don’t let that stop you from giving it the old-college-try.”
“I’ll show you guys.” Magnum folded his arms. “Heck, I may even decide to get a girlfriend.”
“Highly doubtful,” Zabka responded. “Sorry, just being real.”
“Yeah, well, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Magnum leaned forward. “I have a plan.”
“Um-hm, sure ya do.”
Zabka eyed a car full of girls in his rearview mirror. He slowed down to take a closer look and let them pass on his left. They were cute and having fun car-dancing to some Janet Jackson song. He gave them a friendly wave, which they laughed at and continued on by. The car’s bumper had a blue and white UB sticker on it.
Bob said, “Oh well, at least you tried.”
Magnum shared some wisdom, “Never put pussy on a peninsula.”
“Um, it’s pedestal,” Zabka replied. “But goddamnit, you’re right.” His head glowed like a light bulb.
The Dead song had ended and a commercial was squawking in their ears.
Magnum asked, “Dude, what happened to the tunes?”
“Yeah, Bob.” Zabka whacked his buddy. “You’re in charge! Put in the Jackyl CD.” He grinned. “And go to song eleven.”
Bob slid in the CD, skipped ahead to the requested song, and turned up the volume. It didn’t take long before the guitar riff had their heads banging.
Zabka waited for the right moment and sped up to the girl’s car.
Magnum said, “Hey, what are you doing?”
There was a determined look in Zabka’s eyes. “No more pedestal.” He pulled up next to the girls, 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 so repulsed, their faces seemed to throw up.
Bob took a closer look and thought they might be regulars at Third Base.
For posterity, Magnum snapped a photo through the window.
Zabka was incredibly pleased with himself. He gunned the engine and took off down the road.
Bob turned down the music. “I’ve always felt you’ve kinda been a poster-child for ‘not giving a fuck,’ but that was a new level of Zabka.”
“What, you mean with chicks?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“Our conversation was eye-opening — no women in the house?! Are you kidding me? Enough is enough.” Zabka played drums on the steering wheel with his fingertips. “We’ve been so polite to girls, and where has it gotten us? Nowhere.”
Magnum said, “No offense, but those girls didn’t exactly eat up what you did.”
Bob added, “Personally, I’m shocked they weren’t fighting each other to give you their digits.”
“Were they throwing themselves at our feet before?” Zabka asked with eyebrows raised. “No. And if we keep doing the same thing over and over, are we gonna get different results? No. That’s called insanity. I buy girls drinks — nothing. I compliment them — nothing. I’m sick of it. It’s time to mix things up.”
“At the core, you do have a valid point… and not to sound lame or anything, but don’t you think your new approach might have been a touch off-putting? And could use, maybe, a little refinement?”
“That’s your problem, Bob. You give a fuck… and for no reason. We don’t know those girls.”
“Actually, we might. They might be Base chicks.”
“Even better.” Zabka stopped at a streetlight. “Look, you can try the Don-Juan-thing if you like. I’m done.”
Bob shook his head. “You’re crazy.”
“I’m crazy?!” Zabka was frenzied. “Out of the three of us, we had one hook-up last year and no women in the house! No valid women at least. That’s terrible! And I’m crazy?! Okay.”
Bob scratched his head and began to wonder if his friend was right.
Magnum asked, “What’s the plan for tonight?”
“Plan?” Zabka said. “I gotta plan… to get laid tonight!”
“Oh, come on.” Bob chuckled. “What plan? Get some girl love-drunk on your charm? Or just drunk?”
“No, even though that would work, I’m gonna call Rebecca.” The light turned green and Zabka eased on the gas. “For a chick, she’s super cool.”
“Yeah. I was up here taking a class earlier in the summer and we met and started banging. I wasn’t even really trying, it just kinda happened — which, I guess, goes to prove my point.” Zabka licked his chops. “She got some tig-ol’-bitties!”
Bob clapped his hands and rubbed them. “Dude, let’s start things off on the right note — get her in the house! Or has she been already?”
Zabka had to think about it. “Shit. No, she hasn’t. She always tells me to come to her place… and on her face… to give her a taste! Haha! Damn, I’m good!”
Bob and Magnum shook their heads and rolled their eyes.
“Anyway,” Zabka continued. “I’ll tell her to come over, and I’ll get the job done. I haven’t seen her in a month, so she’s gonna be super pumped to get my call.”
They passed the Grover Cleveland Golf Course — named after the former mayor of Buffalo and ex-President of the United States — and crossed Bailey Avenue.
“Hey, there’s South Campus.” Zabka pointed. “We’re officially back in Buffalo!” He honked the horn twice. “And it feels daaaaamn good!”
UB’s South Campus was built in the 1920s and is home to classic, ivy-covered, academic buildings. About a mile later, they took a left on Winspear Avenue — the street that borders the bottom of the city campus — and arrived at their house. 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 behind the house and parked in the backyard. He jumped out of his car, squatted in front of it to inspect the damage, and rubbed the bumper. “It’s not bad. She’ll be alright.”
“Phew,” Bob said as he opened his door. “Thank god for that.”
Magnum 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 side door of their house. Zabka unlocked it and they walked in. Immediately, an odor hit them — the type of skunky air that lingers at a reggae show.
Magnum said, “It definitely smells like Satan lives here.”
Inside, to their left, a set of stairs went down to a scary-looking basement — the laundry and a spare-room were down there. They followed another few stairs straight up to the hallway between the kitchen and living room. The tatty interior of their living quarters helped strengthen the case that the place should be condemned.
Bob and Magnum took a right and went to the stairway to the second floor.
Zabka turned down the small hallway off the kitchen and headed toward his bedroom. Another bedroom was across from his and both doors were closed. As he got closer, he heard a strange noise that sounded like a cross between a chirping squirrel and someone rubbing a balloon. He paused to listen and see if he was imagining things. He wasn’t.
Zabka opened the door expecting to find a rodent, but he walked in on something far worse — a young man in the nude, holding a blowup doll’s hips, going-to-town in “her” backdoor — an act that even Zabka found to be perverse. The plastic squeaked from one last thrust.
Like statues in a Mexican-standoff, the dumbstruck stranger, his plaything, and Zabka didn’t move — their eyes locked in the most uncomfortable three-way imaginable.
The doll’s lifeless mouth was agape — its red lips in a tight circle.
Slowly, thunder clouds formed in Zabka’s stare — and for this unfortunate fuck, that meant the forecast called for doom.
The doll-fucker panicked, screamed bloody-murder, and kicked Zabka smack-dab in the nuts.
Curled-over in pain, Zabka’s balls were thumping like the bass in an Ice Cube song. He looked up and said two-octaves higher, “You picked the wrong nigga ta fuck wit,” and karate chopped the doll free from the pervert’s engorged appendage.
The intruder covered his crotch and stammered incoherently.
At that point, Zabka was done being friendly. He swung a left-hook and nailed the guy in the eye.
Bob and Magnum heard the commotion and came rushing down the stairs. When they arrived, they found Zabka standing over the naked guy, hogtied with a deflated French-maid doll, with a dirty sock shoved in his mouth.
Magnum’s head was spinning, looking for danger.
Tension released from Bob’s body. “Zabka, is there something you want to share? Trust us, we’re not judging.”
Magnum relaxed and said with a half-smile, “Yep, this is a judgment-free zone.”
The two friends looked at each other and nodded their heads vigorously.
“No judgments whatsoever,” added Bob.
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.”