Blog

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 4)

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 pulled his car up next to the girls and slowed down so they were going the same speed. He shouted to his friends over the loud rock music, “No more elevating!”

The ruckus turned the girls’ heads in their direction.

Zabka 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’ faces vomitted.

While Zabka wooed them — clearly an admirable moment — Magnum snapped a photo of the girls for posterity sake.

Bob took a closer look and thought they might be regulars at Third Base.

Incredibly pleased with himself, Zabka gunned the engine and took off down the road.

“What the fuck was that?!” Bob jammed his finger on the button to turn off the music. “I can’t believe you did that!”

Magnum was animated. “That was awesome!”

“That’s called confidence,” Zabka answered. “And not giving a fuck.”

Bob continued to read Zabka the riot-act, “You’ve been a poster-child for that but this was some next-level shit!”

“Whaddya mean?” Zabka asked.

“It’s not like you’re a master of keeping your composure, but around girls, you do.”

“Let me tell you, the conversation we had a minute ago was eye-opening. No chicks in the house?! Are you kidding me? Seriously, are you fucking kidding me?! Enough is enough.” Zabka played drums on the steering wheel with his fingertips. “We’ve been overly polite to girls — above and beyond — and where has it gotten us? Nowhere.”

“No offense, but those girls didn’t exactly eat up your courtship,” Magnum said. “But if the goal was to frighten the living-shit outta them — well, bravo, mission accomplished.”

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. But, not to sound lame or anything, don’t you think your new approach might have been a touch off-putting? I think you went a bit extreme.”

“That’s your problem, Bob. You give a fuck… and for no reason. We don’t know those girls.”

“You’re wrong. They might be Base chicks. We might run into them at some point!”

“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? Like those girls in the car? Or just straight-up drunk?”

“No… even though I could pull-off the charm part… what I’m gonna do is call Rebecca.” The light turned green and Zabka eased on the gas. “For a chick, she’s super cool.”

“Rebecca?”

“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. “And, she’s 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… she loves a taste! Ha-ha! 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, look!” Zabka pointed. “There’s South Campus.” He honked the horn twice. “We’re officially back in Buffalo!” Something he said didn’t sound quite right to him. “No, the Buffalo. We’re officially back in the Buffalo! And daaamn it feels good!”

“The Buffalo?” Magnum asked. “I don’t quite follow.”

“Come on, man. The Buffalo… the one, the only. There’s no other place like it.” If Zabka was capable of getting sentimental, his expression and tone at this moment were as close as he’d be to showing it. He smiled proudly. “The best goddamn place in the world.”

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.”

Scene 3 | Scene 4 | Scene 5

zerofucksgiven

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 3)

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”.

On the desk in Tracy’s office, there was a studio microphone, a set of headphones, a VCR, and a small, box-shaped TV. Tracy put on the headphones, which were large and covered her ears, and popped in the videotape she had been sent. Its title, “When Harry Ate Sally”, flashed on the screen.

A little frightened, yet very 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 majoring in broadcast journalism 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 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 nearby table repeated the original line from the movie and told her waiter, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Naturally, the waiter was more than happy to oblige and, in a similar fashion to Harry, “serviced” the woman. Then, just like in real life, an orgy broke out.

Sally, now engaged in a threesome, said the dirtiest things during 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 two men sandwiching her onscreen-identity reminded her of Zabka and Magnum — an unexpected turn-on. She admonished herself, I’d never!

Tracy thought back to when they all lived in the UB Ellicott dorm. She remembered them partying and acting like idiots, but also being “nice guys” — maybe too nice.

While Meg Ryan’s X-rated doppelgänger was getting 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, another stallion’s face was buried deep between her legs, eating her Happy Meal. Upon completion, his head arose, exposing his glistening Magnum-like mustache. As the scene came to a dramatic, DNA-filled conclusion, the only logical recommendation from the Department of Public Health would’ve been to torch the diner.

Tracy stopped the video, took off her headphones, and wiped the sweat from her brow. Not having thought about Zabka and Magnum in a while, her feelings were conflicted. Whatever happened to those dimwits?

Scene 2 | Scene 3 | Scene 4

zerofucksgiven

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 2)

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 queried 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’s face relaxed, clear of the black-eye that was on the horizon. He 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.

“What are you up to?” Bob examined his friend. “You got somethin’ planned?”

“Let’s just say Zabka has a few tricks up his sleeve.”

Whenever Zabka referred to himself in the third-person, Bob knew something good was in-store. “I expect nothing less.”

Magnum added, “I hope it includes girls.”

“Of course it does, you 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.”

Bob rolled his eyes. “First of all, I did not ‘bang her.’ We…”

“Yeah, ya did. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter. No need to be ashamed — if Magnum were in your shoes, he would’ve banged her too. Ain’t that right?”

Magnum fiddled with his mustache. “Umm… I don’t know about that.”

“Oh shit! Even he wouldn’t’ve banged her!” Zabka feigned sincerity. “Seriously, Bob, how low can you go? Have you hit rockbottom yet?”

“Listen, dickheads… she took advantage of me in my very vulnerable drunken-state. We barely got outta the bar before her mouth was playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with my balls. She was like, ‘Nom, nom, nom…’ just goin’ 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. “Oh, come on.”

Zabka added, “She certainly didn’t have a nut allergy!”

“Certainly not!” Zabka added.

“She shoulda went to Ball State, not UB.” Magnum was proud of his sexual wit.

Bob chuckled before he continued recounting his escapade. “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’s shaped like a pear, and I thought her ass was two garbage bags overstuffed with marshmallows!”

Magnum also shared an insightful observation. “Yeah, her ass was so big, it had its own zip code”

“Okay, enough,” Bob said. “You made your point. And fuck you, guys. I’m telling you, her mouth has superpowers.” He was glowing. “That shit was magical.”

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? Last year… it was pathetic.” 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 respond.

Bob stopped him with his hand. “Before you say it, your hand doesn’t count, Magnum. We had zero, zip, nada, none.” He hung his head and held up his hand in the shape of a circle. “Zero fucks.”

“Okay, Bob,” Zabka responded. “You made your damn point. We didn’t fuck any women last year — zero fucks given. The closest we got was your cock-n-mouth tryst with Earthshaker. I agree, it’s shameful.”

“You wanna know what the really sad part is?” Bob asked rhetorically. “No women got to receive pleasure from our dongs.”

With an exaggerated frown, Zabka added, “Yeah, I feel sorry for them.”

Bob continued, “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.”

“With a bang!” Zabka added.

“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, some other useless bastard that 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. I’m gonna get more tang than a Space Shuttle mission!”

“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 with a few girls in his rearview mirror and put on his black Ray-Bans. He slowed down to take a closer look and let them pass on his left.

The girl driving had parents from India, and the other two were caucasian. They were cute and having fun car-dancing to some Janet Jackson song.

Zabka stuck his head out of the window and yelled, “Hey, pretty ladies, what’s going on?!”

They looked at him like they couldn’t understand.

He made a nob-twisting motion with his fingers. “Turn the music down!”

The girls obliged and stared back.

Zabka offered, “Whaddya say we meet up down the road for some food? Our treat.”

Magnum gave them a friendly wave — the type Mickey Mouse does during a parade.

Bob gulped at the thought of spending money he didn’t have.

The girls giggled together in a manner that was full of rejection. The Indian girl accelerated and they took off. The bumper of their car had a blue and white UB sticker on it.

“Well, there goes that,” Bob said. “Hey, you tried.”

Magnum leaned forward and said, “Don’t elevate the vagina.”

“How ’bout that for a pearl of wisdom,” Zabka replied. “What does that even mean?”

“My dad told me that and basically explained it as, ‘You don’t reward a girl just because she’s a girl.’ I feel like that advice fits here.”

Bob thought about what he said and offered his interpretation. “I guess, maybe just the thought of it — the chance that we might ‘get some’ — makes us irrationally raise vagina to a level where we haven’t reached yet, and we do things unnaturally. Don’t go overboard — don’t think too far ahead — and treat it extra special before it deserves it.”

The discussion jogged a memory in Zabka’s head. It was of advice his father had given him soon after he failed miserably to court Nicki O’Shea. Her reaction was bad, but what she did afterwards was downright cruel. The pain still stung, and his embarrassment still lingered. He reentered the present with his head glowing like a light bulb. “You know what? You’re goddamn right. Vagina deserves nothing for nothing. Ain’t nothin’ special about it.”

Bob said, “Well, I wouldn’t go that far.”

“Listen to me,” Zabka said. “When we don’t even know a girl and we’re just figuring her out, we jump too far ahead and give it status it hasn’t deserved yet — then we lose their respect. Vagina needs to earn it to be elevated. I’ve been too nice for too fucking long.”

“Yeah, you’re Mr. Nice Guy, alright.” Magnum half-joked. “Although not as bad as Bob.”

“Well, at least we can talk to girls without chewing on our tongues.”

Bob nodded in agreement with Zabka’s supportive retort.

“I”m being serious,” Zabka emphasized. “And you guys have been too nice as well. Bob, take you for example. Remember what happened on spring break last year?”

Bob shrugged. “Um, not really.”

“Then let me remind you. You were trying to get with this girl and, after a while, her friend told you to buy a drink for the girl you were talking with. And what did you do? Even though you didn’t have much money and were living off one Subway footlong a day? You did what she said and bought her a drink. Then what happened?” He paused dramatically. “I’ll tell you… she left and you got nothing, zip, zero. Ring any bells?”

Bob folded his arms across his chest. “Yeah. I remember.”

“Girls take advantage of nice guys, and why wouldn’t they? Nice guys let them — it’s their own fault. Women see them as weak and pounce all over it.”

Magnum added, “Yeah, I’ve heard about girls bragging about going out and not paying for one drink all night.”

“You see?” Zabka said. “Too often we play it nice… and nice doesn’t win.”

“Yeah, okay. But what would we do different?” Bob asked.

The Dead song had ended and a Mighty Taco commercial was squawking in their ears.

“First of all, you need to fix the tunes.” Zabka whacked Bob. “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. It didn’t take long before the guitar riff had their heads banging.

Zabka waited for the right moment, cranked up the volume, and sped up to the girl’s car.

Bob, almost in a panic, said, “Hey, what the hell are you doing?”

There was a devilish look in Zabka’s eyes. “You’ll see.”

Scene 1 | Scene 2 | Scene 3

zerofucksgiven

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 1)

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”.

The day before…

Tracy Cohenstein’s real first name was Tirza. She went by Tracy so she didn’t sound quite as much like — in her words — “A super-Jew.” Not having classes on Friday, she spent her day engaged in, again — in her words — “Doing happy stuff.” That morning, she served breakfast at a homeless shelter, and in the afternoon she finished knitting a sweater and completed some extra-credit homework for her Investigative Journalism class.

Now, with her roommate Nicki O’Shea not around and the place to herself, she was enjoying her favorite guilty-pleasure — watching a romantic-comedy. As the final scene in Pretty Woman began, Tracy sat on her living room couch with a box of tissues in her lap. Having watched it nearly a dozen times, she could quote practically every line. She’d been told she looked like a younger, and perhaps even more attractive, version of Julia Roberts, the female star of the movie. Tracy’s chocolate-colored 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. She looked stunning, even in baggy-sweatpants, a t-shirt, and no makeup. Her appearance was unblemished, except for one flaw. One embarrassing, yet well-hidden, flaw.

Tracy watched intently as Richard Gere’s character stood out of a limousine’s sunroof while he was driven through a rundown L.A. neighborhood. With Verdi’s La Traviata opera playing for all to hear, Julia Robert’s character went out onto her fire escape and saw him below holding a bouquet of red roses. As he climbed the ladder to her top-floor apartment, she couldn’t wait and rushed down. When the love-crazed couple met in the middle, their lips inches apart, Tracy pulled out a few tissues and spoke along with the dialogue.

Richard Gere asked, “So what happened after he climbed up the tower and rescued her?”

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

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 that Chad Stanwick, the president of Sigma Alpha Mu and her ex-boyfriend, would’ve been her “knight in shining armor.” Ironically, if the rumors were true, Richard Gere and Chad Stanwick shared the same fetish — a rather peculiar one satisfied by prostate-tickling gerbils.

Tracy clicked-off the television and double-checked that her roommate wasn’t around as she moved to her office. Once in the room, she shut the door for additional privacy. She went to her desk and opened the bottom drawer. Waiting for her inside was a package that had been delivered two days before and she knew it contained her dirty little secret. She ripped it open and pulled out a videotape. After reading its label — a play-on-words for what happened to be her favorite romantic-comedy — she was immediately intrigued. Before putting it in her VCR, she read the blush-inducing title once more and sincerely hoped it would live-up to expectations.

Scene 0 | Scene 1 | Scene 2

zerofucksgiven

“Zero F*cks Given” (Scene 0)

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”.

Once upon a time in Buffalo, NY…

An attractive waitress wearing a cowboy hat hurried through The Steer’s dining area with a tray of orders balanced on her palm. Her checkered red and black flannel shirt was unbuttoned extra low because she knew it typically led to larger tips, even from the college kids. She reached a table with three young men and began handing out their lunch.

“Howdy, Sugar-Tits,” Zabka said.

Daggers shot from her eyes.

“It’s about time,” he added.

The waitress plopped his plate down last and said in deadpan, “Enjoy.” She glared at him and commented, “Nice shiner. You should put some ice on that,” before she walked away.

The ring around Zabka’s left eye was swollen and dark purple. He mumbled, “Ice? I don’t need ice. Pussies need ice.” He stabbed his fork through lettuce and a cherry tomato, and his shaky hand brought it to his mouth. He had to concentrate to not drip any dressing on his cheap suit.

Bob intentionally dropped his knife, clanging it on the table. “Who the fuck orders a salad?” He glared at his friend. “No good story ever started with, ‘So, I was eating a salad…’ But here you are, eating a fucking salad.”

Zabka chewed — his face scrunched, pondering Bob’s words of wisdom. “Yeah, but what if I was tossin’ some chick’s salad?” He raised his eyebrows. “That’d be a good start to a story, right?”

“It sure would… except you’re not.” Bob threw his polyester tie over his shoulder. “Anyway, if we don’t have a blast today, it’s your goddamn fault.” He attacked his greasy cheeseburger, devouring half in one bite.

“Whatever.” There were beads of sweat on Zabka’s forehead and his skull was pounding.

“You look like shit,” Bob commented. “Did you throw up in the bathroom?”

“No…” Zabka took a sip of his Bloody Mary. “But I wish I had.”

“Come on, you need more than a salad. We have a big day ahead of us.”

“I’ll eat what I want.” Zabka grabbed an olive from his drink and tossed it at Bob, hitting him between the eyes.

Bob wiped tomato juice off his face. “Asshole.”

“Listen, I couldn’t make it to the gym, so I’m eating light.” Zabka flexed his arm and made a muscle. “You don’t get a ripped body like mine without sacrificing every once in a while.” He looked at his friend. “And Bob, you could stand to lose a few pounds. So don’t give me any shit.”

Magnum, their college housemate, asked Zabka, “Seriously, why bother? You know today’s gonna be a repeat of last night… you’re gonna drink a hundred beers again. What’s the use?” He was also wearing an off-the-sale-rack suit and popped a new roll of 35mm film in his Kodak compact camera.

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; Magnum, although younger and taller, for his bushy mustache, naturally tan skin-tone, and likeness to the TV private investigator; and Bob, the jovial moniker for Robert. And although it was 1993, they looked like they forgot to leave the ’80s.

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 large bull’s skull and horns that hung on the wall gave the place its western vibe. A country pop-song by Billy Ray Cyrus started playing in the bar.

Magnum commented, “I’m so sick of this song. It’s on the radio all-the-damn-time.”

“Achy-Fuckin’-Breaky Heart?” Bob was physically agitated. “This sucks donkey-balls.”

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

“Why? I figured that tard was your idol. Why else would you have the same stupid mullet?”

“Cuz I make it look cool,” Zabka replied. “To be honest, I could get up and line-dance to this shit and make it look cool.”

“Oh god, please don’t.” 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.”

Magnum’s eyes grew wide as he thought about the last time he saw Tracy the previous school year. It was the end of spring semester their Junior Year and she was sunbathing in her backyard. 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 undoubtedly stirring the pot. “You two fucktards were ridiculous yesterday. Like, over the top.” He gulped down some beer and shoved a fist full 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,” Magnum responded. “No offense, Zabka, but I’m shocked that’s never happened to you.”

“Someone’s got the balls to try to throw me out?” Zabka scoffed. “Ha. That’s a good one.”

Bob commented, “Actually, I’m shocked Brewer didn’t toss you outta Third Base last night. You were a walking-talking-stumbling shitshow.”

Zabka had a crooked smile. “They’d never — they love me.”

Magnum shook his head. “Everything… and I mean everything… was a fiasco yesterday.”

Bob added, “Fiasco isn’t quite the right word. It was a… clusterfuck.”

Magnum studied his scraped knuckles. “Yep, one giant clusterfuck.”

“I’m mentally scarred by several things I witnessed.” Bob shuddered. “Actually, can we please just talk about something else?”

“Sure. How about hangovers?” Magnum finished his beer and raised the bottle. “Thank god for 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 second preseason game is today.”

“Come on, I thought we were changing subjects.” Bob rubbed his temples. “The Bills are the NFL’s version of a hangover. They lost against Detroit last week. Fuckin’ Detroit!”

“Relax,” Zabka told him. “It’s preseason — means nothing. The team’s rusty and, most-likely, partying a fair amount. I’m sure things get a little wild down in Fredonia during training camp. No big deal.”

“To be frank, Buffalo is done,” Magnum stated. “They lost the last three Super Bowls — they’re done. It’s all about Miami this year. Go ’Phins!”

Zabka picked up his fork. “Fuck Miami, and fuck Marino.” He then speared a piece of chicken with his next helping of salad. “Shouldn’t you root for a Hawaiian team, Magnum? Oh shit, that’s right, there isn’t one!” As he gnawed on the meat like it was a piece of gum, his face turned green. He spit the chicken onto the table and inspected its pink flesh “What the fuck?!” He dry-heaved. “It’s raw inside!”

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

Zabka’s adrenaline spiked. “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 the madman with a black-eye.

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

The Panamanian food preparer replied, “No, sir. I just make the vegetables.” His nervous eyes implicated his coworker — the Latin American guy that was cooking on the grill.

“I see.” Zabka turned to the cook. “So, it was you… Señor Fuckface, eh?” He walked over and dumped his salad on the man’s head. “Why’d you do this?! Tell me right now, or I swear, I’ll strangle your fucking neck!”

The guy gulped, fully believing Zabka’s 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 where is this conniving little cunt? Keep talking and I might let you off the hook.”

“She was out at the bar.” He was shaking.

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

Scene 0 | Scene 1

zerofucksgiven