“Wild Turkeys: Fall Semester” (Scene 1)

This is an excerpt from Dave Lundy’s new novel, “Wild Turkeys: Fall Semester” (still in development) — the prequel to the bestselling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.

The previous day in Buffalo was just as hot, if not hotter. The sun was beating down on a quaint, bungalow-style home near the corner of Winspear Avenue and Main Street. In the front yard, a large swarm of mosquitos darted about in an amorphous sphere.

Inside was Tirza Cohenstein. Tirza went by Tracy so she didn’t sound quite as much like, in her words, “A super-Jew.” Because she didn’t have any classes on Fridays that summer, she had spent the day “smothered in joy” doing what she loved. Again, her words. That morning she had 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.

Nicki O’Shea, her roommate, was out for the day, so the place was all hers to enjoy her favorite guilty pleasure — watching romantic comedies. Tracy was sitting on her living room couch with a box of tissues when the final scene in Pretty Woman began. Having watched it nearly a dozen times, she could quote almost every line.

She’d been told she looked like a younger version of Julia Roberts, the female star of the movie. Some, like Magnum, would even argue that Tracy was more attractive. Her chocolate-colored eyes were able to instantly pull a man in and could’ve been Van Morrison’s inspiration for “Brown Eyed Girl” had she been alive when he wrote the song. Even in baggy sweatpants, a t-shirt, and no makeup she looked stunning. Her appearance was unblemished except for one flaw — one embarrassing flaw that she tried very hard to keep hidden.

Tracy watched intently as Richard Gere’s character stood out of a limousine’s sunroof while he was being driven through a rundown L.A. neighborhood. With Verdi’s La Traviata opera playing loudly 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 fire escape ladder up 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 mouthed 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 embraced in a passionate kiss. The next morning, the headlines read: “Rich Businessman Saves Charming Prostitute.” In other words, just another day in fantasyland.

Tears ran down Tracy’s cheeks. Not feeling the least bit odd about longing to be Vivian, Julia Robert’s character, she would gladly turn a few tricks if it meant her fairytale would come true.

While the closing credits rolled, Tracy wiped her tears. She sat and wished that Chad Stanwick, president of Sigma Alpha Mu and recent ex-boyfriend, would’ve been her Richard Gere, her “knight on a white horse,” and saved her. In a bit of twisted irony, if the rumors were true, Richard Gere and Chad Stanwick had something in common — a fetish that could only be satisfied by prostate-tickling gerbils. She clicked off the television.

Tracy Cohenstein double-checked that Nicki hadn’t snuck in unannounced before she moved into her office and shut the door. When she worked her side gig, she made certain she was alone. Tracy opened the bottom drawer of her desk and took out the package she’d received two days ago. She ripped it open and pulled out a videotape. After reading its title — a dirty play-on-words for what happened to be her all-time favorite romantic comedy — she was intrigued and more than a little bit turned on. She popped it in her VCR, pressed play, and cleared her throat.

Scene 0 | Scene 1

Wild Turkeys Fall Semester

“Wild Turkeys: Fall Semester” (Scene 0)

This is an excerpt from Dave Lundy’s new novel, “Wild Turkeys: Fall Semester” (still in development) — the prequel to the bestselling comedy “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery”.

It was a day not much unlike today, except completely different. Our tale begins on a blazing hot August afternoon in Buffalo, NY. The year was 1993. If asked, most would guess the city was named after a wild beast that once roamed here. This historical lore, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. It would be far too simple for this misunderstood town.

The Steer was a restaurant-bar located near the University at Buffalo’s city campus that, for some reason, was popular with rich kids from Long Island. Its interior was made of dark brown wood from floor to ceiling, which gave it an old Wild West vibe. Complete with wagon wheel ceiling lights, a brass spittoon tip-jar on the bar, and an enormous bull’s skull that hung obnoxiously on the wall in the dining area. With classes not in regular session, there were a fair number of students imbibing and, in general, acting like they owned the place.

Sitting at one of the tables were three young men. All at the ripe old age of twenty-one — or at least that’s what their IDs said. Each looked like they were recovering from different stages of alcohol poisoning. Wearing sale-rack suits, they stuck out like a sore thumb in the middle of what can only be called, “douchebag central.” And, although it was approaching the mid-’90s, these specimens from Central New York looked like they had forgotten to leave the ’80s.

The first in the group was the spitting image of Tom Selleck’s Magnum P.I. character if he were baby-faced. Tall with a natural tan and a bushy brown mustache; all he was missing was a Hawaiian shirt and a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. It took all of his friends’ collective brainpower to coin his nickname during freshman year — Magnum.

The second wouldn’t have stood out in a police lineup if it weren’t for his jackass grin. Sporting some extra pounds packed on during college, his name was Robert but he went by Bob.

The last of the magnificent trio had long, curly, blond hair and a stupefied expression on his jaw-dropped face. He looked like he’d been kicked in the face by a donkey and, from the size of his dark purple swollen left eye, that possibility was not out of the question. Of the three, this knucklehead was clearly the Rhodes Scholar of the bunch. Everyone called him Zabka after his doppelgänger William Zabka, the actor and antagonist in Karate Kid.

Their waitress barreled out of the kitchen with their lunch balanced on a tray on her palm. She was dressed like she was ready for an early Halloween as some kind of cowgirl-stripper. While handing out their orders, she couldn’t help but flash some eye-popping cleavage out of her flannel button-down.

Bob reviewed Zabka’s order and then glared at his friend. “Who the fuck orders a salad?” He picked up and dropped his knife, clanging it on the table for dramatic effect. “No great story ever starts with, ‘So, I was eating a salad…’ But here you are… eating a fucking salad.”

The waitress finished the delivery and readjusted her cowgirl hat. “Y’all need anything else?”

Zabka looked up at her. “Naw, Sugar-Tits… unless ya gotta twin sister?” His facial expression was one part self-amusement and two parts severe hangover.

Daggers shot out of her eyes. “My name ain’t Sugar-Tits… it’s Wendy.”

“Like the fast-food joint?”

She stared at his face, wanting to punch it, and took delight that someone had already taken the liberty. With a fuck-you grin and an exaggerated amount of sweetness, she said to him, “You should really put some ice on that nice shiner of yours,” then moseyed away in her cowgirl boots and tight denim shorts.

“Ice?” he mumbled. “I don’t need no ice. Pussies need ice. Right, Bob?” He stabbed his fork through lettuce and a cherry tomato. With a shaky hand, he brought it to his mouth while concentrating to not drip any dressing on his suit.

Magnum looked at Zabka and said, “Ya know, calling women Sugar-Tits, and stuff like that, it’s borderline offensive.” His high-and-mighty tone was over the top. “The world is changing, my friend. Pretty soon they’ll be able to join the army… maybe even do factory work. Who knows?”

Zabka gave a side-eye look at Bob with an expression that said, You hear this bullshit?

Bob shrugged while reflecting on Magnum’s equally bizarre, yet polar-opposite, outbursts yesterday. He’s lost his fucking mind.

“And like Bob was saying earlier…” Magnum added. “No great story ever started with, ‘So, I was eating a salad…’ Order a real meal and get with the program, Zabka.”

Zabka chewed, his face scrunched, pondering those words of wisdom. “Yeah, but what if I was tossin’ some chick’s salad?” He raised his eyebrows and continued, “That’d be a good start to a story, right?” Undoubtedly, he thought his response was clever.

“It sure would be… except that you’re not.” Bob took a swig of his beer and 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.” Zabka’s skull was pounding, and beads of sweat that were likely 80-proof had formed on his forehead.

Bob laughed at him. “Dude, you look like complete shit. Did you throw up when you were in the bathroom?”

Zabka shook his head and took a sip of his Bloody Mary. “No…” he groaned. “But I wish I had.”

Magnum felt the urge to share, “Well, guys, I feel great.”

Bob replied, “Yeah, that’s cuz you’re a freak of nature.” He turned to Zabka and said, “Come on, you need more than a salad. We have a big day ahead of us.”

“I’ll eat what I wanna eat.” Zabka grabbed an olive out of his morning cocktail 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 this morning, 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 gimme any shit.”

Magnum said to Zabka, “No offense, but why bother? You know today’s gonna be a repeat of yesterday — you’re gonna drink a hundred beers again. Seriously, what’s the use?”

A country pop-song by Billy Ray Cyrus began to play in the bar.

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

Bob was physically agitated. “Achy-Fuckin’-Breaky Heart? This garbage 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. “If I wanted, 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 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 at the end of the previous year’s 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 undoubtedly stirring the pot. “You two fucktards… and that incident at Tracy’s place last night… you two were out of your goddamn minds. Like, way over the line.” He gulped down some beer and shoved a fist full of fries into his mouth.

Pff, no we weren’t,” Zabka dismissed. “We just got, I don’t know… enthusiastic about things.”

“Enthusiastic?” Bob turned to Magnum. “Do you agree with him? You think Tracy would see it that way?”

Magnum responded by turning red with embarrassment and rage.

Bob wisely realized it was best to switch subjects and thought about something else to say. “Hey, remember the last time we came here? That huge bouncer tossed some douchebag into the street.”

“Oh yeah, that was hilarious,” Magnum replied. “No offense, Zabka, but I’m shocked that’s never happened to you.”

“Someone thinks they 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 The Base last night. You were a stumbling shitshow and wouldn’t shut-up.”

“They’d never — they love me,” Zabka said with a crooked smile. “We own that bar.”

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.”

“Yep, one giant clusterfuck.” Impulsively, Zabka felt his black eye.

“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’s what I feel like.” Bob’s forehead throbbed. “So no, I don’t wanna 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 had only taken one bite of his salad after being harassed and speared a piece of chicken with this helping. “Shouldn’t you root for a Hawaiian team, Magnum? Oh shit, that’s right… there isn’t one!” As he began gnawing on the meat like a piece of gum, his face slowly turned green. He spit the chicken on the floor and inspected its pink flesh. “What the fuck?!” he screamed. “It’s fuckin’ raw!” He leaned forward and dry-heaved.

“Back in town for less than twenty-four hours and already someone’s out to get you, Zabka.” Magnum shook his head. “Shocker.”

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

“A problem?!” Zabka’s adrenaline spiked. “You’re goddamn right there’s a problem! The fuckin’ chicken ain’t cooked!”

“I’m so sorry. Let me take care of that and get you a new salad.”

“No, you will not! I’ll handle this myself.” Zabka stood up, grabbed his plate, and marched toward the kitchen. He slammed through the aluminum swinging-door and yelled, “Who the fuck made my salad?!”

The kitchen staff froze, alarmed by the madman with the black eye.

Zabka scanned for the culprit and landed on the Panamanian who’d paused chopping lettuce. “Hey, chico!” His experience growing up as one of the few white kids in a Latino high school had kicked in. “Why’d you put raw pollo in my salad?!”

“I didn’t do that,” the food preparer replied. “I make the vegetables.” His nervous eyes implicated his coworker that was grilling meat.

“I see.” Zabka turned to the cook. “So, Señor Fuckface, it was you.” He walked over and dumped the salad on the Mexican man’s head. “Tell me why 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 chica?!” Zabka looked around. “So where is this conniving little cunt? Keep talking and I might let you off the hook.”

The cook pointed his shaky finger. “She was out at the bar.”

“Take me to her.” Zabka punched his open palm. “Let’s go, motherfucker.” He took hold of the cook’s arm and pulled him briskly toward the door.

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Wild Turkeys Fall Semester

Wait! There’s a “Squish the Fish” Song?!

The lyrics below are from the funny and catchy song “Squish the Fish (feat. Sticky)”. It accompanies the hilarious novel “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery” by Dave Lundy.

When I first saw her, I grabbed my fishing pole.
She gave me that look, ta slip it in her waterhole.
Advance down her field, ta penetrate that vertical line.
No block below the waist, and now it’s time to dine.

(Chorus)
Oh girl from Miami, there’s one thing I gotta do.
For this boy from Buffalo, it all ain’t nothin’ new.
Inhale your ocean breeze, goddamn it smells dee-lish.
Time ta do my favorite thing and, squish, squish, squish the fish.

Entering your end zone, you’re as excited as me.
Your eyes rolled back so far, no way ya can possibly see.
Excessive celebration flags, the refs just made the calls.
Yeah, yeah, caress me there, and deflate my balls.

(Chorus)
Oh girl from Miami, there’s one thing I gotta do.
For this boy from Buffalo, it all ain’t nothin’ new.
Was it good for you, to fulfill my wish?
Ya want me ta do it again? Ta squish, squish, squish the fish.

It was great at first, couldn’t imagine nothin’ better.
Got soaked in a hurricane, and you were much, much wetter.
Tired of dolphin-free tuna, at your tailgate party.
Hey, there goes a school-a snapper, I don’t wanna be tardy.

(Chorus)
Oh girl from Miami, there’s one thing I gotta do.
For this boy from Buffalo, I’m off to catch something new.
Don’t care what her name is, don’t matter if it’s Trish.
My clock’s at high-noon ta, squish, squish, squish the fish.
Squish, squish, squish the fish.
Squish, squish, squish the fish.
Squish, squish, squish that fish.
Squish, squish, squish the fish.

Copyright © 2017 by Bottoms Up Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this song may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Only in Buffalo!

This excerpt is from the beginning of “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery” by Dave Lundy. The bestselling novel has won numerous comedic awards and been called “The Hangover” in Buffalo, NY.

Trapped like a turtle flipped on its shell, a man flails his limbs through the puffy snow. As he passes out, the alcohol in his bloodstream celebrates with wildly inappropriate dance-moves inspired by the night’s sins. The glow from a streetlamp punctures the darkness like a police helicopter’s spotlight and frames the helpless fool in his jagged snow-angel.

A few hours later, at dawn, an elderly woman is walking her Saint Bernard down the quiet street when she notices the collapsed body. Her first thought — What the fuck? — naturally is filled with compassion. But after she reminds herself of one critical detail, it all makes sense — This is Buffalo… of course there’s a drunk jackass lying in the snow. As she shrugs-off the aspiring Darwin Award winner, an alluring scent pulls the dog in the man’s direction. Tearing the leash from its master’s grasp, it dashes to investigate.

snow angel

Now, above the lush, the shaggy beast pants and stares in wonder. Masked by a pair of pink cotton-panties, the man looks like some sort of deranged bank robber. If the dog could form complex thoughts, it might speculate — For what ungodly reason is he wearing that? Is it a desperate attempt to prevent his face from freezing off? Perhaps it’s a provocative fashion statement? Or is it, quite possibly, some next-level form of perversion? But it can’t contemplate such things, so it just wags its tail in blissful ignorance. Incapable of resisting the undergarment’s exotic aroma, the hound licks the guy’s noggin like it’s a lollipop. The mutt’s tongue bursts with flavor and knows it’s struck gold — tangy, delicious gold.

Nearby, a fresh line of boot-prints marks a path up to the man and continue past him. “SUN 7:16 AM” displays on the frosty LCD of his Casio watch. Gusts of wind blow across the ground, fusing his bare hand with a frozen bottle of Genesee Cream Ale. A tattered envelope labeled “Buffalo Tickets” flaps in his other hand and scatters a rainbow of glitter dust into the breeze.

The slobbering dog belongs to a breed known for saving people buried in snowstorms, however, this pooch’s glowing eyes foretell that a rescue is far from how things are about to go down. The inebriated fellow, unaware that his forehead is the soon-to-be target of an amorous assault, remains oblivious when the canine launches into its grand-finale. The funny thing is (which can only be said when you’re not on the receiving end of such an act) humiliations such as this don’t compare with what the city has endured throughout its outlandish history.

As the animal’s pleasure-romp reaches a fever pitch, its owner strolls into the spectacle like it’s nothing out of the ordinary. While reaching for the leash, she halts abruptly and scratches her scalp. Anger builds as she reads a urine scribbled message in the snow that audaciously proclaims “GOD HATES BUF…” and trails off into a wavy drizzle.

Now in control of the tether, the old woman gives it a harsh tug. While dragging her pet away, she reflects for a moment and mutters to herself, “Is that clown, right? Does God hate Buffalo?”

Copyright © 2017 by Bottoms Up Publishing. All rights reserved.

"Squish the Fish" Front Cover

I’m Dave Lundy, and I’m a Buffalo Bills Fan.

Published November 4th, 2017

Damn right, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan… well, maybe more than a fan. I love Buffalo and the Bills so much that I wrote a song and published a book about them called “Squish the Fish.” If you think that sounds crazy, keep reading.

Let’s take a step back — I didn’t even grow up a Buffalo Bills fan. So why would anyone in their right mind choose to be a Bills fan? Four Super Bowl losses in a row — torturous. The Music City Miracle — a kick in the nuts. O.J. Simpson — let’s not even go there. In the past 17 years, Buffalo has had more drunk fans fall from the upper deck of their stadium (one) and more dildos tossed on their field (one) than they have playoff appearances (zero). So again, why am I a Buffalo Bills fan?

Five Bryan Cox
Mocking Bryan Cox of the Dolphins before the Miami game in Buffalo, 1995

I grew up in Binghamton, NY and, like most people there, was a New York Giants fan. I hate to admit it, but I didn’t root for the Bills in their first Super Bowl. A year later, in 1992, I transferred to the University at Buffalo for the spring semester. On January 26th, I watched Buffalo play in their second Super Bowl with my new friends in our Ellicott dorm. That year I was rooting for the Bills — admittedly, it was more like rooting against the Redskins — and again they fell short of victory. After the game, people were crying and throwing crushed beer cars out of windows — until everyone just said “fuck it” and we partied our sorrows away for the rest of the night. (Side note: I have a couple of good postgame stories, but unfortunately because of legal reasons, I’m not allowed to share them.)

The next two years of college brought two more Super Bowl losses, both at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys (F Dallas!). After I graduated, I took a job at a local company in Cheektowaga and finally went to my first game at Rich Stadium in the winter of 1995. It was a game against the Miami Dolphins and was one of the greatest days of my life. I’m not lying, it was that much fun. I loved the tailgating, the third-down train horn, the fan spirit, and the support of the team. There was electricity — and booze — everywhere. I watched Kelly, Thomas, Smith, Tasker, and Christie lead the Bills to victory over Dan Marino and the much-hated Bryan Cox (F U! You gave us the finger — we gave you 160,000 middle fingers back). That was the day I truly became a fan. The day I first watched the Bills “Squish the Fish!”

Now I live in San Francisco and gather with the rest of the Bills Backers at the Northstar on game day. There’s nothing like wearing Zubaz pants and drinking Labatt Blue with friends to make you feel at home. Last year, we met at the bar and took a charter bus over to Oakland when the Bills were in town. Our amazing organizers, Maggie and Jeff, set up an incredible spread with wings and garbage plates. But here’s the best part — Andre Reed hung out and tailgated with us! What a trip that was!! As for the game, however, I’m still trying to forget how we folded in the second half.

Earlier in the season, a bunch of us also flew down to LA for the Bills game, and I finally met the legendary Pinto Ron at Busby’s West during the Saturday welcome party. That was a great weekend and we won the game! I also was at the 49er game in Buffalo and partied in the famous Hammer Lot! It was incredibly fun! And we won that game too!!

Like in any twelve-step program, the first step is admitting you have a problem. So here it is — I’m a Buffalo Bills fan. And you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m sure-as-hell not moving past step one. I’m a Bills fan for life and I can’t wait to celebrate in Niagara Square when the Bills bring home the Lombardi Trophy! Until then, cheers!!!