Below is an excerpt from the bestselling novel “Squish the Fish: A Tale of Dating and Debauchery” by Dave Lundy. Having won numerous literary & comedic awards, it has been called “Buffalo’s version of The Hangover.”
Trapped like a turtle flipped on its shell, a man flails his limbs through puffy snow. As he passes out, the alcohol in his bloodstream celebrates with a wildly inappropriate dance 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.
At dawn, a few hours later, 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 makes complete 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.
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 a complex thought, 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 a lollipop. The mutt’s tongue bursts with flavor and knows it’s struck gold — tangy, delicious gold.
Nearby, boot-prints mark 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. In his other hand, a tattered envelope labeled “Buffalo Tickets” flaps and scatters a rainbow of glitter dust into the breeze.
The slobbering dog belongs to a breed best known for saving people buried in avalanches. This pooch’s glowing eyes, however, foretell that a rescue is far from how things are about to go down. The inebriated chump, unaware that his forehead is the soon-to-be target of an amorous assault, remains oblivious as the canine launches into its moonlight tryst. The funny thing (which can only be said when you’re not on the receiving end of such an act) is that humiliations like this can’t compare with what the city of Buffalo has endured throughout its turbulent history.
The owner strolls into the spectacle just before it hits a fever pitch. As though the pleasure romp is nothing out of the ordinary, she starts to reach for the leash when something catches her eye. Halting abruptly, she scratches her scalp. Anger builds as she reads a urine-scribbled message in the snow: “GOD HATES BUF…” Although it trails off into a wavy drizzle, the audacious proclamation is still quite clear.
Now in control of the dog’s 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?”
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