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 me. 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 Magnum 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 drunken, vulnerable 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!” 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’s shaped like a pear, and I thought her ass was two garbage bags overstuffed with marshmallows!”
Magnum shared an insightful observation as well. “Yeah, her ass was so big, it had its own zip code”
“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? 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 that cock-n-mouth tryst you had 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 full of 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. They were cute and having fun car-dancing to some Janet Jackson song. He awarded the girls with a head nod and Magnum gave them a friendly wave. The girls laughed back and continued on by. The bumper of their car had a blue and white UB sticker on it.
Bob said, “Oh well, at least you tried.”
Magnum shared a pearl of wisdom, “Never put pussy on a peninsula.”
“Um, it’s pedestal,” Zabka replied. The phrase jogged a memory of a conversation he had with his father soon after he tried to court Nicki O’Shea and failed miserably. The embarrassment of what happened still lingered. The pain of it still stung. He reentered the present with his head glowing like a light bulb. “You know what? You’re goddamn right. I’ve been too nice for too 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 what Zabka said.
“I”m being serious,” Zabka emphasized. “And you guys have been too nice as well. Bob, take you for example. When we were in Panama City last year for spring break, remember what happened?”
Bob shrugged. “Not really.”
“Then I’ll remind you. There was this girl that you were chatting with and going after. After a while, her friend told you to buy that girl a drink, and what did you do? Even though you didn’t have much money? You bought her a drink. And then what happened? She left and you got nothing. That ring any bells?”
Bob folded his arms across his chest. “Yeah. I remember.”
“You see? Too often we play it safe… and safe doesn’t win.”
“So what do we do different?”
The Dead song ended and a Mighty Taco commercial was squawking in their ears.
“First, 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