By Guest Contributor

TRIP CITY asked readers to send their schmuckiest, most happless, awkward, embarrassing and/or clumsy personal stories. After reading through all the entries, Seth Kushner (Schmuck) picked the top three which were then read by a jury comprised of Emmy Award winning cartoonist, Dean Haspiel (Bored To Death, Billy Dogma), Eisner award winning cartoonist Nick Abadzis (Laika, Hugo Tate), poet/author Sandra Beasley (Don’t Kill The Birthday Girl, I was The Juke Box), and the tie-breaking judge, cartoonist Jennifer Hayden (Underwire), who picked the first, second, and third place winners.

Presented here is Lloyd Sabin’s first place winning essay, “Flummoxed, Vexed and Horny.”


It was a freezing Saturday night when I was in college and my girlfriend and I were not fighting for once. We had just seen a Broadway show and had dinner at a Spanish restaurant near Times Square with another couple and were ready to call it an evening. We were both enjoying the peace of the moment and I was looking forward to the promise of sex when we got back to her parents’ house. Then things took a turn.

The other couple we were with consisted of my gal’s best friend and some dude. I never had a problem with the friend as she was hot and stupid. What wasn’t to like? The dude I did not know at all. This particular evening the friend was behaving as per usual and became ridiculously drunk, to the point that she could not walk down the street. The dude finally had enough and quietly slithered away, leaving just me with my gal and her hot drunk best bud.

Of course in my mind fantastic possibilities abounded. Perhaps my gal was just happy and tipsy enough to get something going with me and her best friend! I excitedly ran to my car and placed both women in the back, immediately driving as fast as I could out of the city back to Merrick, Long Island where they were both from. After a very quick ride we were out at the friend’s house. We literally had to carry her through the threshold  and place her in her bed…no sexual excitement going on here. The friend’s mother was very grateful and even tried to offer me money but I wouldn’t take it. I just wanted to get out of there so my gal and I could get it on.

So, after some pleasantries we left and drove the few blocks over to her place. All of the lights were off. This was our typical witching hour so I was pretty certain I was going to get some when out of nowhere she reached over, kissed me on the cheek and thanked me for a great night like it was our first date. Flummoxed, vexed and horny, I desperately blurted out “Can’t I come in?”

She stopped, looked at me like the pathetic, wounded animal I was and apologized. “Sorry babe, I can’t right now, I’m having my period.”
“FOR FUCK’S SAKE!” I thought, but meekly replied “OK.” She pecked me on the cheek and walked into her parents house. I grumpily began the drive back to Brooklyn. It started to snow.

My trip back to my Mom’s house was freezing, lonely and slow. No sex and no chance to use the bathroom were taking their toll on my mood. The snow was falling steadier and traffic was slowed on the Belt Parkway despite the ungodly hour. I didn’t get back to my neighborhood until almost 4am and realized that I did not stop once the entire evening to call my Mom to tell her where I was or what I was doing, as she always asked me to do. Hopefully she just passed out without realizing I did not.

No such luck. Walking up to the front door, I found the metal screen locked in typical passive-aggressive Mom fashion. I did not have a key and rapped on the freezing cold metal, praying that my sister would answer. I waited for a few minutes, then looked around for an unlocked window. Everything was bolted tight. I rapped on the screen door one last time, hard. Cursing, I walked back through the snow to my car.

Sitting in the dark I realized I still had to pee badly. With no other option, I took a Snapple bottle from the center console, threw the cap down and manipulated myself into just the correct shape to empty my bladder. The bottle was almost over-flowing when I returned it gingerly to the center console. Relieved, I sat back down in the front seat, set it back and closed my eyes.

When I opened them, all was white. My breath had totally frosted over the windows from the inside and there was snow on the outside of the car. Moving awkwardly I tipped over the piss bottle and spilled it all over the front passenger seat and myself. “FUCK!” I shouted, opening the car door.

When I stepped out of the car, angry and dripping with pee, I saw an orange parking ticket buried in the snow on the windshield. “Fuck me,” I muttered. My body was freezing and aching, I smelled like a subway urinal and I thought “This is what it must be like to be homeless.”

I had sank from the lofty heights of Saturday Night Hero and having a threesome to the bitter, urine-soaked depths of the Sunday Morning Zero.

-Lloyd Sabin

illustration from artwork by Kevin Colden

Read the 2nd and 3rd place winning entries

Read SCHMUCK, Seth Kushner’s “comix neurotica” and prose at TRIP CITY.