Lunatics is a 2012 comedy novel written by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel.
Phillip Horkman is a relatively pleasant nice guy who owns a pet store called The Wine Shop, and has more than a few Dogged Nice Guy tendencies. Jeffery Peckerman is a loud, rude, obnoxious slob with more than a few outdated beliefs. Thanks to a call of offsides during a peewee soccer game, Peckerman and Horkman's paths intertwine to the point they become international terrorists, freedom fighters, hijackers, and even guests of Donald Trump.
Tropes included in the novel:
- Accidental Hero: Peckerman and Horkman. How else could you explain getting aid to Africa because Peckerman had the runs?
- Achievements in Ignorance: Peckerman and Horkman chock up a lot of their escapes from the law and/or death to this.
- Amoral Attorney: The Frickers. Sharisse is actually happy when her husband is thrown off the side of the cruise ship they're on.
- Butt-Monkey: Philip Horkman, most of the time.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Donald Trump.
- Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: Whenever one of the two protagonists typically asks a question, they're told to either shut up or that they'll "know when you get there."
- Deus ex Machina: Used intentionally throughout the book, and Played for Laughs each time.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Peckerman and Horkman, moreso with the latter.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Several times, the much more level-headed Horkman has to concede that Peckerman is right about something. Conversely, Peckerman silently notes a few points where Horkman was especially clever.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite all the heartbreak, frustration and outright absurdity, Peckerman and Horkman get off relatively scot-free from their ordeal, and even have their businesses expand because of their misadventures.
- For Want Of A Nail: The entire plot could have been avoided if Horkman had not called Peckerman's daughter offsides in the peewee soccer game.
- Groin Attack: An NYPD police officer is accidentally shot in the groin by Peckerman, while said officer was flying a helicopter.
- Hilarity Ensues: Boy, does it ever.
- Honor Before Reason: Horkman. He even tries to help a pirate who just tried to kill him.
- Karma Houdini: Sharisse Fricker. She threatens a ship captain with a fake bomb scare, flees to Central America, and eventually gets an investment in the Panama Canal.
- La Résistance: Peckerman and Horkman run into one in Cuba.
- Lovable Coward: Peckerman. He constantly tries to ditch Horkman or even get him killed, but at least is smart enough to see what's going on in front of him.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Sue and Arnie Kogen, two old folks who have absolutely nothing to do with the plot, end up arrested because Peckerman set them up to have a gun, and die in jail.
- Sudden Downer Ending: Peckerman ends up in jail for life after what he did at the second soccer game between him and Horkman.
- Take That!: To Donald Trump and NBC Nightly News.