To make the overlay lighter, I reduced the number to less than 0.7 instead of increasing it. Thank you for pointing me to the right code!
Devin. I think I figured this one our.
Do what Devin says, create a cutstom link poining to http://#
Add it to the menu
Save the menu
Once saved, go back in to the menu item and delete the contents of the URL field.
When you hover over the menu item , there is no opportunity to click, no dead link. It works.
Let me know if it works for you too.