Now, I must warn you, if you do decide to download this one there is one thing I found rather off-putting: in order to offer a Kindle version of the book, the pages have to be scanned using a text recognition program of some kind. Sadly, no one bothered to give the scan a good readthrough, so, every so often your mind will stumble upon some nonsense, which takes you out of the moment and has your brain trying to decipher exactly what the author most likely wrote (example: swished instead of switched).
Given that, there are a couple of other things your brain will have to adjust to. On occasion, the author does indeed choose words that will either have you a bit baffled or laughing out loud.
Kimbro wrote under at least eight different names: Ann Ashton, Jean Kimbro, Milt Jaxon, Charlotte Bramwell and Zoltan Lambec, among others.
In addition to the office staff there are the warehouse workers and this helps set up one of the minor on-going conflicts that runs beneath the length of the novel in the form of some good old classism. Yes, it seems, in this button-down world, that to be a white collar office worker is preferable to pushing boxes around all day. On the whole, the warehouse boys are dismissed as roughneck, musclebound hooligans, save for one; the boyish, charming, buoyant Mike. Mike has to spring into the office once a day to drop off a shipping report and when he does he sets eyes and hearts aflutter. He flirts with everyone and everyone adores him... except, of course, our privileged, handsome white boy, Dale.
Outside of work, Dale has to contend with his perfectly beautiful doll of a girlfriend Barta. Barta is a knockout; a fall of flaming red hair, a tiny waist, model-perfect face and a fashionable wardrobe that Dale can't help but take note of. Barta also has the approval of Dale's Ozzy and Harriet parents, both of whom want to know why Dale hasn't tied the knot yet. In fact, they even approached Barta at one point to ascertain why it is she hasn't closed the deal yet. Why? Because (gasp, again!) Dale despises Barta! (Does this man like ANYBODY?) He finds her vain and empty-headed. Their once-a-week dates consist of Dale sitting in a restaurant listening as Barta prattles on about her friends, her clothes, her nails and her hair. Well, I hope the meatloaf is good.
Their back and forth correspondence consists of Dale questioning his sexuality, bemoaning both his virginity and his relationship with the vacuous Barta, while detailing the 'high drama' of having to deal with his co-workers and that terrible, boorish, handsome, churlish, sinewy, charming warehouse dog, Mike, whom Dale codes 'Mr. Awful'. (Yes, it appears our Dale has all the imagination of a 12 year-old girl writing mash notes in her glitter-bedecked slam book.) (My apology to all 12 year-old girls.)
It is suggested, by the old queen, that Dale might want to speak with... gasp (again)... a psycho-analyst. Doctor Bascum takes our fledgling homo under his wing, getting him to cop to his homosexuality by the second session! Now that's some economical analysis. Dale shares all with the good Doc, who keeps his cards close to his vest, lest he ruffle the feathers of his fragile patient. But this is no Prince of Tides, and the good doc is no Lowenstein.
Back to our pen pals... Dale's correspondence with Ben Dover initially involves Dale whining about his sexual inexperience and Ben supplying him with pud-pounding material in the form of stories of Ben's many, many sexual adventures; trysts which, as Ben constantly reminds us, are physically rewarding, but, emotionally barren and unfulfilling. The two eventually decide to meet face-to-face in a park. They will each wear a red, plastic poppy in their lapel in order to identify the other. Doc B does all he can to prep Dale for the big day and when it arrives, Dale is primed and ready to go. Sadly, Ben is, of course, a no show (its way too early in the novel), filling Dale with great angst and self-doubt.
At the same time, Mr. Awful, I mean, Mike has the audacity to buy Dale a cup of coffee! Walks right up to Dale's desk and gives it to him! Well, I NEVER! And... Ring-a-ding-ding. Turns out a little hot, acidic, caffeinated brown water is the key to waking up our little homo - in more ways than one.