Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Pulpy and Midge by Jessica Westhead

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Pulpy and Midge by Jessica Westhead

Coach House Books, 2007

Pulpy, this is Dan.’ Al spread his arms wide and then romped the camel figurine across his desk. ‘All of this will be his on Monday.’

‘All of what?’ Dan extended his huge hand to Pulpy. ‘I told him, he better take that couch when he goes! I’m bringing in chairs. I’ve got chairs that will put that couch to shame.’

Pulpy moved his own, less impressive hand up to be shaken. ‘Nice to meet you, Dan.’ He winced as the other man compressed the soft meat of his fingers.

‘Pulpy, eh?’ said Dan. ‘What is that, a nickname?’

‘He drank a lot of orange juice in college,’ said Al.

‘Ho-ho!’ said Dan, and winked at Pulpy. ‘Didn’t we all!’

Brian Lembeck – ‘Pulpy’ – takes life slow and steady. He likes his office job, and he likes his gentle, figurine-collecting boss, Al. He even likes the bitter receptionist, though he’s the only one who does. He likes his wife, Midge, too, and their ice-dancing lessons. Midge works as a candle-party hostess – she quit her office job when Al’s dog ate her pet pigeon and Al promised Pulpy a promotion.

But when Al retires and the tyrannical Dan takes over, the promotion vanishes. And then Dan’s oversexed wife, Beatrice, takes a shine to Pulpy, and Dan starts to think Midge is one hot tamale. Soon, the receptionist is smitten with Pulpy, Midge can’t get rid of Dan and Beatrice, and Pulpy’s job is in jeopardy. For once, Pulpy just might have to take a stand.

Visit the Coach House website for more info about Pulpy and Midge.

Jessica Westhead is a Toronto writer who has published stories in litmags such as The Antigonish Review, Matrix, This Magazine, Geist, Taddle Creek, Forget Magazine, Word and Kiss Machine. Her fiction was included in the anthology Desire, Doom & Vice: A Canadian Collection, and her short-story chapbook, Those Girls, was published by Greenboathouse Books in 2006.