Last Annual Party Line Reader Survey and Bitch Session
by Peter Zelchenko July 3, 2009

Deep in the bowels of Gapers Block headquarters in downtown Chicago are the nether regions where few of our staff dare go. The Gapers Block boiler room is down that long tunnel with the lone bare lightbulb about halfway down. Peculiar noises and smells emit from the far end of the tunnel. Exactly what gets done there is up to speculation. It is known that the heating and air conditioning systems are that way, and somehow there's never been a problem, so management doesn't complain. It is also known that the Party Line somehow gets produced down there once a week.

One thing the boiler room staff don't get much of is feedback. Writers certainly don't saunter back there, coffee mug in hand, as if it were the neighboring cubicle, and exclaim, "Gosh, I really admired your last bit of work," or, "I believe I would like to apprentice myself to you and your spirited pen," or, "I desperately want to have your baby, and please let me in on your secrets of success in either the arcana of HVAC or perhaps creative writing." Readers, for their part, have no clue at all what is going on.

In consideration of this, the editors of Party Line have established, just this once, the Last Annual Party Line Reader Survey and Bitch Session. Please select the matter below, then copy it to and answer the questions. There is no reward except the unbelievable prospect of new highs in the quality of work from the Bowels.


I. What I would like to see more of (for some idea what these things are, check the partial Party Line archive)

(a) Brilliant poetry
(b) Withering invectives against the Chicago Machine
(c) Clever teachings about appliances and other technology
(d) Ingenious third-person super-short quasi-fictions
(e) Thrilling but iconoclastic cooking exploration
(f) Bitching Heloise the Bitch
(g) Penetrating random junk-science theories
(h) Thought-provoking obituaries of mostly dead Chicagoans
(i) That deliciously arch Native American from Lincolnwood
(j) Cute stories about our adorable children
(k) Other: ___________________________

II. Any miscellaneous comments I may have would be appreciated. (Example: "How can Stephen Hawking accomplish so much in life using maybe four fingers, while I'm too undermotivated to climb out of my chair and take out the trash?")

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