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McSweeney's: The Survey

On the eve of the publication's 15th year, McSweeney's staffers compose haikus, pitch tv shows, and dream of crazy new issues. 

Favorite Issue:
"The seven-section broadsheet newspaper called the 'San Francisco Panorama.' We sold them out- side our office on Valencia, and people appeared out of nowhere. It was like serving warm bread."
—Laura Howard, Publisher

Describe the McSweeney’s office in a haiku:
Spotify playlist
Has still not been updated
“Born to Die” again.
—Jordan Bass, Executive Editor

corner dust at dawn
run to the hole little one
sunny hilltop shine
—Laura Howard

The haiku would definitely have to end with:
“Late at night the mice.”
—Andi Winette, Managing Editor

Author with whom you’d wear a pair of pantalaines (from the junk mail issue):
Decorum prevents me from answering this question.
—Andi Winette

If Marimekko manufactured a pair, I wonder if Julie Hecht would hop in with me.
—Sunra Thompson, Designer

Back in the day, I actually wore pantalaines with Gideon Lewis-Kraus, a real author.
—Annie Wyman, Associate Editor

The next story to be picked up by HBO (à la "Bored to Death"):
Clancy Martin’s “How to Sell,” which chronicles a wildly crooked secondhand jewelry business in Fort Worth, Texas, should be sent to Vince Gilligan immediately. One of the scariest characters ever to appear in our pages, counterfeit diamonds, Venezuelan gangsters—it deserves seven seasons and a movie, absolutely.
—Andi Winette

Issue ideas left on the cutting room floor:
The Mousetrap Issue.
The Africanized Beehive Issue.
The Ark of The Covenant Issue.
—Jordan Bass

An issue that worked like a game of chess.
—Brian McMuLLen, Senior Art Director and Editor

I’ve pitched the idea of doing campfire stories, but it’s not getting any traction.
—Dan McKliney, Art Director

Waterpark? I pitched that as an intern. I’m not sure what I meant, but I remember everyone listening politely.
—Annie Wyman

 

Originally published in the December issue of San Francisco magazine.

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