I walk in the door, economically beleaguered and financially distraught from my journey, to find myself in the Great Depression. Homemade cider mixed with rum is offered as a defense against the chilly night. One partygoer, somehow able to find a bit of merriment in the midst of the current credit crisis, laughs and bandies about observations on fascism.

I am standing against the oven, still fighting off cold and despair, when I notice the most well-ordered magnets I have ever seen on a fridge. Each is perfectly and geometrically arranged so that, even during a month of calamitous upheaval and change, I have some semblance of order in my life. It is at this point that I notice a bathtub full of beer. Unfortunately, the bathroom's double-duty leads to a group of people with conflicting motives waiting outside its door. In the background, a small record player struggles to pipe out some cheery jazz, but the party's chatter drowns it out.

Flappers and fallen stockbrokers mingle easily in the brightly lit living room. A blogger from a large local paper sits quietly near a window, staring into space. It also appears that the entire 826 Seattle group is in attendance. My fear of their fiction-peddling ways is affirmed as they playfully toss a red Martian invader around the coffee table.

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Someone arrives brandishing a key lime pie, and the party collectively sighs a hungry "whoa." Food and drinks are passed around freely, as is the good cheer, and everyone joins in the Sisyphean task of consoling each other in these times of uncertainty. recommended

Want The Stranger to lament the rapidly declining fortunes of print media at your house party? E-mail the date, place, and time to partycrasher@thestranger.com.