When Danielle's family serves poultry at their dinner table, no one utters the word "chicken." Instead, it is always called "fish." Danielle explains why with the help of her friend "Duki." (16 minutes)
Kitty Felde explores the mystic link between boys and guns when her cousin's husband, a liberal in Berkeley, gives her lessons in his newest toy: a gun that shoots potatoes 450 feet in the air. The "spud gun" has a special property: Any man who sees it instantly wants one.
Host Ira Glass uses Italian author Umberto Eco's essay Travels in Hyperreality as a guidebook to American simulated worlds. Eco says that the urge to create these miniature simulated worlds is a very American impulse — a significant American aesthetic — and one that's not often discussed.
Radio producer Dan Gediman's story about his older brother, "Alex Jones," who he idolized when they were kids. After many unsuccessful attempts to become a rock star, he finally made it in music, as a Tom Jones impersonator.
Writer David Sedaris remembers the days his mother and sister played armchair detective, and the odd crime wave that hit their own home. This story, titled "True Detective," appears in David's book Naked.
LA writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh discovers that a local rock band has recorded a song about her own father, wildly misinterpreting who he is. They think he's a free spirit; she believes he's a worried, miserly grump.
Chicago writer/musician Rennie Sparks, a member of the independent band The Handsome Family, reads "Skanks," a story of a girl struggling in a situation where some rules are strict, but other rules are up for grabs.
A girl who adored her father tries to figure out what to think after he takes some of her college money and lies to her about it. Also, a woman whose fiancé runs up $10,000 in credit card charges on her Visa card and vanishes.