Sarah Vowell, on selling the secrets of art dealer Graham Arader.
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Ira with Lloyd Natoff, on killing chickens.
Independent producer Dan Collison, on Pilottown and a feature story that fell apart.
Scott Carrier in Salt Lake City with a story about whether it's possible to be a good person if you're not a Christian.
New York City locksmith Joel Kostman tells the story of an act of kindness he committed, hoping for a small reward. From his book: Keys to the City: Tales of a New York City Locksmith.
Andrea worked at a bakery under a convention hotel in Chicago. The conventioneers used to drive her crazy because people act so different when they're in a crowd of their own kind.
Dishwasher Pete, author of the book Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States, went to the National Restaurant Association convention on assignment from This American Life.
John Perry Barlow, a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist, on an experience that began at the boundary of two conventions.
Reporter Paul Tough talks with Aaron Hsu-Flanders, an acknowledged master in the field of animal balloons, who says that artistic jealousies have ruined his life. Even in the world of latex giraffes and doggies, there are artistic rivalries and bitterness.
David Sedaris recounts his shameful career as a performance artist. Recorded before a live audience by KUOW Seattle.
After all this doom and gloom about the difficult lives of artists, we end the show with a more hopeful story from Joel Kostman, a New York City locksmith, who tells us about an incident that happened to him on the job. Joel is author of Keys to the City: Tales of a New York City Locksmith.
There can be consequences for reading other people's mail.
If you work for the post office and read other people's mail, you can lose your job or go to prison. Unless you work at a Mail Recovery Center.
Ron Carlson's short story.
We begin to hear a story by Scott Carrier.
Beau O'Reilly tells the story of a man who tried to run for President as a utopian nudist.
Ira interviews Bob Helms, creator of the zine Guinea Pig Zero, which is about people who make their living by donating their bodies to science for medical experiments. Bob says he wouldn't do spinal tap studies or psychoactive drugs (he calls the people who do the latter "brain sluts").
Writer Dirk Jamison, who gave up a 9-to-5 job and succeeded in getting something for nothing: he decided he'd feed the family by diving into dumpsters for free food. His father's very zen attitude about this, and how it affected the family.
Hollywood is all about the idea of getting something for nothing, and no show on the subject would be complete without a Hollywood story. Writer Sandra Tsing Loh provides it.
Wisconsin Public Radio wanted to do something simple: start running Car Talk, the most popular single hour on public radio. But to do this, they had to move their local car show, About Cars, from the morning to the afternoon.
Thomas Lynch reads from his book The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade.
Meema Spadola with Lou Zeidberg.
Singles in Agriculture. By reporter Liz Weil and Alix Spiegel.
Tony Starbucks, interviewed by Dierdre Dolan and Paul Tough.