Apr 25, 1997
Stories of when things go wrong. Really wrong. When you leave the normal realm of human error, fumble, mishap, and mistake and enter the territory of really huge breakdowns. Fiascos. Things go so awry that normal social order collapses. This week's show is a philosophical inquiry in the nature of fiascos — perhaps the first ever.
- Journalist Margy Rochlin on her first big assignment to do a celebrity interview. It was 1982. The interviewee was Moon Unit Zappa, who had just released "Valley Girl" with her father, Frank. She'd only been interviewed once. Midway through the interview: fiasco! Margy chokes on some coffee, which pumps out of her nose. Moon's mother administers the Heimlich Maneuver. And after that, everyone's so relaxed that Margy gets an interview that becomes her first syndicated article and a big scoop for her paper. When a fiasco destroys social boundaries, it can bring people together. (7 minutes)
Illustration by Chris Ware