Two stories of children lying to themselves and others. A woman who'd been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis talks about the lies she told herself as a child. And Dan Gediman tells the story of how he was cast in the public TV show Zoom, which aired from 1972 to 1979, at the age of ten. Then he was cut from the cast before the show ever went on the air. So for years, he lied about it. He let friends believe he was on Zoom.
In this special half-hour story produced by Jay Allison as part of his Life Stories series, Dan Gediman tracks down the original Zoom cast members to find out what his life would've been like if he had achieved his childhood dream of being on Zoom. (32 minutes)
This American Life producer Alex Blumberg investigates a little-studied phenomenon: Children who get a mistaken idea in their heads about how something works or what something means, and then don't figure out until well into adulthood that they were wrong. Includes the tale of a girl who received a tissue box for Christmas, allegedly painted by trained monkeys.
The TV show America's Funniest Home Videos has an archive of over half-a-million video clips. Ira talks with Todd Thicke, the show's co-executive producer, and Trace Beaulieu and Mike Palleschi, two of the show's writers, about what all that footage tells them about Americans that the rest of us don't know.
Dan Savage points a finger at the Catholic Church for being the kind of criminal organization that drives him to atheism—despite the fact that he still wants to believe he'll see his mom in heaven someday. Dan writes the sex advice column Savage Love and is the author of several books including The Commitment.