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September 23, 2005

Getting and Spending

How far will we go to get money? And once we've got it, what should we spend it on? The first half of this show is on making money, and the second half on spending it.

Prologue

Marti Noxon used to work for a company that did "product placement" for the movie industry. When auditors came to check that clients were being correctly billed, the company's bosses took unusual steps. Namely, they hired actors to play the employees who were supposedly on the payroll. (7 minutes)

Mothers Of Invention

Five stories of people doing what they think they have to, in order to make ends meet. A suburban dad makes what seems like a rational choice (to him, at the time, anyway) to start robbing laundries and banks. A trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange describes how he got rich from the Chernobyl disaster. They all talked with Alex Kotlowitz. Amy Drozdowska-McGuire produced the stories. Versions of them first appeared on Chicago Public Radio's series Chicago Matters, which gets funding from the Chicago Community Trust. (29 minutes)

That Guy

Producer Diane Cook investigates that moment when you realize you've become "that guy" you've always hated, and how the simple act of purchasing deodorant can lead to that moment. (10 minutes)

Song:

“That Guy” by The Family Guy

Mall Rat

John Hodgman provides an occasionally true account of seven days spent at the Mall of America. After crossing mall officials, he goes rogue, drinking from the flume ride and exploring what he describes as a secret tunnel lined with human skulls. The story is part of his book The Areas of My Expertise. (10 minutes)