December 1, 2006

Sink or Swim

Stories of people who are in over their heads and trying to stay afloat.


Host Ira Glass talks to Scott Shrake, who got hired for a job he was utterly unqualified for – as a German interpreter for visitors to Detroit. On his first assignment, Scott realized that not only couldn't he understand what the German tourists were saying, he didn't understand the English words he was supposed to translate. (4 minutes)
Act One

Mr. Central High

Susan Drury tells the story of Chauncey Julius, who ended up in over his head completely by accident. As a high school student, Chauncey decided to turn his life around, only to be overwhelmed by all the attention he got for his achievements. (22 minutes)

Act Two

I'm Not A Doctor But I Play One At The Holiday Inn

A former heroin addict realizes that he wants to help other addicts kick their habits. The problem is, he wants to do this using a hallucinogenic drug – ibogaine – that is completely illegal, and which requires medical expertise he doesn't have. Lu Olkowski and Trey Kay reported this story, which is narrated by Lu. (16 minutes)