November 6, 2009

Bait and Switch

Stories about people who take the bait, and those who place it. Including the story of man who tries to investigate a neighborhood crime and ends up in jail himself. And the story of the pitfalls of luring customers to a make-believe pizza delivery place.

Act One

Neighborhood Watch

A couple in Texas find a seemingly abandoned car and think they've stumbled across a crime scene. And they're right...but not in the way they imagined. Michael May tells the story. Michael is the Books and Culture editor at The Texas Observer. (18 minutes)

Act Two

Raw Sex

Ira talks with David Ellis Dickerson about some of the bait and switch techniques David used when he was an evangelical trying to bring converts to the Church. Then Ira talks with author and evangelical Jim Henderson, who argues that evangelicals should follow Jesus's example not through conversion, but by simply befriending non-believers. David Ellis Dickerson is the author of the book House of Cards: Love, Faith, and Other Social Expressions. Jim Henderson records his thoughts on the website doableevangelism.com. (13 minutes)

Act Three

Friends With Economic Benefits

Anna Boiko Weyrauch talks with a woman in the West African country of Ghana about the internet dating scams she has pulled on white Americans. The woman says she felt guilty about the scams and eventually came clean to her marks. But as the woman and Anna talk more, it becomes unclear who exactly is the mark in this story. Anna Boiko Weyrauch is a reporter for Voice of America and lives in Ghana. (8 minutes)

Act Four

Me And Cherry

A few years back, Bill Cotter was a rare book binder who decided to get into the rare book selling business. To do this, he financed his business on a bunch of low-interest credit cards. It didn't work out well. Bill tells the story of being hounded by his creditors, and all the ingenious bait and switch tactics they used to try to get their money back. A version of Bill's story first appeared on McSweeneys.net. Bill is also the author of the book Fever Chart. (10 minutes)