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Prologue

Host Ira Glass introduces the story of the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., aka NUMMI. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass remembers one of his favorite jobs, as a temp typist working at night in New York City. And we hear from a group of teenagers who create unique fun during the middle of the night when none of their classmates are awake.

Prologue

We hear the eerily calm answering machine message that Brita Bonechi leaves for her husband, Rob, after she's had an accident and is trapped upside down in her car.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to Cory Simmons and Dominique Mapp, who were driving home one night and were followed by a group of rowdy men in an SUV. The men tailed them for miles and then started firing a gun at them.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with NPR's Car Talk hosts Tom and Ray Maggliozi and a former employee of theirs, Joe Richman. Ray once fixed Joe's beloved '72 Plymouth Valiant, a repair job which hastened it to its grave...but probably got Joe a girlfriend.

Act One: The Number 66 Bus

Linnel Peterson drives the Number 66 bus in Chicago, on Chicago Avenue. She grew up just blocks from the route, still lives near the route, and says it's strange whenever she drives her car on Chicago Avenue these days.

Act Four: Three More Bubbles

An '88 Grand Marquis that Senator Conrad Burns inherited from his mother; a New York taxicab whose driver, Jeff Perkins, tape-records his passengers to help pass the time; a 1980s-era BMW 5 series in which film producer Rob Levine had his first job as driver and assistant to movie producer Edgar Sherrick.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with a guy who hit the road after his mother's death, hoping for some experience that would change him and shed light on what had just happened. This never happens to him, or to most of us.

Act One: Roadrunner

Ira teaches Sarah Vowell how to drive with some advice from Tom and Ray Maggliozi, the hosts of NPR's Car Talk. It turns out that although we think of how-to's as the most rational thing in the world — follow the simple instructions and you'll learn — in real life, they're anything but simple.