Host Ira Glass goes to a fake wedding at a home for Alzheimer's patients in Davenport, Iowa. Two high school kids who've never even kissed are the bride and groom.
The story from the prologue continues, with the groom who refused to be a groom, and the one person who'll probably remember the fake wedding, namely, the fake bride.
Host Ira Glass explains that when you name names, when you whistleblow, when you tell on someone, you often do it anonymously. We hear from one anonymous squealer, who was done wrong by her doctor—he messed up a procedure and then refused to fix it.
What happens when you want your dad to change—and he wants to change, too—but there's literally nothing that can be done to change him. Jon Sarkin was a chiropractor with workaholic tendencies.
Medical Examiner L.J. Dragovic, in Pontiac, Michigan, explains how every crime scene is like a novel.
Host Ira Glass talks with people who've been hit by lightning. They describe what happened at the moment the bolt struck ... and how they came to view it later.
Host Ira Glass talks with Robert Lipsyte, author of In the Country of Illness, who tells a story of how one lady in New York won the hospital staff over to her side with one conversation.
The teenagers arrive in West Virginia and take a look around.
When Brigid starting going blind, she tried to hire someone to drive her around. Only problem was, the guy she hired wanted to carry her groceries, hold her arm as she walked to the curb...he tried to help her in too many ways.
The story of a White House scandal from the year 1881. President James Garfield lay dying of a gunshot wound during that summer.
Reporter Hanna Rosen did an investigation of those new antibacterial products—the antibacterial soaps and lotions, the antibacterial pizza cutter and linen and underwear. In her article, she mocked these products as ineffective.
Germs were first understood at the turn of the 20th century and it turns out that the aesthetics of everyday life during this century—the way we dress, the way we groom ourselves, the way we make our homes—are all partly a response to this newfangled idea of germs.
A former addict and a former prisoner discuss the developmental retardation their experiences caused.
Host Ira Glass with Walt Strommer, on Dreams of Disabled People.
Mark O'Brien is a writer in California, who lives most of each day in an iron lung, thanks to a childhood case of polio. It's an excerpt from Jessica Yu's Oscar-winning documentary.
Julie throws up.
Michael Lesy reads.
Ira Glass's grandmother.
Claudia Perez talks about how her 21-year-old brother was shot and the family thought he'd die.
Michael Stumm on the uses of chickens in South African sangoma (witch doctor) culture.
Mark O'Brien is in an iron lung and comes out for short periods of time. What does he do with those precious moments free of the machinery that keeps him alive? He goes to the theater.
Ira talks about the adage "Comedy equals tragedy plus time." Usually it's true, he says, though today's show is devoted to someone who decided to go on stage the same week she was experiencing some horrible things — and talk about those things.