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Act One: Grime Scene

Reporter Nancy Updike spends two days with Neal Smither, who cleans up crime scenes for a living, and comes away wanting to open his Los Angeles franchise, despite the gore — or maybe because of it.

Act Two: Phone Home

Seth Freed Wessler reports on people going the opposite direction over the US/Mexico border. Each year hundreds of thousands of people are deported from the US to Mexico — tens of thousands more choose to leave on their own — and lots of them make the journey after years and years living in the states.

Act One: Chinese Checkmate

Some adventures you seek out on purpose, and others hunt you down. Producer Alex Blumberg tells this story, about the experience a guy had in China...which started out as first kind of adventure, then quickly turned into the second kind.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass walks through a Kansas City Missouri amusement park called Worlds of Funwith Cole Lindbergh, who had a season pass to the park as a little kid,starting working there summers at 14, and then just stayed. Now he's afull-time, year-round employee, running the games department.

Act One: Gameboy Grows Up

Ira continues with Cole Lindbergh and the hundred teenagers who work for himin the games department at Worlds of Fun. We watch them compete againsteach other to see who can do the most business, in Cole's Sweet Sixteenbracket tournament, which pits all 32 games in the park against each other.

Act Three: What I Didn't Do on My Summer Vacation

Jonathan Goldstein returns to Wildwood, New Jersey, where he spent one not-fateful summer when he was sixteen. Jonathan's the host of the CBC program Wiretap, which is distributed in the United States by PRI.

Act Two: Lifers

Reporter Laura Beil tells the story of a kid named Kenneth Williams and an adult named Ton'Nea Williams (who share a last name but are not related).

Act One: Can the Government Move My Cheese?

Chana Joffe-Walt visits a governor who first became famous for promising hisstate he'd create jobs: Scott Walker of Wisconsin. (Yes, he's famous forsome other things since.) Walker promised 250,000 new jobs and 10,000 newbusiness in his state by the end of his first term.

Act Three: Job Fairies

For a look at the nuts and bolts of government job creation, This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder and Planet Money correspondent Adam Davidson attend a meeting of the International Economic Developers Council in San Diego.

Act Four: Be Cool, Stay in School

Unemployment is 9 percent, but it's worst among high school dropouts andpeople with only a high school education. Adam went to a place that'strying to help them find jobs: an organization called Pathstone, inRochester, NY.

Act Four: Saturday to Wednesday: CA, NY, WI, ME

Ira tells what happened this week to Shirley Everett-Dicko in Oakland on Sunday, to Gabe and Kevin in Brooklyn on Saturday, to Eric and Roz in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on Wednesday night at midnight, and (in the podcast version of the show) to Eugene Rand and Bill True, on Monday in South Portland, Maine.
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