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Senior producer Julie Snyder and her husband Jeff talk to guest host Sarah Koenig about gossip that takes place—where else?—in a beauty salon.

Act 3: Mister Baby Monitor

Ira Glass speaks with a woman named Angie, who never understood why her dad got so excited about thermoses and phone books... until she happened to see this one movie.  Then Jonathan Goldstein tells a story about his friend Josh Karpati, who has two-year-old twins, and who never leaves the house. Jonathan hosts Wiretap on CBC Radio.

Act 4: Bring Your Child to Work Detail

Michael May tells this story about two prison inmates in Texas—Daniel Johnson and Jesse Johnson—and the unusual bond they formed. Michael is managing editor at the podcast Life of The Law.

Act 2: Baby Steps

The story of a father who relies on the help of his neighbors in order to take his baby daughter out on a walk. Actor Daniel Beirne reads this excerpt from Ryan Knighton's book C'mon Papa: Dispatches From a Dad in the Dark (which is not yet available in the US).

Act 1: Patriot Games

Rich Carlson and Tom Swenor, two best friends in Michigan, got so fed up with the political process in the country, they decided to form their own Tea Party chapter in Petoskey, Michigan. But as election season revved up and push came to shove, Rich and Tom had very different ideas about how to advance a conservative agenda.

Act 2: Brothers from Another Planet

Sara Blaisdell tells the story of a group of Iraqi brothers whom her husband Sam befriended over the internet, and has been speaking with weekly for almost seven years. Their surprisingly intimate relationship has pulled Sam into a world that few Americans can access.


Host Ira Glass plays tape of two women who ended up as frenemies.They kept trying to be friends, but couldn't help themselves from fighting. Ira then speaks with psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad who has run scientific studies to answer the question: Why don't we simply end these troubling kinds of friendships? Holt-Lunstad's research also shows that these relationships are much more common than you might think.

Act 5: The Case Of The Long Lost Frenemy

Ira talks to a woman about a childhood friend of hers who mysteriously shows up after decades, for reasons that are only revealed as their correspondence unfolds.

Act 2: I Am Here To Make Frenemies

We head to deep inside the natural habitat of frenemies: Reality TV. Rich Juzwiak is a full-time blogger for VH1 and his own pop-culture blog which means he's spent a lot of time watching and dissecting reality TV shows.


Host Ira Glass talks to Rich Farrell, writer and former addict, about the code of silence he learned as a kid, and the times he took the fall for his friends' misdeeds.


Katya and Alla are introduced to each other shortly after moving from Russia to a small town outside of Flint, Michigan. The mutual friend who introduces them figures they're both from Russia, they'll obviously hit it off.

Act 3: Lucy And The Bike Girl

Lucy, a 28-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis, meets the "Bike Girl," who has the same disease, in an Internet chatroom. They are both, against the advice of friends and doctors, trying to get pregnant, and they find that they have a lot in common.


This American Life producer Nancy Updike talks with a man, Eric Molinsky, about a weirdly heated argument he got into with a good friend, over corporate tax loopholes. Midway through, they both stopped to think: Why were they getting so upset over an issue they didn't really care about that much? And then they realized: Eric's ex-girlfriend was a political activist, and Eric's friend's ex-boyfriend was a hedge fund manager.

Act 3: Redemption By Proxy

Robert (pictured) had a bad reputation as a kid who didn't do his schoolwork and had little respect for adults. But his best friend, Lilly (holding picture), thought he was misunderstood.

Act 1: I'm The Decider

This American Life regular contributor Davy Rothbart talks about the time a friend asked him to make a decision for her that she really had to make for herself: Whether she should have an abortion. Davy is the founder and publisher of Found Magazine and author of a book of short stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas.


Ira talks to historian Ted Widmer about two of the first pen pals in the New World. John Winthrop and Roger Williams were both Puritans in Massachusetts in the 1630s.

Act 1: Who Put The "Pistol" In "Epistolary?"

Andrea Morningstar tells the story of a ten-year-old girl from small town Michigan named Sarah York, and how she became pen pals with a man who was considered an enemy of the United States, a dictator, a drug trafficker, and a murderer: Manuel Noriega.