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Act Four: Resurrection

Writer Brady Udall with another story about what animals can take the place of, in our lives and in our homes—this one involving an armadillo. This work of fiction originally appeared in the Autumn 1999 issue of Story magazine.

Act One: Blood Brothers

When he was a kid, Josh Martin's mother Nancy told him that if anythingever happened to her, he needed to take care of his brother Ben. This confusedJosh, because Ben was his older brother, and he felt that if anything heshould be the one taken care of.

Prologue

Lisa LaBorde has two daughters, and having grown up an only child, she can't understand why they fight all the time. Her idea of sisterhood is more like a scene from The Sound of Music. Wanting to create that kind of bond for her girls, Lisa decides to enlist the aid of science to see if she can turn these enemies into friends—in just one month.

Act One: Lab Rugrats

Continuing from our prologue, host Ira Glass checks in with Lisa and her older daughter, Kennedy, to see how the experiment went. After a month, they've charted surprising results, learned that the girls aren't the only ones in the house who need to change, and found out just how much money it takes to get a twelve-year-old to play with a five-year-old.

Act One: Repeat After Me

A story by regular contributor David Sedaris involving his sister Lisa, a secret, and her very understanding parrot. David read this story live, and it's on his CD Live at Carnegie Hall. The story is also published in his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

Act Three: Mommie's Psychic Helper

When Aimee Phan and her brother were babies, her mother had horoscopes predicting their futures made and put on tape. The tapes were in Vietnamese, which Aimee and her brother didn't understand.

Act Three: Walkout

Veronica Chater tells the story of her developmentally disabled brother Vincent, who one day quit his job and then quit everything else, mystifying everyone in his life. Veronica is author of the memoir Waiting for the Apocalypse.

Act One

Adam Beckman tells the first part of his story, about how, back in the 1970s, he and his friends broke into an abandoned house in the small town of Freedom, New Hampshire. The home turned out to be a perfect time capsule, containing the furniture, letters and personal effects of an entire family...abandoned for decades.

Act Three: Ashes

How writer (and frequent This American Life contributor) David Sedaris and his family reacted when Sedaris's mother—a lifelong, unrepentant smoker—developed lung cancer. After a lifetime of barbed, funny remarks, no one in the family is prepared to talk about their feelings.

Act One: Once More, With Feeling

Jonathan Katz listens to old tapes of his family; then travels back to the neighborhood in Brooklyn they lived in during the 1950s, looking for evidence of what his childhood was like. His sister is along for the trip, and they do not agree on the meaning of what they're seeing.

Act Three: Ich... Bin... Ein... Mophead

Producer Alex Blumberg sets out to find a woman named Susan Jordan, who babysat him and his sister for a year when he was nine. He discovers that each of them remembered something about the other that the other would just as soon forget.

Act Four: The Wonder Twins

Ira talks with journalist Jason Bleibtreu about Luther and Johnny Htoo, twelve-year-old twins, and the leaders of a rebel army of Burmese separatists called God's Army. Everyone around them, both their own forces and their enemies, believed they possessed superpowers, that they could not be harmed by bullets, that they had the power to command ghost armies.

Act Three: Yes There Is A Baby

Myron Jones and his sister Carol Bove explain what happened when they were teenagers, and they ended up babysitting children who didn't exist.

Act Two: Matching Outfits Not Included

What can happen if a sibling relationship doesn't ever change. Hillary Frank brings us the story of two sisters, now in their seventies, who have preserved the same relationship they had as girls...for better or worse.
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