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Act 2: Bridge and Tunnel

In the Middle East, hundreds and hundreds of tunnels connect the Gaza strip and Egypt, allowing supplies to bypass the Israeli blockade against Hamas-controlled Gaza. Producer Nancy Updike speaks with Ira about the tunnels, and plays tape from an interview she conducted with a tunnel owner.

Act 1: Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana?

Adam Davidson and Chana Joffe-Walt from Planet Money head to the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, a bustling area of vegetable and fruit commerce that only comes alive at night. Planet Money is a co-production of NPR News and This American Life.


Most media stories set in shopping malls don't really tell you much about what it feels like for the people who work in a big retail operation, or for the people who hang out at the mall. Because the mall's more than just sales.

Act 1: Love Line

We meet Russell, 19, the best mobile phone salesman in the mall — and possibly anywhere. His talent for sales is matched only by those of his girlfriend, Chandler, 18, a waitress.

Act 2: Not Dead Yet

Yes, some stores are going out of business in the Cool Springs Galleria, but it's just two stores. We talk to staff at one store that’s closing down, and at another, in the food court, where business is great.

Act 4: Job: Security

In a part of the mall no shoppers ever see, there's a snug, dark little room with 43 TV screens, one for each of the cameras in the hallways and parking lots, the roof and the loading dock. We hang out with the security people who work in there, seeing what they see.

Act 3: Santa Fight Club

A tale of two Santas. There's Tim Conaghan, a full-time professional Santa with a big belly and a real flowing white beard.


Host Ira Glass talks to Randall Bell, who specializes in assessing how tragedy affects real estate. He's found that the market is much quicker to forgive and forget a scandal than the neighbors are.

Act 2: Dreams Of Distant Factories

Rachel Louise Snyder reports on the struggle to save the Cambodian economy. Right now, Cambodia is competing with other nations for the business of big clothing companies all over the world—buyers like the Gap, Nike, Adidas.

Act 3: Mall Rat

John Hodgman provides an occasionally true account of seven days spent at the Mall of America. After crossing mall officials, he goes rogue, drinking from the flume ride and exploring what he describes as a secret tunnel lined with human skulls.

Act 1: Lunchtime With The King Of Ketchup

Jonathan Goldstein with a story of the kind of preferential treatment we all dream of, where waiters routinely bring us extra appetizers on the house, delivery men throw a little something special into our take-out orders, and deli owners regularly comp us free pickles and chips. He talks with his friend Howard, who lives this dream, about all the work that went into making it a reality.