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October 24, 2003

Like It or Not

Some stories we make happen, others happen to us. Extremes from the latter category, where people let things happen to them and don't act, even when maybe they should. David Rakoff guest hosts.

Prologue

David Rakoff tells a story from when he was a kid, about the day he realized the he would inevitably be viewed a certain way by his classmates, no matter what he did or said. (7 minutes)

If It Drives, Go Live

For four hours in August 2001, KCAL-9, an all-news channel in Los Angeles, broadcast a very unusual police pursuit. The suspect drove under the speed limit, obeyed all traffic laws, signaled every time he wanted to turn. For the first three hours he's followed by a slow speed line of police cars, but for the last hour, he's driving alone—the police have called off the chase and are simply waiting for him to run out of gas. Producer Starlee Kine reports on the world's slowest car chase. (23 minutes)

Don't Just Stand There

When you get to know someone, really know them, you can almost predict their behavior. It's comforting, this intimacy. But what about when something comes up that requires people to transcend their character? Sheila Peabody tells the story of a moment when every single member of her family played their part as expected—with tragic circumstances. (10 minutes)

Hello, Baby

A lot of life's inevitability is hazy; it'll happen some time, but you're not sure when. But with pregnancy, it's on an invariable schedule: forty weeks. Producer Wendy Dorr is currently at week thirty-six. She is experiencing an essential contradiction of pregnancy, which is the thing she is most looking forward to is also the thing that scares her. David Rakoff accompanies her to her Lamaze class to find out how you prepare for an inevitability that's on a fixed timetable. (5 minutes)

Song:

“Born to Wash Dishes” by The Queers

And On The Eighth Day, God Created Tartar Sauce

A few times every summer, for complicated scientific reasons, thousands of live fish, crab and shrimp wash up onto the beaches of Mobile Bay, Alabama, on the Gulf Coast. It's a natural event—like a hurricane, but good. Locals call it Jubilee. Curtis Sittenfeld goes to Alabama to find out what it's like when the sea spontaneously sets up a gigantic raw bar. (10 minutes)

Song:

“Alabama Jubilee” by Roy Clark and Chet Atkins
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