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Act Two: Bombs Over Baghdad

We hear the story of the Persian Gulf war, as told by Issam Shukri, a family man from Bagdad who was drafted into Saddam's army against his will. He had to explain to his three-year-old son why those usually civilized Americans were bombing their city night after night.

Act One: The Disappearance

Genevieve Jurgensen and her husband Laurent lost their two daughters—Elise and Mathilde—at the ages of 4 and 7. Actress Felicity Jones reads from her book The Disappearance: A Memoir of Loss, in which Jurgensen tries to explain their lives and their deaths to a friend, in a series of letters.

Act Two: Look For The Union Label

A father and daughter (Adrian LeBlanc and his daughter Adrian Le Blanc) decide to write his obituary—together—not really thinking very seriously at first about the real meaning of what they were doing.

Act One: Girls Girls Girls

Over the last ten years in Los Angeles, there's been a noticeable increase in the number of transsexual teenagers, kids who were born as boys but live as girls, and vice versa. Cris Beam has spent the last two years getting to know these kids, and tells the story of two of them, Foxxjazell and Ariel.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass joins a group of tourists to walk through the captured German submarine that's on permanent display at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. He notes that the Museum chooses to underplay the murderous Nazi origins of the boat.

Act One: Baby Scientists With Faulty Data

More stories like the one in the prologue, where kids look at something going on around them, observe it carefully, think about it logically, and come to conclusions that are completely incorrect. Includes a story set at Christmastime, where a father tells his daughter about the baby Jesus being born, and all the "good stuff." Then the daughter notices a picture of Jesus on the cross, and asks why they killed him.

Act Two: And If That Diamond Ring Don't Shine

Ian Brown explains the lengths a normal dad will go to give his daughter a memorable birthday party, including a birthday stunt so crass that he and his wife shocked all their friends.

Act Two: The Girl Next Door

What happens when the kid next door wants to be your new friend...and comes over, tries to talk to you, befriends your dog. Are you a bad person if you don't want to accept the tiny hand of friendship? Cheryl Wagner tells the story of her young, persistent next-door neighbor.

Act Two: Tell It To The Void

We hear a series of letters that originally appeared on the brief-lived, little-known, but well-loved webzine Open Letters. They're written by a woman who signs her name as "X" and are addressed to the father of her adolescent son.

Act Four: Runaway Mom

In Seattle, Dan Savage and his boyfriend adopted a son, DJ. It was an open adoption, so the birth mother could keep in touch with her kid.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to two different people who have stories they just can't get over...stories that make them cringe...and stories from which we can glean what makes a cringe story different from other kinds of stories.

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 Two: What's French For "Steeee-rike Three?"

Adam Gopnik reads a story from his book Paris to the Moon, about living in Paris with his family and wanting his son to be a bit more American. He tells him a bedtime story about the most American thing he can think of: baseball.

Prologue

We listen in on a ritual that happens in millions of families every week: kids getting dropped off at the babysitters. Six-year-old Dylan and nine-year-old Sarah explain what they can and can't get away with when they have a babysitter.After that, host Ira Glass has a few words about Mary Poppins, who is the Gold Standard of all fictional babysitters.

Act One: What Big Teeth You Have

Lots of babysitting is done by family members. Hillary Frank reports on what can happen when a teenaged son is put in charge of his younger brothers.

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.