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Prologue

We hear kids recorded at Chicago's Navy Pier and at a public swimming pool, talking about their mean friends. Host Ira Glass interviews Lillie Allison, 15, about the pretty, popular girls who were her best friends—until they cast her out.

Act One: Return To The Scene Of The Crime

Jonathan Goldstein interrogates the girls, now grown up, who terrorized him and his classmates years ago in school—and finds they can be just as scary as ever. Jonathan Goldstein is the author of the novel Lenny Bruce is Dead.

Act Three: And What's Going On With You?

A case study in every word from a friend meaning its opposite. An excerpt from the short story "The Underminer." A book based on the story is forthcoming from Bloomsbury USA.

Act Two: Why Talk?

Starlee Kine was becoming friends with a woman named Robin when they started to encounter an obstacle, a common obstacle people run into when the become friends as adults.

Act One: Buddy Picture

Producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about friendship, mothers and sons, and what some have called the greatest phone message in the world—it circulated at Columbia University in New York City, and had something to do with the Little Mermaid.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Paul Feig, who as a sixth-grader, at the urging of his father, actually read the Dale Carnegie classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. What he found was that afterwards, he had a bleaker understanding of human nature—and even fewer friends than when he started.

Act One: To Make A Friend, Be A Friend

David Sedaris has this instructive tale of how, as a boy, with the help of his dad, he tried to bridge the chasm that divides the popular kid from the unpopular...with the sorts of results that perhaps you might anticipate.

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: Night

In this act, we hear from the rowdier, drunker late-night patrons of the Golden Apple. A guy walks in with two young women, hoping to go home with one of them.

Act Three: Man Without A Country

What happens if the immigration service wants to deport you, but the country you came from won't take you back? Under current law, usually, you stay in jail...indefinitely. Writer Alex Kotlowitz tells the story of one legal alien from Vietnam, Trung Tran, and the unusually close and friendly relationships he and his fellow deportees have with their captors in a jail in Victoria, Texas.

Act Two: Silent Partner

Sean Cole visits Chad's Trading Post in Southampton, Massachussetts. One person who works there wears a shirt that says "Chad's Brother;" other shirts say "Chad's Best Friend," "Chad's Cousin," "Chad's Father." Pictures of Chad are everywhere.

Act Two: Brothers Of Different Mothers

In this act we hear two stories of people who stumbled upon a place where they instantly and instinctively felt more at home than in their real homes. Stephen Dubner, author of the memoir Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family, talks about an encounter with a Jewish man named Irving that changed his life.

Prologue

When Adam and Jamie were kids, Jamie would always ask for Adam's advice, but he didn't want to hear what Adam would say himself. Instead, he wanted Adam to pretend to be an Israeli commando he once knew, named Yakov.

Act Two: Love

Scott Richer and Julie Riggs of Louisville, Kentucky, were supposed to have their first kiss at the corner where South Fourth Street meets the alley behind the West End Baptist Church. But it went wrong.

Act Three: Neighbors

Writer Mike Paterniti tells a story of dogs and a community of dogwalkers that formed on the grounds of an old cemetery at the corner of Vaughn and Clifford in Portland, Maine.