Out for a simple pleasure cruise with two friends, Alex Zharov was planning to see Jamaica Bay in New York City. But this end-of-the-day excursion, which should have only lasted 40 minutes, turns into an out-of-control adventure that left him lost, stranded, and bleeding—all within sight of the Empire State Building. Brett Martin reports.
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Amity Bitzel was a teenager when her parents decided to adopt a 27-year-old man. And that wasn't the strange part.
It's hard to give things up. Host Ira Glass tells the story of Walter, a three-year-old boy who had to give up his pacifier, and then, wanting comfort, asked all the adults around him to tell the stories of when they gave up their pacifiers.
One of the principles of treating alcoholism is that there's hope for everyone. You never fold your cards.
David Kestenbaum finds that the most unforgettable person in this county is a dead guy. A guy named Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Host Ira Glass visits This American Life producer Sarah Koenig at her house in State College PA, a few blocks from Penn State's campus, on a weekend night near one in the morning. They witness all kinds of alcohol-induced mayhem.
Most of the This American Life production staff spent the weekend at Penn State, and found that drinking is the great unifier at the school. Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, Lisa Pollak and Jane Feltes report on tailgating parties, frat parties, an article of clothing known as a "fracket," and a surprising and common drunken crime.
Because of the University, State College is in the only county in Pennsylvania where GDP grew in 2008. Producer Nancy Updike visited with local businesses and learned several tips for thriving at the nation's top party school.
Administrators have tried everything to curb drinking at Penn State, and nothing has worked. Producer Sarah Koenig reports on why this issue is so hard to tackle, and on how students react when a student dies from alcohol poisoning.
Gregory Deloatch and Daniel Canada dreamed of being writers, but normal life—marriage, jobs, paying the rent—always got in the way. To pursue their dream, the two friends embarked on an unusual experiment.
Josh Bearman grew up in California with his dad, stepmom, and brother. But they're not his whole family.
Josh Bearman continues his story by looking at how things got so bad for his mother and David in the first place.
This parrot story began as a journalism school assignment. Then, for reporters Alex Lane and Eric Holm, it became something much bigger.
A story by David Sedaris about what happens when natural enemies meet, in an Alcoholics Anonymous program, in prison. This story appears in David's collection of animal fables Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
Out for a simple pleasure cruise with two friends, Alex Zharov was planning to see Jamaica Bay in New York City. But this end-of-the-day excursion, which should have only lasted 40 minutes, turns into an out-of-control adventure that left him lost, stranded, and bleeding...all within sight of the Empire State Building.
After years of neglecting their personal finances, Joel and his wife finally decide to sort things out. They hire a tax accountant named Len, whose casual manner is a real comfort, at first.
A Christmas poem from David Rakoff, about holidays in The Big City. Rakoff's the author of, most recently, Half Empty.
Some family legends are most notable for their absence. They're too disturbing or scandalous to tell.
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.
Every year, the Emerald Society, an association of Irish Chicago police officers, flies in policemen from New York City for Chicago's two big St. Patrick's Day Parades.
The story of a teenagers' party among teenagers who thought of themselves as very grownup. In many ways they completely understand what a grownup party is like: Quiet conversation with lots of thoughtful nodding of heads, alcohol without excessive or loud consumption.
Jack Hitt tells the story of Charlene Riling, who nearly died, and who explains how life near to death can be better than everyday life.
Chicago playwright Beau O'Reilly talks about how he reconciled with his estranged father years ago by becoming an alcoholic just like him.