This entire show is devoted to just one story. A former pimp tells how he and three childhood friends became pimps in the 1970s in Oakland, California. He explains all the elaborate "rules of the game" among pimps and prostitutes of that era. He didn't have the stomach for the violence of pimping, and failed as a pimp because of that. Tamar Brott reports.
Ira talks about the classic biography of an American pimp, Iceberg Slim's Pimp: The Story of My Life, and explains today's show. He warns listeners that although there's no sex in the show at all, there is a scene or two in which men hit women. (3 minutes)
This American Life producer Alex Blumberg investigates a little-studied phenomenon: Children who get a mistaken idea in their heads about how something works or what something means, and then don't figure out until well into adulthood that they were wrong.
David Rakoff discusses the world of birthdays and other holidays, as they're celebrated on the job... and what happens when you call yourself an editorial assistant but the editor you're assisting calls you a secretary.