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Act Three: Romance Languages

Ben Karlin talks about how a foreign language can come in handy when it comes to smoothing over potentially ugly misunderstandings. When he was a student in Italy, he signed up to coach basketball in hopes of making friends with some Italians.

Act One: Show Me The Monet

You can't do a program about middlemen without a story about business. In this act, we hear from a man who made his living buying low and selling high...incredibly high, sometimes at mark-ups of up to 1,000 percent.

Prologue

Reporter Mark Arax spent three years investigating the murder of his father and yet he's still not at peace when he thinks of his dad's death. (His book is called In My Father's Name.) This is how it goes sometimes: We create a story that tries to explain our lives, and it still leaves so much unanswered.

Act One: Among The Thugs

Writer Bill Buford reads from his book Among the Thugs. In it he sets out to try and understand the soccer hooligans who were rioting in ways large and small on a regular basis after soccer matches. It's a remarkable book—in turns funny, and then horrifying.

Act Three: Hard Work

Frankie Cruz Junior takes on all contenders at a nightclub in Chicago, and nearly always wins. It's a terrible job that pays badly and has no insurance or other benefits.

Act Three: The Unmasking

A story of guys who wear real masks, like superheroes, in their jobs as costumed wrestlers in a kind of Mexican wrestling called Lucha Libre. Writer RJ Smith has them talk about how much smaller they feel, how humiliated, when they have to take the masks off.

Prologue

Samantha Martin trains raccoons to play basketball and rats to bowl. She says that what we want from animals is for them to imitate humans.

Act One: Ski Lesson

An excerpt from Spalding Gray's monologue It's a Slippery Slope. Gray has been called "America's premiere storyteller." His monologue Swimming To Cambodia was made into a feature film.

Act Five: One More Dream

A Bulls dream from Chicagoan Brett Grossman, and an acoustic guitar cover of Bulls theme music from Chicago musician Rick Karr.