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Act Four: One Word: Timing

Television comedy writer Tami Sagher describes what can happen when you sit on a joke for years, as she did, before the perfect opportunity to tell it comes along.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to Adam Stein about the very real cat-and-mouse game between his friends and the vice principal of his high school that preoccupied them throughout their high school careers.

Act Two: Hello Kitty

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.

Act Three: Looking For Loveseats In All The Wrong Places

It's been well over a decade, so why can't Eric, who is in many other respects a measured and reasonable person, select a simple piece of furniture? David Segal attempts to explain why the man can't just buy himself a couch, already. David works at The New York Times.

Act One: Luck Of The Irish

It was two months into the tour. Katie Else and the rest of the Riverdance cast had been performing eight shows a week. They decided to pool their money for the Mega-Millions lottery.

Act Two: No Tenenbaum, No Tenenbaum

This American Life receives an emergency transmission from a rooftop somewhere in New York City, where John Hodgman reports on the true-life origins of Christmas traditions. John Hodgman is the author of More Information Than You Require.

Act Four: An Animal Farm Christmas

The great Christmas classics are all like fables. David Sedaris contributes his own, about barnyard animals who decide to play "Secret Santa." David is the author of many books, including a collection of Christmas stories, Holidays on Ice.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks to Tom Irwin, a stand-up comic who recently performed for American troops all around Iraq for over a month. It seems his best joke, about Iraqi sheep farmers, only makes sense if you're a soldier on deployment.

Prologue

It seems apples for the teacher is a bygone tradition. Host Ira Glass talks to Mindy, a first-grade teacher, about the rather racy gifts her students give these days at Christmas.

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: Stay In Touch

After the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. diplomats had to start working the phones...to assemble a coalition of nations to combat this new threat. Some of the calls, you get the feeling, were not the easiest to make.