I'd almost forgotten how much I love NPR's This American Life.
I happened to catch a repeat episode on my ipod: How to win friends and influence people.
The intro about Paul Feig and the first segment, by David Sedaris, are both hilarious.
198: How to Win Friends and Influence People
Stories of people climbing to be number one. How do they do it? What is the fundamental difference between us and them?
Paul Feig is the recent author of the children's book, Ignatius MacFarland: Frequenaut!.
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. (9 minutes)
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. (14 minutes).
Act Two. Stay in Touch.
After the September 11th attack 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. Writer and performer Tami Sagher imagines what those calls were like. (6 minutes)
Song: "Calling Countries," Boomtown Rats
Act Three. People Like You If You Put a Lot of Time Into Your Appearance.
To prove this simple point—a familiar one to readers of any women's magazines—we have this true story of moral instruction, told by Luke Burbank in Seattle, about a guy he met on a plane who was dressed in a hand-sewn Superman costume. (13 minutes)
Act Four. Just Be Yourself.
Former TAL producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about what it's like to date Lois Lane when she's on the rebound from Superman. Jonathan Goldstein is currently the host of CBC's Wiretap, and the author of the novel Lenny Bruce is Dead. (13 minutes)
Song: "Mr. Pleasant," The Kinks