Stories of people who try simple mind games on others, and then find themselves way in over their heads.
Prologue and Act One. Host Ira Glass interviews Lori Gottlieb about the time she sent a letter to a writer in a magazine, a letter packed with white lies. One complication led to another and before long, the writer seemed to be lying to her. Or maybe he wasn't. It was hard to tell. Years later, she still isn't sure what happened. Gottlieb is the author of Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self and other books. (12 minutes)
Song: "Mr. Magazine," The Knack
Act Two. The Spy Who Loved Everyone. A group called Improv Everywhere decides that an unknown band, Ghosts of Pasha, playing their first ever tour in New York, ought to think they're a smash hit. So they study the band's music and then crowd the performance, pretending to be hard-core fans. Improv Everywhere just wants to make the band happy to give them the best day of their lives. But the band doesn't see it that way. Nor does another subject of one of Improv Everywhere's "missions." (32 minutes)
Act Three. Invisible Girl. Scott Carrier and his family live in the same Salt Lake City neighborhood as Elizabeth Smart, the fourteen-year-old whose kidnapping made international news in 2002. Though pictures of Smart were everywhere in Salt Lake City, and thousands of volunteers searched for her, her captors brought her back to the neighborhood she was taken from, and they walked freely through the streets with her. But no one recognized her. Scott talks with his neighbors and with his son Milo (who attended grade school with Smart) about what was happening in their heads that they didn't recognize her, when she was there in plain sight. Scott is the author of Running After Antelope. His story received support from hearingvoices.com, which gets support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (12 minutes)
Song: "That Old Black Magic," Louis Prima