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Act One: Lunchtime With The King Of Ketchup

Jonathan Goldstein with a story of the kind of preferential treatment we all dream of, where waiters routinely bring us extra appetizers on the house, delivery men throw a little something special into our take-out orders, and deli owners regularly comp us free pickles and chips. He talks with his friend Howard, who lives this dream, about all the work that went into making it a reality.

Act Three: The Call Of The Great Indoors

Every week, Chelsea Merz has lunch with a homeless man named Matthew, in the same restaurant. Matthew's been on the street for seven years, but once or twice a year, he housesits for a friend.

Act Three: A View From The Mop

A guy who writes under the pen name Greg Tate wrote a book called 11 Years, 9 Months and 5 Days, which is nothing more than a year-by-year account—one vignette after another—of things that happened to him in his minimum-wage job as a janitor in a fast food burger place that he calls "The Burger Store." Justin Kaufman reads surprisingly riveting excerpts. The book was self-published at xlibris.com.

Act Three

What's French for French Fries? David Sedaris has been following the diplomatic fiascoes of the last few months from Paris, where he lives. Relations between France and the U.S. have been so horrible these days we asked him how it seemed from over there.

Act Two: Special Effects Story

Kevin Murphy is a college student in Idaho who stutters. Using the power of radio editing, he and the production staff of This American Life removed his pauses, stutters and repeats so that he could record a message the way it seems the rest of the world would like to hear him sound.

Prologue

Ira talks with Lee Qi, who came to America from China. He worked in Chinese restaurants in small towns, live in tiny apartments with other illegal immigrants who worked there as well—apartments that were sometimes in the back of the restaurants.

Act Two: Still Life With Chicken

What happens when a chicken crosses the thin yellow line that divides the animals we eat from the animals we keep as pets. Jonathan Gold, food writer for Gourmet magazine, tells how he accidentally came to adopt a chicken, and what happened to his opinion of chickens afterwards.