Let's get started!


Sunday, January 30, 2005

"Plan B"

The following is from This American Life, a National Public Radio show.
What lies below is a basic rundown of the show.

The show is called "Plan B". I heard it last weekend and boy is it great. The one about the guy who decided to make a business plan for kidnapping Frank Sinatra's son is just classic. Cuervo man is great, too. Anyway, listen and enjoy. Oh, and you'll need real player to listen to it. So, you can Download Real Player here.


There's the thing you plan to do, and then there's the thing you end up doing. Most of us start off our lives with some Plan A which we abandon... switching to a Plan B, which becomes our life.

Ira summarizes the results of an informal poll of about a hundred people, about whether they were living their Plan A or Plan B... and recounts a moment from a short story by author Ron Carlson, called "Plan B for the Middle Class," from his book by the same name. (2 minutes)

Act One.
It's Another Tequila Sunrise. Reporter John Hodgman first encountered Cuervo Man on a press junket to Cuervo Nation, a small island owned by Jose Cuervo Tequila. Cuervo Man was wearing nothing but a Speedo, wraparound shades, and a red cape. Occasionally he'd stick a toilet plunger on his bald head. John was fascinated and eventually got to know Cuervo Man, whose real name was Ryan. Though the Cuervo act was Ryan's Plan B, it had a special power that John couldn't help but envy. (19 minutes)
Song: "Inside Out," Eve 6

Act Two.
Why Talk? Producer Starlee Kine was becoming friends with a woman named Robin, when they started to encounter an obstacle, a common obstacle people run into when the become friends as adults. So Robin invented a Plan B to solve the problem. (6 minutes)

Act Three.
Kidnapping as Plan B. Ira talks with Barry Keenan, who was living a lot of people's Plan A in the early 60's. He was rich, he was successful. But when he lost all his money and got hooked on painkillers, he switched to a Plan B to make money. He decided to kidnap the 19-year-old Frank Sinatra, Jr. (11 minutes)
Song: "All of Me," Frank Sinatra

Act Four.
A Fate Most of Us Fear. This American Life producer Jonathan Goldstein took a telemarketing job as a kind of temporary Plan B... never suspecting that it would be a ten-year chapter in his life. Goldstein's novel is called Lenny Bruce is Dead. (10 minutes)

Act Five.
The Accursed Items. J. Robert Lennon reads an excerpt from his short story "The Accursed Items," in which he demonstrates that even objects can fulfill a fate different from the one for which they were intended. Even inanimate objects can have a Plan B. Lennon's most recent novel is called On the Night Plain. (6 minutes)
Song: "California," Quasi