Episode #750

Date September 26, 2016

Run Time 1:01:32

Katie, Benari Poulten and Jack Lincoln share stories of surprise.

Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker

Song: Tokens to Cash by Jon Brion & Michael Penn

Live Story: How It’s Supposed to Be by Katie

Song: Zigzagging Toward the Light by Conor Oberst

Radio Story: GI Jew by Benari Poulten

Live Story: He Is Whole by Jack Lincoln

Song: Heaven by The Walkmen



Download: MP3

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Reggie Noble
7 years ago

As always a great episode, the only thing missing was Quint

7 years ago


Your show is, of course, fantastic. I must admit that This American Life and Fresh Air are also favorites of mine. You’re in the top three.

Thank you for what you do.


7 years ago

Katie’s story was possibly the worst thing I’ve ever heard on this show. Who on earth decided that anyone needed to hear that story? Sorry, usually love what you do, but yuck.

7 years ago

Laura, I am so furious with you, I can’t even believe it. “Yuck”? Why would you say that? What is “yuck” about an emotional epiphany about a family trauma and a daughter’s realization that life as she knew it was over? What the fuck, Laura? You would rather hear stories about someone eating shit or something? That entertains you, but something that is gut and heart-wrenching is somehow icky? Well, out of every story on this show – and I’ve heard them all – this one touched a nerve because MY mother had Alzheimer’s and when I was 30 my dad died and I took care of her alone for 8 years, and it was the hardest, most horrible, most heartbreaking thing I have ever witnessed and ever hope to endure again. My mother suffered, I suffered, and Katie fucking suffered. I want to say I hope you have to endure something like this but I won’t because I wouldn’t want to wish that hell on anyone. Katie’s mom had MS, but they all debilitate, all destroy minds and bodies. My good friend is 45 with Parkinson’s. He’s turning into a vegetable. Is that “yucky” to you? Oh, and in case you are talking about Katie’s admission of guilt over treating her mom like an ATM, and owning up to it, and changing her ways? Well, guess what? Most people dream of having their parents get old gently and then dying nicely in their sleep and then they get the family silver and split the inheritance. That’s what my mom wanted for me. She busted her ass to give me something after she was gone. And the disease ripped that away, too. All that was left was $1.55. By the time it was over I was so shell-shocked I didn’t give two craps about that, but it is something people think about. Katie did a remarkable job telling a story about reflection, empathy, shame, and remorse, and finally making good on her past mistakes. She is courageous and I admire her.

Katie, you need to talk I am giving Kevin permission to give you my personal email. I know exactly how you feel and have felt. Care-giving is incredibly hard and there is so little support. I’m happy to help any way I can.

7 years ago

How was Katie’s story in any way “yuck”? She described one of my worst fears and brought tears to my eyes. A heartbreaking story that forced her to reevaluate herself and her relationship with her mother. My heart goes out to her and anyone who experiences a disease like this.

7 years ago

“Who on earth decided that anyone needed to hear that story?” The same could be said about your comment Laura. :/

6 years ago

This story isn’t “yuck” because sickness and death is somehow yuck. This story is yuck because it’s a story of a daughter who knew that her mother was sick and dying and did nothing to help her. I’ve worked in a retirement home since I was seven years old. I have held the hands of 100 grandmas and grandpas as they die without family, with only me and our amazing staff to comfort them in their final moments. I’ve argued with spoiled kids who “don’t want any expensive comforts” added to their parents bills because “they won’t know anyways”. I’m sorry, but i don’t think you are a hero for buying your mom a dinner. I hope that you became a more responsive and responsible daughter, for your sake and for your mom. And if not, I hope you found a place for her to live where she can get the love and care that she deserves.

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