October 11, 2002


In this show we take the classifieds from one Sunday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times and one edition of the local alternative weekly Chicago Reader, and fill a program with stories that come from the ads. Through the jobs offered, the missed connections, the crap that people sell each other and the musicians' ads we get a portrait of a whole city.


Host Ira Glass talks with Marion Tanios, a classified section editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. She explains that if the news section of the newspaper gives you the public life of a city, the classified section gives you a sense of people's personal lives. We take a quick tour through the classified section: "Wedding Dress for sale, never worn;" "Agoraphobics in Motion, A.I.M. meet weekly;" and a house sale where an old woman heading to a nursing home is selling off her belongings. (7 minutes)
Act One

Lost And Found Ads

"Stolen Dog, black, toy poodle named Isis." Producer Todd Bachmann interviews a man named Leo, who recently placed that ad. Leo was planning to breed Isis with his other dog, Button, a Shitzu, and make a new breed which he planned to call "Shidoodle." (7 minutes)

Act Two

Help Wanted

An audio diary of two people using the classified ads to find jobs. Produced by Joe Richman, the awarding winning producer of the series Radio Diaries. (8 minutes)
Act Three

Musicians Classifieds

Sometimes in the classified ads one person will be seeking something that another person will be offering. This is especially true of the musicians section of the classifieds, where there might be a drummer seeking a band, and on the same page, a band seeking a drummer. We play matchmaker and form a one-day band out of the musicians in the classifieds. Producer Starlee Kine tells what happens, with the help of Jon Langford, a musician who already has a band, the Mekons, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary in rock and roll, and whose most recent album is OOOH! (Out of Our Heads). (15 minutes)

Act Four

Personal Ads

"Joyce, I don't need another Housekeeper." Producer Jonathan Goldstein talks with the man who placed this ad. Joyce is the woman who left him. The ad is his attempt to win her back. (4 minutes)
Act Five

For Sale

The classifieds are populated by people in flux. People selling stuff from old lives in transition new ones. But people buying the stuff may also be in transition. And they don't care if they're purchasing things with a history, just so long as it's someone else's history. Radio producer Jay Allison tells the story of the things he bought from the classifieds to fill his new life after his marriage broke up. Jay Allison receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through the Open Studio Project. (15 minutes)