May 7, 2004

Special Treatment

We love it when we get it, but is it ever really fair? A defense of special treatment, by people who receive it and people who give it.


Host Ira Glass talks with two sisters, one high-school age, the other younger, about who gets treated better in the family. They all agree the youngest does. Ira then talks to researcher Amanda Kowal about her study showing that different siblings receiving different treatment is the norm in most families, and in fact, there's nothing wrong with it. (4 minutes)
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. (16 minutes)

Act Two

Except For That One Problem, It's Perfect

Gregory Warner reports on a program that solves a problem that's been plaguing prisons for years. But there's just one catch...prison guards hate it, because it gives inmates special treatment. (17 minutes)
Act Three

Mommie's Psychic Helper

When Aimee Phan and her brother were babies, her mother had horoscopes predicting their futures made and put on tape. The tapes were in Vietnamese, which Aimee and her brother didn't understand. The mother treated them differently based on what she said was in the tapes. We get them translated and reveal the truth of what was on the tapes. Aimee Phan is the author of the forthcoming book of short stories called We Should Never Meet. (12 minutes)

Act Four

The Way To A Boy's Heart Is Through His Stomach

Lisa Carver's nine-year-old son, Wolfgang, was born with a rare illness that, among other things, makes it impossible for him to eat anything by mouth. He's fed through a g-tube, straight into his stomach. But he remembers fondly what food tastes like, and he misses it. And, because we eat all the time, he's constantly watching people do the one thing he wants desperately to do—but can't. Lisa talks about how the people at school—and everyone in Wolfgang's life, really—go out of their way to help him in his private war with his own desire. (10 minutes)