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Act One: Wary Home Companions

Reporter Ruth Padawer tells the story of a woman goes to her neighbors with an incredible request—to help care for her son after she dies—and is shocked by their response. Ruth Padawer writes for the New York Times Magazine and teaches at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Act One: Mad Man

Producer Sarah Koenig tells the story of her father, Julian Koenig, the legendary advertising copywriter whose work includes the slogan "Timex takes a licking and keeps on ticking" and Volkswagen's "Think Small" ads. For years Sarah has heard her dad accuse a former partner of stealing some of his best ideas, but until recently she never paid much attention.

Madoff

Host Ira Glass speaks with Harold Wilshinsky about a piece of advice he gave to his daughter and son-in-law over 15 years ago: Take your money out of the hands of Bernie Madoff, and diversify. Reluctantly, they listened to Harold, even though his son-in-law's family was making a fortune investing with Madoff.

Act Three: Please Re-lease Me

A man who we're calling "Dennis" inherits his father's job as a landlord of a big apartment building. His dad had warned him that bad tenants could drive even a good man to become heartless, but Dennis vowed that would never happen to him. He's tested on this point when he tries to help a couple that falls behind in their rent.

Act Three: Heart Shaped Box

Julie Hill explains how she's going to remake all the ideas her son has about his father, using a very simple tactic.