Episode 37: George Saunders, New Look Turkey Sandwich, Getting Hit On By A Star

George Saunders/photo courtesy Syracuse University

This Week: Writer George Saunders pitches a tent… an Alabama housewife gets hit on by a star… and a famed deli just can’t quit cold turkey.

MC Frontalot — Godfather of nerdcore hip-hop — shares a joke that has been scientifically proven to generate maximum laughs in Belgium. Seriously.

Small Talk: North Korean Jeans, Virtual Wedding Vows, Economic Clausualties
The staff from Marketplace tells you stories from this week’s news that your guests won’t have heard.

History Lesson with Booze: A star falls in Alabama and the “Extinction Level Event
This week back in 1954, Alabama housewife Annie Hodges earned a dubious distinction: She became the first person in recorded history to get hit by a meteorite. But as Michelle Phillipe explains, she was just another in a long line of people who let a small brush with fame damage their lives. Hear Annie’s story, then toast her memory with a devastating drink that celebrates random impacts.

“Extinction Level Event,” as created for the DPD by Robert Bagwell, bartender at Bottletree in Birmingham, AL:

In a shot glass add:

  • ½ oz. Half-and-half cream
  • ½ oz. Kahlua liqueur
  • ½ oz. Jagermeister
  • ½ oz. Buttershot butterscotch liqueur

Drop the shot, meteor-like, into a glass half-filled with Earth-esque Guinness beer. Sip. Pray humanity survives.

Guest of Honor: Writer and satirist George Saunders
George Saunders has been compared to Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut for his sharp satire and ferocious wit. His short stories and essays have won him a slew of awards — including a MacArthur Genius Grant. Recently he spent a week in a homeless encampment in Fresno, California and wrote about the experience for GQ. He talks to Brendan about how awful it was there… and how Dick Cavett got him through.

Main Course: Cold Turkey Contest
Canter’s is one of the most venerable — and famous — delicatessens in the USA. They’re known for their reubens, but this year they hosted a turkey sandwich contest, with the winning recipe featured on their menu for the entire month of December. Rico talks with contest organizer Dena Stein about the winners, the losers, and the shame of white bread.

One For the Road: Lyme and Cybelle, “Follow me”
Before Carmelita held him tighter, a teenage Warren Zevon was half of the duo Lyme and Cybelle (he was Lyme). “Follow Me” is their most well-known song.