one of the best this american life episodes in awhile
Act One. Midlife Cowboy.
James Spring had hit his late 30s, and found his life utterly unremarkable. He needed to do something big. So James decided to try to rescue two kids who had been kidnapped by suspected murderers, and taken to Mexico.
CONAN:This is TALK OF THE NATION. Im Neal Conan in Washington. We're talking today about bullies.
CONAN:Hi, Mary, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
MARY:I'm a bully.
CONAN:Who did you bully?
MARY:You're using the past tense. I used the present tense. I am a bully.
CONAN:And who do you bully then?
MARY:Anyone who's weaker than me, just as I explained to you that you used past tense instead of the present tense, that's a form of bullying, and I do it all the time, and it makes me feel more powerful. It makes me feel better than I know I am. It makes me feel in control, none of which I am.
CONAN:Mary, I have to say that as a child I was bullied. I could take you. That wasn't bullying from my point of view.
MARY:Are you bragging?
CONAN:No, no, no, no. I was saying...
MARY:Yes, you are. Of course you are. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes you are. Of course you are: I can take you, Mary. What are you bragging about?
CONAN:No, what I was trying to say...
MARY:Don't stutter. Don't stutter. You're bragging. Yes, I am a bully.