Jill Schlesinger On Money, Samantha Irby On Judge Mathis : It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders The coronavirus pandemic has us worrying not only about our health, but also about money. Sam talks to CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, about the current economic crisis and how it's affecting different generations. Then, Sam talks to writer Samantha Irby about her newsletter "Who's On Judge Mathis Today?," which recaps the foibles of the syndicated daytime court show Judge Mathis.
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Money and Coronavirus; Samantha Irby On Judge Mathis

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Money and Coronavirus; Samantha Irby On Judge Mathis

Money and Coronavirus; Samantha Irby On Judge Mathis

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/864356053/865923983" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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AUNT BETTY: Hey, y'all. This is Sam's Aunt Betty. This week on the show, how the economic impact of coronavirus affects different generations. And later, Sam talks to New York Times bestselling author Samantha Irby. All right, let's start the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAM SANDERS, HOST:

Hey, y'all. From NPR, I'm Sam Sanders. IT'S BEEN A MINUTE. Happy weekend. So this week, as Aunt Betty said, we're going to talk about the economy. But trust me, dear listener. It's going to be a chat that is ultimately uplifting in spite of all the numbers we're all seeing. As I'm sure you know by now, those latest numbers are staggering. As of the end of this week, more than 1 in 4 U.S. workers have lost their jobs since coronavirus shut down most of the economy in March - 1 in 4. Altogether, since this whole thing started, more than 40 million people in this country have filed for unemployment.

Those kind of numbers show that obviously, this pandemic is hurting all types of folks from all walks of life. But a question I keep asking and a question I keep hearing other people ask is, who is getting hurt the most - particularly, younger folks or older folks; people at the start of their careers or in the middle or nearing the end? Jill Schlesinger thinks about this stuff a lot. She is a certified financial planner, and she's a business analyst for CBS News. I called Jill up this week to ask her how this economic crisis is affecting different generations differently, and we ended up talking at length about how maybe those divisions - right now at least - aren't good for us at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: Jill, hi. How are you?

JILL SCHLESINGER: I'm fantastic. How are you?

SANDERS: I'm good. I am doing that thing I always do when I get to talk to anyone who covers the economy, who thinks about the economy, who is smart about it. My first and often only question in this coronavirus moment is, economically speaking, just how bad is this (laughter)?

SCHLESINGER: It is the worst I have ever seen. And I am an old fart, and so I've seen a lot. And it is by far the worst, deepest recession, meaning the economy is shrinking at the fastest pace it has ever shrunk since the Great Depression. So 2008, 2009 was kind of a warm-up for this. This is awful.

SANDERS: Wow. I want to talk about a thing that I've seen surface in some of the commentary around how this pandemic is affecting all of us economically. There's a certain level of - and I can't tell if it's just joking or not. But there's a certain level of generational warfare I see happening - boomers saying, we're getting hit the worst; millennials saying, no, us; and then recent graduates saying, I won't have a job to walk into.

And so I want to talk about, to the best we can, how this crisis is affecting generations in broad strokes. But first, I want to talk about how maybe the biggest dividing line in all of this might be what type of job you have and what type of industry you work in, which is a proxy for class. You and I are both talking to each other as we work from home, and we've been able to work from home in a pretty uninterrupted manner. And we'll be fine because of that in many ways. But for people who can't do that, it's totally different, right?

SCHLESINGER: Absolutely, and I think this is one of the factors that really freaked out the Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. And when he went before Congress and he went on CBS "60 Minutes," one of the things that he kept stressing was that this crisis is disproportionately hurting people at the lower end of the income stream. And as you say, you know, here we are, talking from our homes. But if you are somebody who makes less than $40,000, chances are over the last few months, you have a 50-50 chance of having been sidelined from work. That is an insane...

SANDERS: Fifty-fifty chance.

SCHLESINGER: Yeah. That is insane.

SANDERS: Do you hearing yourself say these numbers - does it blow your mind still, too?

SCHLESINGER: Well, you know, I've been known to really love these kinds of numbers. You know, I'm a total math nerd, and - but...

SANDERS: Yeah.

SCHLESINGER: I also sort of understand the scale of that. And one of the things that strikes me is as you're talking about the divides, what this pandemic has done to our health is that it seems to disproportionately hurt people who are fragile, right? So it's - at the low end, you find that, you know, black Americans and Hispanic Americans and poor Americans and old Americans - they are at risk health-wise, right?

SANDERS: Yeah.

SCHLESINGER: And what we...

SANDERS: Yeah.

SCHLESINGER: ...Now understand is there's a similar kind of pathway from the economic impact that we certainly know that black and Hispanic, younger Americans and those who earn less money are disproportionately hurt economically by this crisis. That is the financial fallout that is so intense. And age is a problem frankly because, you know, obviously, many new entrants into the workforce don't make a lot of money. And even if you went to college and you were on a path, kind of like the last in, first out - a lot of companies are like, eh; you know what? We don't need those entry-level people. We'll hire them back at some point.

SANDERS: Yeah.

SCHLESINGER: That's tough, man.

SANDERS: Oh, yeah. It's tough. And I'm sure that there's a whole crop - everyone finishing high school trying to go into a job right now or finishing college trying to go into a job right now. There are just literally millions of fewer jobs for them to walk into, and when you start your working career like that, it'll probably affect your earnings for the entirety of your working career.

SCHLESINGER: I was just looking this up because, again, pointing to the fact that I'm a ridiculous geek - that I was looking up this research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the thumbnail sketch is that if you're unlucky enough to graduate into a recession, you make about 10% less for the first 10 years of your career.

SANDERS: Wow.

SCHLESINGER: Now, the bigger problem is that in this crop - I'll call it the people who came out of college probably since about 2007 - that these kids - you're all kids who are listening, you good kids - and that - that you are saddled with more debt than previous generations when it comes to student loan debt. And my concern has been that I feel like millennials have just had bad timing. And that doesn't make you a bad person.

SANDERS: Listen. Let me tell you.

SCHLESINGER: It's bad luck.

SANDERS: (Laughter) It's bad luck. Well, because - OK. Like, just for me personally, my senior year of high school, the twin towers fell. I walked out of graduate school into the working world in 2009. This was, like, peak recession. Thank the Lord NPR hired me. And now, literally the year I'm, like, thinking about, like, should I buy a house and save up and do this and do that, global pandemic. And let me be clear and say I'm very lucky in very many ways. But I can't help but thinking, even as someone who is quite fortunate, yeah, bad luck, horrible timing.

SCHLESINGER: Yeah.

SANDERS: Thanks, economy.

SCHLESINGER: And you're allowed to sit on your pity pot and feel that way for some short period of time. I will grant you that position. Do it. Do it.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Yeah.

SCHLESINGER: And you are because, you know, I always find it a little bit annoying with my cohort. You know, I'm in my mid-50s. And, you know, we were lucky. It was kind of like you were a moron if you couldn't get a job when you graduated in the '80s. You know, really, it's like that - like, everybody got a job. Nobody - and yes, you know, I graduated in 1987, so that meant - and I worked on Wall Street and so I lived through the crash of 1987. But it was oddly short-lived, you know?

And that was the weird thing about my generation and even the boomers that the cyclical bad stuff that occurred - it occurred, and we came out of it. It was OK. And so I think that sometimes people confuse good luck with wisdom and smarts. You know, I'm sure everyone my age is really smart and they're wise and all that. But you know what? Mostly, we had the good fortune of graduating into a good economy, of graduating into a good housing market.

SANDERS: Yeah.

SCHLESINGER: Like, economists hate when you say things like that, but there is just dumb luck.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Yeah. And I don't want to act as if everyone over a certain age has just been lucky economically. I mean, I think of people in my life who were looking forward to retirement when the last recession screwed that up for them. And now as they start to get things back together, those same 401Ks have just been hit. Big picture for the boomers and those older - like, how bad is it for them?

SCHLESINGER: I think they're OK. I think they're worried about their health. I think they're mostly OK. Here's the...

SANDERS: Really? OK.

SCHLESINGER: ...Advantage - yeah. And don't send me hate mail, boomers. I like you. I'm not part of your generation. Stand down.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

SCHLESINGER: Here's why. It's the old story of those with the gold rule. That's the golden rule my father used to teach us. You know, like, a lot of those people already had accumulated assets, OK? Now, what is the benefit of that? Those with assets are not just able to weather the bad times, but they have money that's already set aside. The market craters in March. It starts to come marching back. Maybe it'll go down again. But if you already have saved the money, chances are you're going to be OK.

Here's the problem with somebody who is a boomer who maybe sort of has really thought, like, I really want to retire soon, but I need six more years to get money into my retirement accounts. And you just get laid off. That's a danger.

SANDERS: You know, one of the things I was thinking in prepping for this interview and all these generational questions and commentaries we got from listeners and just all across the Web - what is it about America and Americans that we so lean into this idea of generations almost being pitted against each other? It can't be this way all over the world, but, like, everything that happens to us in this country, we find a way to make it - oh, no, it's millennials' fault. Actually, it's Gen X fault - actually, the boomers. Is that uniquely American or just the nature of people at different ages?

SCHLESINGER: Well, since I have lived abroad for exactly one semester and four months, I - let me speak freely as an expert on - you know, I think it's a capitalist system that has shredded the social safety net in many ways. And the difference of not having security, not having access to education that's affordable or not having access to health care or not having a government that will swoop in and say, you know what? Forget about unemployment insurance; we're just going to take over the payroll for all these companies and just pay 80% during the pandemic. And that's what we're going to do. Not having that kind of robust safety net does tend to make it feel like a "Hunger Games." And in a "Hunger Games," you are, like, freaking fighting for your own, and you're looking for the enemy.

And as - again, like, sometimes bad things happen, and it's not anyone's fault. And it's not the boomers' fault, and it's not the millennials' fault. And it's not the Gen Xers' fault. And that feels very much like a dissatisfying answer to so many. And I think that if we felt taken care of, then I don't think we would turn against each other as much. I know that you're probably thinking I'm some sort of weirdo socialist, and I'm not. I really love capitalism.

SANDERS: No, it's...

SCHLESINGER: I really - I do. But unfettered capitalism without having companies take a more active role in putting their employees before they put their shareholders - those are the kinds of things I think that have really made us so cynical. And on top of that, which I know you know about your world of politics, is in - if you're cynical about your work and you're cynical about government and you're cynical about life, then you're just going to blame whoever's there.

SANDERS: Cynical about everything - exactly. You will blame, and folks will exploit that blame. And then everyone's just unhappier.

SCHLESINGER: I know.

SANDERS: Totally. You know, it's so interesting thinking about what the storylines will be about this latest wrinkle in all of our economic stories. And what I hope doesn't happen is that, like, one generation's bad luck becomes a narrative about them. Like, do millennials continuing to stumble into recession after recession - does that end up becoming a value judgment about millennials?

SCHLESINGER: Yeah. I have really become a student of that. It is not - it's not natural that you take your disdain for a group and spread it out over all these people. It's - just have a little compassion and have empathy and understand that your first impulse of blame is probably the wrong one.

SANDERS: I like that. Let's not make this "The Hunger Games." Bless the Gen Zers. Bless the millennials. Bless Gen X. Bless the boomers, everyone in between. I like the message of this chat.

SCHLESINGER: It's pretty good.

SANDERS: Thank you, Jill.

SCHLESINGER: My pleasure, Sam.

SANDERS: Thanks again to financial planner and CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger.

All right. Time for a break. Coming up, we're going to have a little fun. I'm going to reconnect with a friend of the show, Samantha Irby. She is the New York Times bestselling author of a new collection of essays called "Wow, No Thank You." We'll talk about that for a bit, but also, Samantha will tell me about a daily newsletter she puts out about something you'd never expect - a small-claims court reality TV show.

SAMANTHA IRBY: Yeah. He's, like, a curmudgeon. He's from Detroit. He's grizzled, old, black man who, like, tells it like it is, but it's all tough love. And the cases he gets are all - I mean...

SANDERS: Bananas.

IRBY: Yes.

SANDERS: That is after the break. We'll be right back.

We're back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Sam Sanders. Question for you - have you ever watched "Judge Mathis"?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

GREG MATHIS: I believe in tough love with emphasis on the love.

SANDERS: Yes, "Judge Mathis," the daytime court TV show where the claims can't be more than a few thousand dollars, but the drama is priceless.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

MATHIS: I don't know how big you are in your house, but you're very small in the eye of the world today.

SANDERS: Well, I have watched "Judge Mathis."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

MATHIS: I became a judge to make a difference.

SANDERS: And so has my next guest. She's actually watched that show a lot.

IRBY: So I have a daily newsletter called "Who's On Judge Mathis Today?"

SANDERS: That is friend of the show Samantha Irby. She's a comedian, a blogger and a New York Times bestselling author - No. 1 bestseller - of her latest book, "Wow, No Thank You," a collection of essays. But all those jobs - they pale in comparison to the Lord's work that Samantha is doing right now. She's writing daily recaps of "Judge Mathis" episodes, "Judge Mathis" cases as if she were his personal court stenographer. So dear listeners, right here, right now on week 3,047 of this pandemic, Samantha Irby is going to explain to you why maybe what we all really need during this time are "Judge Mathis" recaps.

IRBY: I take a case. And I, being generous, transcribe what happens in the case with some supplemental color commentary and anecdotes from my own life. Sam, this was a bit. Like, this was a Twitter joke. I was - so I have been watching "Judge Mathis" since he came out. I've - when I lived in Chicago, I probably went to, like, seven tapings.

SANDERS: Wow.

IRBY: And I am...

SANDERS: And we should clarify right here. "Judge Mathis" is in the vein of...

IRBY: Oh.

SANDERS: ...The "Judge Judy" daytime reality court shows.

IRBY: Yes.

SANDERS: He is, in my opinion, the spiciest and most lovable of the daytime judges.

IRBY: Yes. Yeah. He's, like, a curmudgeon. He's from Detroit. He's grizzled, old, black man who, like, tells it like it is, but it's all tough love. And the cases he gets are all...

SANDERS: Bananas.

IRBY: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

UNDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Defendant Tanisha Tarver (ph) says when she first met Elvie (ph), he tried to impress her by showing her his credit score and salary. And the reason she ignored him on their second date was because he was intoxicated.

IRBY: Even the ones that are, like, kind of normal because he - and here's where I think he's different. I can't believe I'm talking about this like I have studied it. But where I think he's different from the others is he is very good at weaving a narrative because not everyone is a storyteller. Not everyone is compelling. So he gets these people. And even the ones where it's like, oh, my God, she's hopeless. She cannot tell us what this case is about...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: That she had ha-ha-ha, bad word, saying, good luck getting...

IRBY: He helps to kind of craft the narrative while also being the judge, and he's so good at it.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: It was only my name. She did not have...

MATHIS: Was she on it with your approval, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Yeah.

MATHIS: That's what I asked you.

IRBY: I am obsessed with him. So I made this joke on Twitter where I was - I said, who would be interested if I wrote a recap of what's happening on "Judge Mathis" right now? And many - a surprising number of people responded. And so now I've done over a hundred of them.

SANDERS: You have thousands of subscribers at this point.

IRBY: I have, like, 7,200 subscribers.

SANDERS: Oh, my God. I want you, for those that are on the fence about subscribing to your Mathis newsletter, read one of the intrographs (ph) to any of your entries of your choosing. They're all good. I was reading the one the other day where the woman ends up having her daughter sleep with her boyfriend while she gets locked up 'cause they tried to get her locked up. Oh, my God. It was drama. But anyone you want to read can be good.

IRBY: OK. This is from Issue No. 100. (Reading) Plaintiff - Lauren (ph) from Fairburn, Ga. Lauren is gorgeous. And you know I love watching pretty girls fight. If you squint, she kind of looks like Gina Rodriguez - I mean, not really, but a little. Anyway, she's wearing a fitted black skirt suit with an extremely snatched waist. I'm talking 18th century steel boned corsetry. And her skin is blushed and bronzed. And whatever she wants to sell me, I'm buying it.

SAM SANDERS, HOST:

(Laughter) So what happens to this to our hero in this episode?

IRBY: So Lauren hired a woman to throw her a 30th birthday party. The woman she hired was named Jaja Casanova (ph).

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Defendant Jaja Casanova insists she did everything Lauren hired her to do.

IRBY: So she sues Jaja for almost $5,000 for a birthday party Jaja was supposed to organize for her. But Jaja - this is my favorite kind of twist - had a video of the party.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JUDGE MATHIS")

MATHIS: All right, let's look.

JAJA CASANOVA: Because I have all of that.

IRBY: Lauren looked like she was enjoying herself, and Jaja had built a custom casket because Lauren wanted a death to my 30s...

SANDERS: Oh, my God.

IRBY: ...Birthday party (laughter). And there's a picture of Lauren twerking next to the casket. I mean, it was incredible television.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: So you have been recapping at this point more than 100 of these types of episodes. What big trend lines have you seen from all this Mathis content in terms of, like, human behavior? What does it all say about us and who we are?

(LAUGHTER)

IRBY: I will say that a thing that is surprising to me and almost uplift, makes me hopeful is that people do lend people lots of money and try to help them a lot more than you would think, right? I watched this case yesterday where this woman went to the bank and got a loan. Maybe she didn't go to the bank because it was a high interest loan. So maybe it was like maybe a payment loan (laughter). But she went and got this loan for this guy she had been dating for three months. And you know, I could be cynical and say, you fool. You barely know him. Of course, he didn't pay you back. But I'm choosing to be nice and think that's a very nice thing to do for a man who met on plentyoffish.com.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: There's good somewhere in there.

IRBY: Look at me being an optimist.

SANDERS: Come on, I'm here for it. We need it right now.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: All right, time for a break. When we come back, we play my favorite game Who Said That with Samantha Irby. BRB.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SANDERS: We are back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Sam Sanders here with the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Samantha Irby.

Hello.

IRBY: Hello.

SANDERS: We just talked a lot about "Judge Mathis," which was delightful, but we're not done with you yet. Will you play a game with me?

IRBY: Yes.

SANDERS: Thank you. It's my favorite game. You've played it before on this show years ago. It's called Who Said That.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA")

KANDI BURRUSS: Who had been saying that?

PORSHA WILLIAMS: Who said that?

KENYA MOORE: Who said that?

IRBY: Oh, my God. I did terribly at it. I'm going to try to do better this time.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Well, this is a weird week to play this game because it's, like, a fun quiz game about the week of fun, wacky news and the news has just been really depressing this week. So we went out on the lookout for just really benign foolishness. And we found some. And I'm happy to say it's going to be a few minutes of not nasty news from the world this week.

IRBY: Oh, thank God. OK, I'm ready. I love wacky foolishness.

SANDERS: There you go. There you go. Then this game is for you. All right, first quote, "I can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money I have." Who tweeted that?

IRBY: Oh, this - OK, I'm obviously too online because I know that it was Kylie Jenner.

(SOUNDBITE OF VICTORY TUNE)

SANDERS: Oh, my goodness. You're quick because that story just came out.

(LAUGHTER)

IRBY: Apparently I follow all of the wacky foolishness people online because that's been in my feed multiple times (laughter).

SANDERS: It's really amazing. So that tweet comes from Kylie Jenner of the Jenner-Kardashian clan. She was responding to this Forbes article that says she isn't as rich as everyone thought she was. Now, we all know that Forbes magazine itself declared her the youngest self-made billionaire like ever because of her lip kit cosmetic line that really went gangbusters. She was on the cover of Forbes, but now Forbes has investigated and says the math doesn't add up. She's not actually that rich. When you saw that, were you like sounds about right or whoa?

IRBY: I was surprised only because as a, like, regular person who has had some articles written about her I have been, like, fact-checked into the ground. And so I thought it was weird that Forbes didn't do the math. Like, I'm never answering another fact-checker question again.

SANDERS: Oh, yeah, because you don't have to.

IRBY: Yeah, why?

SANDERS: Just - OK. Let's call it right now. Samantha Irby, you're a billionaire, too.

IRBY: I am. A self-made one at that.

(LAUGHTER)

SANDERS: Exactly. Yes. This next quote is also about a very rich person. The quote is, "This is not a 'Harry Potter' spinoff." Who said that?

IRBY: J.K. Rowling.

(SOUNDBITE OF VICTORY TUNE)

SANDERS: Yes. I just love how no one can say anything bad about her. Everything she does are you're like yep, you're, right you're great, you're awesome. Stay rich.

IRBY: Is she writing another book?

SANDERS: She is. So she tweeted this week about writing a new standalone fairy tale. It's called "The Ickabog." She wrote it 10 years ago and then hid the manuscript away in her attic. She wanted it to just be personal and for her family. But now she's going to release it to kids - or to all of us - for free on her website during the lockdown. She'll release a couple of chapters every week, and she began doing that this Monday.

IRBY: Wow. Imagine, if you even can, being a writer who can afford to put an entire manuscript away.

SANDERS: Give away a book for free.

IRBY: Like, I don't know. I don't care.

SANDERS: Yeah.

IRBY: Every - I'd try to monetize my tweets if I could. I cannot imagine having a whole manuscript and being like - no, just gonna keep that.

SANDERS: Yeah, totally. All right. Last quote. And you might not know who said it, but guess what story I'm talking about. The quote is, "I'm on this bike every day. So if I can get on the bike and have people donate for me doing miles to help others, I'm all in." What's the most famous bike in the country right now?

IRBY: The most famous - Peloton, right?

(SOUNDBITE OF VICTORY TUNE)

SANDERS: Yes.

IRBY: OK. Woo.

SANDERS: How do you feel about the Peloton? I'm so tired of that thing.

IRBY: I mean, I thought the - that roasting the commercial was funny. But, you know, I don't know. I feel like if you have one, you are rich and have a place to put it. So then good for you. I don't know.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Yes, I agree. I agree. Peloton's back in the news this week because there's going to be a charity Peloton All-Star Ride. ESPN is teaming up with Peloton for a celebrity ride this weekend, a 20-minute Peloton race. There's gonna be 16 athletes total, some Olympians. It's gonna happen May 30. And they're gonna raise money for charity. But I'm just like - who wants to watch famous athletes ride a stationary bike for 20 minutes?

IRBY: I don't even know how that would work. I mean...

SANDERS: It's so - have we gotten that bored in quarantine?

IRBY: I - maybe.

SANDERS: Well, they're also getting the big athletes to do this stuff. So that quote that I read - it's actually from Miami Dolphins defensive back Adrian Colbert, a current NFL star. He's going to do this Peloton ride.

IRBY: OK. I mean, I'll tune in. I love to watch a big man on a bike, so count me in.

SANDERS: It is funny how, like, Peloton is, like, low-key the winner of everything. Like, when that ad came out around Christmastime last year, this ad of a man gifting his wife the Peloton stationary bike, which - everyone kind of said, that's dumb. After that, the Peloton kept selling. And after quarantine began, it sold even more. Like, mock Peloton if you will. They figured it out. They're making people buy a $2,000 bike. And we won't stop buying it.

IRBY: Yeah, they are laughing all the way to the bank.

SANDERS: Exactly.

IRBY: Which is the American way. Amen to it (laughter).

SANDERS: Yes, yes, yes. Speaking of the American way, you are a winner. You won the game against yourself.

IRBY: Thank you.

SANDERS: Samantha Irby, thank you so much. We'll talk before the next bestseller.

IRBY: OK. Thank you, Sam.

SANDERS: Thanks, again, to Samantha Irby. Her newest book No. 1 New York Times bestseller it's out now, and it's called "Wow, No Thank You." It's a collection of essays. All right. Now it's time to end the show as we always do. Every week, I ask our listeners to share with us the best things that have happened to them all week. We encourage folks to brag. They always do. Let's listen.

SARAH: Hi, Sam. This is Sarah (ph) in Washington, D.C. And the best part of my week was that I graduated college on my front porch with my four roommates. We Zoomed in our families to our online ceremony with a bottle of champagne in our pajamas. And it honestly was a super sweet graduation.

CECILY: Hey, Sam. It's Cecily (ph) from West LA. I'm a web designer who works from home, so the lockdown hasn't affected my work much. But I had a missing hole in my heart, so the best part of my week is that I adopted a rescue dog, a little 12-pound Brindle Pug.

MACKENZIE: Hey, Sam. This is Mackenzie (ph) from Philadelphia, Pa. And the best part of my week was being able to bring my two cats home from the hospital.

LYDIA: After five years and nine months, I finally defended my Ph.D. dissertation in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: I got to retire after 38 years as a police officer and a police chief. To make things even better, I proposed to my girlfriend. And she said yes.

SARA: Hi, Sam. This is Sara (ph).

DAN: And I'm Dan (ph). We're from Madison, Wis.

SARA: And the best part of our week is that - married.

DAN: We got married.

SUSAN: The best thing about my week was a surprise visit from my daughter. She drove 500 miles roundtrip from their home in Rochester, Minn., to our home in South Dakota to spend just one hour with me. It was a surprise for Mother's Day and my birthday. It was really the best gift a mother could have ever received.

SARAH: So thank you so much, Sam. Love the show.

SARA: Enjoy the rest of your week, Sam. We love the show.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: I hope your week was as good as mine.

MACKENZIE: Bye.

CECILY: Bye.

SANDERS: Many thanks to all those listeners - Susan (ph), Sara, Dan, Lydia (ph), Mackenzie, Cecily and Sarah. Listeners, you can be a part of this segment. Just record yourself or make a video and send that file to us at samsanders@npr.org.

All right. Listeners, one last thing. The whole month of June, we'll be doing a series on faith and spirituality, lots of conversations about belief stuff. I'll be talking with actors and comedians and musicians and writers and a lot of y'all, listeners, about what your faith has meant to them, especially during this pandemic. Trust me. It's a series of conversations that you can get into. Whatever your belief sitch is, it's for all of us. OK? I promise. Check it out. It's gonna be uplifting.

All right. This week, IT'S BEEN A MINUTE was produced by Jinae West, Anjuli Sastry, Andrea Gutierrez and Hafsa Fathima. We had engineering help from Gilly Moon. Our fearless editor is Jordana Hochman. Our director of programming is Steve Nelson. And our big boss is NPR senior VP programming Anya Grundmann. Listeners, till next time, thank you for listening. Stay safe. I'm Sam Sanders. Talk soon.

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