Selected Shorts: Jacques Cousteau

When I was a kid, I did not want to be a writer. I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau. I watched old repeats of his TV show, and dreamed of scuba diving with whales. Cousteau seemed to have it all wrapped up—as an inventor, explorer, and activist. It’s no wonder that his life inspired Wes Anderson to make The Life Aquatic, and T.C. Boyle to write “Rapture of the Deep,” featured on this week’s Selected Shorts. Performed by our own Isaiah Sheffer, this hilarious story imagines a mutiny taking place on the Calypso, over the only thing Frenchmen value more than adventure or romance: croissants, pâté, and a nice Bordeaux. In this fictional turn, Cousteau becomes a nemesis to his hungry crew but retains his dignity and honor, along with his stylish cap and pipe. The second story in our program also features food as an emotional turning point, in “Wanting an Orange,” by Larry Woiwode, performed by Michael Keck. Make your journey through stormy seas and kitchens this week, on podcast, or at your local public radio station.