Ira Glass is on the stage at the Troy Music Hall Saturday night. He's talking about this shark attack story that ran on This American Life. It's gruesome. A woman describes fighting off the shark, getting condescending medical attention, and the feeling as an infection took over her body. But that's not really what this is about. It's about what happened to a bunch of people who heard that shark story -- and what happened to a person in the audience in Troy (music up)...
Ira explains that a line of his narration -- a graphic description of the internal injuries caused by the shark attack -- prompted people around the country to pass out. Yes, actually lose consciousness. Because of something he said. One woman had been at the wheel of her car and only woke up after rear-ending another vehicle.
Ira's talking about how this must have been a small slice of the people listening, the improbability of all this ...(music fade out)
Then it happened. People start standing in the audience, stage-left. Someone has passed out. Ira Glass has just knocked out another person.
The paramedics came, the person got medical attention. And we heard today from the Troy Music Hall that he's doing fine. It was dehydration, and the warm room, and the story.
Act 2: Vasovagal response -- how words, yes, simple words -- can cause a person's blood pressure to precipitously drop...
The Troy Music Hall advertises on AOA.
photo: Stuart Mullenberg
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