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What Sort of Cult or Gang Do You Belong To? 

Week of April 7, 2004

Vanessa Carroll
"I don't belong to any gangs or cults that I'm aware of -- oh wait, Eric Stoltz! I'm in the Eric Stoltz gang. He's a great actor; I mean, I fell in love with him during Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- hello? -- and I named my dog after that character. For two weeks I tried calling my little puppy [by] calling out in the yard, 'Stoner Bud Number Two, c'mere boy!' But that didn't work, so I changed his name, and now it's Stoltz."

Paul Arthur
Bartender, JackSons'
"My brother and I moved here from South Africa. We're aliens here in the States, though we have green cards. But since we got here, they call us the 'A.W.s.' That stands for 'African Whores.' So my brother is A.W. One and I'm A.W. Two, and we joke around that we're in a club called A.W.s' African Retreat. See, St. Louis is our retreat until we go home or move on to somewhere else. And I'd say it's more a cult, because everybody wants to join. Everyone wants to come from South Africa; it's a cool place."

Tracyi Brooks
Restaurant Gypsy
"I'm 33 and my friends cannot believe that I'm still listening to hip-hop and rap, but it's my favorite, so I still belong to that club, cult, posse, whatever you want to call it. And there aren't too many of us senior members, because [it] seems everybody over 30 is now into jazz and R&B, but it's still hip-hop for me."

Attilio D'Agostino
Art Director, Alive Magazine

"I'm the leader of a gang of marauding fitness fanatics. We meet under the cover of darkness. If you ever wake to find your Twinkies and potato chips replaced with protein powders, power pills and granola, you'll know we've struck."

Stephanie Hafertepe
Owner/Bartender, Crabby's Bar & Grill

"I'd like to be in the millionaire's cult -- do they have cults? I'm tired of hanging out with the poor and the unknown. I think I'd like to hang out with the rich and famous for a while."

Daniel Wetteroff
Runner-up, 2003 National Speed Typing Competition
"I'm a founding member of the Church of Cheese. We're an Internet-based cult -- or we were. At one time we had 250 members from all over. On Fridays we'd all get together and talk about things like cryogenics and the war [in Iraq] and, of course, cheese. And then GeoCities, the host, shut us down because they said we were talking about world domination. Basically if you joined it, you got to say, 'I'm a member of the Church of Cheese.'"

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