Tuesday, March 16, 2004 Danny Wallace claims he started a cult by accident. It's called Join Me!, also the title of his book, which is all about how he did it. We are skeptics – we haven't joined him, and we're not sure we trust him. He's so ... happy. The story goes that Wallace, inspired by an eccentric great-uncle's stymied efforts to start a commune, took out a small ad in a newspaper. It read simply "Join Me." People responded in surprising numbers, and soon considered him their guru of sorts. Although Wallace claims that he had no plans for "his" people, they began to demand that he command them to do something. Figuring it couldn't hurt, he asked them to do small, random, nice things for strangers. Like good cult members, they followed his directions to the letter, and now they go around buying beer for strangers and leaving flowers at senior citizens' homes. If you want to join, all you have to do is send your passport photo to Mr. Charismatic Leader, then take the leap of faith in believing that humans can be warm-hearted, silly, and fun. We're still not sure about that last part. Hear Wallace (and see some of his joinees) at 12:30 a.m. at Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market (at Second St.), S.F. Admission is free; call 421-4687 or visit www.staceys.com.
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