Mulholland Books Popcorn Fiction Popcorn Fiction - Thank You for Considering My Cult by Larry Doyle
Popcorn Fiction
About Popcorn Fiction Previous stories Letters to the editor Subscribe Submissions

Welcome to a new cult in this funny tale by award-winning humorist Larry Doyle.

Thank You for Considering My Cult

You picked a great day to visit.  We have meat on Sundays.

Meat, meat, meat, meat...

Ignore those guys. They're nuts. C'mon, let me show you around. I think you're going to love it here.

If you don't mind, could I ask how you heard about us? It wasn't Nightline? That Cynthia McFadden, oh boy. She draws you into those dreamy green pools of hers, and next thing you know you're saying all sorts of bizarre crap. Creepy, how she does that.

Don't step in that bejeweled area. I spat there once, and some consider it "sacred ground." They'd kill you before I could stop them.

So you know, then: we are the Mighties of David, after the ragtag band of warriors the giant-slayer assembled to battle the Elders of Zion. I'm David, but not that David. It's just a happy coincidence.

Hey, Eleazar, Son of Dodai! One of my top Mighties, this fella, in charge of explosives and root vegetables. You can shake his hand, perfectly safe. We do all our own prosthetics here; our guy, Abishai the Extremity Maker, did the arm for the first Terminator. Those knuckles are fully articulated, by the way. Don't worry; it won't crush you.

Okay, broad strokes: We're a democracy up here. How we do that is we achieve a consensus through me, which I pronounce and it's written in stone, then tossed on the Pile of David. Bigger stone means bigger law. A few of the biggest: Tithing is 80 percent, before agency commissions; sexual activity is permitted, pending my availability on first come first served basis; and, well, those are the two big ones.

Over in this area are the sleeping pits, and right next to that is the prayer/jerk circle—still a couple open spots if you're interested, right next to Benaiah the Grub Hunter or Jashobeam the Ant Piper, or you could squeeze in between Shammah the Sin Eater and Zalmon the Body Cleanser, sons of Anthony Quinn, the Zorba the Greek.

Well, maybe later then.

Okay, those tents, right to left: latrine, abattoir, showers, canteen. We've got to get some signs up. And down there, through those trees, you can see the lake where they shot the opening to the old Andy Griffith Show.

Ooh, sorry, didn't see you, Eliphelet! Of all of my Mighties, all of whom would give an arm or a leg, none have given as much or as generously as Eliphalet the Frequently Chosen.

You just sort of tug on his ear.

Our beliefs? You know, it's funny; most people don't even ask that. Pretty basic. We're fighting the Elders of Zion, who control the means of production through wickedness and vertical integration. That's why we're ideally situated up here in the hills; we can make sorties at will against Paramount to the south and Disney and Universal in the Valley; Fox and Sony are less than a day's march. Interesting note: this whole encampment was once owned by another King, King Vidor. And later by Sheila E. Frankie Muniz donated it when he joined. I'd introduce you, but he's in the Enlightenment Box right now, learning the meaning of off the top.

Now I don't want you to get the impression that this is some sort of fantasy paradise. I mean, it's a great space and this is the swellest bunch of guys, and gal. But we're in an epic struggle here. This time it really is David versus Goliath. Thus, the pile of stones.


They do love their meat. And they've earned it. Can you stay for dinner?

Wonderful. Listen, could you reach into this bladder and pull out a pebble?

It's a tradition.

No, you're our guest, you go first. Any pebble.

You got the red one! And on your first try.


Welcome, Brother. Let's eat.

About the Author

Larry Doyle was born on planet Earth. His novel I Love You, Beth Cooper won the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor. His new novel is Go, Mutants. More, mostly reliable, information can be found at