Becoming a Cult Hero

Posted by Alison Zeidman

Oh God. The asteroid is hurtling towards earth. We’re all going to die.

So I’m going to join a cult.

If anyone’s going to figure out a way to appease the asteroid and/or find the keys to the pearly gates of the afterlife, it’s going to be a cult.

And they’re not going to be all, “drop to your knees and beg forgiveness for your horrible sins” or “if you weren’t taking birth control, God wouldn’t be pissed off at us.”

They’ll be like, “hey, can you shake this tambourine for me while I go light some incense and make us all s’mores?”

If the world is ending, I want someone to reassure me that everything will be OK, and just tell me what to do, preferably in an authoritative-yet-soothing British accent. It’s rough having to use my free will all the time, and I can’t imagine trying to make the millions of little day-to-day decisions I face every day with the additional stress of an impending armageddon.

Why run around with all that anxiety when I could be wearing a sheet, sitting in a drum circle and trying to paint butterflies on my face without looking in a mirror?

I’m going to be discerning about the cult I choose, though. I have a shoe collection I hold very dearly, and I’m not chucking it for a pair of Nikes just because the world’s ending.

And the cult I join had better have sugar-free Kool-Aid in their communal outdoor kitchen/shower/dodgeball court, because I ain’t strollin’ into the afterlife carrying an extra twenty pounds. What’s the point of being in heaven if I have to be fat when I get there? Ew.

Once I pledge my soul to the stars/unicorns/astrophysicists/spider angels, though, that asteroid better hit us pretty quickly. When it comes down to it, I know I’m an overachiever; I’d probably get tired of being a minion. I’d be three days into handweaving pot holders and singing John Denver songs, and all of a sudden I’d be like, what am I doing? Am I really living up to my potential here? Is this really a position where I’m going to learn new skills and grow? By gum, I have a college degree! I’m a go-getter! I should be running this cult!

So I’d step up in front of all the other flower children/degenerates/99 percenters and I’d give a speech with all the fervor and emotion of a James Brown performance, circa 1964. And then to really make my point, I’d grab our authoritative-yet-soothing British leader by the throat, slit his jugular, and drink his spurting blood through a bendy straw, one of those ones with a little plastic Mickey Mouse hanging off the loops.

And everyone would be so impressed that they’d fall to their knees and applaud, and exalt me as their god, which would seriously piss off the asteroid.

And then it’d kill us all instantly and we wouldn’t get to go to heaven at all, we’d just be banished to an afterlife where we’re trapped for eternity in a New Jersey diner where time is perpetually stuck at 2am, and they’re always, always out of pie.

Alison Zeidman is a founding member of the independent Philadelphia improv team Malone and a contributing writer for WitOut, Philly’s leading comedy blog.

Before moving to Philadelphia in 2011, Alison lived in Manhattan for four years. She attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and freelanced for Time Out New York while maintaining a glamorous lifestyle à la Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, thereby proving it totally is realistic that someone could live like that on a columnist’s salary, you guys.

You can read more from Alison at her sporadically updated blogs, and