There are few cults as secret or feared as the cult of the teacup. Not only do its followers dabble in the occult, and commit heinous crimes so bad that they are never to be spoken about, but also it is nigh on impossible to tell who is a member. This is due to the object of their veneration- the fine bone china teacup- being so widespread, and it is not until you notice that your host is buttering the wrong side of the bread that you realise the danger you are in. By then it is too late.
There are many theories as to the origins of the cult, but none date back to before the invention of bone china, for obvious reasons. There was a scholarly debate between Professors Higgins and Buschkamer as to whether the teacup needs to be plain or patterned, but this was never resolved, and indeed petered out after the discovery of the latter dead with cake-crumbs scattered all over the room in which he lay. Even more sinister, an upside-down portrait of Earl Grey was hanging from the wall, and he had been stabbed to death with a shard of shattered teapot.
Not all the cult’s work is bad; many testify that the cream-cakes made by the devotees taste far better than those available in even the best shops, and regardless of any satanic rituals utilised in their manufacture you cannot criticise a good cream-cake. In fact this is the main source of recruits for the cult, as the greatest theologians have authoritatively declared that the sole substance that can be used to replace a soul sold to the devil is something milky with plenty of carbs. The fact that this declaration came at the seventy-fifth annual theological wine and spirits festival shortly after the drink ran out is generally regarded as immaterial, and does not detract from its validity one iota. Besides, the woman serving us tea now has very long knitting needles indeed, and we would not want to argue.