episodes

37 – Growth

in which you put your ear to a potted plant, the CEO festival is recapped, preparations are made for the Festival of the Dance, Corin patches things up with Brosephus, the Division of Sexual Experimentation is announced, Hell gets even weirder, the Division of Gleep Glorp has important news, and Paula Crumb “wins” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Do Evil Better.

Transcription:

What you are about to hear will never be heard in exactly the same way ever again. Cherish these moments.

Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries, we help you to Do Evil Better. I am Corin Deeth III, CEO of Kakos Industries. As always, it is wonderful to be bringing you these announcements. I can say with certainty that this is one of the best parts of my job. Of course, that was slightly more accurate before the CEO festival, but it remains true now, which should mean something for those of you who were in attendance. We’ll get to that later.

Today’s broadcast is coming to you from a potted plant. This isn’t a potato clock. Nor is it in your standard, run-of-the-mill shrieking ficus. This is actually a plant that is tuned into our transmitting frequencies that then produces sound. Our scientists in the Division of Audible Nature have been studying plants abilities to produce signals when in pain, and they harnessed that ability for this purpose. Let’s not dwell too much on the fact that these plants are in constant, unfathomable pain, okay? They’re plants. No one feels bad about killing plants. Who knows if they even suffer, okay? It’s definitely not a good time to have an existential crisis about the nature of life. It’s also definitely not a good time to wonder about what makes us different from other kingdoms of life, and it’s still not a good time to think about whether or not one can truly live without causing pain to other living things. Anyway, as far as I can tell, the long stem is the antenna, and the big flower is the speaker. In fact, I’m not sure that antenna is the right word. I’m told that the output cable in Soundman Steven’s booth is actually plugged into another plant. I don’t know if the plant is broadcasting, or if that even makes sense, but that’s what’s going on.

Did you enjoy the CEO Festival as much as I did, shareholders? It’s probably not possible that you did, but I sincerely hope you enjoyed yourselves. It was a truly magnificent event. When you first entered the basement ballroom, there was an open floor, with mood lighting, and music playing. Along one wall, there was a Kakos Taco buffet. In the rear of the building there was a VIP section reserved for me. Really, it was just a big, comfy chair elevated so that I could look out over the entire party. On several large screens, we could all watch the highlight reel from my first year and a half in office. There was the time I killed the awful mutant beast in the basement labyrinth. There was the time I climbed to the top of the building to save the baby thunderbirds who had just lost their mother. There was the time that I killed a mother thunderbird. Then there was the time I signed that one document that gave everyone an additional sick day. Wasn’t that charitable of me, shareholders? I mean, we were responsible for getting everyone sick in the first place, so maybe that was our bad. One at a time, your were allowed to approach me and discuss the wonderful things I’ve done here, and I did my best to let each and every one of you know just how important you are to us here at Kakos Industries. Certainly, it was my face on all of the floor-to-ceiling posters, but the CEO Festival is just as much a celebration of you as it is of me. I bet you were impressed I knew so many of your names. Don’t worry if I didn’t remember your name. It just means that you’re really not that important to us. But on the bright side, that means that you’re much less likely to be killed if we ever feel betrayed. Some of you took the opportunity to sit on my lap and ask me for things as though I were Santa Claus, or it was my daughter’s wedding day. I will say once again that I made no promise to do anything, but a few of you made convincing arguments, so I’ll see what I can do. After everyone had eaten and I had the opportunity to speak with many of you, there was, in true Kakos Industries double-edged style, a brief roast where some of the management here were given the opportunity to give me some… not-so-gentle ribbing. Grace Rule apparently reviewed all of the humor before letting anyone on stage, but I was a little impressed with what she let fly. For the record, I would like to say that I am not romantically involved with any of the reptiles kept in the terrarium. I’m not. Not even the sexy ones. Also, I’m not missing any pieces. Hailey didn’t actually eat any part of me. I’m also not really ticklish. Maybe a little. Also, I am just as good at killing as my grandfather was. Anyway, with their grievances aired, we could move onto the giant burning effigy. You see shareholders, we will not take any substitutions for Corin Deeth III. That’s why they made a big version of me and they burned it. That is the only possible explanation. Anyway, I like to think I have a good sense of humor about all of this. Then we got into the train cars that we haven’t exactly been able to remove from the basement ballroom for some old-fashioned fornication.

Coming up, we have yet another Festival of the Dance. Just like last year, you are required to dance everywhere you go, and also at all times when you get there. Whether you’re sitting, standing, lying down, or floating ominously, you will be required to cut a rug. Going to make copies? Step, ball change, start copier. Driving to work? Seat twerking. Do not worry if those around you don’t know what you’re doing or why. Our existence will always be unknown to them. If you feel uncomfortable or ridiculed, just remember that your real home is with us here at Kakos Industries. You don’t need those people. Friends don’t make fun of their friends’ dancing. Making their friends dance everywhere they go, however? Yeah, that’s something that friends do.

Shareholders, there appears to be some scratching at my window. I’m not sure what that is. Oh. Wow. I definitely don’t remember that tree leaning so close to the window. How strange. If I didn’t know better, I would say that the tree might even be clawing it’s way in here. I like that. It feels appropriate. You know what I mean? Raucous trees at Kakos Industries.

Brosephus returned from his vacation. He and I spent a couple of hours just talking about all of the fun things he did. It sounds like he had a great time, really. I think that everything is okay again between us. I mean, if he wanted to hold a grudge, he would certainly be justified. But maybe he just… doesn’t? I mean, what could that mean, really? You have the opportunity to let the darkness in, but you don’t? What about all of the good, double-edged pain? What about the awful burning sensation? What about getting even? You can just let the grudge go, sure, but what about Vendetta? What about knowing the only way to feel at ease is when there’s blood on your hands? And the floors and probably the walls? I clearly don’t understand this person. Maybe that’s why we’ve been paired up like this. Maybe I’m supposed to learn something. Or maybe they’re trying to soften me and make me more easy to replace. Not this time, executive board. I’m on to you.

In other news, Belladonnica has not yet been found. It is possible that she has gone back to wherever she was hiding before we found her, but none of us have any idea where that is. Grace has already turned the building upside down looking for her. Metaphorically, I mean. She asked to turn the building upside down literally, which was uncharacteristic for sure, but her request was denied. In addition to the logistical issues, I think that most of us are afraid of what we’ll find if we ever shake this place out. I can’t even imagine.

Let’s see, I haven’t updated you on Melantha in a while… well, the battle continues, but her forces seem to be weakening. Today, there was only one lawyer doing what seemed to be some sort of suicide mission, running headfirst into our building with a briefcase filled with the most incendiary of legal precedents. It didn’t seem to make much of a difference. It seems reasonable to me that (horrible noise) would just replace her as CEO, but I suspect there might be something tying her to the job. Anyway, it’s not my problem whatever happens to her or her company. I am beginning to wonder if there will ever actually be a day in some sort of nether court for all of this.

I haven’t updated you on the matter of all my extra Evil and just what I’m supposed to do with it. I just recently tried out Evimax, which is another standard treatment for this condition, but while I was using it, I couldn’t feel the Evil within me any more. That sounds, perhaps, like more of a blessing than it was. In the wake of all that Evil was a lot of numbness in my fingers and toes, and a burning sensation along all of my major nerves. At least it wasn’t cute animal videos this time, right? I’m waiting to see what comes next.

It’s probably not too hard for you to accept that the Sexual Innovation Division has been closed down. You see, they did successfully teach a penis to flirt, but they were not successful in teaching the penis to treat another human being like a human being. Could they have gotten closer in time? Perhaps. Could we have let the project go on a little bit longer without ending it entirely? Yes. In fact, this project might have one day grown to beautiful fruition. Maybe one day we could have had talking dicks that aren’t, well, dicks. But the fact of the matter is that every one of us here at Kakos Industries that had dealings with Jules or any of his fellow prototypes could not look at the SID the same afterwards. And so it must be disbanded. Many of their employees have been dismissed also for being terrible people. And not in the way we want. We’ve sentenced them to the Pit of Chaos, which is a place where we send out worst and most dangerous employees, where they are allowed to do anything to one another. We watch them from above in case there is any innovation to be gleaned. In place of the SID, we now have the Division of Sexual Experimentation. Doesn’t that just sound nice shareholders? It has a good ring to it. Sexual Experimentation. It brings an image to the mind. A beautiful, sexy someone sits on a warm rug, inviting you to join. No judgment, just experimentation. Nothing wrong with that. Anyway, I have to admit I was at least a little bit excited about this new direction, so I went down to visit them and find out what they’re working on. The short answer is “Fuckables”. The long answer is really long and disappointing and we don’t have time right now.

I am told that Kimmie and Maggie down in the Division of Uphill Battles have successfully removed the water from the top floor of Kakos Tower. I don’t feel like I have to remind you about Kakos Tower, or what happened to it. I mean, it was so horrible how could any of us forget about it? I still get shivers. I have never seen anything like that in my life. Apparently, apart from a few corpses, there wasn’t much on the top floor. You might be wondering why we can’t just send in dive teams to look at the structure. Well, the simple answer is that it’s not technically under water. We’re still not quite sure what the liquid is. It is really good at preserving human corpses, though. That is for sure.

I have more news from Hell. It seems that those brave explorers are still trying to carve out a life down there. I am told that, based on our estimates, it is extremely unlikely that any of the first wave of explorers are still alive down there, but fortunately there were several other waves. Problems that cannot be solved by ingenuity can usually be solved by just throwing more and more people at them. I am told that the explorers have discovered a small Guinea pig-like animal down there with really long teeth. I am told that it is cute and small, but when it bites you, you turn into some sort of zombie thing. A lot of people have been having a hard time with that, it seems. I mean it looks really cute. It doesn’t even matter that some of the people down there are actually trained scientists who study biology and are fully aware of safety procedures. Cute is cute. Sometimes you just ignore your better judgment and get zombified. I don’t know. The trading post down there has expanded and introduced some new wares. I had to take off the spider skin bracelet because it was beginning to turn my skin different colors, and we all decided it probably wasn’t healthy to go on like that. I am told there have also been some sightings of a large cyclops monster down there. Now there are people down there specifically hunting this one animal or humanoid thing. I’m assuming they want to mount its head on a wall or something. I don’t know. It’s kind of gross all told. But that’s why we don’t feel bad when they die down there. They are all assholes. Just awful people. Meanwhile, in the Hell labor camp, I am told that a militia has been organized to prepare for the coming threats from the dark caverns that surround the camp. It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter how exploited you are, there is always room for nationalism.

(Breaking glass)

Holy hell, shareholders, the tree outside just broke through the window. I really don’t remember there ever being a tree that close. And, if I’m not mistaken, there are a whole lot of bushes and flowers and vines that are much closer to the studio window than I remember. Soundman, do you think this might be due to the way we’re broadcasting today? Because if so, that would just be so awesome. One thing we’ve never done here at Kakos Industries is successfully made plants violent. We’ve made plants kill people, sure, and we all know what a horror the Echo Tree Forest is, but intent? That’s new territory. That’s some CEO bragging rights shit right there. Soundman Steven is just shaking his head. Apparently the plant connected to our lines in his booth has grown a bit more menacing. Soundman, if you ever feel like your life is in danger, I give you permission to come out of your booth. You’re too valuable to this operation. What’s that? I believe Soundman Steven is pantomiming the phrase “fear boner”. I agree. This is exciting.

I have news from the Division of Gleep Glorp. You know, shareholders, it’s been far too long since we’ve heard from them. They write, “Glom glomp glooey glom glomp. Rumpa ganooey lumpa pum ting. Glabooey boomba gloo, gloomba boomba glooey glomp pop. Wamma wimma wom womp, womp wamma wimma wom. Plimmy wimmy weemp mop meem, ham tam glooey glomp ming. Qua qua wampa wap, wappa weep weem. Glooey glomp gloo, glomp glom ting.” Thoroughly enlightening as always.

The Division of Performance Art has good news. I am told that they have developed a new method of conveying deep meaning. I am told this new methodology is called “Sobbing on Stage to Johnny Cash’s Cover of Hurt.” I have no doubt that this new development will help them to convey the darkest of emotions in a totally non-cliche fashion. I can see nothing wrong with what they have developed here. As far as I am concerned, Evil is done as long as they are convincing anyone that performance art is a thing that has ever changed someone’s mind about something, or ever even conveyed a meaningful thought.

They say that once you go black, you have to go blacker. This is things we’re taking credit for now. This week, we’re taking credit for spooky shadows, unexplained noises, and fear itself. If you happen to disagree with anything we’ve taken credit for, then it would be best for you not to turn around for a little while. What was that sound?

Paula Crumb has won this week’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, the life of her nemesis will be ruined. Paula has selected Michael Puck as her target. The Wheel of Misery spun several times around its many, many possible landing places, and it finally arrived at “Constantly on Fire”. From this day forward, Michael Puck will be constantly on fire. I think we have a way to prevent that from killing him, but it’s gonna be uncomfortable for sure. For good measure, Paula Crumb will be warm. Best of luck. Congratulations on the win.

Oh, um… shareholders, without my noticing, it appears that the trees and vegetation outside have worked their way into the studio, and, oh no… It looks like they’ve worked their way into the sound booth. It appears that Soundman Steven has been gesturing loudly at me for some time, but I didn’t think to look. They’ve got him shareholders. It appears that he is in some sort of trouble. He’s wrapped in vines and branches. Fortunately, I have a hatchet attached under the table here. I’m… I’m going in. I hope that none of you are experiencing similar troubles.

(A chopping sound)

The… numbers… are next.

(Another chopping sound)

18

(chop)

27

(chop)

34… Don’t you dare die on me!

(chop)

295

(chop)

86… fuck you, plants!

(chop)

295… it’s the broadcasting plant. It’s sending a distress signal. I have to kill it, shareholders.

(chop)

180

(chop)

One-hundred nine- (chop)

Kakos Industries is written and produced by Conrad Miszuk, who is also the voice of Corin Deeth. The music is also composed by Conrad Miszuk. The introduction is read by Kim Aiello, and the credits are read by Hanna Jones, who is currently peeping. Check out KakosIndustries.com for more episodes. There’s also transcriptions if you’d rather read the Kakos Industries announcements. That’s K-A-K-O-S-I-N-D-U-S-T-R-I-E-S dot com. Please check out store.KakosIndustries.com for merchandise and special offers. Questions, comments, or a strong desire to collaborate? Drop us a line at inquiries@kakosindustries.com. If you like Kakos Industries, be sure to rate and review us on your favorite podcasting service, and connect with us on Facebook (facebook.com/kakosindustries), Tumblr (kakosindustries.tumblr.com), and Twitter (@KakosIndustries).

If you’re feeling down after this broadcast, have you considered promiscuity?

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