67 – Sample
in which we are introduced to the Evil Measure, the Festival of Cold is recapped, plans are made for Yule, you get a headache, and something terrible happens. TW: Physical Violence.
What you are about to hear is just lip smacking for like 20 minutes.
Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries, we help our clients to Do Evil Better. I am Corin Deeth III, CEO. Shareholders, I have to admit that we are coming to you from a somewhat compromised position today. You see, there’s this thing called The Evil Measure, and it makes sure that we’re doing enough Evil by springing a sample window on us. We don’t know when it’s coming, and we often don’t find out that we’re in a sample window until it’s mostly over. The sample window adds up our net good and Evil actions as a company, and if they’re not Evil enough, well, there are consequences. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Last time, I mentioned that I had asked the Division of Erotic Experiences to try something a little more mainstream. As you may recall, they were researching ancient sexual documents, hoping to bring those ancient maneuvers to a modern audience. The mainstream idea they had was to develop a mind-reading computer that supplied the user with a steady stream of the perfect pornography that they’re looking for. Well, progress on that particular project went much faster than expected and nearly every adult in a developed country ended up with one of these devices. Progress as a species stopped. The economy was ground to a halt. Some people starved. Many others died of dehydration. The porn was too good. And the algorithms managed to generate a simply unbelievable amount of new content. I was never hooked up to this machine, but I am told that the experience was irresistible. Any time you might finish or get bored with what you were seeing, it generated something new based on the small whispers in the back of your mind that hint at something that might bring your sex drive rushing back. Deeper, darker, weirder. Whatever you’ve seen fit to repress in your lives was given to you in extreme detail. As you can imagine, this is an Evil thing. In fact, we scored off the charts for Evil. But it’s one of those Evils that just might kill everyone on the fucking planet if we aren’t careful, so we’ve recalled every single device. At times, we had to rip you out of the virtual reality immersion, which is never safe. But we are now in possession of every single device again and we are in the process of recycling them as well as collecting any genetic material we think we might be able to use. If you’re having trouble remembering the time you were hooked up to this machine, then it’s probably because your brain went into a state of erotic runaway. Every function that was not necessary to sexuality was amplified, and every other function, including short term memory was dimmed. As a coping mechanism, you might remember some mundane things instead, like going to work or dealing with your family. The trouble that we are having now is that the rebuilding process we’ve undergone to make sure that there are still people to do Evil on is itself a somewhat good activity. I know, we brought the world to the brink of destruction, which is Evil no doubt. But making sure that people survived is good. Net Evil, yes. But the sample window I was talking about a few moments ago didn’t start until we were rebuilding society. So we didn’t get credit for nearly destroying civilization, but we did get credit for saving the planet. That left us with an enormous deficit, requiring us to squeeze several months worth of Evil into a few days. We can’t delay the sample window or change the start time. And if we fail to meet the standard for Evil, there is a big list of austerity measures that automatically kick in, and believe me when I say that they are not fun. There’s a lot of widespread pain, etc., until we get back on track, as assessed by the next sampling window, which could be years from now. We’re doing everything we can to prevent that scenario, but if we don’t make it in time, Soundman Steven and I have discussed a… plan to make up some points quickly. I’ll get into this more in a little while. Suffice it to say, when Jasmine Aashna in the Division of Erotic Experiences sarcastically suggests an idea, that does not mean that she and her team will not execute it perfectly and make you regret ever asking them to change course.
Today’s broadcast is coming to you from something you love that has been destroyed by us. We’ve really had to hit that Evil quota hard, and we’ve had to pull out all of the stops. I cannot say for certain what item of yours we’ve mercilessly stomped, punted, or burned, but I can say that it will never be the same, and the memories it contained are now only in your heads. Also, we stuck a small speaker and antenna in the wreckage so that you could hear from us. I know that this hurts, shareholders, but it’s something we had to do. Whatever it is that you’ve lost will in time fade in your memory, but for right now it is some incredibly important Evil for us. If you’re not a shareholder, and you’re hearing this announcement, then oh, boy, are you in for it. Ordinarily, I’d make some vague threats about your general well being or impending doom, but we don’t have time for that today. If you’re not a shareholder, then just wait. We’ve got some people coming to visit you. They are members of the Division of Kicking the Shit Out of Things. They wear large boots. And they will be going apeshit on your possessions, on you, and on anyone nearby. Again, this isn’t how I like to do things. It’s too personal. But we’re desperate here, and we’d much rather bring the majority of the hurt on people that are not members of our ranks. I can’t apologize. I can’t express sympathy. This is a darkness that we have to take on ourselves and live with, knowing that it is necessary for our way of life.
The Evilometer on my wall here looks like a big thermometer, but filled with some sort of black liquid. Along the side are numbers. I cannot say for certain what the unit is, but it is clear when we are making progress. When the sample window began, there was only a little bit of shimmery metallic liquid in the bottom. It has gotten darker as the liquid level has risen with the Evil we’ve done. It is not yet fully black because we are still operating below the neutral mark, after which we still have to make up the usual quota. Which is still a lot of Evil, as you can imagine. I should also mention that we only have until roughly the end of the broadcast to get where we need to be. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t even mention the Evil Measure because the few times it has come up, we’ve handled it with no problem. This is different. It looks like the Evil from the Division of Kicking the Shit Out of Things is coming in. It’s a lot. A lot more than I expected. It… it just might push us back into the black, shareholders. Yes, we’re back above the neutral point. The liquid is now fully black. I don’t detect any reflections at all. Now we just have to come up with a week’s worth of Evil in less than half an hour. We can do this, shareholders. Everyone is at work here chugging out Evil. New ideas. New pains. We’re even, as I explained just previously, returning to some old fashioned violence out of desperation. We’ll make this happen. I will not allow Kakos Industries to be thrust into austerity measures.
The Festival of Cold actually helped us to get some Evil points early in the sample window. It was just… cold. So cold. I was obligated to stay for a few hours, but I was cold the entire time. The Tundra Lawn is always cold, it’s true. But sometimes it is colder than others. When you are surrounded by ice structures and you’ve been handed nothing but iced beverages, you begin to understand cold on a whole new level. Several of you died during the festivities. Others were injured by the cold. Others had a marvelous time. The Festival of Cold was broken up into several larger sections of the massive ice castle we built. There was the dance floor, where we played the coolest tunes we could. We also had to bring in a lot of cold air to keep the body heat from melting the surroundings. We figured that flooding the room would be negligence, and negligence, while Evil, is a weak form of Evil. At least that’s what we thought at the time. In another space, we had the finest dining experiences you can have where the only ingredients are ice and artificial flavors. Make no mistake, these were not the snow cones you grew up with. Our flavor scientists developed some frozen treats that you would easily mistake for a filet mignon were it not much, much colder. In yet another chamber, there was an open space where shareholders were invited to sit on the floor and meditate on the concept of cold, to cultivate an inner resistance to cold, and to find enlightenment through cold. We lost a few of you. In the final chamber, we had everything set up for a snowball fight, but with even colder snow. It got pretty brutal. All in all, I’m personally glad it’s over. There has been a chill in my bones that I haven’t been able to get out yet.
We just did an assessment of our employees here at Kakos Industries and we’ve just fired a few hundred of the least Evil and most annoying. The Evilometer has inched up slowly. We still have a ways to go. We’ve also let a whole lot of monsters out of their cages. They’re running around the building and also out in the wild. Please be careful, shareholders. This will likely have consequences we cannot even foresee at this time. There, we’re inching up a little bit more. Also, our new cutest GMO animal has just been given a virus that will make it and every one of its progeny just mean. There’s a little more Evil. We’ll get there. I am confident that the plan Soundman and I came up with will not be necessary.
Coming up, shareholders, we have Yule. As you might remember, we made several beings of pure Evil, the KakoKrampi, to celebrate and punish all of the world’s Evil children. Unfortunately, the KakoKrampi fell in love and have been pretty useless as entities of Evil since. To help with our Evil deficit, we introduced a third KakoKrampus to try to break up the love fest. To cut to the chase, it worked. A brief love triangle among the KakoKrampi developed with both of the original KakoKrampi falling for the new Krampus monster. The new Krampus, it seems, is not interested in multiple partner relationships, and asked that the others choose. Well, it didn’t go well, and they are all back to doing Evil: picking out those promising Evil youths, punishing adults, and thwacking people with sticks. They just happen to be doing it individually. They’ve divied up their areas so that they do not overlap, and I suspect that they will not want to see each other for some time. I have my suspicions that they will work it out in the end. At our Yule festivities, I will be responsible for donning the Krampus costume again. For your enjoyment. Not mine.
Shareholders, I am embarrassed to admit that, in an effort to bring about some Evil, I finally slept with one of my secretaries. It seems that I made a mistake, and accidentally slept with the one that actually does work, enraging the two who do not. I really thought she was one of the ones that was paid to… be available. They didn’t make it clear enough, okay? Anyway, it was a transgression of my role as her employer, and we both had a pretty good time. Also, we’ve tightened up our control in Hell. Meredith Gorgoro, the expert physical trainer that gets the most out of all of their bodies there in Hell, has found ways for the laborers to move large boulders by rolling on the outside of them. This means that they are attached to the boulder, and it periodically rolls over them as they travel. She’s also developed a machine that requires huge amounts of effort from a single laborer to turn the gears required to arm a mechanism. Then the device uses all of that stored up force to strike the laborer in the stomach with a synthetic fist. I’m told it does wonders for the ab muscles. By the way, we’ve recently changed the classification of Hell into a fitness spa, which saves us money on legalities and also increases Evil. We’re still not quite high enough on the Evilometer, though. We are making remarkable progress. I should mention, shareholders, that the headache you’re experiencing, and you are experiencing a headache, is caused by the pain goblins we released. Everyone on earth will soon be having a skull splitting headache for a few days. It’s really helping the Evil level on the Evilometer. I should mention that the pain goblins are another genetically modified organism, and that they should die out within a few days of release here. Also, we’ve removed a color from the spectrum. You probably didn’t notice, but the color ochre is now gone. It’s been replaced in your brain by another color, but it is gone forever. You will never again see real ochre. Instead, you will just see what your brain fills in the gap with. I will tell you that ochre was an amazing color that was universally loved before we removed it forever. And even after all of that we are still falling short somehow. Looks like maybe 400 units. I don’t know how much Evil that is. If you really knew how many things come without instruction manuals here at Kakos Industries, shareholders, you would be surprised.
Moving down the list of Evils I’ve prepared, I am authorizing Timothy Agamemnus from the Division of Linguistic Gymnastics to forget one of the dying languages he knows. He may very well be the last person who knows North Aqueminan. We are destroying a language. Yes, we’re getting close, shareholders. That’s another maybe 70 units. And I am reading here in my email that we’ve successfully made a smaller dog. The finish is in sight, shareholders. Less than 300 units now.
They say that idle hands do the devil’s work. They never seem to comment on all of the Evil done by busy hands. This is Things We’re Taking Credit for Now. This week we’re taking credit for perfect weather, your favorite food, and your fondest memories. There, we’ve added a few ticks to the Evilometer. Excellent. As always, we can’t know for certain that we are responsible for these things, but isn’t it unsettling to think about all the same? That maybe your favorite things are actually things we did? That we’re secretly organizing your life? That we’re secretly undermining your positive feelings? There’s a few more ticks for us.
The Tiffany P. Clearaclee Memorial Lobby has won this week’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. It says here in parentheses that yes, that is a person. As a result, The Tiffany P. Clearaclee Memorial Lobby’s nemesis’s life will be ruined. Ms. Memorial Lobby has selected Guy Alpaca as her nemesis. Unfortunately, we began spinning the Wheel of Misery before we knew about this whole Evil Measure sample window thing, so we weren’t able to influence its decision. It spun for some time until it landed on the space for “surprising”. The Damnation and Ruination squad, who now wear neon green skin tight jumpsuits, neon green motorcycle helmets, and carry white walking sticks for some reason unknown to me, will now be tasked with making Guy Alpaca surprising. I do not have the details of what they are going to do, but the desired result is that “literally everyone who sees Guy will be so surprised by him as to be completely uncomfortable spending time with him.” That is Evil indeed. For good measure, The Tiffany P. Clearaclee Memorial Lobby will be a little less surprising in every way. Congratulations on the win and best of luck.
Shareholders, we’re at the end of the broadcast now. We have mere minutes to make our quota or the austerity measures kick in. The austerity measures are grizzly. I don’t want to frighten you by telling you any more. It’s hard enough for me to see the words on the page. And the mockingly cartoonish illustrations. Soundman, we are less than a hundred units from the quota. I am pained to say that, for the good of the company, we may need to go ahead with our plan after all. He’s nodding. Shareholders, I have one of my grandfather’s revolvers here on my desk. It’s loaded and in working order. If we can’t come up with the last few points of Evil, then I am going to have to use this weapon to shoot Soundman Steven. He’s nodding again. He understands, shareholders. He’s not going to make this easy on me. You could at least fight a little bit. He’s too kind and too great of an ally for that. I can’t allow him to shoot me. Nor can either of us do harm to ourselves. It’s just not Evil enough. We’re so close, shareholders. I can’t believe that this is happening. But the company needs us, Soundman. It needs our sacrifice. It needs the Evil of this betrayal. You have always been the best, Soundman, and I know that I will regret this for the rest of my life. Soundman is gesturing wildly at me now. You don’t have to stay silent. We all understand that this is a difficult time. Or are you trying to make this easier for me? Giving me the fight I requested. I understand. No, he’s showing me the Evilometer. It’s… We made it shareholders! We made the quota. Just barely, but we made it! Oh, I’m so relieved. We’ve saved the company, soundman. We’ve done it. Let’s get through the numbers and call it a day. The drinks are on me.
Wait, no! We’ve dipped below again! I thought the time was up! Who did something good! Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
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 all that and a bag of chips. Check out KakosIndustries.com for more episodes. There’s also transcriptions if you’d like to read along with 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 and become a patron at kakosindustries.com/patreon. Questions, comments, or a strong desire to collaborate? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
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If you’re feeling down after this broadcast, have you considered reading a graphic novel?