103 – Anticel
In which some serious grinching occurs, Junior cares for some infants, preparations are made for Yule and the Zestival, Hell gets festive, Dunk and Jasmine continue to avoid one another, the Tabithas become eerily silent, and Camillo Cerigata “wins” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Do Evil Better.
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Intro: What you are about to hear is the extinction of another species we could have saved.
Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries we help every adult, every young adult, every middle-aged person, every octogenarian, every baby, and everyone else to Do Evil Better. Our clients are typically made up of people, so this includes all of them. My name is Corin Deeth III and I am CEO here at Kakos Industries. There is snow falling in the northern hemisphere. The nights are getting shorter and shorter. It is definitely THAT time of year, shareholders. But I’ll get to that more in a bit. Did you enjoy the Halloween celebration? I know that I did. After getting that tape, with, you know, the stuff on it, I decided to try to take my mind off of things by diving into the festivities myself. I combined the several punches in just the right proportions and I got myself into that perfect headspace to just let loose. And let loose I did. I danced a little. I ate a small slice of cake. I chatted with a few friends about how things were going. I watched a few people fall in love. And I realize I don’t think I mentioned what my costume was during the announcements. Well, if you missed it, then that is unfortunate. I don’t think I can tell you now. You just wouldn’t understand. It was totally right for the moment, but now? Anyway, I had a wild time. I looked around for Jasmine and Dr. Dunkelwissen to see if they were getting along any better since their accidental revelations. I did not find them. I found Junior with the Dana Govern babies. Is he their governess? Or would it be governor? That doesn’t sound right. What’s that Soundman? That’s not what a governess is? That’s fair. Anyway, Junior had the babies dressed in little costumes. They’re not allowed to have candy yet. I think. I don’t actually know how babies work. It was cute. I also tried to check in on Violet Trudge, who seemed to be everywhere at once, but I couldn’t find her at any of the divisions she was at previously. Nor was she anywhere else. I don’t know how I managed to catch her by phone every single time, but not once in person. I worry about her a little bit. No one can work that hard without taking some serious time off. By our estimation, she has nearly a year of accumulated vacation time based on hours worked. Our data scientists in the Division of Accounting are concerned that when she does clock out, it might cause the system to “implode”. I don’t know how data could ever implode, but they are working to avoid that situation. Violet probably won’t clock out for a good while anyway. It’s possible that her heart might give out before she ever goes home, in which case we will not have to pay out those vacation hours. You know, we might need to study her more closely. She’s obviously miserable, but she does work really hard. If we could create a gene construct of her work ethic, or bottle her chemical balances, then maybe we could get the rest of our staff to work a little harder, too. I’ll add that to my list of things to bring up at the next board meeting.
I am told that you are receiving this broadcast via an old portable tape player, and an old cassette, the variety of both you have never seen before. It is a rare format. So rare, it might not actually exist anywhere else. I’ve been looking through our tape archives. It seems that my grandfather left a lot of notes on tape, and I was hoping I might be able to find some more. So far, I have not had any luck, but I am hopeful. What I did find was this huge stash of these old tape players. I asked around and no one could remember what they were for. All of the tapes were blank. The Division of Organization said that they would really like to get the space back, so I decided we should try to retrofit these devices with some sort of radio. The tape isn’t actually doing anything inside, but apparently the tape needs to be turning in order for any sound to come out, so we included one. It’s not going to be of much use anyway because it’s very old and the iron coating is disintegrating. The audio quality was assessed by the Division of Radio Transmission to be “okay”. It’s not a great unit. That is likely why we kept them so long. It says that the energy supply is… a small nuclear reactor inside of the device. Fuck. We should not have sent those out. I’m sorry shareholders. If you’re listening now, you’ve got to stick around until the end. What kind of radiation are these things giving off? We don’t know? What the hell. Anyway, this broadcast is exclusively for Kakos Industries shareholders, and if you’re not a shareholder, you had better do something Evil quick. Otherwise, you’ll stay not a shareholder, and your radiation exposure will be far worse. Our shareholders are just kind of more resilient, you know? It’s definitely not any sort of apocalypse preparation treatment we’ve given you without your knowledge or consent.
This Black Friday, we notified everyone that we had a deal on Blumn. You know Blumn. It’s the best shit. We advertised the deal everywhere. Was two-hundred dollars? Now it’s seven. One day only. Was $35.50? Now it’s nine cents. What an unbelievable deal. We had people lined up in the Kakos Industries lobby weeks in advance. The line stretched around the building three times, and it is nothing if not a girthy structure. We took anyone who was inside outside at least once every couple of days to hose them off. There were seventeen fights in line. Three people died. One was an apparent murder. The other two were health related. An oddly large number of people reported waking up in excruciating pain only to find one of their toenails missing. We never got to the bottom of that. And after all of that, we brought people into the shop one by one to tell them that Blumn is not a real thing. For Evil measure, we gave ’em a swift kick in the ass on their way out. Exciting stuff. There was also a photo taken at the moment of their disappointment. We really outdid ourselves on that one. Honestly, I don’t know what people were expecting. Except, I went outside later that day for a walk around the various lawns here at Kakos Industries, and I saw that there was a food truck catering to these disappointed people. The truck said “Get Your Blumn” on the side. I still don’t know what the hell Blumn was, but it appeared to be pink, and best served on a waffle cone. After what we put those people through, it didn’t seem right to share in the Blumn. I assume it was actually some other experiment from some division here at Kakos Industries that saw an opportunity and really went for it. An opportunity to test out whatever the pink slime was. Or perhaps the waffle cone.
Shareholders, have you been anti-celebrating? It is of course the Festival of Anti-Celebration, that most special of celebrations that takes place every year overlapping with the more traditional winter holidays. I am told that there is now a new group of Anti-Celebrators that are taking a more radical approach to anti-celebration. They’re called… No. That can’t be right. Anticels? I’m sure that was a thing already. It’s a dark Internet out there, Soundman. Well, it’s not up to me, I guess. They’re called anticels. That’s just terrible. If that’s a commentary on something, it’s a confused one. Anyway, the anticels have been grinching hard, taking down festive displays, burning pine trees, spoiling surprises, and in at least one case, popping birthday balloons. It all seems to be a little excessive, but they are probably harmless long term. That name is pretty terrible, though.
Randall: Thank you for that wonderful introduction, Mr. Deeth.
Corin: Oh, shit. How long have you been there?
Randall: Two and a half hours.
Corin: That’s longer than I’ve been in here. Where were you hiding?
Randall: I’ve come here representing Anticel. We have some demands.
Corin: Demands? Who the hell even are you?
Randall: Randall Fmitt. I work in the Division of Anhedonia, and I’m an Anticel organizer on weekends and sometimes during the evenings. We have some demands, Mr. Deeth.
Corin: I just have to ask, how did you think this was going to go? Like, how long did you think it was going to be before I fired you?
Randall: You can’t fire me. I’m currently the only employee in the Division of Anhedonia. You can’t fire the only employee in a division. That’s Kakos Law.
Corin: Soundman, can you verify that information? It doesn’t sound right. It is? Holy hell. That’s a dumb rule. We’ll have to hire someone then.
Randall: But not before my demands.
Corin: If I let you read your demands, will you leave?
Corin: Okay, fine.
Randall: Hello, Kakos Industries shareholders and employees. I am Randall Fmitt of Anticel. We are here to ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary and potentially harmful celebration this holiday season. As such, we have the following demands: One, do not come to work wearing work attire entirely composed of holiday fabrics. You will be stripped butt-ass naked. Two, do not bring any festive displays to work to place on your desk. Three, if it is your birthday, you will celebrate between the hours of twelve and one PM only. Limited cake will be accepted, but there will be no balloons. Four, there will be no festive music of any kind, recorded or performed live. We will do whatever is necessary to make sure the joyous sounds end immediately. Thank you.
Corin: That’s a little much, don’t you think?
Randall: No. People are welcome to celebrate in their homes, like everyone else, in the bathroom or a closet away from others. Merriment is not to be shared with those who are uninterested or unwilling.
Corin: Thank you, Randall. I’m going to work really hard to make sure that you don’t work here anymore.
Randall: Thank you for your time, Mr. Deeth.
Corin: Alright. I’ll just wait a second until he’s gone.
There, he’s gone. Employees and shareholders, while I encourage you to anti-celebrate however you see fit, you do not have to follow the instructions of the anticels. They don’t tell you what to do. Okay, Soundman is telling me that Randall just broke the teeth of a caroler. Fuck. I’m actually going to have to do something about this, aren’t I?
We put the next festival up to a vote again, and you shareholders decided on the Zestival. Not the Impresstival. Not the Yestival. Not even the Jestival. The Zestival. I assume this means that we will be having some sort of cook off. Either that or it will just be a celebration of the outer skin of citrus fruits. That sounds boring. We’ll find a way to give it some more spice. We’ll add some… zest.
Coming up we also have Yule, that celebration that spans the darkest night of the year. Last year, we had sexier krampuses. That was something. I am told that this year, we’ve decided that everyone should be krampus. I will still be krampus, but all of you will also be krampus. And there will be some real krampus monsters in there, too. It’s going to be wild. Let’s see your best krampus, shareholders.
I’ve been wandering through the building again. I suppose I never really stopped, but I have not come across the Tabithas again. Perhaps they are waiting for something. Perhaps they do not want me to know any more. I have no idea. Hopefully, they will find me again soon. Or perhaps I will finally find where their hideout is.
I am told that the workers in Hell are being subjected to an endless stream of celebration. The music in hell is classic holiday tunes, as well as every holiday album released by a mainstream band in the last century. I am told that Meredith has also tasked a number of the hell monsters with decoration for the holidays just to add that little bit of extra joy to the long hours of forced labor.
No one has seen Gray since the Halloween party. Of course, Kimzzzzzzzzzz has made it unsexy to look for Gray, but not everyone follows those rules. If you’re having a difficult time remembering who Gray is, they are that undeniably interesting and appealing former member of the Damnation and Ruination Squad. It is possible that Gray has readjusted so much to normal life that they have just begun to blend in with the rest of the crowd. Perhaps what made them so special was that they were so separated from the rest of us. Maybe identity made them somehow ordinary. Perhaps they are just hiding from the holidays.
Speaking of the holidays, the anticels have started collecting all of the holiday cards displayed on employees’ cubicles and have thrown them in a big pile in front of the building. They have set the pile on fire. Oh boy.
The Division of Figuring Out What All of These Keys Go To has opened an old music box. Apparently the music box contained an extremely dangerous series of tones. Several of their team are now in the infirmary with a wide variety of symptoms, from dizziness to nausea to black outs to dissociation to, and I’m quoting here, “that feeling when it’s too deep for too long”. We wish them a speedy recovery.
Jasmine Aashna and Dr. Dunkelwissen have still been avoiding each other. They still work together, but they try not to be in the same room in person. Dr. Dunkelwissen has been teleconferencing into work still. Jasmine also seemingly speeds through her work before leaving the office for the day. They are still trying to answer the question “What is most sex”. As far as I know, they are having their subjects experiment with different angles of kissing. I assume this is preliminary research, because I don’t think this is the answer they’re looking for. Dunk asked me to hang out a week or so ago. He needed to talk about something. I met with him and we sat down next to a window on one of the upper floors. I waited for him to dive into whatever was on his mind. I waited patiently. I waited for 87 minutes. Then he just said, “you know?” I stared at him blankly. He turned back to the window and didn’t say another thing.
Denny had an okay day today. Or maybe they are just keeping their emotions close to their chest.
Junior: You’ve been asking to talk to me.
Corin: Oh, hey Junior. Yeah, I’ve been asking to talk, but not during the announcements.
Junior: this is the time I have available.
Corin: This is always the time you have available.
Junior: I am very busy these days.
Corin: I know.
Junior: I have to keep track of the little ones. They need attention, you see.
Corin: That seems like par for the course for babies.
Junior: Babies. Ha. What would you know about that.
Corin: I’ve held a baby before.
Corin: How is that going?
Junior: They’re perfect little devils.
Corin: Do they have names yet?
Junior: Grace has given each a number. But I have taken to calling them by nicknames. Yezil, Nera, Haroom, Quesh, and Killiet.
Corin: Are… are those names from an anime.
Junior: No. Of course not. They are perfectly traditional Evil names. I found them in an Evil history book. And one of them is from an anime.
Corin: I like seeing this side of you.
Junior: Don’t be silly, Corin. I only do what I have to. These infants… they’re more like me than anyone knows. There’s no one else who can understand them. There is no one else to take care of them. Grace can provide them with important things that I cannot, but when it comes to guidance and care, I am the best they can get.
Corin: That’s… adorable.
Junior: Stop this nonsense at once. What did you wish to speak about?
Corin: Well, I’ve heard some recordings recently–
Junior: I have heard. You played them during these broadcasts. Recordings of me and father.
Junior: What do you want to know?
Corin: Do you know who the Tabithas are?
Junior: The who?
Corin: A bunch of people named Tabitha? They have been giving me the recordings.
Junior: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Corin: Okay. Well, we should catch up soon. Not during the announcements.
Junior: You can come to the nursery. But you’ll have to keep your voice down. Quesh has very sensitive ears.
Corin: Right. I’ll see you later.
I have just been informed that Randall Fmitt and his anticel colleagues have been thrown in the brig after ransacking the Division of Ugly Sweaters. Do we have a brig? Or do they mean the jail? Oh well. I don’t really care.
It’s a little difficult to explain how the Damnation and Ruination Squad have been dressed recently. To say that they’ve been dressed at all is inaccurate. To say that there’s nothing about their look that is intentional would also be misleading. To my eyes, they look naked, and worse than that, badly beaten. But I am told by those in the know that what I see as the signs of violence are actually an aesthetic choice. Just as many people pierce their skin, tattoo their flesh, or engage in decorative branding, I have been informed that some, albeit a small few, engage in what is known as aesthetic bruising. Of course, those who have always liked it a little rougher in the bedroom have worn at least some of their bruises with pride, but this is on another level. As I understand it, these bruises are not sexual in nature, but artistic instead. Molds, stencils, stamps, and other shaping tools are used to cause the impact injury and the subsequent discoloration. I can’t say that the shapes are all that well preserved in this process, but you can get the idea if they tell you what it was supposed to be. So the Damnation and Ruination Squad are walking the halls and walking the streets in the buff, covered in bright purple, yellow, and red discolorations that some find really appealing. People are weird. We’ve always known that, though.
Camillo Cerigata has won this month’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, Camillo’s nemesis will endure a life-ruining turn of events. That nemesis is Wraith Fenix. We gave the Wheel of Misery a hard spin and kept pushing on it for another couple of minutes to really blow the cobwebs out. It landed on the space for unafraid. Now you might be thinking, how wonderful would it be to live a life truly unafraid of things. How freeing would it be to just do what you want without those pesky fears getting in the way. But you should also remember just how long being afraid has kept you alive. Truly, if you were not afraid, you would not survive your shareholder status in Kakos Industries. As a result of this turn, we have made Wraith Fenix 87% less afraid, which will cause problems at work, at home, on the freeway, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and especially on the Internet. We give Wraith Fenix around a 40% chance of living another year. For Evil measure, Camillo Cerigata will be 13% more afraid. Fear can kind of be a tricky thing. Just enough is fine. Too much or too little, well, I’m sure you know how that goes. Congratulations on the win, and best of luck.
This brings us to the end of our broadcast. The old tape player you’re receiving this broadcast on should probably be removed from your vicinity as quickly as possible. We’ll pick them up and dispose of them. Remember to anti-celebrate responsibly. The numbers are next.
Credits: Kakos Industries is written and produced by Conrad Miszuk, who is also the voice of Corin Deeth, and the composer of the music. The introductions are read by Kitty McCauley, and the credits are read by Kelsey Kemmer the shortest fingernails world champion. Special guest appearance in this episode by Ricco Machado-Torres. You can find him on Instagram @RiccoMachadoTorres, and also on Twitter @RiccoTorres, or on his website RiccoMachadoTorres.com. Please visit KakosIndustries.com for news, extras, and more episodes. There are also transcriptions on the website 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 visit store.KakosIndustries.com for merchandise and special offers and get wonderful benefits by becoming a subscription donor 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 YouTube (YouTube.com/KakosIndustries), Facebook (facebook.com/kakosindustries), Tumblr (kakosindustries.tumblr.com), and Twitter (@KakosIndustries). We encourage fan art and listener participation on all our social media platforms. Please visit our website for cast details and the credits for all of our social media contributors.
Special thanks to our esteemed shareholders Iain Croall, Dan Shumway, William Brandon, Jack Attack, Kristina Kirkland, and A. Rupert. Also thanks to honored employees Dorkpool Dorkuss, found the pin in the haystack, Chax Richter, who brought the perfect game to the party, Tia Reece, who gave everyone a high five, and Luci Grimm, who finally got that fucking fly. And thanks to our division heads Britney Garcia, head of The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn, Craig Czyz, director of the Division of Obscure Vintage Technology, Danniel R Smith, head of the Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases,Lillian Bit, Director of the Division of Fishticism, and Hayley L, Director of the Division of Very Specific Boxes. The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn has been adding more attractions to their circus, turning it into a full carnival. The carousel is a thing of horror. The Division of Obscure Vintage Technology has dug up the old Haunt-O-Tron, an old synthesizer that just creates the most haunting tones. It doesn’t even have to be plugged into anything for you to hear it in your skull. The Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases has started to schedule romantic time for everyone during the business day. This has created a pressure for people to actually use it, however. The Division of Fishticism spotted something in the cyan aquarium that they are keeping close to their chests. They have been conferring with the big tuna about what their findings could mean. The big tuna is a big tuna. Her name is actually Sally. The Division of Very Specific Boxes has developed a box that perfectly fits everything you’re trying to get rid of. But now you have a place to keep it, so… Our esteemed shareholders, honored employees, division heads, and other Patreon patrons are the best. If you want a thank you in the credits, your own division, or other great rewards that help to keep this show running, please head to Kakosindustries.com/patreon. That’s Patreon: p-a-t-r-e-o-n.
Kakos Industries can be heavy sometimes. Try learning the origami folds in the back of the book.