107 – Isolation
in which everyone is alone, preparations are made for the Darkest Universe, we peer into the Big Black Hole, Junior gets antsy, and Hayden Neff “wins” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Do Evil Better.
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Intro: What you are about to hear might take you back to that one memory you have from childhood where something very much impossible occurred. It will not help you to make sense of it or determine if you were dreaming or not.
Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries announcements. At Kakos Industries, we help the whole world to Do Evil Better. Sometimes we help things outside of the world to Do Evil Better, but that’s not always clear. Right now, we’re helping everyone to Do Evil Better from their homes. Employees, shareholders, the rest of the planet, it seems. Almost everyone here at Kakos Industries is working from home. There are some essential personnel running about, but I’m not really able to interact with them. Soundman Steven is here. He is actually contractually obligated to get sick if I do, so there’s no sense sending him home. That said, I care about his health, and I haven’t been making him spend every moment with me. He’s been spending his time soldering new electronic projects that are supposed to sound so much better than what you can get off the shelf. We shall see, Soundman. We’ve taken a hit on productivity and Evil, but not so much as you might think. Employees are working from home and still getting quite a lot done. And what they are missing in Evil they are making up for again with all of the masturbation. We’re not watching them. But we know. We know that they are masturbating. We know they are. We know.
You’re receiving this broadcast from a well-sanitized miniature radio. I say miniature, because the physical electronics and enclosure are small. The antenna, however, is enormous. We’re calling it Big Sigs, for all the big signals it can listen in on and decrypt. It is a collaboration from The Division of Length and GreatBoom audio. I am told that the frequency response is pretty okay, for a single speaker on a very small device. If you’re somehow listening to these announcements and you’re not a Kakos Industries Shareholder, then you should get away from this device as quickly as possible. The antenna is very long, and it may permanently damage your sense of self to be in its presence. Kakos Industries shareholders are used to this form of derision by now.
We recently wrapped up the Celebration of Affirmation. Given the current circumstances, we had to remain distant physically, but not emotionally. FOr that reason we really had to rely on our words and gestures to affirm one another. A few people attempted to get bowing to take off around the office, but that didn’t make it all that far. It was a valiant effort, though. Throughout the day, I would use the intercom system here at Kakos Industries to tell the employees that they are appreciated. Please keep in mind that the intercom system does extend into their homes. Even during this time of working from home, they could not escape my voice. I have been told that these affirmations were startling, uncomfortable, and disturbing. I would call that a mission accomplished.
We can’t actually have a group of people gather around the Big Black Hole, where our New York branch once was. As such, we decided to live stream from around the rim, allowing us to look deep within it, ponder its depths, and metaphorically hold hands from the safety of our living rooms. There was one snag, however, when the camera fell into the hole and began broadcasting its descent. It was black for a time, before becoming more colorful than we ever could have imagined. We heard voices in garbled languages with the heavy reverb of the crater. It was a truly psychedelic experience. AS far as we can tell, the camera is still falling, but it has returned to its usual darkness. We don’t know exactly what happened in the middle, there, but we have come to believe that the camera itself was hallucinating, and that it has since passed out.
This time last year, we endured the Thwiccening with the Church of Crumbs. While we haven’t had any interruptions in a while, it seems that the Church of Crumbs is still meeting on the regular without any precautions. They’re… They’re going to get some people hurt.
We’ve also got the Darkest Universe Festival coming up. Shareholders, I want you to know that we should never look away from our goals. Of course, the Universe is already looking pretty dark. Perhaps we have succeeded in some ways beyond our reasonable expectations. But I think we have to embrace that uncertainty. We have to embrace that doubt. We have to embrace the pain, and look at the future with cold, emotionless eyes, and say, “We want it darker still.” And if you’re not sure what to do to help, I would ordinarily say you should think about JoJo Moss, who is a person in one of our cells. Except Jojo isn’t there anymore, and instead the cell is just full of black mold. It is possible that is something we did. Or the black mold could have just eaten JoJo. We don’t know. Either way, things are looking bleak. Do not falter.
Obviously, the health of the workers in Hell isn’t really a top priority, and we can always get more workers when the need arises, so we’ve kept them all working. There has been no one allowed in or out, however. They are continuing to work, and some are taken away into Meredith Gorgoro’s laboratory, where they are modified and enhanced with monster parts. I’m so curious, but the rest of the board won’t let me take time off to go down there and see what’s on the menu. I just want a huge frickin’ monster arm. The authority I would command with one of those. Come on. You know what I mean.
I’ve had some reports on my desk for a little while now, but I haven’t been able to get to them. Let’s take a listen to this one.
ASH: Dear Corin Deeth, the Third, this is Ash Kash from the Department of Obliviously Evil Office Restructuring, or the DOEOR. Just wanted to inform you that there’s been a slight mistake in scheduling, and earlier today the DOEOR met with Martyn with a Y from the Division of Ruining Picnics. Nobody’s fault, all just a tiny misunderstanding. Unfortunately, the tiny model Skyscraper of Despair is now suffering from a slight infestation of wasps. Wasps that are still very much just regular sized wasps to us, but from the perspective of the shrunken Kakos employees inside our tiny model Skyscraper of Despair these wasps are big. Big enough to fill an office cubicle, not that we here at the DOEOR have used cubicles in a while now since we proved that the cramped isolation of cubicle walls is less stressful than the panopticon of an open office where everyone else is watching and judging you. But if there were cubicles, then these wasps would be big enough to fill them as they crawled inside, looming over an employee at their desk before biting their head clean off. Anyway, these normal sized but giant sized in context wasps are all sort of crawling about the office and buzzing biting Kakos employees’ heads clean off. We’re pretty sure just leaving a few Kakos employees to be harassed and eaten by angry wasps is against company policy but we’re not sure what we could do to help them without getting stung so we’ve sort of sent off a few emails.
Well, that certainly was a report. It almost feels like there’s work getting done somewhere.
I’ve taken the opportunity of being trapped in this building with virtually no one else… Yes, Soundman. I know you’re here. Thank you. I just don’t like to force you to be around me at all times. Soundman, you’re much too valuable to the company to wander the halls with me. Something could happen to you. Something could happen to me? But it won’t, Soundman. That’s just the way it works around here. Things know to keep their distance. Might I remind you that you are the only thing to actually hurt me in a long time. There’s that smirk again. So anyway, I’ve been walking the halls. I know that Kakos Industries probably doesn’t make the most sense to those of you who have never been in the building. The hallways that don’t always take you to the same places. The various conditionalities and sensitivities of the realities. But you get a sense for things. Certainly the halls and floors, and basements, and laboratories have been warped by years of wanton experimentation on the very fabric of reality. But if you let go of the need for things to make sense, then things will slowly start to make sense again. Moving clockwise or counterclockwise, might bring you higher through the building, while crossing through the floors diagonally might bring you down. There are exceptions of course. The elevators almost always take you where you intend to go, but they rarely take you where you need to be, and that is a serious drawback. The placement of labs, and the space that they take up is certainly confusing, but things take up the space that they need, and we find a way to fit it all in. I’ve recently spent some time strolling the various lawns here at Kakos Industries. From a distance, it may look like we import and maintain lawns of various climates and temporalities. But when you stroll through one of the lawns, you see that it simply is where it needs to be. It just also happens to be at Kakos Industries. I know sometimes we can seem like a closed book, but I thought I would share that to give you a better sense of where we are and how we operate.
Jasmine Aashna and Dr. Dunkelwissen are not working in person these days. The couples in their test rooms, however, can’t get away from each other now, though. They’re still stuck in isolation. They had better keep fucking, I guess. Otherwise the boredom will set in. Perhaps they might discover something.
We’re still trying to figure out who got the hot genes. It has been somewhat awkward because Alvin Chikless, Monica Walden, and H.P. Orgleson still have conference calls, but some of their coworkers have been getting confused by seeing them in windows on their computers. They have been trying to tip and take things private. They believe that these hot individuals must be sex workers in cam shows. It has certainly made work harder for these three, and a few others out there. But only one of them got the hot genes. Which one was it? We’re still working on it.
I’ve got another report from this division, the Division of Evil Office Restructuring or whatever. I really let these stack up on my desk, I guess.
ASH: Dear Corin Deeth, the Third, this is the DOEOR, we were a little hasty in sending our last message to you. There is no need to worry about loose wasps eating shrunken office workers. We’re getting some good data about how Kakos employees would fare in the event of an invasion of giant employee eating wasps. Our tiny model office’s employees have so far been fending off the wasps with office chairs and cans of deodorant, and most have locked themselves in one of the DOEOR’s patented Very Not Nice Meeting Rooms. Between the really bright lights, the way the wasps outside can still stare in and the loud and barely functional ventilation the Not Very Nice Meeting Rooms aren’t really a comfortable space to hold a calm and orderly meeting in, let alone to hide in. The wasps are presently eating one of the employees they bit the head off of, we can confirm that it was one of our Helens. Helen being one of the employees that we hired to spray too much air freshener around the place. Anyway, we’re looking forward to seeing how our little model office gets out of this one, and we should have a good report on how to deal with normal sized insects whilst shrunk after all this is over.
Hmm… Wasps, huh?
Violet Trudge is one of the people still in the building. We could not convince her to not work. She gets really angsty when she can’t work. I’ve described the screaming she does before. Knowing her ability to get everyone sick, we have wrapped her in some plastic, and attached an air tank so that her air supply isn’t shared by anyone. She eats her meals alone in a sterilized laboratory, but she was doing that before anyway. We are unsure if anything that is going on in the world is due to Violet’s behavior or existence.
It has been difficult to get away from Junior these days. Ordinarily, he loves isolation. Now that he has to isolate himself, he hates it. I suggested he make a podcast episode about hating it, but he hated that idea. He’s been going a little stir crazy because he can’t see the Dana Govern babies. Grace Rule is basically immune to everything on account of not having any real human biology left inside of her, so she’s still tending to them and to a few other Evil little ones. I think what has Junior so frustrated is that he has been thrust backward in time and in his own personal progression. A month ago, he had more work, he had more friends, and he had some meaning in his life. The transition back into video games and cartoons has been a rough one.
It’s him. His hearing is so great that he can get a sense of when people are talking about him even if he can’t actually hear the words they’re saying. Or he’s listening to the announcements. He is a shareholder. And a big one at that.
Junior: Oh, hey.
Corin: Did you need something?
Junior: Just wanted to ask what’s up.
Corin: I’m doing the announcements.
Junior: What are you up to later?
Corin: I don’t know. Probably wandering aimlessly. Thinking heavy thoughts.
Junior: Tight tight tight. So, wanna do something later?
Corin: You know we have to isolate.
Junior: Who else am I going to see right now?
Corin: I have a lot of interactions because I have to, Junior. I could be the problem, and I don’t want to hurt you.
Junior: Right. And if I were unafraid?
Corin: You need to stick around for the little ones. You need to be well. You need to be ready to pick up the pieces.
Junior: Right. Perhaps we could chat from a distance.
Corin: Okay. Front lawn in around two hours.
Junior: I will be there.
I found another tape from my grandfather. It was on my desk this morning. I listened to it already, but I’ll share it with you.
(click, tape hiss)
Corin I: One of the things they don’t tell you about old age is how lonely it is. Certainly, I have a lot to offer, but even my old stories are becoming pointless. The world moves so quickly, there aren’t even lessons to learn from my life. It’s all different now. It’s less relevant. That’s what makes me wonder about Melantha. How can she continue as she is? I think maybe it works because her mind doesn’t know a time or a culture. She adapts to wherever she is because none of this is hers. She just slips in and acts as if she was there all along. I’ve looked into it. She wasn’t born where you might think. Not from the way she talks. If any of it’s true. So she can reinvent herself as many times as she wants because what’s underneath doesn’t really belong anywhere. That’s got to be awfully lonely. Maybe that’s too unkind. I think about being young again, sometimes. But why would you want to be young with all of these old memories? It would defeat the point. You would look young, but you would know all of the pain, the disappointment, the difficulty. The spark in the eye, the optimism, the fascination with everything new, and everything is new to you, it’s not there. It would be perhaps more lonely than being old because no one would understand your hesitancy. They wouldn’t know why you seem so heavy. Certainly, there are a lot of people that are interested in me, but with my experience and with my power and means, how would I ever know if they actually cared? I could let people get close, but what then? I get a young bride looking for an easy life and an inheritance? I get someone closer to my age with the same aims? And I need to know how they’ll be around Junior. He’s a lot to handle sometimes. Alright, I think that’s enough for now.
I think sometimes it’s nice to know that we’re not alone when we feel alone. I think there was a song about that one time. I hope that it gives you some courage to persevere, shareholders. And it looks like I’ve got one more tape from the DOEOR.
ASH: Dear Corin Deeth, the Third, this is the DOEOR, events have progressed since the DOEOR’s last message. The miniature manager of our miniature Kakos Industries brand Skyscraper of Despair is presently engaged in contract negotiations with the wasps. Like most wasps they were easily placated with jam, butter, and coffee. This leaves the casualties at about three Helens, and we have plenty more of her lying around. Just need to make a quick check in before the wasps start settling into their desks or anything. Can wasps be hired with a standard employee contract? We’ve got some notes here from the last head of the DOEOR mentioning the potential for hiring giant sized mutant ants, what with their natural predisposition towards teamwork and self sacrifice driving them to put overtime in even if they know its bad for them, but you can’t really make an ant suffer, you know?
I’ve got to be honest, I don’t think I even know where the Division of Evil Office Restructuring is. I might have to take a look when I wander the halls this evening.
In my loneliness and frustration, I broke open the chest at Lake Zyzerzil. I took a boat. And a hammer. And I just wailed on the thing for like an hour. Finally, I got it open and there was the golden fist. Of course, it was immediately put into quarantine, so I won’t be able to handle it again, or attempt to unlock Lake Wyverwil’s lock. It’s a big door, too. Knowing the Division of Figuring Out What All of These Keys Go To, they’re still going to be looking for the key to the Zyzerzil lock. Knowing the contents and even having them in hand makes no difference. The lock is still in one piece, even if the chest is not. I’ll let you know what happens when I get the golden fist back.
Gray has apparently gone into isolation like the rest of us. I believe that they still live somewhere in the building, but I have no idea. It is entirely possible that Gray has family or a home or other worldly possessions that have become relevant again now that they are no longer a member of the Damnation and Ruination Squad. All I know is that Kimzzzzzzzzzz is still somewhere in the building. I am unaware at present if she has a home elsewhere. I know that she used to live with Maggie, and after that she floated around for a bit, but I don’t actually know if she settled down again, or if she’s created a home out of one of the offices here. At any rate, she has started to play a “game” with me. One that I am not all that excited about. While I am exploring the building, I will occasionally feel an impact on my body somewhere. As the building is quiet and full of horrors, I usually shout some horrible curse after my entire body seizes up with fear. Then I look down and see a foam dart on the ground, and I hear running footsteps. I caught a glimpse of her once, so I know it’s her. I’ve been carrying a foam dart gun just in case I get the drop on her, but I would honestly rather not be playing.
The Damnation and Ruination Squad, while I’m on the topic of Gray, has taken to wearing origami tracksuits. Now I know this is difficult to visualize, but I’m pretty sure that the tops and the bottoms of each tracksuit are made out of a single piece of paper. An enormous piece for sure, but a single piece. I don’t know where they got the plans for such a garment, but they look pretty sharp. A few of them even have golf berets made from another sheet of paper. It’s kind of incredible. They are finding it difficult to move, but that’s rarely their concern.
They say that Evil once wrote a love song so great that real love could never hope to match it. This is Things We’re Taking Credit for Now. Today, we’re taking credit for workplace drama, impossible performance standards, and the fact that the economy requires blood and suffering, or its numbers won’t’ stay up. Of course, we can’t know for certain that all of this was our doing, but we have said it, and we all have to deal with it now. Some of you, especially those of you who disagree, will find it a lot harder to deal with. Keep an eye on your heart rate and blood pressure.
Hayden Neff has won today’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, the life of Lilian Redd, Hayden’s nemesis, will be ruined. We gave the Wheel of Misery a hard spin and a smack on the rear end, and it landed on the space for Squishier. From this day forward, Lilian Redd will be 103% squishier. Skin, muscles, tendons, but also bones and cartilage. If you rest on Lilian’s shoulder, Lilian will begin to compress downward like a stress ball. For Evil measure, Hayden Neff will be 13% more rigid, but not in the way one might hope. Congratulations on the win, and best of luck.
This brings us to the end of our announcements for today. This radio will begin to play soothing ocean sounds. They aren’t dangerous. We’re honestly just trying to make sure all of you make it through this thing. You can listen, or not. Up to you. Please, take it easy shareholders, and take care of each other. There is a lot more Evil for each one of us to do.The numbers are next.
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 Briauna Kittle, a wooly one-third barbarian. The head of the DOEOR was played by Cal Turner. You can find them on twitter @AgenderGorgon. 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. You can submit one time donations at paypal.me/kakosindustries. You can also purchase gear and other items for the production at kakosindustries.com/wishlist. 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), Instagram (@kakosindustries), and Twitter (@KakosIndustries). We encourage fan art and listener participation on all our social media platforms.
Special thanks to our esteemed shareholders Iain Croall, Dan Shumway, William Brandon, Jack Attack, Dark Mega Koala, and A. Rupert. Also thanks to honored employees Dorkpool Dorkuss, who caught the fly ball, Chax Richter, who wiped down the table after the contamination, Dane The Sparkle Pixie who made some outstanding yogurt, Tia Reece, who sent the memo about the radiation, and Luci Grimm, who tested the mystery trampoline. 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, Dino Schroeder, director of the Division of Saying It the Long Way, Seth and Josh heads of the Division of Kakos Kafeteria Reviews, Hayden Neff, director of the Division of Improbable Cookbooks, Kristina Kirkland, Director of the Division of Lukewarm Pep Talks, David T, Director of the Division of Animal Stacking, and Matthew Oparin, Director of the Division of New Cowboy Slang. The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn has grown tired of the circus, and have instead begun knitting a small zoo. So far, there are only concession stands and penguins. The Division of Obscure Vintage Technology has switched on the Evil synth. Anyone who hears its waveforms begins to think Evil thoughts for unknown reasons. The Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases has started timing employees in the bathroom stalls. They’re not competing with everyone, but they are encouraged to beat their own times. The Division of Saying It the Long Way has invented “well, as you know, we’ve been together a long time and certainly things haven’t been perfect, and you know that I’m going through a lot right now and actually you’re great and perfect, which is why I hope you find someone just as great, and that someone is not going to be me.” Chilling. The Division of Kakos Kafeteria Reviews has reviewed the Polish sausage stand. Delightfully oily, crispy and grilled to perfection. Sauerkraut to die for. 7/10.The Division of Improbable Cookbooks has finished up the manuscript for cooking with play dough. It features 337 recipes, all featuring children’s sculpting toys., TheDivision of Lukewarm Pep Talks just heard out Yani Mobanni and all of his woes about relationships. They responded with, “hey, at least everything sucks for everyone, right?”, The Division of Animal Stacking has successfully put a zebra on top of a moose, on top of a goose, on top of two ews. The stack has to last for at least thirty seconds, and it just barely made it. The Division of New Cowboy Slang has created “Y’alltners”. While ostensibly a combination of y’all and partners, it is much more fun to say. Howdy, Y’alltners. 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 dark. Try voting. It might work.