128 – Interesting Times
in which you pop a bottle of bubbly, we hear about some Krampus-style punishments, several divisions rethink their strategies for the New Year, and Quinlan Tepes “wins” the Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Do Evil Better.
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What you are about to hear will make you three percent more attractive every time you listen to it.
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 and I am CEO of Kakos Industries. Why does the CEO of the company have to keep the shareholders up to date? Well, that’s a complicated question, but I assume the answer has something to do with relatability. Happy New Year shareholders. I know that we have been living in the proverbial interesting times, and it has been difficult to find that usual optimism about the passage of time and its demarcation, even for those of us who specialize in making the world a more Evil place to live in, but demarcate the time we have, and I am happy that you are still here with me. Things have been moving slowly around Kakos. We are still working, we are still creating Evil, we are still outperforming every single competitor, but I feel like there’s a fog in the air. There’s something keeping us from being our best. There’s a feeling of being tired and not knowing exactly why. There’s a difficulty focusing. There’s a restlessness at an existential level. Time has passed, but what did we really do? I assure you that all of you did a lot. Whether you merely kept your head above water or comforted your friends, or kept your mind busy with whatever did the trick, then I can assure you that was a lot, and plenty. We cannot judge the interesting times by the standard of the simpler times. Though, I hope that you have made room in your life for whatever brings you joy, even if it feels small or insignificant, and especially if it’s Evil. Look, a lot of people are going to interpret that as an endorsement of whatever masturbation they’re doing, and fine. Honestly, more power to them. The beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere always comes with its corresponding droopage in our emotions. We know this. We expect it, and all the same, we are powerless to stop it. We handle it differently. We learn to understand ourselves and where we’re coming from and our perspectives and the like, and we make adjustments, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the struggle. Maybe it’s just me. We have celebrated the second new year where most of our staff is still working from home and will be for some time. It does make the building feel especially empty, though seeing a handful of people working on various projects throughout the building is nice. Even if we’re still getting plenty of stuff done from home, being able to see people work makes my dark, shriveled executive heart grow several sizes.
Today’s broadcast is coming to you from a bottle of sparkling wine you just popped the cork on. This comes from a collaboration between our Division of Fizzes and Jean-Claude’s Budget French Imports. Jean-Claude’s business has been responsible for so many violations of various national and regional agreements about the naming of things that you would think they put the laws specifically into place because of them, but obviously they didn’t because Jean-Claude’s refuses to follow any of those laws. All the same, we are calling this a sparkling wine because that is already a big enough stretch that calling it anything fancier would be completely overshooting the mark past believability. It’s entirely possible that this beverage is made by diluting grain alcohol with grape juice, or maybe just artificial grape flavor and tap water. It could have been force-carbonated instead of bottle conditioned. It could be completely synthetic in every sense of the term. I do not recommend that you drink it. All the same, when you popped the cork at the appropriate time, you should have shortly begun to hear my voice reading you these announcements. The bubbles popping have something to do with it. In all likelihood, the bubbles are spilling out of the bottle onto your floor or into your sink or some other container you saw fit to catch the spillage in. I am told that the sound is technically stereo, though I’m having some difficulty understanding how that’s possible exactly. Maybe the spilling bubbles provide a side channel of some sort. At any rate, this broadcast is exclusively for Kakos Industries shareholders. If you aren’t a shareholder, then the bubbles from this sparkling wine will start to look more and more appealing and soon you’ll be drinking the whole bottle. I’ve been told that “poison” isn’t the right word, but it’s something like that. I’m told that it ends badly, unless you become Evil before the lights go out. That has a chance to save you. Do the right thing. Become one of us.
The Yestival was a particularly interesting incarnation of the “Rhymes with Festival” Festival. At first, I had no idea what to expect. Then, I wasn’t quite sure why I didn’t expect it. Let me put it this way, it was a lot of adventurous people with can-do attitudes trying some things. They said yes to life and a whole lot more. If you weren’t there, then you probably weren’t right for the festival anyway. As it was, I couldn’t quite handle it. I was encouraged to say yes, and I just couldn’t. I want to know what I’m saying yes to. I want to know what my other options are. I want to know what the consequences could be, you know? Everyone seemed happy, but that was kind of off-putting. There were all these decorations that said “YES!” in all capital letters with varying numbers of exclamation points. The people were putting on bizarre costumes from various bins. The food and drinks were fairly sparse, but the drugs were flowing pretty heavily. I can imagine my grandfather calling it some poseur shit, to be honest. People had a good time embracing the affirmative response, opened themselves up to new experiences, and perhaps broadened their horizons. All of those things coming out of my mouth sound like innuendos. And I guess they were. But I think that was obvious to all of us from the start.
Yule was fabulous as always. We went out to one of the snowy lawns around Kakos Industries and we built a simply massive bonfire. There were tents set up with all kinds of food and drink. This tends to be one of the wilder festivals we have, at least in terms of shareholder behavior. It can get pretty primal. Some people show up wearing animal skins, and end up not wearing much at all, passed out in the snow. It is the darkest night of the year, which means that it is our night. And why shouldn’t we go all out. I should mention that other people do show up in your run on the mill ugly sweaters and hint-of-santa red and green clothing. There is some class in a more rigid sense. There’s a bit of that winter catalog fashion going on. All of the autumnal and winter colors. But I can’t ignore the people who go hog wild, painting their faces, and reenacting what they assume yuletide traditions may have been like in countries their distant ancestors came from before certain ideas of propriety ever made it to them. Usually these two camps take up residence on different sides of the bonfire, and that’s probably for the best. Somewhere in the middle was my tent. This year they dressed the tent up with a bit of signage, kind of like a roadside attraction. The sign read “See the sexy Krampus and get what you deserve!” I was not in charge of the sign. I did not decide what the words were. But I am obligated to dress as a Krampus, sexy or not, and I am charged with doling out the traditional punishment. That means striking people with a bundle of sticks, usually on the butt. I tend to think of this action in fairly mechanical terms. I don’t get much out of it. I have this bundle of sticks that has been used for this purpose for decades, and maybe centuries. One side is a bit smoother and doesn’t do too much tissue damage. The other side has a few thorns here and there and is more than capable of drawing blood. Not a lot, but some. The bundle is sanitized after any such situation. How it has lasted this long like this is beyond me. They probably replace bits of it each year in a Ship of Theseus kind of way. Really, I try not to think about it too much. There’s usually a long line and I have to keep people moving. Not much time for thinking. The people come in. They bend over. Some of them insist on being bent over my lap, which is just kind of awkward for handling the bundle of sticks. I can kind of use two hands as a pivot point and then swing the sticks like a pendulum. Otherwise it’s difficult to know where to put my elbow. I’m not using my hand, you know. Usually there’s like a table they can bend over. They tell me how bad they’ve been, which is usually selected from a list of four or five different phrases that tell me what I’m doing, like the dull or sharper end, how many strikes, how hard, etcetera. Then I just kind of whack ‘em with the sticks. I have security to keep people from getting too handsy with me, but they still get handsy sometimes. Mostly they touch the horns, which is fine because they’re not really a part of my body. I get a lot of invitations of one kind or another. I get people asking for things that are specifically not allowed. They’re trying to finesse me or something. I dole out the punishment and I move on. Sometimes people want to be struck on other places than the buttocks, but that’s not usually allowed. This is a serious tradition here at Kakos Industries, and I respect my part in its symbolism and significance. People get weird all the same. There was a bit of a surprise this time. I’ve gotten permission to tell this story before anyone gets angry at me. And, look, shareholders. I know sometimes you’re getting tired of certain varieties of my shit. But please stay with me. I promise it pays off. Edwina came through the tent door after I sent out probably the seventieth person. My arms were getting a little bit tired. I had some blood on my costume. Edwina, or more commonly Eddie, is a friend of Kimmie’s. They’ve gotten to know each other over the course of making some really intense mechs. Like flying robot mechs. I have encouraged their friendship because it’s clear that they get along and there’s a part of me that’s pretty aware that I’m not the sort of person that Kimmie usually seeks out romantically. Of course, any time I say something like that Kimmie gives me one of those huge eye rolls where you can almost hear her eyes knocking around loose inside of her skull. The problem is that I assumed what she wanted without asking, which she hates. But there’s also something to be said for people liking the idea that they’re a mystery so much that they deny that anyone knows them at all. Anyway, Eddie is one of Kimmie’s friends. That friendship may or may not have a touch of romance to it, and I am in favor of it. That being said, Eddie is kind of shy. Her mind works a little bit differently. She takes a long time to warm up to people, and I have attempted to put zero pressure on her to be my friend because I don’t want to interfere with her and Kimmie. So suffice it to say that her walking through the opening in the tent was shaping up to be incredibly awkward. I try not to use the word “spanking” when I talk about this, but sometimes I become more aware of how it looks from the outside than others. She kind of smiled and waved at me from the opening of the tent. Usually, I would have said something like “Step right up ya Evildoer” to try to move things along. Instead I said, “Oh…” She took a few more steps in. “I don’t know how this works,” she said. I paused for a moment. “Are you sure you meant to be in here?” I asked. “Oh, definitely,” she nodded. Then she said, “Oh, right!” and told me how bad she had been. I felt a wave of relief come over me. It was the lightest option. Definitely in the mostly ceremonial category. My relief was brief however as she loosened her pants before leaning over the table, exposing her buttocks. I panicked. I had seen dozens of exposed butts already, but this one was not one I was supposed to be seeing. I immediately looked away. I had no idea what to do. The pants thing is totally optional. I usually don’t recommend it unless people are looking to get hurt. “Is something wrong?” she asked. “I think I’m ready,” she said. I was freaking the fuck out, but she called me back to reality. I was thinking about the kind of trouble I was about to be in, and the trust I was violating, and I was not a happy camper. I did my best not to look, but I made sure I was using the softer end of the sticks and did a few simple whacks. The words that came out of my mouth were “Okay, you’re all done, pal.” I was mortified. She pulled up her pants and that’s when I heard The Cackling. The malicious, hearty, uninhibited cackling. The kind of laughter that sounds like every feeling you’ve ever held onto in the muscle tension in your body is leaving your body through your mouth. It sounded like an exorcism. I saw her face poking through the flap of the tent. Kimmie was crying. The security guard was getting ready to walk over. Spectation was forbidden for this event. I called him off. Eddie said “Thank you” and did an awkward pantomime of tipping a hat mixed with a subtle curtsy at me before flashing a confused look at Kimmie, who was on the verge of retching from laughing so hard. Eddie exited the tent and Kimmie came in as my next victim. She calmed her laughing enough to give me the code word for the stiffest punishment, and completely disrobed. I did only what she asked me to do, though I did find a mild catharsis in it. She cackled the entire time, as if the quality of her prank had made her impervious to pain.I told the attendant outside the tent opening that we needed to wrap things up. All of the remaining people were rushed through. I didn’t tolerate any nonsense. I needed to be done. I saw Eddie sitting alone at a high top table after I had finished my chores and I went to sit by her and hopefully apologize if I had made her uncomfortable. Before I could say anything, Kimmie came up beside the table and handed us each a drink. “The looks on your faces,” she started. Then, the cackling fit started again. “You told me it was traditional!” Eddie said in an ever so slightly elevated voice. Kimmie just kept laughing. “If it makes you feel any better, Eddie,” I started, “you’ll notice that she isn’t sitting down.” It took a few seconds for Eddie to make the proper connections. She blushed. We clinked glasses and drank. I don’t think that Kimmie has sat on anything since. The celebration lasted the rest of the night. People partied, and danced, and sang. Eventually the bonfire went out a little after dawn, and we all went home.
The New Year’s celebration last night was a bit subdued, but definitely a fun time. We had real champagne then. The champagne was laced with something that definitely took a lot of us for a ride. I think it was meant to play with our perception of time the way the last year had. The night flew by. We watched the ball drop in different time zones from various lawns. We were excited to leave the year behind us, but we weren’t quite sure what to expect from the year to come. I assume you had a similar experience, shareholders, if you celebrated at home.
The Festival of Darkness and Festival of Genes will definitely have at-home components this year, so you can prepare for that. Make sure you can get your space really dark. We have certain shades and paints that can help if your space isn’t just right. I am also told that some of the genes on offer this year might make someone into a mer-person. How exciting.
My readings here show me that anti-celebration is currently hovering around 1600. Nice.
The Division of Figuring Out What All of These Keys Go To has buried a handful of particularly difficult keys in order to see if they open up any of the Secrets of the Earth. They have not told me about any discoveries as of yet. I suggested they might throw the keys out into space to unlock the secrets of the Universe. They did not laugh. They may actually be considering this. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The Division of Erotic Experiences has, and I’m quoting here, “viewed all possible unique sexual positions for groups under 50 people.” Unsurprisingly, none of them was most sex. I had to comfort Dr. Dunkelwissen. He really thought he would have it this time. I suggested that perhaps he was focusing too much on the physical, and that perhaps there is something mental, or emotional he was missing. His words were, “well fucking obviously.” He was apparently just hoping to get a blip on the sex detectors from a position to move onto further experimentation. I suggested that he seek out works of the arts, literature, poetry, cinema, in hopes of maybe finding something more concrete. Maybe searching through his fond memories. He then told me a story about his time as a doctoral candidate. Still not sure what he is a doctor of, but that doesn’t matter right now. Anyway, he had this girlfriend, and they were really physical. He gave me a detailed description of her every dimension. I am not going to share that information. Anyway, there was this position that she really loved, and he could tell by this look in her eye when she looked at him. I told him to pursue the look in the eye, rather than the position. He nodded slowly. “I knew it would come to this,” he said. “The AI we need to assemble is going to be dangerous in the wrong hands.” I nodded slowly. I wanted to say something about maybe this not being the most fruitful area of exploration, but I kept it to myself.
Meredith Gorgoro has started making all of the laborers in her camp do aerobics with her at the end of a shift. This has proven to be the most costly in terms of human and monster life, but those that remain are apparently the strongest. I don’t know exactly what that means, but this is apparently important to her for some reason.
The Division of Kaiju Battle Reenactment returned to form with Berstadern vs. MechaGaddamula. The fight ended exactly the way that it had the first time, with MechaGaddamula tearing Berstadern in half, but the two halves of Berstadern were able to slice off MechaGaddamula’s arms before they stopped moving. This did require two actors inside of the Berstadern costume, but it was totally worth it. Apparently, the creative potential revealed by the accidental win by Antikaryote in a previous battle has led to the creation of the “Enactment Series”, with the Re- part crossed out. These are hypothetical battles that never happened in real life. They’re starting small to gauge the audience reaction. The first battle is Metadactyl versus Vornyore. Metadactyl is an invention of their team, while Vornyore is a hypothetical monster that some have claimed to see, but there are no photos or serious records. I’m curious to see where this goes. As this isn’t a real fight that happened, anything could happen. I am excited to be surprised.
They say that Evil once dove off of an incredibly tall building only to land in a thimble of water, shocking some onlookers to actual death. This is Things We’re Taking Credit for Now. Today, we’re taking credit for plastic clothing, plastic lawns, and the bizarre sorrow we feel knowing that some of our creations will outlast us on this Earth, often much longer, and to the detriment to everyone left. Obviously, we can’t know for sure that we are solely responsible for plastic fabrics, or other plastic bits and bobs, but look, their lasting impression is definitely something we would have designed, so we’re going to take this one as ours. If you happen to disagree, try the champagne.
Quinlan Tepes (Kwin-lan tep-is) has won today’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, the life of Quinlan’s nemesis will be ruined. That nemesis is Xanthe (pronounced “zan the”). Another one of those mononyms. The Wheel of Misery really hates mononyms for some reason. Maybe it’s because its name is three words. I don’t know. We spun the Wheel with a sarcastic level of force and it landed on the space for Brazen. Now, that was one of those words that I never knew the real definition of for some reason, so I looked it up. Apparently, it means made out of brass. But there’s also the shameless and bold definition. Apparently, when you’re shameless and bold, your face has been hardened like brass into having no expressions of shame. Some around these parts would consider these traits to be big positives. I think we can all see how they might ruin a life as well, though. From this day forward, Xanthe will be 86% more brazen. That’s a lot. This is going to get interesting. If you’re a friend of Xanthe, I would recommend investing heavily in popcorn. For Evil measure, Quinlan will be 13% less brazen. That translates to self-awareness or shyness, which also kind of suck in excess. Congratulations on the win, and best of luck.
There was a bit of a mishap last month where I forgot to tell you what the Damnation and Ruination Squad were wearing. The Damnation and Ruination Squad, in case you forgot, are the team involved mainly with making the Wheel of Misery’s sentences come true. And they tend to be somewhat chaotic, if not fashion forward, dressers. Usually they interpret a spin of the Wheel of Misery to determine what they will wear. Considering the Wheel has few if any nouns on its possible landing spaces, they do some flexible interpretation of the results to determine their outfits. Last month they were decked out in aluminum feathers, but you didn’t know that because the documents in front of me left it out for some reason. It was really cool. This month, they’re dressed like asparagus. It’s exactly what you’re imagining right now.
That brings us to the end of this broadcast shareholders. You can pour the sparkling wine down the sink if you’d like. Definitely don’t drink it. Even if you survive, that hangover will be a nightmare. You might wish you were dead. What’s that Soundman? Yes, I know there’s a tape beside me. Look, I already know what’s on it. I do. I’ve gotten a bunch of them already. It’s usually the same recording. Maybe there’s a few variations. So what if you’re curious. When did you start dictating the content of these broadcasts? No, I didn’t mean that. Of course I value your opinion, Soundman. Look, it’s not fun. Alright. Fine.
CDI: Hey, Corin. It’s your grandfather. Look, I know that I’m asking a lot for a dead man, but I really have to encourage you here. You sent me a message, and that was really nice. It was a great thing. Great for your mental health, you know. It’s important to tell the people you care about what’s going on in your life, even if it’s not great news, or even if you might be afraid that what they’re dealing with is worse. And I’m dead, so I can’t feel anything. You gotta share. Open up. Looking forward to hearing from you again. Grandpa.
Corin: That one was actually a little different. Most of them were direct copies of one another, though. I don’t know what to do with that. It’s messing with my head. Apology accepted, Soundman. The numbers are next, shareholders.
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 Ryan Jenkins, and the credits are read by Briauna Kittle, a soft looking hug user.. 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. Join our community at kakosindustries.com/discord. 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), tik tok @Kakosindustries, and Twitter (@KakosIndustries). We encourage fan art and listener participation on all our social media platforms.
Special thanks to our esteemed shareholders, Jack Attack, Valerie Koop, Dwight Spencer, and A. Rupert. Also thanks to honored employees Calico, who dug the hole, Damien Scott-Viker, who buried the magnets, Rocket who threw the blanket, and Anastasia K, who tackled the escaped robot. The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn, directed by Theo Cornet, has knit the first of many hotel rooms, complete with bedding and carpet. It’s really the structural components like the floor and walls that make us nervous.. The Division of Obscure Vintage Technology, directed by Craig Czyz, has bought a really big tape cassette. They don’t have a player for it, but they assure us that it is really big, and thus Evil. The Division of Subtle Efficiency Increases, directed by Danniel R Smith, has increased everyone’s fiber intake, smoothing things along and reducing time in the bathroom. The Division of Saying It the Long Way, directed by Dino Schroeder, has been workshopping “I definitely could say yes right now. I mean we both know that I could say yes and make everything so much simpler for both of us, but I am a person of my word and the truth of the matter is that actually yes..” The Division of Kakos Kafeteria Reviews, directed by Seth and Josh, has reviewed the meat juice snow cone stand. Every bit as sweet and savory as you might hope. 11/13”. Try the tiger’s blood. The Division of Improbable Cookbooks, directed by Hayden Neff has been working on Things You Can Cook in a Bag. It’s a weird one if we’re being honest. The Division of Lesser Known Napping Locations, directed by Sass Master J, has found a machine in the laundromat that vibrates at just the right speed to lull you into unconsciousness. This happens by accident to some of the launderers. The Division of Uneven Surfaces, Directed by The Doctor, has been screaming at a painting in the art gallery. The paint is a little heavier at the bottom. The Division of Hallway Wandering, directed by Jack, has been strolling down Hallway 23-9. It looks like you’re flying through hyperspace when you walk through it. Just like in the movies. The Division of More Monday Mondays, directed by Odie, has discovered a way to make Mondays that much more Monday. It is the month of January, the monday of months. The Division of Villainous Introspection, directed by Sarah, has decided that yes, they have always been Evil. They have always wanted Evil things and to be the most Evil. There are no longer any doubts about the darkness inside. The Division of New Card Game Mechanics, led by Finn, has developed a card that unfolds to be a mini trebuchet, perfect for sending a single small piece of candy hurtling at the face of your opponent. The Division of 4D Printing, directed by David Friedman, specializes in 3D printing, but on a higher intellectual level and for more nefarious purposes. They have printed a crossbow, but with a rope tied to the arrow. The Division of Even Weirder bugs, directed by Franco El Terrible, has discovered a bug with six antennas and only two legs. That’s really weird. The Division of Specific Measuring Spoons, Directed by Revecca P. has created a measuring spoon specifically for the amount of salt needed to effectively throw into someone’s eyes. 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. Make sure to use the formula one to one plus one in making rice and only let it steam for 18 minutes.