18 – Wake the Dead
in which a crisis of epic proportions holds Kakos Industries and much of the world in the balance, memories from a dark time in Kakos Industries’ history surface, the Halloween party is recapped, preparations are made for the Festival of Anti-Celebration, the Culinary Division has good news, and Paula Deen Goldberg “wins” the Ruin-A-Life drawing. Do Evil Better.
What you are about to hear may require hours of disarming and dissection with like-minded individuals on the Internet.
Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries, we help you to Do Evil Better. My name is Corin Deeth III, and I am CEO of Kakos Industries. You’ve probably already noticed that this set of announcements is coming to you a day late. It is actually my prerogative from time to time to change the scheduling of these announcements, and, well, we’ve had some extenuating circumstances. You’ve probably noticed them. For those of you who may have forgotten, last time we spun the wheel of misery, it decided to grant Carl Marlow his greatest desire, which we all assumed would be his undoing. In fact, it was. What we didn’t account for is how terrible his undoing would be for the rest of us. We’re used to causing unintended, widespread consequences, but in this case, we did so by going back on a few promises we made to you, shareholders, which is something that I regret deeply. I will say that we really had no choice in the matter, but perhaps we put a little too much faith in the wheel of misery’s decision making skills. Shareholders, we have no choice but to take responsibility for our actions, and those actions led to the walking mass of the undead that is spreading throughout the world right now. The undead were not reanimated individually using a chemical serum, but instead they were reduced to only the most basic functioning by a virus of some sort. We’ve had several zombie-like viruses for a while, and we have accidentally released some of them before, but never quite this bad. We made a promise to you, shareholders, that we would never ever ever ever ever ever bring back the dead again. As you probably assumed, any Kakos Industries promise is done with one hand behind the back and fingers crossed, but all the same, I feel terrible for overseeing such a disaster. Raising the dead has never worked out well for anyone. I should say that this is especially true for Carl Marlow. Even though it was his greatest desire to live in the zombie apocalypse, he clearly didn’t count on fifteen of the fuckers bum rushing him while he was on the toilet. Carl Marlow was not patient zero. We didn’t think that would really be fair. We didn’t even infect any of his friends or family or even his neighbors. We gave him a good half-day head start. Carl had prepared for this numerous times, had compiled weapons, and had a plan of action. Still, he died taking a shit. Then he came back to life and began to hunt the still living with his pants around his ankles, and let’s just say that his clean up was insufficient. He didn’t even have the opportunity to go out fighting with his lucky combination shovel, crowbar, pick, and water filter. This was last Thursday, October 30th, 11 hours after the beginning of this clusterfuck. Once he was eliminated, which I’ve always said isn’t strictly ruining a person’s life if they’re not around to live it, but the other board members seem to think it’s just fine, it would have made sense for us to stop the virus, clean things up, and move on with our lives. Unfortunately, it seems that the Damnation and Ruination Squad was off their game and forgot to make what we like to call an “Exit Strategy”. They also did not make an “If everything else gets fucked up and we absolutely need to stop the zombie apocalypse before it spreads” strategy. They don’t even know which zombie virus they took or what he have to expect from this uniquely horrifying strain. Simple mistake, right? Anyway, the spread of the virus was not curbed before the 31st, which, as you know, is Halloween. What they don’t say in the instruction manual for any of these viruses is that if it happens to be used on Halloween, then it will spread like wildfire, because no one will believe it is real. The virus continued to spread into November, and now here we are, on Día De Los Muertos, living through an actual day of the dead. The irony is not lost on us, shareholders. If you are not able to make your rounds as you usually would to leave an Ofrenda for Abuelita, then we are sorry. If happen to see Abuelita alive again and hungering for your brains, then we are even more sorry. Truly, this was a mistake of epic proportions. I am assuming that the Damnation and Ruination Squad will be punished, but I can’t say for certain as they actually work for the Wheel of Misery itself. We will have to see what punishment it offers, if it decides to offer one.
Today’s broadcast is coming to you on something, but it is difficult to say what that is right now over the dull murmur of the undead outside of your window. Let me check real quick.
(A window Slides open)
(The sound of the undead can be heard)
(The window is closed)
Yes, shareholders, the dead continue to pile up outside of our headquarters, and likely wherever it is that you are holed up as well. At Kakos Industries, we don’t care much about the suffering of others, and we clearly don’t mind ruining thousands of lives to target one specific individual, but we care about you shareholders, and we will do what we can to make sure that you can live to see another Evil day. Oh, you know what, we might be broadcasting through the undead. I think I heard something about that. We had something else scheduled for today, but maybe the Guild of Transmission was unable to complete their task and the Division of Radio Transmission had to improvise.
We were not fully aware of the extent of the spread of the virus, so the Halloween party went down just as we had promised. It is one of the largest celebrations we throw each year, second only perhaps to the Shareholders’ Ball. I have to say that the costumes were outstanding, the bodies were even better, and the party was as blissful as possible. We only had to store maybe ten or fifteen of the unborn as their mothers went to party their asses off, which we thought was kind of low considering we advertised the service so well. I won’t call the technology “experimental”, but 15 data points doesn’t really prove a technology works and it makes it kind of difficult for us to move forward with it. And not a single person took me up on the offer to have a baby put in their thigh. Anyway, despite those few SMALL disappointments, everything was awesome. I was at the party when I heard the news about the spread of the virus, along with several other members of the board. We held a quick executive board session somewhere in the middle of the dance floor, and after the discussion, which was barely audible over the sound of the music, we each took the steps we thought everyone else had agreed to. For a few of the board members, this included chaining up everyone in a zombie costume just in case. For others it meant immediately setting about repopulation efforts. I headed up to my office to check on the situation worldwide. We didn’t want to spoil the party by telling anyone down there what was going on, so the Halloween party continues still. This broadcast is coming through some of the intercom speakers down there in the designated “Chill-Out Zone”, so, those of you chilling out… now you know. Everyone else has been partying consistently for the better part of three days. It’s not uncommon for people to wake up at a party around here, and then to continue partying, but usually we in the upper management know that it’s going to happen ahead of time. Some of the shareholders who were taking the “Haunted Mansion” tour of the Kakos facilities, which I will emphasize again were not decorated in any way for the holiday, are now stuck up on the roof trying to signal for help. This is largely because we locked them on the roof, and they foolishly used what bullets they had to shoot at the undead below. Once I got to my office, I was able to resume my position as the CEO and Head Necromancer in Charge. There aren’t a whole lot of rules on how to deal with these situations, and what I’ve learned has largely come from a darker time in Kakos Industries History, from the CEO before my grandfather. I’m forgetting his… or her name right now. For those of you who haven’t been around long enough to know this, Kakos Industries used to use the undead as a cheap and readily available labor source. We argued that they couldn’t possibly care that they were being used in this fashion based on measurements of the skull and estimates of how much of the tissue inside was still functional. We also argued that they were clearly happy, based on the way they groaned and moaned their lively necro spirituals. Unfortunately, we were completely wrong. Kakos Industries is not averse to putting people to work like this. In fact, we practice slavery to this day in our Hell labor camps. They prefer to call it forced fun, but as CEO I have to call ‘em like I see ‘em. It was just that never before in our history as a company had we so unfairly targeted a group to be the sole members of such a labor force. It was a black mark on the record of a company with a completely black record in the first place. Then there was a long and difficult period of segregation between the living and the dead, placing them in the back of the buses to and from the building for fear that they might bite or infect the living, and providing them separate bathroom facilities so that the living didn’t have to be around the blood and general decomposition. Soon enough, though, they were allowed to occupy the same spaces here at Kakos Industries, and we even gave them their own baseball league that catered to their specific abilities, the necro league. After a few years of measures designed to counteract the socioeconomic effects of being used as forced labor, it seemed like some degree of equality was achieved. Then, after a couple more years, whatever we had done to reanimate the dead in the first place began to fail. Every effort was taken to save the undead, but a few years after that our last remaining undead employee, living name Ephraim Holtz, dead name Chicken Fingers, finally succumbed to the axe wound that had left him dead the first time. And like that, the whole conflict was left in the past with the proud undead themselves. Undead slavery was abolished, and then shortly after that the undead themselves were abolished. I have to say that, if things had continued, it would have been a serious issue. I mean, living and working amongst the people who once held you as property would be an uphill struggle, no matter how many generations had passed. I am sure glad that is not the case today. It is probably all for the best.
The celebration that we hold next, assuming civilization survives and we don’t have to restart the entire population from the shareholders that are still partying in the basement, is the Festival of Anti-Celebration. It is the festival where we acknowledge that the holiday season is approaching and it is terrible. Where is the fun in the holiday season as we celebrate it? Everything is just so… happy. Where is the darkness? Where is the acknowledgement that everything is terrible and we are all doomed? Where is that good, old-fashioned recognition of death and pain and unhappiness that gives our elevated moods the spice they so desperately need? Where is the ambergris? With all of the artificial, myopic happiness, it is no wonder that this is the time of year when so many out there choose to leave this plane of existence. Kakos Industries has known for a long time that some people are incapable of seeing the world through those manic lenses, and the holidays can leave them, how should I say, isolated. Further, those people are much more likely to be shareholders than the rest of the population. There is no gathering for this festival. Instead, it is anti-celebrated by each of us in our own way, by avoiding or actively destroying any mention of the upcoming holiday high that others are anticipating so intensely. The celebration officially kicks off later this week, but it lasts until January, when everyone decides that it’s time to get back to work, even though the worst of winter has not yet passed. There will be other celebrations hosted by Kakos Industries in that time, but none of them will be associated with St. Nicholas, the winter avatar of the one true Jesus, giving gifts to affluent children, or a whitewashed reimagining of genocide. Stay strong, shareholders.
(The window slides open)
(The groaning of the undead returns)
(The window closes)
This is serious, shareholders. I do not know what measures we are implementing out there at present, but I am confident that we are at work on an antidote, or at least something that might reduce the lifesigns of the otherwise dead outside our building and around the world. I understand that much of the population has been placed in a dream-like hibernation, thanks to the Division of Somnambulation and Vegetation, that has reduced their appeal to the undead. It will also make it easier to explain away this horrible fuck-up later. I am told that the Damnation and Ruination Squad is frantically working to figure out which zombie virus they released into the world. The story so far is that one of their interns was given the task of securing “A Zombie Virus” and was given no other instructions whatsoever. Let’s do some other announcements.
The Culinary Division here at Kakos Industries has perfected and begun to sell books about their new impressive diet fad. The Maleveo Diet focuses primarily on eating only the heart, liver, and eyes of any animal, and doing so completely raw off of a cast iron dagger. The book, sponsored by our head dietician Karista Nibbles, gives readers plenty of options for ways to season their cast iron dagger to match their blood type, which is to say the type of blood that they are supposed to be consuming. Testimonials on the back of the book indicate that people have lost weight, gained muscle, felt more evil, and had a terrible time trying to shit. The diet really allows its followers to get in touch with their ancient and most evil ancestors, eating as they once did. Ideally, the rest of the animal would go to waste, but I understand that allowances are made when it is so difficult to source the whole animal for yourself. I mean, most of the diet’s followers won’t even be able to find animals that have been strictly fed a cannibal diet before they are slaughtered. Fortunately, Kakos Industries has ramped up production of these animals, and looks forward to feeding the crazed and desperate eaters of the world.
The Division of Motor Vehicles is proud to announce that they have finally perfected their self-driving car. This is a huge step for us here at Kakos Industries. Not too long ago, the DMV finished up work on a self-driving car that operated perfectly under all common driving conditions. They weren’t satisfied, though. They really asked themselves how they could Do Evil Better, and the result is this new self-driving vehicle, which is only as good as a human driver, and I mean one human driver in particular. The program was modelled after a tightly-wound New York cab driver after a twelve hour shift. This new program makes terrible mistakes and should never be let out on the road, but the important thing to recognize here is that the mistakes are surprisingly human. There is a certain type of mistake that is distinctly technological, and then there is a certain type of mistake that is distinctly human, and the program makes a lot of the latter, with virtually none of the former. For example, accidentally mowing down a crowd of people because of the confusing road work and a GPS error is a technological mistake. On the other hand, intentionally mowing down a crowd of people because they look like all the people who have mistreated you over the years, before getting out of the car sobbing and cursing the entire world, is a human mistake. Truly, we could not be more proud of it.
I have an update for you shareholders. The Damnation and Ruination Squad has discovered the empty space in the zombie virus rack that this virus belonged to. They tell me that the virus in question is ZA-237-B. I don’t know what that means yet, and I don’t know if they know what that means either. We might be a whole lot closer to figuring this out, or no closer at all. That happens to be true pretty much always, though.
I would really like to do the segment we call “Things We’re Taking Credit For Now.” Nothing would please me more than to be able to do that. Unfortunately, taking credit for things like cotton swabs doesn’t really seem to stack up to the thing that we definitely caused right outside our doors right now. You know that really inconvenient thing in your life that you hate? Well it just doesn’t compare to the undead ruining everything for everyone. Let it be said that I eagerly look forward to a time when things return to normal, and I can do my job like I’m supposed to.
Paula Deen Goldberg is the winner of this week’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. As a result, the life of Tobias Nanananana, will be ruined. The wheel of misery spun for a remarkably shorter period this time before landing on the space for “Zombie Apocalypse”. “Zombie Apocalypse”. Careful listeners, and Evil Megacorporation CEOs alike, might be surprised to hear that the wheel of misery has a space for Zombie Apocalypse, considering this catastrophic blunder we are in right now, the kind of thing you might call a Zombie Apocalypse, was caused by a space labelled “Greatest Desire Granted”. Why wouldn’t the Zombie Apocalypse space have come up when Zombie Apocalypse was intended by Greatest Desire Granted? Shareholders, it is not for us to question the Wheel of Misery or the decisions that it makes. When we question it, it doesn’t turn, and sometimes it needs costly repairs. Of course, this could be superstition and confirmation bias, but I am afraid that, just by saying that it could be superstition, the wheel may become uncooperative in the future. Truly, some things are just not for us to know, and that may be merely because there is nothing to know at all. One way or another, it is a merciful kindness that we don’t have to set out about ruining a life in this chaos. At any rate, I am told that Mr. Nanananana was bitten earlier today, and that Ms. Goldberg’s arm was severed after a potential bite injury for good measure. Best of luck to her.
And that brings us to the end of today’s broadcast. I wish I could leave you all in a better place, but as you can hear…
(The window opens)
Well, shit. It looks like all of the zombies are dead. Let me uhh… let me check my email. Okay. I have to admit I don’t understand everything that’s written here, but there’s something about increased metabolism and imminent starvation with this particular zombie virus. Well, that is certainly good to know. It would seem that no undead or living thing is capable of sprinting, jumping, creeping, crawling, and dragging for three whole days while only feasting on select body parts and staying alive. Perhaps we could do something to fix that with the heavier calories… whoa, that was close shareholders. We really have to be careful about our good ideas around here. If we get people too excited, Evil things can happen, and sometimes those Evil things are disastrous. Anyway, here are the numbers.
Kakos Industries is written and produced by Conrad Miszuk, who is also the voice of Corin Deeth. The music is also composed by Conrad Miszuk. The introduction is read by Kim Aiello, and the credits are read by Hanna Jones, who is currently sword-fighting a small bear. Check out KakosIndustries.com for more episodes. There’s also transcriptions if you’d rather read the Kakos Industries announcements. That’s K-A-K-O-S-I-N-D-U-S-T-R-I-E-S dot com. Questions, comments, or a strong desire to collaborate? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s I-N-Q-U-I-R-I-E-S @ K-A-K-O-S-I-N-D-U-S-T- R-I-E-S dot com. If you like Kakos Industries, be sure to rate and review us on iTunes and Stitcher, and like us on Facebook.
If you’re feeling down after this broadcast, have you considered writing a manifesto?