episodes

96 – Strangeness

in which you have some uncomfortable memories, we hear an amazing story from Hell, light is shed on the personal life of Kimzzzzzzzzzz, Corin discovers an unusual support group, and Beng “wins” the Ruin-A-Life drawing. Do Evil Better.

Transcript:

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Intro: What you are about to hear is enough sincerity combined with irony to give you whiplash.

Hello and welcome to the Kakos Industries corporate shareholder announcements. At Kakos Industries we help everyone who is anyone and everyone who isn’t anyone at all to Do Evil Better. My name is Corin Deeth III and I am CEO here at Kakos Industries. Last time you heard from me, shareholders, we had a bit of an occupation from the Church of Crumbs, a cult dedicated to Evil, and perhaps more annoyingly dedicated to taking credit for the Evils of others. They all went home shortly after the Thwiccening or whatever it was. I am told that many of them ended up returning to use our infirmary here at the building because many of the bake sale items were undercooked, or contained some other pathogen. We lost one of them, but that’s probably okay. You might be wondering why we would help them at all. You see, as annoying as they are, and as big a pain in the ass as they can be, when they’re not here at Kakos Industries, they’re actually out there doing Evil, and our moral code requires us to get them back to health, and offer them a few pointers pro bono. It’s all in the name of Evil. A few years back they started digging up corpses in order to give them some sort of baptismal to get them into the Void Palace. It’s weird, but definitely Evil. They’ve also been known to protest outside of food banks, preaching that access to social safety nets keeps people from turning desperate and greedy and discovering the darkness within them. They also tend to have a lot of kids, which makes more Evil people, which is obviously Evil. They do a lot of Evil. They’re just kind of misguided and not great at it. It’s just… We have to look after them sometimes. I think you get the point.

These announcements come to you from an album that usually takes you back to a difficult emotional time. I can’t tell you why you got it out, or what possessed you to try listening to it again. I mean, it used to be one of your favorites, but you became too reliant on it. You would listen to it any time bad feelings would overcome you, and before you knew it the bad feelings overcame the album. Now when you listen to it, instead of remembering the joy it used to bring you, you remember the pain it used to save you from. So you put it away. It just makes you think of him, or them, or that time, and then you have to switch to something else. Something that doesn’t hurt so much. There have been many albums like it since, but you handle them more carefully. When the hurt is too great, you ask yourself the important question: can I lose this album forever? Sometimes the answer is yes. Other times the answer is no. Had you only known for this album, though. Had you only known how it would be lost to you. Every so often, you get it out to give it a try. Or maybe it comes up on random. Or maybe you just catch yourself humming the riff to the single. But it always gives you that pang of sadness. Its loss is perhaps greater than the feelings that poisoned it in the first place. And today, moments ago, you found yourself looking for that hit of nostalgia. You wanted to remember a different time. And then the usual sad feeling set in. The album could never mean to you what it once did. And that put your mind in the perfect place for the suggestion of this broadcast. I know that “suggestion” is a strange choice of words, but it is what is on the documentation in front of me. Division of Direction in collaboration with Daveni’s Self Help. Suggestion. At any rate, we appreciate you going through the emotional obstacle of playing this music. It may come to pass that some day, the sound of my voice may bring you similar painful-yet-nostalgic feelings. Be careful how you listen to me. Especially if you’re not a shareholder. If you’re not a shareholder, then you will be shortly returned to the album you were listening to moments ago, but now it will be so much sadder.

We recently had the Darkest Universe Festival, but as I mentioned last time, our hearts just weren’t in it. We were behind. We were overloaded with other work. And most of the indicators seemed to show us that it wouldn’t be beneficial to us or Evil to spend all of our time and resources trying to pull it off at the last second. So we did just enough, set up all of the tests, and prepared ourselves for a slightly less dark Universe than we might want deep down in our hearts. That being said, I think our token effort may have caused a much stranger problem than simply not being dark enough. That problem is that we seem to be in a much stranger Universe than expected. For example, we placed a cardboard box full of freshly minted kittens on a busy freeway. Or should I say potential kittens. Well, we retrieved the box to see how the rage-filled rush hour traffic had dealt with our little test. There were no kittens inside, but instead puppies. And a few more of them than the potential kittens we put or did not put inside. This was strange. We checked with some of the other big bads out there to see if maybe we picked up the wrong box, but it was definitely our box. We checked with the team responsible for placing the test, and they couldn’t remember anything about the box. Very strange. What is perhaps even more strange is that one of the good people we had in our holding facility turned into stone without anyone thinking Evil thoughts about him at all. In fact, we thought so little of him, we had forgotten he was even in there. Solid rock. We’re keeping our fingers on the pulse of this one. As always, it could have been a coincidence. There are around seven things inside of Kakos Industries that could turn anyone to stone at any given time. And perhaps two things that can turn cats into dogs. But to say that these occurrences would be rare is an understatement. I will let you know if anything else strange happens.

The Nudity Festival was also strange. Despite not preparing for it at all, nor even announcing it, we all found ourselves suddenly quite naked without planning on it, and without even a clear memory of why we disrobed. I was in a meeting. It would have been mortifying if it weren’t for the fact that everyone else in the meeting had also chosen to disrobe at the same time. I mean, if you weren’t there, I don’t think I can adequately explain to you the shock of finding yourself naked in a time and place where you should be clothed professionally around peers and employees whose opinions matter deeply to you, only to find that they had also disrobed. It is the strangest and most sudden relief I have ever felt, but it left me with more questions than answers. Most experienced employees quickly put together what had happened, and instead of putting our clothes back on, we popped the sparkling wine and had a party. I couldn’t shake that initial terror, though. It was the stuff of nightmares. Why am I naked. What have I done. Why is this happening. What is wrong with me. Why are they also naked. Does that make it any better? What if it happens again and it’s just me that time? Scary stuff. As this was a celebration that happened during the work day, Gordon Friel was 1000% on board. I think he navigated the emotional journey from utter terror to relief to immeasurable joy better than anyone.

We have the Water Festival and the Earth Festival coming up. I tend to get kind of cranky about the Water Festival, being that Kakolantis has been such a disappointment, so when a member of the Division of Dionysia suggested combining the two festivities into the Mud Festival, I didn’t even bother explaining how that misses the point, and we have obligations, and there is tradition, etc., and instead I just said, go for it. You’ll still get to do your drugs. You’ll still get to think about the failures of Evil, but you’ll also be able to roll around in mud, I guess. I didn’t actually pay much attention to the pitch. I just figured it would be better than the Water Festival and told them to knock themselves out. Maybe there will be a slide or something like that. It would be cool.

Some of you might be unaware that we have a device that keeps track of the average global level of Evil in one of the monitoring rooms here in the building that lets us know how Evil is doing through sound. Usually it’s just horrible screeching sounds, and for that reason, recording in the room is forbidden, but I am told it has recently switched to some groovy slap bass patterns. Strange stuff indeed.

I have news from Hell. And what news it is. It seems our drone camera technology really stepped up and knocked this one out of the park. The video they played for me showed Meredith Gorgoro with her enormous monster arm and perhaps two monster feet worn as slippers tearing through an underground village. A village for mutated monsters. Many of the streets were lit with torches or glowing fungi. The homes and businesses were carved from the stone walls of the cave. Intricate patterns were carved into the cave floor making something like cobblestone roads. Strange beasts were kept in captivity in what I assume were ranches. And then there was Meredith. She used her enormous arm to bust down doors and drag monsters from their homes into the streets, and then she used that enormous arm to smash them into the intricately detailed stone work making up the main roads. Many monsters ran in terror. They were a bit difficult to make out in the dark, so I can’t really describe more than their silhouettes. Many were large. Twice the size of Meredith. Three times the size of Meredith. Others were tiny. Many had extra limbs. Many had limbs that made no anatomical sense to me. Our scientists have been pouring over the footage trying to figure out what exactly happened. It was horrifying to see Meredith yanking these creatures from a sound slumber only to clobber them with that enormous arm. Clobberstone? There’s something in there. But the thrill of just how much power she wielded with that vicious appendage was incredible. Her will was absolute. The monsters that ran were spared, but any that attempted to fight were smashed and pushed aside. This rampage through this monster civilization lasted around fifteen minutes. The last ten or so minutes were spent mainly tearing through the buildings looking for something. We had no idea that this stuff was even down there, so we had no idea what Meredith was looking for. I mean, these villages could only have existed for a few decades at most. Then, she found what she was looking for. Seated in a large, golden chair at the end of a long rug was this immense, furry beast. It had extra eyes, and teeth that stuck out from its mouth. It ate a few small pieces of a bulbous fungus. A few smaller monsters scattered, but this monster, this monster king, sat still. It just waited. Around this time, several of our drones managed to catch up with Meredith, so there are several angles. Meredith growled. The monster growled back. It was language. She learned a language. A monster language. The monster king didn’t like her tone, and it got up from its seat, cast aside the cloth draped across its chest, and puffed up. Meredith was unfazed. The monster charged her, roaring loud enough to distort the circuits on the drones. After all of that build up, I wished the fight had lasted longer. Meredith smashed the monster in the face with her monster arm, knocked it back, and then smashed its skull. The same one-two combo used so many times before during the rampage. Then, using a sharp nail from the monster arm, she severed this monster king’s right arm at the shoulder. I don’t know what she plans on doing with it. She probably needs at least one human arm for fine motor skills. Using a computer. Writing. Masturbating. And can she possibly do the surgery necessary to attach that arm with her other more monstrous arm? On closer inspection, the arm she severed looked awfully similar to the one she already had. Another monster of this same kind? Another monster king? Just how many villages like this had she visited already? Before we could ask too many more questions, she destroyed all of the drones with one swat from the massive hand on the end of that beastly arm. I was so fucking impressed.

Is that the problem? Have our experiments with monster arms struggled because the arms we’re using aren’t from monster kings? Is there something special about them? Fuck that arm is sick.

Shareholders, I’ve noticed something strange about the way that Kimzzzzzzzzz has been making these decrees. You see, some of them seem to follow the Wheel of Misery’s punishments for its Damnation and Ruination Squad. They got in trouble a long time ago for something. I have forgotten what it was, but suffice it to say they got in trouble. And the Wheel, through its unpredictable machinations, has been dishing out punishments since. It’s been years. I mentioned last time that the Damnation and Ruination Squad were wearing really tight clothes before Kimzzzzzzzzz made them sexy by decree. It got me thinking. I looked into it and they also had decadent nails, two-tone hair, a lack of muscle tone, dry skin, and many of the other decrees before Kimzzzzzzzzz decreed them. And one squad member in particular seems to stick out. Now, before I describe this individual, you should have some background about the Damnation and Ruination Squad. To become a squad member, you must turn your back on just about everything but Evil. This includes society, family, and most aspects of individuality, including names, titles, occupations, and gender. Often, they shed anything that might communicate something about them as a person. They clip their hair down to a quarter of an inch. They remove tattoos. Often, they cover as much of their faces and their bodies as they can. I’ve seen them wear baggy coveralls and blank masks. I’ve seen them wear stranger garb, but it is almost always identical to their fellow squad members to prevent standing out or being perceived as separate. Their internal structures are unknown, but it seems that they live a tribal life without a ruler, and they do as much of the Wheel’s will as possible without discussion. They value instinct. They also shun a lot of our social norms. They often form groupings for cuddle or sex in awkward locations for the rest of us and we then have to shoo them away, sometimes forcibly. It’s not ideal, but they don’t seem to hold a grudge. One among them, as I hinted at earlier, stands out no matter how much they might try not to. They are of tall and slender bone structure. When skin is exposed, it has a way of glistening in a universally appealing human way. This person also wore the strange fingernails best. It wasn’t until the really tight clothing came in that many of us really took notice. What was now visible was shocking. It wouldn’t surprise me if Kimzzzzzzzzz took notice first. Having a cult of sexual release under her command, it makes sense that she would then be most attracted to the forbidden fruit, developing a crush on this individual. The squad isn’t strictly forbidden, but they definitely play by different rules, and they are likely to leave a mark. Sometimes, they will take something of your identity. And other times, you find yourself serving a new circular master, leaving everything behind. Testing my hypothesis, I started making a note of anything strange the squad was seen wearing or doing. And then Kimzzzzzzzzzz made a new decree. Wearing a high heel on just one foot. This did not fit anything the Damnation and Ruination Squad has done recently. But Kimzzzzzzzzzz is smart. She could have caught wind of my hypothesis and attempted to throw me off the trail. She has ears everywhere. It is possible the only way I will be able to get to the bottom of this is by arranging a meeting between these two. Separating a member of the squad from the rest of the squad is no easy task.  I will keep you all posted.

Junior has been keeping busy. He helped us redirect a satellite. It just so happened that the satellite was responsible for his stream of underground DarkMegaEcuadorian cartoon porn. I guess that’s a thing.

I received a letter from my grandfather earlier today. The envelope read “In case the Universe is tripping.” I’m not sure how useful it is, but it is kind of relevant to the strange occurrences of the last few weeks. Like, moments ago, one of our human resources employees grew a horn out of nowhere. Lots of things could cause that, though. Anyway, he writes, “Sometimes the Universe trips all by itself. Whenever I noticed, I had usually taken a whole lot of something, but it was definitely the Universe that was tripping. You just gotta wait it out. Corin Uno.” Well, okay.

I checked on Jasmine Aashna and Dr. Dunkelwissen. They were just kind of cuddling on a big bean bag chair. They beckoned me to join, and before I knew it, I was sandwiched between the two of them on the bean bag chair. It was warm. A little too warm for my taste. And then they both got up and started taking notes. I have faith that they will learn something about the essence of sex, and perhaps they will discover what is most sex of all. Also, in the observation rooms, there were a lot of people sort of tied together in different cuddle positions. They were totally stuck that way. And it did not appear that Jasmine or Dunk has any interest in what they were experiencing.

Dana Govern keeps getting promoted. Now she’s a junior executive research assistant. It won’t be long before she’s an executive research junior assistant. There is something going on with those genes. She should be a putty by now.

I… um… I walked in on a meeting of Tabithas. It looked like an alcoholic meeting. Harsh fluorescent light, small cups of coffee, and they were all in a circle. I was looking for a secret passage, but I opened the wrong door. They were shocked to see me for sure, but they were all there. Tabitha, the one that used to sit closest to my door, reached out for me to come sit, but fight or flight took over and I got the hell out of there. Who are they and what the fuck are they doing? Maybe I’ll just never have sex again. How will I know my partner isn’t secretly a Tabitha. And what makes a Tabitha a Tabitha. It’s not just the name, right? It has something to do with me. If I sleep with someone, do they become a Tabitha by default? Are they a Tabitha just if they want me? Perhaps I should have sat down.

I am told the employee who died due to the generator going out came back to life when it was turned back on a few minutes ago. He was not attached to it in any way. And another barn just fell over. If any of you were curious.

They say that Evil once rode into every town in the world on a badass motorcycle, stealing the hearts of every young man and woman as it rode away. This is Things We’re Taking Credit for Now. Today, we’re taking credit for the tiny bits of plastic inside of your digestive system, the strange chemicals we breathe that become a part of us, and just being a fake-ass person. If you happen to disagree with anything we’ve taken credit for truly being our handiwork, then, well, at the very least you won’t be a real person anymore.

Beng has won today’s Ruin-A-Life Drawing. Like bang, but with an E. Beng. As a result, the life of Beng’s nemesis will be ruined. That nemesis is Nataleelee. Something for mononyms this week. We spun the wheel of misery with a mischievous level of intensity, and the wheel landed on the space for Attachment Issues. It is rare for us at Kakos Industries to accept half measures, so Nataleelee will not only be 18% more likely to be attached to another person emotionally, but also physically. We will make it so that Nataleelee’s skin is sticky when in contact with any other skin, be it human or animal, living or dead. Loved ones of Nataleelee will struggle to be free. For Evil measure, Beng will have a harder time adhering to loved ones, emotionally and physically. Congratulations on the win and best of luck.

This brings us to the end of the broadcast. I’m told that barn that fell over moments ago just stood back up again. There are plausible reasons for why that might have happened. Real, plausible reasons. Anyway, the numbers are next. Shortly after the numbers, you should find yourself tuning back into that album you’re been listening to. The emotionally painful one. But it’s one of the songs you always skipped and as such it has no emotional context for you at all. And maybe now you’ll start appreciating it more. It’s like an unreleased track from your favorite band. Except it was released. You just never liked it before. But now… it’s refreshing.

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1/16

1/92

1/7

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4/4

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 laser technician with the record for most butterfly tattoos removed. 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 inquiries@kakosindustries.com. 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, and Jack Attack. Also thanks to honored employee Dorkpool Dorkuss, who deleted the drunk tweet we were really going to regret, Chax Richter, who replaced the toner in the teleporter, and Chris Leclerc, who managed to remove the sticker finally. Boy it was on there good. 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, Patrick Green, head of The Division of Oceanic Micro-Cryptozoology, Xavier Jarman, Director of The Division of We Know Magic Doesn’t Exist But We’re Going to Keep on Trying, and Craig Czyz, director of the Division of Obscure Vintage Technology. The Division of Beanies, Booties, and Construction Projects That Are Probably Too Large for Yarn made so many tiny golems. None of them came to life, but a few seemed to move unprovoked. Now they’re working on what appears to be a swarm of bats.  The Division of Oceanic Micro-Cryptozoology is now looking into the moth-zooplankton. It was first sighted several decades ago in the woods of New England at night, by, you know, a scientist with a microscope. Many claim it doesn’t exist, but that will not stop this Division. The Division of We Know Magic Doesn’t Exist But We’re Going to Keep on Trying has started collecting blood from every human, monster, or animal they can get their hands on. Apparently one of those samples is going to break the curse eventually. The Division of Obscure Vintage Technology has found an antique synthesizer that just makes the most universally pained sounds imaginable in the attic. Some have attempted to play classical pieces, but it’s difficult to make it to the end of even shorter pieces. And it’s only monophonic. 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. Give yourself a high five to put the pep back in that step.

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