Fortunately, it appears that Khaotica -- much like my love for Morgan Freeman -- was actually ahead of the curve.
So I present to you a special Khaotica guest post by St. Judas the Obscene.)
The 2013 Joey Kamikaze Khaotica Special
The way the snow is coming down, getting out of here in the morning is going to be twice the adventure finding the cabin was to begin with, and Nid is only half-relieved to see Joey answer the door. With a resigned sigh he waves to Celeste, who's still huddled over the heater in the truck. The heavy Montana snow is already up to Celeste's knees, but she plows her way to the door and follows the men into the snow-logged cabin. “I almost gave up on you two,” their host says as he closes the door. “Welcome to the set of the 2013 Joey Kamikaze Khaotica Special. Do you have your signed waivers?”
After the couple strip off their boots and coats Joey introduces the camera crew and leads them toward the living room, where the rest of the special guest stars are gathered. Before they can get there Manisha pops around the corner in a pastel Lil' Ganesha & Friends t-shirt and a headset, tablet in hand. Celeste squeals and dive-hugs Manisha while Nid and Joey share a glance. Not that Joey can see Nid's face beneath his festive Frosty the Snowman mask, but let's not dwell on that detail for now.
Celeste gives her Indian other-mother a wry look. “Oh god, Manisha, you're producing for him again? After the thing with the drunk-driving leprechauns? Really?”
“That was a PSA,” Joey says, and everyone wisely ignores him.
“At least that means there should be craft service this time,” Nid says. “He tried to trick the crew of Evil T: The Icepick-Wielding Sub-Terrestrial into potlucking every day.”
“In the dining room,” Manisha says. “And I'm only here because he roped my crew in under the table anyway... again... and I wanted to meet Pete Townshend.”
Celeste's eyebrow arcs and she follows Manisha to the living room, but Nid puts a hand on his cousin's shoulder and gives him a hard look in the eyes from behind the mask. “Why all the cloak and dagger about making a special for a holiday no one's heard of? Khaotica? You know I don't like being on camera, even with the mask.”
“You know how sometimes I get these feelings?” Joey says.
“Oh geez. I know what it is. It's been five years since Ruth killed Santa Claus.”
“She killed him in the future. And you know how the fives thing works. A Khaotica special is the perfect way to dispel this auspicious anniversary's bad mojo.” Nid nods along; that kind of magical thinking is Joey's usual forte. And it explains why they're filming in the ass end of nowhere... though there was never any hiding from Santa when he was in the mood to kill. “C'mon, I'll introduce you to everyone so we can start filming.”
The other special guests are lounging before a majestic river-rock fireplace, the centerpiece of a spacious living room full of plaid couches, shaggy suede easy chairs and other decor that's probably been here since the cabin was built during the Carter administration. The fake moose heads are a nice touch. Joey directs Nid to a somewhat obese 40-something in a leather jacket with greasy hair dozing in one of the recliners. “This is Phonzie, Milwaukee's preeminent Fonzie impersonator. He's here to represent the episode of Happy Days where the Fonz is alone for Christmas until the Cunninghams invite him over.”
Phonzie wakes up enough to offer a hand and a “Merr-aaaaay Christmas.”
Nid shakes Phonzie's hand, holds in his groan and feels thankful the look on his face is hidden. The next guest is at least the real deal. “Yukon Cornelius,” Nid says, needing no introduction.
“Pleased to make your acquaintance,” says the famed prospector. “You here for the silver or gold?”
“Mostly the gift baskets.” Nid looks to Joey. “I'm sensing a theme with your guests.”
“I want to devote my Khaotica special to my other favorite holiday specials.”
“You mean you're doing a clip show because it's cheap. Are you even paying for the rights to the clips, or are you just going to pull them up on YouTube?”
“These specials are representatives of the Khaotica spirit!”
“The Khaotica spirit? Care to define that?”
“No, but don't go around using it, I'm having it copyrighted if this thing's a hit.”
The next guest looks like a four foot tall rug and smells like a muskrat's ass. “You remember Lumpy from the Star Wars Holiday Special.” It's not a question, as Joey has made that particular travesty's viewing a mandatory annual event back home. Nid offers a hand and a greeting and gets a mouthful of random growls and his arm almost ripped off in return. Once Nid has his shoulder back in the socket Joey introduces him to the man with the guitar sitting on the largest couch, currently squeezed tight between Celeste and Manisha. “Representing the Whos of Whoville from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this is Pete Townshend.”
“Um,” says Nid, but he shakes Pete Townshend's hand and asks for an autograph while wondering silently behind the mask, Pete Townshend is too classy to nail another guy's wife, right? Whenever he and Celeste run into rock stars — and it happens more in their careers than you'd think — Nid has regrets about this whole open marriage thing.
The last special guest is a loose-gazed woman in a Nazi uniform and pyramid hat huddled in an easy-chair in the far corner, occasionally jittering and foaming like a rabid squirrel. “And this is Tila Tequila,” Joey says. “Tila has her own special coming out later this week on VH1.”
Tila Tequila stares off into the empty space between Joey and Nid and bellows, “SOMEONE NEEDS TO SPEAK THE TRUTH WITHOUT FEAR! Otherwise the dark cabal who currently control the world and all of the world bankers will continue to feed you their lies, feed off your emotions, take advantage of your emotions and will continue to keep you THEIR SLAVE!”
Nid pulls Joey aside for a quick family pow-wow. “Please tell me you're not sleeping with her.”
“You know I swore off dating reality TV stars after Susan Boyle left me at the altar on Celebrity Bachelorette. Don't worry about it. Thanks for bringing it up. Ass.”
Before Nid can clarify his objections Manisha springs from the couch. “Okay everybody, it's time to start filming. Act natural and let Nid and Joey lead the conversation. We're going to play clips from different specials and movies, assuming the wifi behaves.” With that she's away behind the cameras, and Nid resigns himself to his fate. He takes a seat on the other side of Pete Townshend from his wife, who gives him a look that could either mean We're in this together, honey or I'm totally banging the guy who wrote "Tommy" later tonight, Nid isn't sure which.
Joey sits in his director's chair beneath a flat panel mounted to the wall by the fireplace, dispensing childhood memories and trading barbs with Nid, pulling feedback from the other guests, generally making an ass of himself like usual. Behind the cameras, Manisha's crew feeds clips to the screen and does their best to keep Joey's focus from derailing too often. Joey introduces them (and the hypothetical future audience) to a few Khaotica traditions — for example, he gives everyone gift-wrapped recently-fresh fish and Slim-Jims, and they have a contest to see who can suck the red off a vodka-infused candy cane and then get the remainder back into the wrapper and on the tree the fastest. But there's one thing that never comes up, so finally Nid has to ask, “Joey, where did this Khaotica nonsense come from?”
“You want to know the story of the first Khaotica?”
“Maybe? Do I? Are you going to tell it?”
Mr. Kamikaze clears his throat. “Khaotica is the traditional winter holiday of the ancient sasquatch tribes who roamed North America before humans ever stepped foot on the continent. According to their legends, in the ancient times a sasquatch called Krampus got into an argument with the Queen of the Narwhals over who was the better singer, so the Queen transformed Krampus into a monster.”
“Heeeeeey,” says the Phonz, “isn't a bigfoot already kind of a monster?”
“That's racist,” says Joey. “When Krampus returned to his tribe they were sorry for him at first, but eventually all his whining got on their nerves. The tribe decided to mess with Krampus a little so he'd laugh again and stop being such a bitch about things. It worked, kind of: Krampus moved away to become Europe's problem and the neighborhood quieted down again. So the sasquatches made Khaotica an annual celebration, or at least they did until most of them died from the diseases the first human immigrants brought over with them. But you can learn more about that in my upcoming book—”
“Are you just making this up as you go along?” Celeste says, and Joey putters off.
Nid sighs and looks the room over. “Isn't there anyone who knows what Khaotica is all about?”
“Raoirrrnnn, wuhuu hhrravhurrr rroa hrruunn.” Lumpy clears his throat and takes a spot in front of the fireplace, where the cameras can pick up the glow of the flames off his shaggy coat. Manisha dims the overheads and puts on the spotlight. The rest of the room goes silent as Lumpy explains:
Manisha flicks the lights back on. The Wookiee collapses sideways, eyes staring but their light already faded, as the flames from the burning log lodged through his abdomen lick at his stinking fur. Everyone scrambles away from the fireplace except Tila Tequila, who stamps and shouts, “STAND UP AND FIGHT!!!!!!! FEAR THEM NOT LIKE THEY FEAR ME, THE FUCKING SAMURAI!” She pulls what looks to be either mace or industrial-strength hairspray from her purse and makes to spray the corpse, but Phonzie grabs her and pulls her back behind one of the couches for cover as she wriggles and yells, “DOWN WITH THE NEW WORLD ORDER & THEIR ZIONIST SHILLS!!”
Another log goes jetting over Nid and Celeste's heads, disintegrating the top two inches of the loveseat they're hiding behind. The third log kills camera 3 and Ron, the grip cowering behind it, who works — worked — on Manisha's show. When Nid looks for Manisha he doesn't see her, but he heard a few people jumble into the closest and he thinks another group went upstairs. As he's watching maybe half a dozen members of the film crew go running out the front door. The last two logs in the fireplace explode against the door frame after them.
“It's him,” Joey says. “I'll be back.” He bolts for the stairs as a cloud of silt and dust chokes the room. The scratching in the chimney is getting nearer, and the bastard's kicking down every bit of ash and creosote he can on the way.
Celeste grabs Nid's arm, and with brief satisfaction Nid notices Pete Townshend running out the front door, dragging Tila Tequila by an arm. “What's Santa's weakness again? Do we need a frog?” Celeste's only tangled with Santa once, and she technically died in the attempt. So did Nid and Joey, that time. Only a bit of time travel on Ruth's part resolved that particular knot, and she's refused to spend the holidays with them since. But Nid's killed Santa with Joey probably two dozen times now since they were teenagers. Like an iconic horror movie villain, he always comes back.
“It changes every incarnation. Nothing works twice.” The whole Santa thing could probably use a quick explanation, right? For the record, the Santa Claus of goodwill and cheer who brings gifts to the children of the Christian West every December 25 is mythological. The gifts are supplied by your parents and/or guardians, the mental image is supplied by Coca Cola's advertising department. Sorry if I spoiled that for you. This Santa Claus is a... something... summoned from... somewhere... by a team of CIA psi researchers during the Cold War, “Like if Cthulhu could only exist in this dimension as the Tooth Fairy,” if you believe Joey's account.
The story goes: During a December 14, 196X attempt to contact the dead and recruit them for intelligence work, the CIA accidentally unleashed a being that took the form of Santa Claus, supposedly after the office decorations. It rampaged around New England in that form until December 31, when some nameless agency sealed Santa back... well, either where he belonged or at least somewhere that wasn't here. But he's been able to manifest by December 14 most years since then. The way Joey tells it, he first encountered Santa when he was 12, and that was the first time he killed the evil old elf—the first civilian to do so. The lethal rivalry continued unabated, and Nid soon became parcel to the most famous of his cousin's blood feuds with supposedly-mythological beings. It seemed Santa's appearances were coming sooner and sooner every year until Ruth killed him five years ago. Decisively, they'd hoped.
But nope. With one last series of scrapes and scratches their old nemesis emerges, looking plump and soul-hungry as ever. His dirty wool suit is stained almost purple with the blood of decades of victims; within his fluffy white beard are braided tiny finger-bones from the latest batch of children he's devoured. His jolly blue eyes move but lack light or expression, and he never blinks. “Ho ho ho! Who's been nice this year? Who's been naughty? It doesn't matter, you're all going to be bodies! Ho ho ho!”
Yukon Cornelius steps forward in challenge to distract Santa while Phonzie makes a run for the door. “Didn't I ever tell you about bodies? Bodies bounce!” While Nid wonders what the hell that was supposed to mean, the prospector twirls his pickaxe and lunges at the terror from the chimney with a lung-emptying “Wahooooooooooo!”
For a brief moment Nid allows himself hope, but Yukon's face meets Santa's backhand with a wet crunch, and the Claus strips the prospector's pickaxe like he's taking cookies from an unattended plate. The pickaxe spins up in the air over their heads as Santa snaps Yukon's neck in his mangy green gloves. The axe splats down into Yukon's twisted body, spraying viscera. Santa plucks the pickaxe from his foe's body, gives it a lick. “You were nothing.”
Santa turns to look at the loveseat Nid and Celeste are ducked behind, smiles. “Ho ho ho! Christmas, Yuletide, all year round! Christmas in July! Love to hear that jolly sound, screams you make when you die! Ho ho ho!” The wicked elf holds up a stained burlap sack and makes a show of rummaging through it. “What's in Santa's bag, my dear? What's he have for you, my friend? We'll make Christmas last all year, then bring your species to an end! Ho ho ho, there it is!” Santa pulls a laser-chainsaw—Nid's never seen them for sale either, but by goddess that's a laser-chainsaw, alright—from his sack and slices the nearest coffee table in half just for fun. Nid's grip on Celeste's shoulder tightens and he gives the door a glance, but he knows better than to run from Santa in the snow. If they don't stop the Claus here, all those escaped guest celebrities are already dead, and plenty others too. Besides, who knows what Santa's magic has cooked up outside to keep them trapped here.
“Where the hell is your cousin?” Celeste whispers.
Santa seems to have the same question. “Kamikaze! Show yourself, or I start pulling limbs off family members!” A leopard-print couch covered in questionable stains and a few pieces of mass-produced pop art feel the laser-chainsaw's fury.
“SANTA!” Joey descends from the loft, a familiar-if-chintzy rifle in his hands. He waves for Nid and Celeste to break cover and run upstairs behind him. Upstairs, Manisha waves Nid and Celeste to a spot in the loft overlooking the living room. Most of the camera crew is with her, remotely operating the cameras with their tablets and laptops.
“Kamikaze!” Santa laughs the most ominous ho ho ho Nid's heard in his life; Jabba the Hutt couldn't top it. “When I'm done with you there won't be enough left to send home in a stocking!”
“Hope you kept a gift receipt, Claus, because I know something you don't!” Joey holds up a sheet of paper. “Every weakness of every manifestation you'll take over the next three hundred years, thanks to a friend in the future.” He cocks the rifle. “Let me introduce you to this go round's: the official Red Rider 200 shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time!” And Joey sends his eye down the sight.
“You have to be joking,” Santa says, but he no longer sounds so sure of himself. He takes a step forward, raising the laser-chainsaw, and the BB gun gives a subtle clclk. The laser-chainsaw drops to the floor and dies (the laser goes off, in other words) as Santa's crusty gloves dart to his brow. “You shot my EYE out!” Santa wails, then he shatters like a vase hitting concrete. The shards of his hollow body dissolve into greasy red-green smoke that escapes back up the chimney, and a stillness settles over the cabin.
Nid lets go of the breath he was holding and kisses his wife.
The headcount later puts the death toll at 9, counting all the people killed by the “snow sharks” the survivors who fled outdoors claim were patrolling the area during Santa's attack. Descriptions of the beasts vary, but everyone agrees Phonzie jumped three of them on his motorcycle only to be devoured by another pair moments later. The last anyone saw Pete Townshend, he was following Tila Tequila into the woods.
Nid elbows his cousin in the ribs. “You knew the whole time. Ruth gave you that list years ago.”
“Maybe.” Joey smiles. “Manisha, how'd the footage come out?”
Manisha prods at the pile of smoldering fur that used to be Lumpy the Wookiee with one of her flip-flops. “I'm already editing it down. I think we're talking pay-per-view. You might even make enough to off-set the damages from all the upcoming wrongful death suits.”
The snow is still coming down, but Nid and Celeste are jacked up on adrenaline and don't feel like sleeping in the cabin anymore so they bid everyone good night and get away before law enforcement shows up asking questions. The drive isn't so bad once they get back on pavement, and Celeste leans her head against Nid's shoulder and sighs contentedly.
“Too bad Pete Townshend ran off though,” Celeste says. “I was totally going to jump that. What do you think happened to him and Tila Tequila?”
Nid doesn't say anything, but he silently thanks Santa for this Khaotica miracle.
Deep within the woods, miles in the other direction, Tila Tequila feasts on the blood of her most recent kill and howls naked at the moon in the random tongues of her people, cursing the reptilian NWO members who made the emerald consciousness elves go into hiding. But she makes sure to keep the blood-autographed guitar intact because she needs rent money.