The Scam Du Jour

Vitalizers were brass capsules about two and a half inches long and five-eighths of an inch in diameter; on each end was a hose barb to facilitate installation of the unit.

When the device was placed just prior to an engine’s carburetor in an automobile’s fuel line, the user would benefit an immediate increase in fuel economy of ten to twenty percent.

The revolutionary technology was patented and for only $1999.00 you could become an exclusive Vitalizer dealer.   Not only could you install the devices for a hundred bucks a pop and save your customers hundreds in fuel costs, you could even set them up as independent dealers themselves and profit on the units they purchased!   That’s where the real money was.

By explaining how the amazing little device, which housed a specific mix of specially alloyed metals, would impart the correct electrical charge to each gasoline molecule that passed through it insuring total separation of the fuel molecules to guarantee a 100% burn within the engine, a good salesman would show any prospective buyer their foolishness in passing up this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I installed one unit on my 1968 Cadillac De Ville with a 500 cubic inch monster and another on my new 1984 Nissan pickup.   Neither automobile exhibited a discernible decrease in fuel consumption.

When I returned my unused Vitalizers to the company complaining they did not work and I couldn’t sell something that did not work, I was told the units could not be returned.  

While I wasn’t smart enough to spot the scam of the day, I was smart  enough to make my Vitalizer purchase with a Visa card; a simple letter to Visa explaining my story and that the units had already been returned to the company expedited a credit to my account.

Touché, take that Vitalizer bastards!

Earlier, when I was in high school, one of our classmates showed up at school with a brand new Toyota pickup and we were perplexed to find he could afford this vehicle.   For only $2000.00 you could get into the pyramid , and when you brought along two friends to invest their money at the myriad of pyramid parties seemingly popping up everywhere your advance up the pyramid would expeditiously award you $16,000.

Not as imaginative and far-reaching as Ponzi’s stamp scheme of the 1920’s, but this 1980 rendition still followed the predictable and age old formula of appealing to human nature’s greed for its promulgation.

Listening to a radio advertisement recently I was reminded of these particular schemes and even a couple multi-level marketing programs I immersed myself into in my adolescent efforts to grasp our American dream.  

This new scheme, so much more sophisticated and integrated into our consciousness, has become an industry of its own.

Ruminating over the radio commercial that ended, Global warming is a choice , I thought it quite interesting that in each instance we’ve heard some celebrity crackpot or some environmentalist zealot pontificate over the evils of human consumption and our responsibility in creating this horrible phenomenon, their mission (to inform us all) seems always to be accompanied by consumption that would be considered notorious if exhibited by any of us unimportant people.

Laurie David jets around the country (burning lots of airplane fuel) in an effort to expand her ministry , convincing people to embrace her view offering less evidence to support claims than radical Christians offer in their worship of Jesus Christ.

Leonardo DiCaprio drives a Prius and installs solar panels at his palatial estate as if to suggest his efforts are going to save us.   Meanwhile, the rest of us living modest lifestyles won’t use as much electricity each month as he spends only on air-conditioning.

In between the posturing and propaganda, industry is advertising like mad to sell its green products that often burn up more fuel in their production than regular products do over the course of their useful life.   Universities offer courses and degrees in green science , and Al Gore has shills run his Carbon Credit company, all the while using more energy at his estate pumping more carbon into the atmosphere than ten average American families do.

I need to get my Vitalizer franchise back, if I can get every American car owner to install one I will do more to solve global warming than all the celebrity morons put together.

Just don’t tell anyone they won’t work, the facts don’t matter, only my intentions do.


Copyright 2007 Jim Pontillo