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

8 thoughts on “The Scam Du Jour

  1. Reminds me of PT Barnum everytime I hear a
    celeb talk about Global Warming and I remember
    the hysteria over Global Cooling by the same “type” of people in the 1970s. Us little folks need
    these celebs to tell us how to live our lives and
    conserve in our little houses while they live in
    MacMansions (most of them live in more than one)
    and fly in private jets. Can you say hypocrite?

  2. I love those pyramid scams, they come around about every 20 years. I have never felt the need to indulge.

    However, this global warming con will only last a short time; as our renowned scientists say it is a prelude to a small ice age. We humans may have a very tiny influence in the global warming, but we can’t fight mother nature.

    Gore won an Oscar for his efforts, even though he doesn’t abide by the rules he expects us common folks to comply.  After all we are not royalty.


  3. Comparing Laura David with “radical” Christians wow your playing fire… I would like to hear your view point on “radical” Christians…

  4. Ed Begley is a true believer at least. He’s been eating and breathing this environmental stuff for twenty years.
    What’s interesting is that he has his own cable tv show about it now. And now that environmentalism has become a hot trend in Hollywood, other celebrities are beating a path to his door so he can show them how to “green up”.
    Also, some celebs on the show try to outdo each other by having the latest and greatest in “sustainable” homes.
    It’s hysterical to see Larry Hagman showing off the newly installed solar power set-up that cost 3/4 of a million dollars on his 15,000 square foot mansion!

  5. Global warming scaredy-cats totally ignore the fact that, very recently (in the 17th Century), the earth went through a little ice age. In Europe and North America – just when the USA was being settled – winters were too long and summers too short. So short there wasn’t enough time to properly plant and harvest. Because of this kind of weather – as much as for the “30 years war” that went on at that time – Europe was almost devasted. Finally, in 1720, there was a long summer. People planted and harvested, and (cheers) there was enough food to go around. In England, it was caled “the blessed year”. To me, this shows that weather is something which is beyond human control. It is predicted that a new ice age is coming, in a few years. What will the scaredy-cats say, when it happens?

  6. I don’t understand why you continue to act as if it’s only celebrities that understand that Global Warming is indeed a threat to all of us. Most sane people in the world realize that the materials and energy we use has damaging effects on the planet. Remember the scare a decade ago with the hole above the antarctic caused by CFC’s?

    It’s called “cognitive dissonance” – you just don’t want to believe that you’re wrong, because it conflicts with what you were brought up to understand. Look it up.

    Although the optimism on what our planet is going to be like in a hundred years is amusingly cheery, as put out by rightwingers, it’s completely misguided.

  7. Zach,

    Are you three?

    When I was in grammer school we were going into the next ice age, now we are going to cook.

    Some say we are in a prelude to the next ice age.

    Do you know what percentage of the atmoshere is carbon dioxide?

    Do you know what percentage of carbon dioxide is put into the atmosphere by mankind?

    Didn’t you learn in school plants like to breath carbon dioxide?

    Are you a tree killer or a tree hugger?

    Bad carbon dioxide! Bad carbon dioxide!

    Next thing you whack jobs are going to tell us…there is too much oxygen in the atmosphere.


  8. Jim, In response to your comments about the gas vitalizer. I purchased one of those devices sometime back in the 80’s and it did all the things that the company said it would do. I purchased several more to get the first level discount and when I installed them the results were just as remarkable. I tell you the results were nothing short of absolutely remarkable. I was totally amazed! I documented all the tests and kept very accurate records. Because I was so impressed I too purchased a large order best I recall it was in the order of about $2K. Then for some strange reason the blasted things seemed to stop working. Not the original ones but the new ones. Then the company sort of disappeared. Of course the wife I had at the time told me it was a scam ( glad she is gone now in spite of her occasional wisdom) from the very beginning so that was the end of it all, just to shut her up! I later heard that the product was sabotaged to ruin the company and that was why they disappeared. I don’t know about that all I know is the original devices were absolutely fantastic and helped my Chevy vans as well as my Toyota run much better. I still have the one from my Toyota and have put it on my replacement cars.

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