Pound Puller – the Diet Miracle

by on March 7th, 2015
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“Just three tablets a day will melt away those unwanted pounds and inches,” extolled the bikini-clad woman pushing the product on the screen. “Try a one-month supply of Pound Puller today for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling. If this product doesn’t pull those extra pounds off, we’ll double your money back!”

Her smile was over the top and her figure looked like something in a graphic novel’s cast list. If her voice was any indication, the chick was terminally happy. Ugh!

But if the reports I’d seen were accurate, her approach was selling Pound Puller in volume. My job was to investigate the product’s claims for my health magazine. The DVD we were viewing contained three different versions of her commercial and an “interview” program where she chatted with satisfied consumers about the miracle. I had lab analysis reports and a ton of data, but I was still unconvinced. The whole thing screamed “Scam!”

“Is there anything else you need, Jennifer?” My editor, George Brooks, rose from his chair across the room. “I’ve seen about all of this that I can stomach for one day.”

“I’m fine,” I lied. “I’ll keep you updated on my progress.” I had a list of everyone who had ever ordered the product, provided by an informant in the company who was worried that something “weird” was going on. My job was to find out what.

Pound Puller was adored by every one of its users, according to their hype. No hunger pangs, shakes, or noticeable side effects. Just nice steady weight loss from the first day. I decided to start with past customers, people who were no longer on the program.

I ran into a stone wall with the first client. Craig Jordan had moved, and he left no forwarding address. Same with Michelle Thompson and Bill Carter. After 27 more people on the list were described as ‘moved,’ I headed back to my office and computer. An Internet search turned up nothing on any of them, or the next 281. Finally, I got to a name that pulled up a social networking page. Allison Briggs showed up in the next town. Her page showed entries detailing her weight loss journey, but nothing more recent than six months ago.

I headed over to her address on the mailing list, hoping to find her there.

“Allison? No, she moved away a few months ago. Said she was going to Hawaii to make the most of her new bikini figure,” said Allison’s former neighbor. “I don’t blame her.”

“So she had success with the diet plan she was on?”

“Oh, yeah. She loved it. Said it was worth a hundred times the price. She looked like a high fashion model when she left.”

“A model?”

“Oh, yeah, slim and tan. I warned her about those tanning machines though. She was starting to look a little leathery, if you know what I mean.”

I followed up on a few more names. Same story at every stop: the person became slim and tanned and moved to a warmer climate to show off the new body. Hawaii must be ready to sink from all of the new inhabitants, courtesy of Pound Puller.

Then I struck pay dirt. Christy Stelling had just stopped ordering two months ago. Her last 30-day supply could only have been finished a few weeks ago. And she answered her phone! We made an appointment and I hurried over to her home on the outskirts of town.

“So, you’re well satisfied with the results of Pound Puller?” I asked.

“See for yourself,” she responded, spinning in front of me. “I never looked this good before in my life. It’s like the pounds just melted off. I’m fit and slim and looking great. The company confirmed my weight loss and sent me my ticket to Hawaii. I’m leaving tomorrow.”

I didn’t tell her that she looked like garbage. She was too skinny, too tanned and too desiccated for my idea of beauty. But this was the first I’d heard of the company providing tickets to Hawaii and I didn’t want to offend her.

“So Pound Puller is paying your way to Hawaii?”

“Yep. I reached my goal and now I’m headed to the islands. Isn’t it great?” She pulled out a ticket and waved it in front of me. “A private plane to a private resort where I can celebrate my success. Then, the world is mine!”

She let me copy the details from the ticket before I congratulated her on her “success” and left. When I sat down to give George the update, I built up the whole Hawaiian aspect. Then I hit him with a request for passage to Hawaii to follow up.

“Come on, Jenn,” he whined. “We aren’t springing for you to go on vacation.”

“Look, these people go to Hawaii and are never heard from again. Something funny is going on. I want to check it out.”

“Why don’t you do some old fashioned research from here? Check on the pilot and plane and the flight plans. Then maybe we’ll talk about Hawaii.”

George is a brick wall when he makes up his mind, so I started at the airport. The plane, a small executive jet, flew regular shuttles to San Francisco. From there, a larger private jet collected passengers brought in from all over the country and flew west. But here’s the catch. That plane didn’t go to Hawaii. It went south, to an island about 500 miles off the coast of Chile.

I called in a few favors from a friend in the weather service. He captured some satellite images of the island for me: a bare rock with a runway and four outbuildings showed up, nothing more, not even foliage. Hardly the paradise that Christy Stelling expected.

When I gave the information to George, he called some people in Washington. With Americans disappearing, an investigatory mission was ordered within a handful of days. I got permission to go along on the mission as press liaison. What we found was pretty grim.

Three of the four outbuildings contained solar-powered cold storage facilities. In those giant refrigerators, we found more than 7500 vacuum packed “packages” of dehydrated tissue. Each was labeled with some kind of a code that looked like drunken hieroglyphics.

The fourth building held a processing plant. A drying oven, a sealing machine and an industrial sized pulverizing machine took up most of the space with a large stainless steel table in the center of the building. A rack of well-honed knives hung from one end of the table.

We only found one living thing on the island. The eight-foot tall scaled creature communicated with the team leader through some sort of a speaker device that translated his clicks and hisses into something that passed for English. After hours of questioning, the truth came out.

This thing was the equivalent of a cook for his “people.” They had set up this island two years ago as a processing station. The food that they processed was the poor deluded fools who used Pound Puller! The “cook” translated some of the labels for us – the symbols turned out to be a name, age, gender and city. One of the labels he decoded turned out to be for Christy Stelling. Poor girl, she didn’t get the world she expected.

“He” explained that the aircraft that brought the dieters to the island was specially constructed with an airtight passenger compartment. Once the plane left San Francisco, the passengers were rendered unconscious with an odorless gas. When they landed on the island, the victims were removed to the processing plant for, well, processing as fresh meat. The finished product was transported to his home planet, where it sold as a popular delicacy.

Someone once joked to me that human beings were only “food on the hoof” to mosquitoes. I thought that was pretty gross. How much more disgusting to realize that to these giant scaly beings we are only not-quite-finished jerky, waiting to be sliced, seasoned and dried for future consumption by some ugly but intelligent lizard on a distant planet?

When the creature jumped on one of the team members and started choking him, the leader dispatched him with a bullet through its scaly head. None of us expressed any sorrow.

The team leader called for an airstrike to destroy the facilities on the island after all of the necessary intelligence was gathered and we sailed out a safe distance.

I don’t know if anyone will believe my story or if George will print it. But if he does, please, heed my warning. DON’T USE POUND PULLER! Who knows if those lizards will set up another plant somewhere? What’s to stop them from doing it all again? If there is enough demand for the product, they may try again.


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