Confidential Report of the Allworthy Independent Fiduciary Consumer Testing Bureau to Car Craft magazine.
At the behest of our attorneys, we wish to inform you in writing of the results of our exhaustive testing of the Car Craft Infrared Hyperbolic Discriminatory Analyzer, hereinafter referred to by its code name, the Bogusity Meter. You will remember from our earlier telephone conversations that our fine company was reluctant to engage in evaluation of an item of such questionable worth; the notion of marketing a device which would enable untrained onlookers (nay, even tech inspectors) to determine instantly the legality of Pro Stock race cars struck all of here at Allworthy as laughable. Still, some of the chaps thought that the project would be a fine lark. We were able to squeeze your Bogusity Meter test into the schedule between our ongoing program of pressure checking toilet bowl float balls and our continuing work of ascertaining the fire resistance of ceiling beams made from reclaimed egg cartons. In retrospect, it might have been better for all concerned if we had instead accepted a government contract to determine the applicability of macadamia nut shards to a crucial role in national defense. But, alas, that is a tough nut to crack.
As is our custom, Grade 2 Under-Engineer and Lunchroom Monitor Hiram Klegel was dispatched to your offices to pick up the prototype Bogusity Meter. Four days later, Grade 2 Under-Engineer Klegel was discovered in a supine position under the CC water cooler, which, upon closer inspection, was found to contain a 5-gallon bottle of cheap white wine. May it hang heavily on your consciences that as a result of Klegel's disgusting display of public drunkenness, he was summarily drummed out of Allworthy & Associates, and now lives a life of wild dissipation under the grease rack of a Sunoco station on Route 22 in northern New Jersey.
Once the Bogusity Meter was shepherded to our laboratories, the rigorous process of evaluation began. Our staff was impressed by the fit and feel of the Meter; it displayed the reassuring heft of a 16-pound Tru-Flite bowling ball. High praise resounded through the halls as the assembly observed, "All controls fall readily to hand." We marveled at the precision of the three-position sanctioning body switch; we thrilled to the decisive "click" of the high-and-low power selector, obviously pirated from the landing gear of the fondly-remembered 1927 Hewland Kangaroo biplane. Even the most jaded lads could not resist a lingering glance at the bejeweled DeSade needle movement, replete with Winnie the Pooh–inspired nettles. The churlish color scale, running from a tasteful white to an alarming red in the Danger Zone, impressed one and all with its artful originality. Even the accidental electrocution of 31-year Allworthy veteran Emma Groundling (a victim of faulty insulation of the 27 penlight batteries) failed to dim our initial delight.
A thorough patent search unveiled a possible infringement of the designs of one Hieronymous Newton, self-proclaimed father of the divining rod. Further research revealed that Newton could be bought cheaply.
In any event, it was decided that a field test was in order. A loyal staff member (who shall remain nameless, pending notification of next of kin) was dispatched to the Winternationals. Since it was deemed imperative to remain inconspicuous, our man assumed the guise of a fishmonger. Thus able to walk through the pits without attracting attention, the technician concealed the Bogusity Meter in the mouth of a 900-pound black sea bass which was jauntily slung across his shoulder.
Following your instructions, Marilyn (not his real name) first zeroed the Meter by aiming it at Bill Bagshaw's Challenger. This venerable car, built in the medieval era of Pro Stock construction, failed to register on the Meter. Clearly, Bagshaw's car was legal—poor soul. Soon, however, better results were forthcoming. Jenkins' old Vega elicited a reading of "2"—not really kosher, but still acceptable. M knew he was onto something, though, when he aimed his bass at the front suspension of Roy Hill's Duster. Zap!—a "5." Landy's dropped front end got a "7." Poole's narrowed bumpers pulled an "8." And as soon as M pointed the fish's gaping craw at Barry Setzer's Vega, the needle broke off the scale. Good show.
But, just as the barest hint of a flush of success began to spread across the lad's fair brow, tragedy struck. A crowd of unwashed riffraff took up pelting him with cast off Funny Car parts. Apparently mistaking him for a laggardly hot dog vendor, they pursued him unmercifully. Finally, Marilyn was forced to strike back in anger. Wielding his fish with reckless abandon, he lashed out at his tormentors. Fish scales, car parts and rowdies littered the pavement like a gentle snowfall of the heath. Just as M was about to make good his escape, the Bogusity Meter flew from its hiding place. Fate would have it that it struck the throttle valve of a hydrogen peroxide rocket car parked nearby. As the authorities have reconstructed the incident, the rocket car then disgorged its entire complement of fuel, bleaching everyone within a 500-foot radius to a brassy hue of platinum blonde. Inasmuch as the emergency brake was disengaged, the rocket car proceeded to careen into the U.S. Naval Ordnance ammunition stockpile which, as you know, was thoughtfully located in the drag strip's shutoff area.
It should not be necessary for us to remind you of the raft of highly detrimental publicity generated by this ill-advised undertaking. Nor should we have to point out the backlog of lawsuits still pending on the dockets of the highest courts in the land. And it is futile to call attention to the Congressional investigations now looking into the matter.
In conclusion, we can only urge you to adopt the wise position of the sanctioning bodies, racers and builders. Desist from this perilous enterprise of exposing Funny Cars which parade in the guise of Pro Stocks. Destroy the Bogusity Meter before it unleashes still more evil on the world. Remember: a Pro Stock in the hand is worth two Funny Cars in the bush.
Your humble servant,