Finally, some straight talk from Elon Musk on the purported “flamethrower” that 20,000 people have reportedly ordered from the Tesla CEO’s tunnel-boring company.
The flamboyant tech tycoon has apparently raised $ 10 million in pre-orders for the $ 500 flamethrowers, sold via Musk’s The Boring Company, which is dedicated to solving traffic problems by moving vehicles through tunnels underground.
Truth be told, the flamethrower, as shown spouting a paltry couple feet of flame in a video, appears to resemble a roofer’s torch or weed burner much more closely than it does the weapon used for burning people to death since the First World War.
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Perhaps to console buyers disappointed by their inability to commit mass murder using an implement peddled by the Legendary Elon, each Boring Company flamethrower will feature its own serial number, according to Musk.
However, Musk on Feb. 2 suggested that in spite of the flamethrowers’ limited range, some border authorities have reservations about passing them through.
“Apparently, some customs agencies are saying they won’t allow shipment of anything called a ‘Flamethrower,’ Musk tweeted.
“To solve this, we are renaming it ‘Not a Flamethrower.’”
An hour and a half after that tweet, Musk followed up, proposing another possible name: “temperature enhancement device.”
While either moniker would no doubt be much more accurate than “flamethrower,” a name change may not deter California Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, who has embarked on a crusade against Musk’s Promethean move to bring fire to the people.
Here’s Santiago’s take: “Absolutely no public good could come from the sale of this tool.”
The flamethrowers are supposed to start shipping in the spring, according to The Boring Company, which, to be fair, has not marketed the device as an apparatus for torching hapless humans, but instead has described it as the “world’s safest flamethrower.”
Photo: An actual M-2 flamethrower, demonstrated by U.S. Marines. (Courtesy U.S. Marine Corps)