Back in December, Elon Musk tweeted that if his new startup called the Boring Company sold 50,000 hats, it would then start selling flamethrowers.
Seriously, he tweeted that. Later in the month, he tweeted again, “Hats sold out, flamethrowers soon!”
But why focus on flamethrowers and not building tunnels?
Musk is known for making bold promises on deadlines he often can’t keep. He likely over-promised on the Boring Company’s timelines and that is starting to become evident in Los Angeles’ proposed 6.5-mile tunnel project.
“I don’t really trust a private company to watch out for equity because I haven’t seen it happen,” Councilwoman Meghan Sahli-Wells reportedly said.
“It looks super sexy and super easy but it’s half-baked from a public perspective.”
In return, Musk has developed a clever system of distractions like the Roman circus, while he sorts out his failures away from the public eye.
And that is exactly what he is doing here, selling flamethrowers through the Boring Company to distract the audience while he overpromised on tunnel deadlines. This is not the first time Musk has used this trick; he’s been a master of distractions with his other companies including SpaceX and Tesla. So, is Musk a magician, super brilliant or a snake oil salesman with a good pitch?
As reported by The Verge, Redditors in a few Musk-related subreddits noticed earlier this week that the URL “boringcompany.com/flamethrower” redirected users to a subpage on the website asking for a password. One Redditor was able to guess the password: “flame,” which permitted the Redditor access to this:
Behind the clever password: “flame,” the Redditor found a pre-order page, where one could buy a $600 flamethrower. Why not? The page notes that the final version “will be better” than the prototype image above, and the device would ship sometime in April.
According to TeslaRati, the flamethrower already exists, and it’s fully functional:
The Boring Co. flamethrower recently made a quiet debut on social media, after writer-musician D.A. Wallach posted a brief clip of himself holding and operating the fiery device while he toured the tunnels being dug by the Elon Musk-led firm.
During the short clip, Wallach could be seen playfully talking to the camera while demonstrating the fiery capabilities of The Boring Co. flamethrower. As noted by an Instagram commenter on Wallach’s post, the device itself appears to be a modified CSI S.T.A.R. XR-5 Airsoft Rifle. Instead of firing rounds of BBs, however, The Boring Co. flamethrower fires a stream of red-hot flame.
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