Elon Musk, the multi-billionaire founder of electric car company Tesla and tunneling company Boring, has sold $3.5 million worth of “boring” flamethrowers in less than 24 hours. If that doesn’t keep you up at night a little bit, then it should.
The maverick businessman, who last week secured a pay deal that could see him collect $55 billion, had pledged that if The Boring Company sold 50,000 baseball caps at $20 each he would start selling flamethrowers.
The caps sold out, and Musk started selling $500 flamethrowers on Sunday, tweeting: “Guaranteed to liven up any party!”
In a video posted on Instagram, Musk said “don’t do this” and then proceeded to run towards the camera with the flamethrower alight. This video was captioned, “Also, I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun.”
Within hours, customers had placed orders for 7,000 flamethrowers, which at $500 each works out at $3.5 million. The company had 20,000 in stock.
Musk joked on Twitter that rumors that he was “secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers [were] completely false”.
On Twitter, he said the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) decrees that “any flamethrower with a flame shorter than 10ft is A-ok. Our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife”.
Musk set up the Boring Company a year ago after getting stuck in a traffic jam and tweeting: “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging …”
The company’s website states it plans to connect cities with underground tunnels and superfast electric “skates” that can carry cars and people. The company is planning to construct a tunnel parallel to Los Angeles’s congested I-405 – conveniently also speeding Elon Musk’s personal commute from his home in Bel Air to Hawthorne, California.
I guess this is what happens when a billionaire gets the idea to start making flamethrowers. Anyone can get their hands on them and the billionaire just gets even richer. Such is life.