:Chloroform in Print
I want to go to the top of a really tall building, take a leak, finish, zip up, and then have my pee hit the ground. I want my entire pee to be airborne. Man I love beer.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The Flame Weeder
Here's a quick primer on flame weeders, a wonderful agricultural implement that nobody should be without. Originally posted over at GardenWeb. You can buy your own here.

They are lots of fun. Essentially, they're a flamethrower.

These devices consist of a sturdy, 2' metal shaft with an oversized hood at the business end, a handgrip, and a knob to control the fuel flow. A standard propane hose connects it to the tank; those on a budget usually opt to go with the ubiquitous 5-gallon tank, but this entails lugging around one of those big clunky things. A highly recommended upgrade is the model with a smaller, 2.5-gallon tank mounted on a small backpack frame; this allows full mobility plus the thrill of knowing you are carrying what amounts to a high-powered bomb on your back should things go seriously awry.

Flame weeder being used as recommended by manufacturer
Flame weeder being used as recommended by manufacturer

At full blast, the flame weeder emits a 2,000-degree flame that extends up to 18 inches from the barrel. You can imagine the possibilities.

The ostensible use for these is weeding - the heat ruptures the plant's cell walls so it internally "bleeds" to death. It's the 600-pound gorilla of weed control, so it's not recommended for use around your prized annuals, but it's fantastic for chores such as keeping your gravel driveway free of dandelions and such. Better yet, most plants require repeated treatments to kill off completely, which gives you the excuse to whip out the flamethrower on a regular basis.

When things go awry.

There are, of course, many other uses, limited only by one's imagination and collection of accidental fire suppression tools. Wasp and hornet nests, provided they aren't attached to something dangerously flammable (like your roof), are instantly obliterated - particularly satisfying when you are seeking revenge. Pile of wet brush you'd like to burn and don't want to wait for it to dry out? Mr. Flame Thrower at your service. (No gasoline required.)

The final side benefit is neighbor envy. I can report with full confidence that -- to a man -- every guy who witnesses this baby in action will react in the following way:

  1. Their eyes light up with evangelical zeal.
  2. They ask to use it, and upon being granted permission, do so with a gusto usually only exhibited by children.
  3. They immediately begin plotting to purchase their own.
  4. They will purchase their own within a 6-month time frame.

There is an equally consistent reaction from their wives/girlfriends, which consists of:

  1. Widened eyes, signifying a reaction ranging from mild alarm to outright terror.
  2. Announcing "I'm not sure this is such a good idea."
  3. Upon seeing that it's not quite as dangerous as it looks, grudging acceptance. After all, the driveway does look much nicer.
  4. Some will venture to try it, but without quite the same air of demented glee that the guys exhibit.

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