John Boston | For Xmas? Get Me a Dog Toting a Flame Thrower

John Boston

Oh I’ve died and, save for $9,420 plus tax, gone to heaven. A pal recently sent me a link noting that they now are selling a Flame-Throwing Robot Dog. Besides the unlimited possibilities for an emotional support animal, if that isn’t the PERFECT bad-but-angry garage rock band name, there is simply no meaning to life. 

There is an appropriately named company on the web: At the risk of getting myself attached to the Fire Department’s Shoot On Sight Arson Idiot List, this website sells robotic flame throwers. They even have flying drone flame throwers, which I’m hoping, under California’s complete anarchy law codes, means that I can use them to light the cigar of a friend in a crowded restaurant 14 tables away. I am just giddy. This website — no fooling — offers “FREE SHIPPING ON ALL FLAME THROWERS!” 

It just keeps getting better. The company promises — again, not making this up — “PAY OVER TIME WITH INTEREST FREE PAYMENTS! No credit check or application required. Owning a flame thrower has never been so easy.” 

Readers. Pinch me. 

Supposedly, while I can’t run over a JUST STOP OIL protester, over and over and over again, in a Zamboni or using the wrong pronoun, I can, legally, own a flame thrower anywhere in the United States. And that includes the company’s latest product, The Thermonator, aka, my very own flame-throwing man’s best friend. Quoth the guys at the robot pound: “Thermonator is the first-ever flamethrower-wielding robot dog. This quadruped is coupled with the ARC Flamethrower to deliver on-demand fire anywhere!” 

Anywhere? Truly? They wouldn’t be lying, would they? Like, if my worst woke enemies were to, say, all bend over simultaneously to pick up a dropped Rolaid, my loyal and obedient robot flame-throwing mutt could deliver a World War I trench-clearing jet of Well-Howdy-There to their ample dimpled behinds? 

There’s a really cool video on the website. It shows this happy little robodog, about the size of a beagle, trotting merrily through the snow. I’m not sure if the AI creature does this on its own or has to receive an actual command, but, it just hits the brakes, pirouettes and zaps everything within a 30-foot radius with a stream of fire. “One-Hour Battery. WiFi + Bluetooth,” the brochure promises. I’m guessing with the latter, you can pretend you’re just talking with a loved one on your smartphone but are actually sending commands to your civilization-ending pet. When that waiter who is ignoring you is doing the hot-foot dance followed by lasering damning eye contact in your direction you just shrug innocently, smile, point to your cell as if to say, “Not me! I’m on the tele …!!” 

Oh my goodness gracious the possibilities are endless. This is my own estimate, but from watching the video, I’m guessing the darling little appliance can run 6 mph. So, with a one-hour battery life, you can send it on little missions 3 miles away, which would give it enough juice to trot back home and hide under the porch before anyone’s the wiser. Of course, my fire-belching pet could be used closer to home, like to discourage Christmas carolers, door-to-door sales people or Democratic Party re-election canvassers for L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón.  

You know what George always says. 

“Fire, bad!” 

Me? I’m of the opinion that George’s viewpoint is — well. Debatable. 

There’s a lot of both good and convenience that can come from owning a $10,000 tin can pet doggie that can be programmed to light your neighbor’s barbecue when they’re out of town. For those who are infirmed or lazy, flame-throwing robot dogs can be used during Catholic mass to light votive candles. From a distance of 30 feet. Ditto with birthday cakes, especially for relatives on Death Row to whom you don’t particularly want to get close. 

With all the recent advances in Artificial Intelligence, I wonder if you can program your little metallic best friend to sniff out the annoying River To The Sea college campus chanters and seriously singe some fat ankles. I mean, I looked this up. It’s just 5 miles from the UCLA campus down Wilshire to the Pacific Ocean. You plan your route and you could drive the insufferably politically correct all the way off the Santa Monica Pier and have the robot dogs trot back to your waiting minivan at 2nd Street.  

My first instinct would be to have a stainless-steel bowl of water and some doggie treats waiting, along with a fervent, “YES YOU’RE A GOOD BOY YES YOU ARE YOU KNOW YOU’RE A GOOD BOY!!” and scratches behind their little cute metal robot doggie ears. I’m terrible with science. But, is one supposed to give water to a robot? Especially, a flame-throwing one? Does one risk singing an eyebrow completely off by rubbing said robot’s tummy? Likewise? I’m guessing a squirt of WD-40, while coming from the right place in the heart, might be counter-productive. 


It’s probably in the owner’s manual. 

I can see possibilities. Cleaning out protester encampments. Or university faculty lounges. Or teachers’ union meetings. Or thinning out Human Resources. Or Pervert Story Hour Dressing Rooms at the local nursery schools. Or igniting someone on a park bench — reading the wrong, darn, newspaper. At the very least, I could make flaming fajitas from the safety of my own couch or rid the back 40, once and for blankety-blank-blank all, of gophers. 

What was it Robert Duvall said in “Apocalypse Now”? “I love the smell of napalm and gophers in the morning …” 

I don’t think we should be judgmental toward the poor pet flame-throwing pooch. After all. You know what they always say. 

It’s not the breed. 

It’s the owner. 

John Boston is Earth’s most prolific satirist. And, he was born naturally flame-retardant. For actual hot book deals, visit his

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