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More trivia from me: Oil burners (the ones used for furnaces and boilers) use this very same concept, only in a more polished and somewhat less dangerous form. They replace the aerosol can with a pump and precision nozzle, and the match with a spark plug (that's what the big black transformer on top is for).
Soupdragon: What!? No real life examples?
Okay ... Real-life example. Some years ago, a gay friend of mine, who is a hairdresser, was hanging outside a gay bar in Atlanta, when a group of yahoos showed up in a pickup truck, yelling about how they were going "gay bashing." The friend had a can of hairspray and a cigaratte lighter on him and created just such a flamethrower. He then added, in his best Bette Davis imitation, "Better watch out, boys. Some of us are mean."
That was enough to send the yahoos running.
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