Don’t touch your vuvuzela! (or how horney can you get?)
Do you have one? Can you toot it?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you may have been under a rock for the past month.
The vuvuzela is a South African plastic horn, made in China, used for cheering on soccer teams, or as they call the sport in that country, football. The appearance of the foot-long, brightly colored plastic trumpet in the stands at the World Cup has created quite a buzz. Literally. When blown by thousands of fans simultaneously, the resulting, insistent hum sounds like swarms of very pissed-off bees. A single vuvuzela blast sounds like an elephant looking for a date.
Now I love words. Especially funny words. And face it, vuvuzela is funny. Don’t tell me it doesn’t sound vaguely smutty. Okay, very smutty. Go ahead, say it. “Stop playing with your vuvuzela. You’ll get hair on your palms.”
Frankly, thousands of vuvuzela-equipped soccer fans have been playing with theirs, and it has driven most of the on-site fans, television feeds and play-by-play announcers completely bonkers. The constant blowing of the vuvuzela in the stands during the games has become both an international joke and an international incident. Swarms of angry people are turning off television coverage of the games because they cannot stand the droning vuvuzela onslaught. How the players on the field concentrate, I have no idea.
From what I can tell, it’s kind of like being at a vuvuzela concert with a game of soccer breaking out on the field. Happily I’m all for the South Africans tooting their national instrument because I really love them for giving the rest of us this delicious word.
I especially loved it when the media went on a toot. For days now I’ve been unable watch the news without seeing one or more usually dignified anchors attempting to make rude Vuvu sounds at the camera. If that wasn’t amusing enough, the marketing folks have gotten into the act. There is already a Vuvuzela App for the iPhone, so you can toot your $300 vuvuzela along with the $3 plastic ones. Wait, there are several apps available, multiplying like rabbits.
According to Wikipedia, the vuvuzela, used to be called the lepatata, also a great word—you show me your lepatata and I’ll show you my vuvuzela. While originally used for calling tribes together for important meetings, it’s all about soccer (or football as it is called in the rest of the world) these days.
With vuvuzela news all over the media, somebody thought it was a good idea to give out free vuvuzelas at a recent Florida Marlins baseball game. Predictably, Marlin second baseman Dan Uggla said, “That was the worst handout or giveaway I’ve ever been a part of in baseball.” Let’s face it, the Marlins record is nothing to toot about.
Naturally, Facebook has a vuvulela page and now there is Vuvuzela Radio, a station dedicated to playing the sound of the vuvuzela, ”non-stop, without commercial breaks, so you can get your full daily dose—anywhere, anytime.”
I think it’s a joke but I am not sure. You can, if you must, buy a vuvuzela online at dozens of sites, along with mousepads that say “vuvuzela-free zone” and other vuvu stuff.
Apparently, the thing comes in dozens of bright colors but only one note—B-flat. And everybody has something to say about it.
But it’s not all fun and soccer games. There is great concern about the humble vuvuzela. It’s been said that the high sound pressure levels at close range can lead to permanent hearing loss for unprotected ears.
So I have an idea. I’m going to one of the 275 internet sites now selling vuvuzelas and buy me a couple. And next time I hear somebody mumble “faggots” under their breath on the boardwalk I’m going to vuvuzela them. I may go up to Dover the next time any gay rights legislation is under consideration, wait until one of those virulent homophobes testifies and give them the vuvu right in the ear drum.
In fact, I can think of so many wonderful opportunities to blow my vuvuzela that I’ve ordered mine with expedited shipping. With July 4th right around the corner I have a feeling I’m going to need it. If I hear a retail store blasting Rush Limbaugh, I’ll vuvu; if I accidentally stumble upon a live remote from WGMD I hope I have my vuvu at the ready. Yes indeedy, I believe I have found my new weapon of choice.
So the world is still abuzz with the vuvuzela, fans galore are fighting the urge to mute the games, engineers everywhere are figuring out ways to filter out the annoying buzz from broadcasts and comics everywhere are having a field day.
Me, too. I can’t stop saying “vuvuzela” and I can’t stop thinking of ways to use its irritating B-flat for great, deafening advantage.
A friend of mine insists that Vuvuzela was a drag queen back in the 80s. Who’s to argue? But for me, it’s my new secret weapon. I’ll be locked and loaded, and ready to blow folks away. I’m the new face of the NVA (the National Vuvuzela Association). You’ll have to pry it out of my cold, dead, hand. Piss me off and you’re in for a blow job. I love my vuvuzela.
Fay Jacobs is the author of As I Lay Frying—a Rehoboth Beach Memoir and Fried & True—Tales from Rehoboth Beach. Contact her at www.fayjacobs.com.