Monday, June 14, 2010

A New Sound

The first African World Cup is off and running—and with it a new sound. Hearing it over the television thousands of miles away, it has an eerily pleasant bee-hive sound for us, for Brigitte and me, although Dawn.Com, a local media company there, ran a story (here with the picture shown on the left) a week ago titled “World Cup horn risks permanent damage to hearing.” No doubt close proximity to the plastic horn isn’t good for you, but my limited experience of stadia of all kinds, watching baseball and football, tells me that we need not be ashamed of the noise we’re capable of making on this subcontinent. Brigitte and I hail from the place where the Homer Hanky saw its original flutter. We were in the Minneapolis Metrodome at one of the crucial games played by the Twins in the hanky’s early days, and I hereby testify that the Minnesota human voice, waving the hanky, produced at least the same 127 decibels that issue from Africa’s vuvuzela.


  1. That vuvuzela is a commer! I'd like to be the first one on my block to have one. Do you know where one could order it?

  2. I'm pretty sure those are standard, plastic horn, availlable at Toys-R-Us, by another name, of course.

    Enjoy the soccer!