Monday, June 14, 2010

On Vuvuzelas (Or, Is this word one of Eukzyman’s creations?)

[Note: For those unfamiliar with Eukzyman, please click here.]

An invisible angry swarm of bees is overtaking the World Cup games, and the South Africans are doing absolutely nothing about it. I realize it’s hard to track down anything that can’t be seen, but you’d think with an event being broadcast internationally there’d be some real incentive to come up with a quick fix anti-invisibility spray. And Lord knows we can hear the darn bees.

And now I’m told they’re not bees after all but rather vuvuzelas, which is an even stranger word to type than it is to say. What is this noxious, noisy thing that the South African fans consider tradition at all their soccer games? The vuvuzela – a bugle that has to be blown so hard it gives fans bruised lips – can reach 131 decibels, which is almost as loud as a gunshot. The word comes from Zulu and is said to mean – wait for it…making a loud noise.

So to those who mock my sensitivity and call it white noise, I flick my thumb against my teeth at you.

On Saturday, we had some friends over, and as they sat on the sofa with my husband watching the U.S.-England game, you can bet I was elsewhere in the house occupying myself. And that is another challenge. You see, last week my air conditioner drain pan overflowed because, apparently, we hadn’t been flushing out the line properly. (Actually, we hadn’t been flushing out the line at all.) So $500 later, a service call to completely clear the mold-laden line and clean the coils and blower has my system running again. Except that now the thing is so powerful, what with all that gunk not weighing it down anymore, that it runs much more loudly making a high-pitched whirring noise that my son (who has perfect pitch) confirms is a solid "C" note.

Between vuvuzelas and my a/c, I had a pertual headache.

So when my friend Eloisa asked me why I wasn't watching the game with them, I told her I wasn't interested in soccer, which is no lie.

Eloisa: "Aw, come on."
Me: "I can't tolerate that buzzing noise."
Eloisa: "What buzzing noise?"
Me: (With incredulous stare) "You can't hear the vuvuzelas?"
Eloisa: "The what?"
Me: "The vuvu- Oh, forget it!"
Husband: "Is Wendy saying something?"
Me: "You all need your hearing checked."
Husband: "Howard didn't get checked. He's the goalie. You don't know anything about soccer, Wendy."

I rest my case.


  1. So that's what those dratted things are called! How the players can bear it is beyond me. Maybe I should have taken my hearing aids out!

    (And no, I wasn't watching but that doesn't mean I couldn't hear it!)

  2. I was just thinking about Eukzyman this weekend! Nice to know he's alive and well...

    I don't do sports of any kind. If I have to watch something, I'd prefer to be at the stadium so I can amuse myself with crowd antics or something.

  3. Ouch on the A/C. And I can commiserate on the noise. I can't write with incessant noise, and since I'm not watching the game, all there is, is writing.

    When the final score comes out, I take note and look moderately intelligent to my sports-drugged friends.

  4. So, your husband lets the AC lapse into disrepair, plops down on the sofa to watch sports, and insults you? I think you should have found a better offer during your SATC Girls Night Out! ;-)

  5. ARGH! My incredibly insightful comment just got eaten by Google or something. You'll have to settle for this one instead.

    I'm afraid vuvuzela sounds like it might be a medical term for a female body part.

    Leaving aside the vuvuzela, I'm sure I would go out of my mind if I had to be in that World Cup soccer stadium in South Africa for even one minute. Soccer. I don't get it.

  6. Marc~ Despite his flaws, my husband certainly has his merits. I think I'll keep him.

  7. My husband LOVES his soccer/World Cup/Fifa....and I have always hated their weird chanting singing ...but these vulva-kazoo things are supremely annoying. Can you imagine being in that stadium...someone buzzing that thing next to your ear?

    I love sports, but NOT soccer. I've always hated how it sounds.

    Sorry about the A/C sitch. (I didn't know we should be having our line flushed?)

    Happy Monday, love!

  8. I have been watching the soccer but with the volume off. Now, I'm curious to hear these loud noise makers.

  9. LOL! Oh dear, two noise makers in the house. I feel for ya. I do. :)
    And yeah, I don't quite get professional soccer. But I do enjoy watching my little one play. (it's fairly quiet) LOL

  10. Ah - I was missing Eukzyman! Yes, I think these vuvuzela's are part of his doing. I have to agree it sounds like part of a woman's whatsits. I haven't seen any matches yet so have not heard the delightful sound - can imagine it though. Ouch!

    Oh - and Eukzyman says the correct attire to wear when blowing a Vuvezela is a praftogr (pronounced praf-toga). The fact these are striped yellow and black very much like a bee is pure coincidence. :)

  11. They had a story on the news about these things last night. SERIOUSLY annoying.

    Anyhoo, don't forget to swing by to check your blackjack hand...the cards are on the table!

  12. The vuvezelas drove me nuts.

    I do enjoy soccer and had spent all week looking forward to the (predetermined as) "epic" match between England and her cocky cousins across the pond. I started watching the game and couldn't figure out what was that droning noise. All I knew was that it could drive a sane man... well, the opposite of sane (whatever that might be).

    Afterwards, I had to google it to make sure it wasn't something wrong with the broadcast. I am conflicted between respect for local culture vs. my own sensory annoyance, though. Should they be able to use those noise makers? I don't know. *shrugs shoulders*

    p.s. Loved your dialogue at the end of the post! :)

    p.p.s. Word Verifcation Word Definition: Cakism -- Much like socialism, only more delicious.

  13. Jayne~ Since I never intend on attending a South African soccer match, no praftogr will be part of my wardrobe.

    J.M.~ Yay for cakism! 0r I should say Yum for cakism!

  14. Sorry about the air conditioner problem. I hate stuff like that. I took my husband over to have his truck repaired only today. Life would be so much easier if machines would just take care of themselves. Also, thanks for the info on the vuvuzela situation at the World Cup. Great, entertaining post!

  15. All I can say is be thankful you don't live in Britain. Up here in Scotland (we don't have a team in the World Cup) we're faced with football (soccer) and those vuvuzela things all the time on our media. And now there's talk that the vuvuzela is proving so popular it'll be a feature of the 2012 Olympics which the UK is hosting.
    I've enjoyed my first visit to your blog and plan to be back!

  16. Janet~ Thanks so much for stopping by. I've actually been in Scotland: Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. Beautiful coast up there. And as for bringing the vuvuzelas to the 2012 Olympics, no worries here since I certainly won't be watching ;-)

  17. Thank you for putting a name to my FIFA pain - vuvuzelas! I, too, was calling it a swarm of bees. Soccer is a slow enough game - must we add an annoying soundtrack? Two FIFA kudos - Viva Espana! And Viva Shakira (great "official song of FIFA" - WAKA WAKA)!!