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Not just another blow job

If you want to be heard, forget those placards; blow the ‘protesting’ vuvuzela because one thing is guaranteed: you will drown out the glib remarks from the establishment and get them listening.

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2010 00:23 IST

Blow it for Freddie Maake!

The jury is still out about whether Freddie ‘Saddam’ Maake is really the inventor of what has been tagged in some circles as the ‘world’s worst musical instrument’. But between South African plastic manufacturers Masincedane Sport, the 4-million member-strong Nazareth Baptist Church and the affable 53-year-old, Maake, we’d go with the ‘individual glory’ story. Unsurprisingly, Maake, a resident of the town of Tembisa, insists that he was the one who, in the mid-60s, adapted a bicycle horn and made it into a blast for the present. Maake was funded by Coca-Cola to travel to the 1998 World Cup in France with the SA football team. In 1992, he was detained for wanting to carry his vuvuzela on a plane to Zimbabwe. “I was determined to blow it as I boarded the plane because it was the first time I flew.” In this World Cup, he’s blowing his horn for Brazil. Blow, Freddie, blow!

Blowing in the wind protest music

If you want to be heard, forget those placards; blow the ‘protesting’ vuvuzela because one thing is guaranteed: you will drown out the glib remarks from the establishment and get them listening. Everyone’s picking up the horn to stand up and be counted. In France, the vuvuzela is gaining so much popularity among trade unions that businessman Jose Pecci is ordering more from China after selling his initial stockpile of 10,000. The story’s the same in Poland where the main trade unions want to buy hundreds. In more traditional ‘protest’ zones like Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, vuvezelas are being blown to protest against Jewish presence on Fridays. Even in faraway Hong Kong, protesters are blowing their vuvuzelas in the direction of the city’s legislative building against controversial electoral reforms. Blowers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your eardrums.

Concentration camp buster

So Wimbledon may have banned the vuvuzela. But look what happened because of the poncey crowd wanting a vuvuzela-less peace. They were subjected to the longest ‘racquet’ in history: a two-day, 11 hours 6 minutes match between Nicolas Mahut and John Isner that no one remembers. But is there a lesson to be learnt here? Suppose a cricket match is stuck at 216 for 1 with Pakistan batting and India bowling. Each time the ball flies out of an Indian bowler’s hand, by letting out a vuvuzela blast, you increase the chances of the Pakistani batsman to miss the ball by a whopping 220 per cent. The same logic would hold when Vishwanathan Anand’s finished making his chess move and is awaiting his opponent to play; when ace shooter Abhinav Bindra’s rivals are taking aim, ... the possibilities are limitless. Except when it comes to Sania Mirza, of course.

Hearing your way out of a mess

Pilots, drivers and even pedestrians, rejoice! Forever complaining about how low visibility — whether caused by smog or mist, faulty radar or even ‘intrinsic obstructions’ caused by moderate inebriation — puts you and your vehicles full of nervous passengers at risk? With a well-trained blast of 120 decibels coming straight and coming cheap from a vuvuzela operator, finding one’s way into a dock, garage or home won’t be a problem any more. Personnel can be trained to point the vuvuzella’s nozzle in the right direction, taking consideration of parameters like wind-speed, other ambient sound including those coming from jet engines as well as heavy traffic. Safety for pedestrians can also be ensured if while walking, they keep blowing on the horn like the old lepers of the past. Better safe than deaf.

Weapon of mass distraction

Blowing one’s top comes in many shapes, sounds and sizes. But if we plan to defend ourselves, we might as well use a long, noisy device. Already, there are reports of a ‘long, horn-shaped instrument’ being used as a weapon. In the town of Dinslaken in Germany, a drunken football fan ‘severely’ beat a policeman with a vuvuzela after the national team’s victory over Ghana last week. The hard, tubular surface of the horn provides the perfect swing. And just to show how real the prospect of gangs roaming the streets with vuvezelas is, the classic video game Doom II us has included the deadly horn as one more weapon in the gamer’s arsenal. So when in need, deliver a heavy blow with this blow machine.