My fever had spiked to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit fewer than twelve hours before and, although I was finally firing on nearly seven of eight cylinders, I thought the constant buzzing sound in my head might be some sort of unanticipated side effect from my medication.
The surfing finger on my right hand had given out about about the time I landed on a TV channel featuring a gaggle of guys in short pants, trying to kick a too small ball down a too long field. A nearly inaudible British announcer was commenting with great gusto about a “cup” but I couldn’t tell for certain whether he was talking about an event on the field or an article of clothing he might have seen in the locker room before the game.
Underlying it all was this incredibly irritating buzz. It was loud. It was ceaseless. By flipping back and forth with another channel, I was able to determine the annoying sound was not in my head but rather must be some sort of defect with that particular broadcast. The sedative effects of soccer made it the perfect sport for my recuperation. It was just monotonous enough to put me out and if I did doze off, I wouldn’t really miss anything … but that incessant buzzing was more than I could endure, even with all its accompanying benefits.
Once I realized it wasn’t going away, I switched over to a NatGeo special on the commercial value of beached whale carcasses, or some such topic. It posted a lower snooze factor than soccer but the mind-numbing buzz was gone … and I managed to nod off just about the time residents of a small coastal community discovered the source of a foul stench that was driving away the tourists.
When I awoke the news was, coincidentally, blaring a story about some Nimrod who got booted out of Yankee Stadium for too often tooting a device called a vuvuzela. Even in my sleepy stupor, I quickly added two plus two and came up with less than five … especially once I heard the sound.
A vuvuzela is a type of two foot plastic horn favored by South African soccer fans … and the cacophonous din that assaulted my senses had been hundreds, maybe thousands of these goofy little ear-splitters being blown in nonstop unison!
I’ve attended ball games where people brought compressed air horns, one guy brought his trumpet to lead the “Charge!” and another clear-headed individual even dragged a large kettle drum to the top of the bleachers to inspire Indian war chants. But never have I witnessed a sporting event, live or in living color, from deep inside a bee hive … nor do I ever intend to.
Three cheers and a big foam finger salute for Yankee management who recognized the potential threat to American sport and, in turn to sports revenues, if vuvuzelas made their irritating presence known on our nation’s shores. What ever happened to the sound of the human voice?
These devilish devices, which can generate up to 120db of noise, may be very effective, even necessary in ‘the bush’ to cut through the lion’s roar or warn of a stampede of run amok rhinos … but they clearly have no place, even in the cheap seats, at a sports venue. This particularly holds true when the game on the field invades the sanctity of the sofa across half the civilized world!
Surely if there is an actual hell, I imagine it is ruled by a leather lunged demon prancing through the coals carrying a white hot poker in one hand, and a vuvuzela horn in the other.
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