I was sitting at my desk at the office yesterday morning, listening to a few tracks from Ciwan Haco and reading an article entitled ‘The 10 Laws of Vuvuzela Etiquette.’ I should have been busy with an important report, but the article was far more intriguing. After seeing and hearing these trumpet-like instruments in action (on TV), I was surprised to learn that there was ‘etiquette’ to be had.
Here are two of the 10 vuvuzela etiquette laws (VELs) that caught my attention.
Numbers 6 & 9:
6. Don’t eat and blow
The vuvu is used for sound projection, not to convert the contents of your mouth into some semi-digested shrapnel-blasting weapon of mass destruction. So swallow first, then blow, lest a bit of that half-chewed hot dog launches itself onto the cheek of an unsuspecting punter.
9. Don’t blow on the go
The vuvuzela is a stationary instrument, like the timpani or the stand-up bass, and should never be used on a mode of transport. Except maybe when walking but only if all the other etiquette guidelines are followed. This rule also covers airports. Like the durian fruit, the vuvu should never ever be brought out in the departure or arrival halls or anything else in between. It is akin to terrorism.
Akin to terrorism? WMD? Well, there I was enjoying my morning thinking that by reading about these high-decibel plastic trumpets at the World Cup I would be safe from the trials and tribulations of the Middle East. But in these two VELs they just had to go and reference ‘shrapnel-blasting weapons of mass destruction’ and ‘terrorism’ and put an end to my ethereal laziness.
So I guess this means that sending vuvuzelas to the PKK would now be a gross violation of the recently upheld ‘material support’ law by the US Supreme Court. If we can’t teach them how to play the harmonica, vuvuzelas would definitely be verboten.
Instead let’s imagine for a minute that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) equipped itself with these Chinese-manufactured vuvus instead of Israeli-produced drones. Not the mini-vuvuzelas that some have been seen using at the World Cup. Those are girls’ vuvuzelas, according to VEL #7 (Size Matters). What self-respecting member of the TSK would want to be parading around with a mini vuvu?!? No, these proud men need the real thing.
Manly vuvus are almost a metre in length and when blown en masse, the sound is like a deafening swarm of locusts (listen). According to one study, the sound is louder than a rock concert, but shy of the human threshold for pain. So it would be a humane weapon. Effective, but shy of the human threshold for pain.
Imagine the TSK running through the Qandil mountains blowing vuvuzelas. What a sight that would be. Never mind; that would violate the VEL above, ‘don’t blow on the go’.
So now that Chief of Staff General Başbuğ has rejected calls for Martial Law, I think they need Vuvu Law. I would love to see him place an order for a few thousand of the manly vuvus for his troops. I can picture him now leading a training session on how to use the vuvu. And being a ‘humane weapon’ the future headlines might read instead… ‘TSK vuvu ambush against Kurdish PKK leaves 9 deaf and 25 hearing-impaired.’