If you watched any of the 2010 World Cup you've no doubt heard the incessant blaring of what sounded like a car horn. That's a vuvuzela, a three-foot-long plastic horn used primarily by South African soccer fans during soccer matches.
Since the World Cup is in South Africa this time around, it seems that everybody now has a vuvuzela. The resulting noise pollution first led to complaints, which will now no doubt intensify in light of the news that shopkeepers have sold out of ear plugs.
Vuvuzelas can record noise levels of up to 130 decibels, compared to the 100 produced by a chainsaw, and it seems many people need some peace.German authorities have banned vuvuzelas from public venues in their country televising World Cup matches, and the Washington Post reports that Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the World Cup's local organizing committee, warned Sunday that the vuvuzelas could be banned at stadiums in South Africa if fans don't show more respect.
"I could have sold 300 pairs of earplugs yesterday if I'd had the stock, and the same today, but I've only got 200 pairs and that's just about finished," one local shopkeeper told the Weekend Argus newspaper. "We can't keep up," said the owner, who has ordered 1,000 more.
The earplugs, marketed as the "Vuvu-Stop", have a label on the back of the packet which reads: Highly effective noise reduction. Uses include soccer, rugby, or for couch potatoes to block out your wife's moaning."
In an interview with the BBC, Jordaan reiterated calls for fans not to blow vuvuzelas during the playing of a country's national anthem or during announcements over the soccer venues' public-address system. Asked if the horns could be banned, Jordaan said: "If there are grounds to do so, yes."In related news, English goalkeeper Robert Green blamed his botched attempt to stop what should have been a routine Clint Dempsey shot on goal on the proliferation of vuvuzelas.*
via Darren Rovell, SB Nation