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I’m not one to blow my own trumpet…
My vuvuzela is a glorious item – 70 cm of shiny plastic in the colours of the South African flag with the potential to deafen anyone nearby with the “sound of a herd of elephants”.
The minute I handed over my cash to the roadside hawker I was itching to try out my new toy – I hung it round my neck, took a deep breath, drew the trumpet to my lips and prepared to make an almighty racket.
More trump less trumpet was the embarrassing result.
Yes, that ‘parp’ really did come out of the vuvuzela, I told onlookers as they looked at me as if to tell me to go and find a bathroom.
A few more fruitless puffs down the tube and it was time to seek help.
‘You need to vibrate your lips,” a taxi driver told me.
Alas, blowing raspberries just produced a similar sound to before, just a bit messier.
Hearing of my plight, one of my colleagues Alex Hudson sent me an email with some tips on what to do: “If you point it upwards it is much easier to blow, throw your shoulders back, and (this sounds a bit silly) it is good if you pace around at the same time as blowing it.”
I followed the instructions (in the privacy of my own room to spare any more blushes) and pursing my lips like I used to when I played the oboe while marching to the window and back, I suddenly produced the kind of din I’d been dreaming of.
Yes, it sounded like there was a really persistent giant fly in the room! Yes, it was going to annoy everyone on my floor in the hotel!
Yes, I will be taking this wonderful instrument when I go and watch soccer back home!
I was warned to expect a few side effects: headaches, watering eyes and creases round the mouth – all in all, a small price to pay for a big bit of noise.