After A Rash Of Vuvuzela Injuries, We Must Ask: Is The Pope Safe?

A South African woman tore up her throat. A German man busted an eardrum — while still in Germany. Clearly, the vuvuzelas are a menace. And now they're coming for Benedict XVI.

Yvonne Meyer was getting into the spirit of things last week, blowing her cheap plastic horn for all it was worth. At some point, she realized it was hurting pretty badly, and went to a doctor. The medical report:

Extensive surgical emphysema is present in the retrophayngal prevertrebal space.

"This extends from the base of the skull to the supraclavicular regions on both sides and is probably due to a traumatic rupture of the pharynx."

Translation: she shredded her throat, which, I'm not going to go so far as to say she deserved, but...she deserved it for thinking that damn horn was a good idea.

Two days later, Sven Wipperfürth gathered at an outdoor screen in Neuss, Germany, to watch the Mannschaft take on Australia. Upon the scoring of Germany's first goal, a nearby fan tooted off — right in his ear. His diagnosis: tinnitus.

The Germany fan went to the doctor who wrote him a sick note for five days and prescribed tablets for blood flow to the brain to be taken daily.

Seeing how susceptible to vuvuzelas the Germans seem to be, the head of the Catholic Church in England is worried about Pope Benedict XVI when he comes to visit in September. Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, fears fans might be in the habit of blowing the horns at large events, and bring them to the Pope's speaking engagements.

I wouldn't worry. I'm pretty sure he can just get God to turn down the treble on human existence.

The dreaded vuvuzela claims its first victim: Woman bursts her windpipe 'by blowing too hard' [Daily Mail]
Fan sounds the alarm: I have tinnitus! [Bild]
Pope must not be subjected to vuvuzelas [Daily Telegraph]