Mexican exposure

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Mexican exposure

Postby Chris » 28 Feb 2009, 16:02

In the latest issue of the Swazzle, newsletter of the PJF, there is a puzzle picture which is revealed to be a Mexican birdwhistle/swazzle.

<img src="images/mexicanswazzle.gif" Align="right">
This looks to me to be identical to the squeaker sold by the hundred in Covent Garden over the past few years. There is one street populated not so much by buskers, but by living statues, and several of these let out an occasional squawk. There are also chaps peddling the modus operandi, a swazzle. They are not quite like our swazzles but identical in principal. They are made from two curved pieces of thick strawboard type composition (it could be a sort of wood) - curved - almost like a piece of garden cane split in two. And between the two pieces is stretched a plastic membrane where we would use tape. The whole is smaller than our usual swazzle. It is wrapped round with a strip of pvc insulating tape. The thing is held between the teeth and blown through. I bought a few - I think they were sold at 3 for a pound - a couple of years ago - at either a May Fayre or October Festival - and showed them to several Punch profs. A couple of whom were scandalized and said it "ought to be put a stop to" and that it was "revealing our traditional secrets". I believe some orchestral wind instruments also use a reed. Perhaps they should be banned too.
It's good to squawk!
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