Oh God. I hate whistling.
Sweet mother of God, people. I absolutely guarantee you that NO ONE wants to hear your rousing version of “Way Down Upon the Suwannee River,” or the theme song to the Marine Corps. I love the Marines. Most Americans love the Marines. But you don’t need to remind us of their anthem.
Most whistlers are old. I’ve noticed this. Old people, don’t take offense to this. High schoolers think I’m old and I’m only 30. I’ve dealt with it.
So old whistlers always find the need to whistle anywhere–and I mean ANYWHERE. The produce section of the supermarket. The airplane. Restaurants. You pretty rarely find a young person whistling anything. Maybe it’s a lost art; dear God, I hope that’s true.
What’s even worse is when people aren’t whistling a song AT ALL, but just a series of notes that don’t amount to a melody. Oh. My. God. Seriously knock it off. People are thinking about how to choke you. Trust me on this.
I think my disgust for whistling came from my father. You see, my father is an avid whistler. I love my Dad, so obviously the loathing doesn’t apply to him necessarily. But his whistling makes me want to dig out my eardrums with a rusty grapefruit spoon. Drives me absolutely insane.
So, not only does my Dad whistle, but he enjoys–and no, I can’t make this up–LISTENING TO PROFESSIONAL WHISTLERS. Yes, there are professional whistlers. Who have RECORDED THEMSELVES. WHISTLING.
I remember, vividly, as a child in the 1980s/early 90s, driving up to the White Mountains on a regular basis with my parents. They love it up there and we’d vacation a lot in the region. Anyway, my father would play tapes in the car on the way up.
What cassettes did he pop into the player? Roger Whittaker. No, really.
For those who do not know who Roger Whittaker is, he is an old fart musician/singer/whistler. Yep–he whistles his songs. My father has every cassette that Roger Whittaker ever released. And he’d play them. Roger primarily whistles old Irish folk songs like “Danny Boy”. But he’d also whistle other stuff, too. Most of them were just songs that old people like, a la “Greensleeves” or “My Darling Clementine.”
And my father would happily play this for two and a half hours while I was in the back seat, wondering where the best place would be for me to unfasten my seat belt, open the car door, and roll out and hopefully down the side of whatever mountain the station wagon was climbing at the time.
People: next time you get the urge to whistle “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” resist it. I know you’re (probably) old and you can do whatever you want, but have some consideration and just stop it. We get it: you’re creative and musically talented. But keep it up, and someday someone just might choke you in the produce section of the supermarket. And no one wants to get choked.