It’s true: I can’t whistle! Never learned, despite years of trying.
This article’s title is misleading — or perhaps its more accurate to say it simply reflects wishful thinking. I’d love to know why I can’t whistle. But since I don’t know, I can’t tell you.
Speaking of you — does anyone else experience this kind of thing? Not whistling specifically. Of course you can whistle. Everyone I know whistles. (If you can’t, then bless you, brother or sister!)
What I mean is, is there anything you can’t do, despite years of practice, even though pert-near everyone else you know can?
My odd sonic disability baffles my whistling-enabled friends. I’ve had people insist, in all sincerity, that I was pulling their legs.
Kind folks have tried to teach me, serenely confident they’ll succeed where all others have failed. “See? You just purse your lips this way and force air between them!”
I’ve mostly stopped taking lessons, because it’s painful to watch people I love descend through successive stages of hope, to frustration, to impotent exasperation.
Still unclear to me is whether my inability to whistle is genetic, psychological, or something else. Maybe I still haven’t practiced enough. Maybe there’s a book or website that could get me over the hump. I don’t know.
No one I’ve known could whistle like Cheri’s recently deceased mom, Winnie. Her whistle (when she wasn’t holding back) reminded me of an air raid siren. When Cheri and her younger sister, Zephyr, were kids, they’d hear that whistle from across the neighborhood and know Winnie was summoning them.
Cheri herself has a powerful whistle, though nowhere as loud as Winnie’s. She uses it to call our faithful pooch, Cheyenne, who always comes running. When Cheyenne hears me trying to whistle, she stares at me with the same look of bewildered incredulity as my human friends.
People typically whistle through their lips. But I’ve seen people whistle through two fingers, and occasionally through their teeth.
Whatever your style — if you can whistle at all, I’m in awe of you. Don’t even get me started on the very idea of whistling a tune: sheer magic!
(This article is an entry in my “Gary Matthews Random Facts File”.)