Wet Your Whistle

Wet Your Whistle

“Sit down and wet your whistle.” What? What does that mean? A dry mouth and lips don’t whistle very well, so, this was a welcoming invitation, to come in, sit down, and have something to drink.

I grew up hearing whistling. Dad didn’t whistle as much as Mom did. Dad sang a lot, but when I could hear my mother whistling an old song, all was right with my world.

Levi Latty, my grandfather, whistled as he went to the barn to milk his cows in the pre-dawn darkness. A long, hard day’s work was ahead, but that was fine. He had many blessings, he was happy, and he whistled; often, he whistled a Stephen Foster song, The Glendy Burk.

Do you remember the film, The Man Who Knew Too Much? Whistling was vital to that movie. Remember hearing Doris Day’s son whistling Que Sera, Sera?

Why don’t we whistle any more? It certainly is a sunny way to express joy.  I wonder what would happen if I whistled while taking a daily walk? Would people come and stare? Would a pack of dogs follow? Would I be thought of as the neighborhood-barmy-old-gray-haired-mystery-writer-who-whistles? Would a police cruiser pull up beside me and run me in for disturbing the peace?

Girl in a yellow dress whistling while walking

Remember the Disney film, The Seven Dwarfs? Remember Whistle While You Work? 

What the world needs now is more whistlers! Who could be sad or angry when they whistle? I advocate getting back to whistling. It’s great for thinking, for cheering up a mood, for just brightening the day, or while considering an answer to a difficult question. A dry whistler won’t work very well, though. So, let’s have a cup of coffee, purse our lips, and start the day right–with a cheery whistle.


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