There was a guy on campus this afternoon who whistled a tune as he walked across the quadrangle. You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow. Since my whistling talents are really minimal, I keep that little skill to myself, and I have never learned the shrill two-finger whistle blast that some people insist on doing while standing two feet from me. Maybe buying them an air horn would put an end to that annoying practice. Sometimes, I whistle to myself in the morning while I’m shaving. I’m also not Axel Rose, so whistling is not a part of any album I’ve ever recorded. I can say that with some authority because I’ve never recorded an album. When other people whistle, especially if it’s a nervous whistle, I find it very annoying. Some people whistle when they are happy, others when they are scared, still others whistle along to a favorite tune. Dogs will come when whistled at. Some people are totally incapable of whistling at all. Creepy guys sometimes whistle at beautiful women when they walk by, but I find that practice both barbaric and savage. Some birds whistle as if they were human, or is it the other way around, that people sometimes whistle like birds? Is whistling a substitute for using spoken language, or is it a rejection of spoken language? In some ways, the act (the art?) of whistling is primal, base, animal, but it gets a person’s attention, and it’s easy to hear a whistle even over a great distance, such as whistling man on campus today–I couldn’t see his face, but I clearly heard his whistling. We use whistles in sports because a whistle can cut through the din and chaos on field, and all the players know the play is over, that there is a penalty, that the game is over. Lifeguards use whistles to maintain order and safety. English Bobbies use them to summon help. Sheepdog trainers use them to direct their dogs. You can teach a mockingbird to whistle like you do. So, if you want to whistle, just put your lips together and blow.