Many moons ago, when my hair was longer and my waistline smaller, I became the proxy trainer for an aspiring whistler, who just happened to be one of my housemates in the spacious Williamsburg loft I was enconsed in. Every night we’d bash out the tunes together: me on a beat up guitar, him just pursing those lips and letting the gentle flow of air do its work. It was a novel experience, made the more interesting when we performed a short set at Pete’s Candy Store on Lorimer Street.
The unsuspecting audience had no idea what they were seeing. But the whistler nailed it, and the stage was set for a foray into deeper waters. So began a strenuous training regime: push-ups while whistling; warm lemon juice and honey concoctions throughout the day; a total ban on potentially mouth burning smores. Yes, there was blood, sweat and beers. And finally it all culminated just a couple of weekend’s ago when the whistler entered the International Whistling Championships in Carolina. The rest, as they say, is history. Or should that be whistlery? He performed brilliantly and finished up in eleventh place in what was a hotly competitive field. So now it’s back into training and a damn good shot at that title for next year.