I don’t know what to think of loud whistlers. I didn’t when I was growing up, and now in JapanI especially don’t when I run across a Japanese whistler. I don’t begrudge them. They’re happy people, I guess.
One day in late October as I was walking through the Tokyo Station underground concourse I heard “The Star Spangled Banner” being whistled energetically. It was echoing around the enclosed space. I didn’t see who was doing it and I didn’t care to look around to identify the source, either. But I figured it probably was a Japanese, not an American, because what overseas Americans would want to call attention to themselves these days?
There is a noodle shop deliveryman working in my neighborhood who whistles while traveling on his motorbike. I have seen and heard him several times over the last few years. He seems to prefer Christian Christmas carols. Only between 1% and 2% of Japanese are Christians, so I’m guessing he does it just because he likes the melodies.
I, myself, am a singer. I can whistle, but not very impressively. But I like to sing. I like to make up my own songs. Stupid songs, by spontaneously inventing new lyrics for well known, popular melodies just to see how long I can keep making up spontaneous rhymes before I run dry. I often surprise my friends how well I can make up rhymes on the spot and invent lines with an appropriate number of syllables to match the music. (I sometimes have to get creative, like Bob Dylan, stretching syllables out to keep time with the rhythm. But it works.) It’s like what millions of people do in their cars every day, driving along the freeways singing along with their favorite songs on the radio for which they never bothered to learn the proper lyrics.
Maybe it’s the change of season that brings out the happy whistler in some people.