the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Will certainly be added to Sarah’s list

After I put up Sarah’s guest post on Monday, member Brea commented that the whole spontaneous, earnest singing thing bugs her as well, and then went on to say, “I also despise whistlers.” That was one of those things that hit me right in the funny bone, and I whispered it under my breath all day long and laughed audibly every time. And upon reflection, that is probably the creepiest behavior ever. Like I’m responding to the voices in my head out loud. And snickering about it like a thirteen-year-old boy who just masturbated to a poster of Hannah Montana.

Sorry, world!

It was like that one time Jon and I were headed home from dinner, driving below the speed limit because we were trying to soak up every last minute of being away from the kids. When this crazy chick walks out into the middle of traffic out of nowhere, and five cars have to brake, and there’s screeching and blood and mangled hair goes flying, and she stops right in front of our halted car. Right there in the middle of the road! And she makes the angriest face at Jon as if Jon had been put on this earth specifically to kill her. Sorry, crazy chick. He was put on this earth specifically to put money in Steve Job’s bank account. Not nearly as noble.

And in that split second if you had looked around at all the cars that had screeched to a halt you would have seen the shock. So Jon rolled down the window, stuck his head as far out as physically possible and yelled, “Well then get out of the road, yah dumb bitch!”

And he didn’t know this until I had stopped laughing an hour later and told him, but he yelled that whole thing in a Southern accent.

Not his finest moment, no. But whenever he does something really absentmindedly, AS HE IS WONT TO DO, I’m quick to refer to him in those exact terms.

My point after that giant tangent was to say, you guys, Tyrant is a whistler. An unabashed whistler.

Let that soak in for just a second, because it gets worse. I know you didn’t think it could, but it does! Because he doesn’t whistle songs. NO! HE JUST WHISTLES.


So it’s not like you could hum right along with him to the tune. Because you have no idea what note is coming next. NEITHER DOES HE.

I remember the first time I asked him, I was like, dude, I can’t figure out what you’re whistling. And could you please stop. And he goes, what? A song? Who whistles songs?

I mean, right? It’s like, who eats food? Who gives birth to children? Who prays to God?

So I decided that if he can get creative with the printer, then so can I! So I made a little friendly sign/reminder and taped it to the front door:

For Tyrant

  • d3 voiceworks

    2010/06/23 at 11:02 am

    i did NOT see that coming. tyrant as whistler. whoa.

  • ChristineQ

    2010/06/23 at 11:04 am

    Whistle back… Double your annoyance, double your fun!

  • ninesandquines

    2010/06/23 at 11:07 am

    i am SO putting that sign in my office. our IT guy does the EXACT.SAME.THING as the tyrant….NO idea what he is whistling….it’s effing annoying!!!!

  • meganithappen

    2010/06/23 at 11:13 am

    As a whistler (albeit of SONGS), I’m so sad to know I’m despised. 🙁
    I’m going to have to establish some control, apparently, over this habit.

  • Nerdista

    2010/06/23 at 11:28 am

    I’m a whistler. I don’t whistle songs (who whistles songs???) and I think it’s genetic, my dad whistles too.

  • tracy

    2010/06/23 at 11:28 am

    Well I can’t whistle so it’s good to know there’s still a chance of a real-life friendship 😉

    That being said, I have a brilliant short film a friend made that I’m going to send to you.

  • Snarkmeister

    2010/06/23 at 11:30 am

    My hubby is a whistler. He whistles songs, but he’s very theatrical about it; it’s like Disney-bird-trilling whistling – all warbly and stuff. We met in high school, then lost touch for about ten years after that, and every time I heard someone whistling that way I would turn around and expect him to be there. (He was “the one that got away” – we never dated back in HS, but came close a few times.) I finally found him on myspace a few years ago and we ended up getting married last year. All because I couldn’t forget him and his whistling.

  • Janice

    2010/06/23 at 11:32 am

    Fire him. Immediately. You’re children could grow up to be whistlers. I’m not as mean a person as that sounds. I get migraines. The sound is horrendous.

  • megnstuff

    2010/06/23 at 11:37 am

    Ha! I needed a good laugh. I am in the final weeks of pregnancy and any distraction from think about baby is welcomed with open arms.

    I don’t have any funny whistling stories but I think I may make myself a “I also despise whistlers” sign just in case my midwife is a whistler!

  • Truthful Mommy

    2010/06/23 at 11:44 am

    BwahahaahA! I am agreeing with Janice! Ok, he must be given a cease and desist order. You are in danger of having his bad habits rub off and you being left with children who are….WHISTLERS!!

  • wagabu

    2010/06/23 at 11:51 am

    My husband rides the train to work. Trying to get some work done but couldn’t because the dude behind him was HUMMING. He hummed the entire 40 min. trip. Who does that?

    Now I would have asked him to stop. I don’t mind that. He just tolerated it. And then bitched for 40 min. at home. Arh!

    Dude, do it in your own home, not in public. It’s noise pollution!!!

  • klate

    2010/06/23 at 11:52 am

    I’m thrilled to know I’m not the only misanthrope who hates the whistling. What are you so goddam cheerful about!? 🙂

  • Pinkporches

    2010/06/23 at 11:53 am

    My husband hums peppy little songs when he’s mad at me. Though I will NOT be putting an “I also despise hummers” sign on my door.

  • tracy

    2010/06/23 at 11:59 am
  • shuggilippo

    2010/06/23 at 12:10 pm

    I just pissed myself. That’s all I’ve really got.

    Sidenote: The urinating began at the Hannah Montana masturbation reference and has now commenced again for having brought it up for the sake of lengthening my comment. So there’s that.

  • mommica

    2010/06/23 at 12:21 pm

    So, when my sister lived in New Hampshire for a while, we all started saying “Geezum Crow!” (instead of Jesus Christ) in a kind of “haha, northeasterners are funny” kind of way. But now I say Geezum Crow all the time for real and people give me looks. I imagine this is what has happened to Jon. He started out making fun of your southern accent and now it just comes naturally. I love it.

  • TXinUK

    2010/06/23 at 12:25 pm

    I’m not a whistler but only because I am seriously lacking in whistling skillz. This is because I was taught to whistle by an older cousin who also liked to dip. So, when I whistle its over my bottom teeth with my lower lip bulging as if I had a huge pinch of dip in there. Yeah, its hawt.

  • friend2canines

    2010/06/23 at 12:37 pm

    Being a bit of a Pollyanna here when dealing with pet-peeves, I always think “it coud be worse”.

    So in the case of a “constant whistler” I have to say “it could be worse…he could be a FARTISTE”.

    So count your blessings it could be worse, MUCH WORSE!

    You’re welcome.

  • denice

    2010/06/23 at 12:43 pm

    i don’t mind if people whistle around me as long as they don’t mind if i punch them in the face when they do.

  • adi82

    2010/06/23 at 12:44 pm

    LOL, well I guess it’s a good thing Tyrant doesn’t live in South Carolina. They are working on a law there that states:

    “It shall be unlawful for any person to yell, shout, hoot, whistle, or sing on the public streets, particularly between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. or at any time or place so as to annoy or disturb the comfort, or repose of persons in any office, or in any dwelling, or other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.”

    Nice, huh? 🙂

  • one-in-three

    2010/06/23 at 12:49 pm

    Ugh I hate whistling too. I see bumper stickers….

  • tokenblogger

    2010/06/23 at 12:53 pm


    I’m a whistler and a hummer.

    And not songs, either (good to know Tyrant and I have something in common).

    And most times I don’t even know I’m being so musically audible until someone says something like, “can you please stop.”

  • friend2canines

    2010/06/23 at 12:54 pm

    Wow, who knew?

    A book about a FARTISTE?

    “…His symphonic farting was purely recreational until… he ventured into Paris and took the artistic community by storm. Much of his act’s success apparently relied on his deadpan delivery; his hilariously expressionless face allowed him to play straight man to the low (but impressive) comedy provided by his butt. …”

    Reading level: Ages 4-8!


  • malisams

    2010/06/23 at 12:54 pm

    I’m also in the “despise whistling” camp, at least in public. It’s noise pollution as far as I’m concerned. Guaranteed no one wants to hear your breezy mouth rendition of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” but you.

    So for those who like to whistle, it’s cool. Just do it at home! You know, back in the briar patch, where you and Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Bear can harmonize on that shit.

  • davesanngel

    2010/06/23 at 12:57 pm

    This provided a much needed laugh. The image of Jon yelling that out the window starting a giggle fit, and it progressed to outright laughter by the time I got to the picture.

    Thank you.

  • davesanngel

    2010/06/23 at 12:58 pm

    Good grief – that should say “started” not “starting”. My English professors would be having a fit!

  • Enatural7

    2010/06/23 at 12:58 pm

    I didn’t know a tyrant could be a whistler. It just seems wrong.

  • Jan

    2010/06/23 at 1:09 pm

    Off topic a bit, but what drives me crazy are the goofy expressions in the photos of the child models for the K-12 e-schools ad used here. At least this one is not as bad as the ones they provided some months ago (this particular kid is very cute, yes). BUT THEY MAKE ME CRAZY. Almost as much as the radio Geico ads. And TV actors doing the voices for radio ads for Wachovia (“Allan” from 2 1/2 Men) and Verizon (“Pete” from Mad Men). ‘Scuse, I need to go make a tinfoil hat for myself.

  • TexasKatie

    2010/06/23 at 1:10 pm

    I do whistle now and again but not all the time, and usually when I do, it is some sort of tune that I am whistling. I sort of equate it to muttering under one’s breath – it is sort of an unconscious thing.

    My dad is a whistler, though. One of those whistlers that has no rhyme or reason to his whistling. It doesn’t even sound like a SONG. It sounds like this annoying, breathy, retarded bird that is on drugs. It is like this up and down, ridiculous whistle. ARGH. That sort of whistling makes me want to punch kittens.

  • naysway

    2010/06/23 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah, my grandfather was a whistler. Did that same crap walking the trash cans in, whistling some inane tune. Then you’d walk around whistling it because, obviously, you were just as retarded. Now I’m married to a whistler of randomness so, you know. There’s that.

  • weebits

    2010/06/23 at 1:54 pm

    Finally…we are addressing the whistlers. Send them to the same island as people who pick their teeth. Not just the front teeth, but their molars!!! And people who rattle change in their pockets. They can go too.

  • Dawn56

    2010/06/23 at 1:55 pm

    Even more annoying that the whistler of random notes? The human juke box. I used to work with a man who would sing a line from a song…

    “Yesterday, love was such a easy game to play…”

    And just as you started to think, “Now it…”

    He’d sing…

    “She’s got a ticket to ride…”

    And you’d start to think, “She’s got a… ”

    And he’d sing…

    “Imagine there’s no heaven…”

    At which point, you’d know what hell would sound like.

  • alphabeth

    2010/06/23 at 1:58 pm

    Nooooooo! All my hopes and dreams have been crushed! Whistling tunes I think I can take.. but nothing.. just whistling. I’d rather be locked in a cage with a tiger.. or Macy Gray’s voice *shudders*.

    We had an associate who whistled ONE NOTE. Just one. Then he would breathe and keep whistling… ONE NOTE. It was like a tornado siren ALL THE TIME. He was fired over a year ago and I still have one note nightmares.

  • Laber of Love

    2010/06/23 at 2:00 pm

    My dad’s whistle has vibrato. It makes me want to stick a fork in my ear.

  • g.b.

    2010/06/23 at 2:02 pm

    My mother falls firmly in the bird-from-Mary-Poppins theatrical, Disney-style whistler category. It’s truly impressive.

    I never knew it was that annoying to others until I shared cubicle space with a girl (who became a good friend of mine in spite of this) who told me on her first day that she HATED the sound of whistling. I then became all self-conscious about it and realized I whistle A LOT. 🙂

    I gave her this:

  • neeroc

    2010/06/23 at 5:34 pm

    I’m a whistler, when no one else can hear it. It’s bad, and I know it’s bad, so I hide it, just like my singing.

    Oh! I used to work with someone who would whistle the theme to the Muppet Show. I had that stuck in my head FOREVER!

    BTW – do you really want to mess with Tyrant?

  • tracy

    2010/06/23 at 2:47 pm

    Oh man. Totally laughing at Dawn56. That would drive ne batty!

  • mommyoffour

    2010/06/23 at 2:50 pm

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall of your house for just. one. day.

  • ERStolpe

    2010/06/23 at 2:53 pm

    Can this relationship be saved?
    I think not.
    Fire him.

    Keep Jon, though.

  • The Phonz

    2010/06/23 at 3:23 pm

    I’d rather hear random notes than what I have to deal with. There is a guy at my work that whistles Christmas songs ALL YEAR round. I’ve worked with him for 7 years and a) he doesn’t realize he is doing it and 2) he won’t stop, I’ve kindly tried to stop him. Never thought of a sign…hmmm tempted I am.

  • dialing footnoterphone

    2010/06/23 at 3:42 pm

    Occasionally, I catch myself whistling while I’m performing menial tasks and my brain is so starved for entertainment it switches into autopilot and an annoying abomination comes out of my mouth. I hate whistling, I hate the sound of whistling (my father is a freaking whistler and I grew up with the most grating Saturday soundtrack, ever), so I make a very good effort NOT to whistle. However, the only thing I ever, EVER whistle intentionally is the theme from Andy Griffith, and that’s usually whilst walking with a skip in my step and some sort of carefree task ahead of me, like plunging the toilet or prying the mangled power cable from the vacuum’s deathlike grip. It’s an old habit I picked up from my grandfather, I think, who used to whistle it while working on his farm. Someone whistled it on that farm, at least. Anyway, yeah, he told me it makes the chores pass faster. He freaking lied, but whatever.

  • Texanthropology

    2010/06/23 at 4:28 pm

    Someone JUST walked by my office whistling, and I thought, “!”

    This merits a new Twitter hashtag… #ialsodespisewhistlers

  • dharmafrog

    2010/06/23 at 4:37 pm

    A town in South Carolina is trying to make whistling in public areas illegal! =)

  • tallnoe

    2010/06/23 at 4:38 pm

    I loved the tangent. And I loved your ability to actually reign the story back in.

    I’m surprised I’m not a whistler – my dad used to do what Tyrant does. Impressive that I shook that. Now I’ve jinxed myself. Great.

  • jendoza

    2010/06/23 at 5:16 pm

    So, forget that whistling is annoying or that Tyrant just whistles randomly because I have one that beats them both. My grandma (Love you!) whistles the exact same line from some song, EVERYDAY, ALL DAY! I’m talking about the same freaking 4 notes. And she’s been doing it ( I hear) for the past 35 years!!!! I’ve even told her to please at least continue the dang song, but nope, she just likes those 4 notes. Glorious.

  • JulieB

    2010/06/23 at 5:20 pm

    My DAD used to do that! It was so annoying. Although, now that he’s gone I think back on it as if it were terribly endearing. I miss my Dad. You should HUG Tyrant! He could be gone before you know it!

    Hm. Is he a hugger? Maybe THAT will make him stop?

  • JaneE

    2010/06/23 at 5:54 pm

    A few years ago my mum and dad both started whistling tunelessly under their breaths when they were doing nothing (eg riding in the car). It drives me insane. But I’ve never had the guts to ask them not to do it – they’re old, who knows how much more time they’ll have, just let them be happy.

    It does annoy me though.

  • theotherlion

    2010/06/23 at 6:48 pm

    JulieB — Tyrant as a hugger. Now THAT is funny!

    Also, Heather, I think you may have won the sign war. Just sayin’.

  • sheas

    2010/06/23 at 7:42 pm

    Whistling used to never really bother me until my husband and I went on a trip to China with a friend. This friend can’t carry a tune, and he can’t whistle. Or rather, he CAN whistle, but it’s just one breathy note, the same note, over and over again, incredibly weak yet piercing at the same time.

    Traveling to a foreign country can be unbelievably stressful (especially when you don’t speak the language), and the moment he was stressed he’d start doing the whistle. One note. Over and over again. The thing is, whenever he was stressed chances are the whole group was stressed. Toward the end of our 12 day adventure we were so exhausted that I was seriously close to just turning around and punching him in the face.

    So needless to say, I am no longer a fan of whistling. Which is unfortunate, because my husband is an incredible whistler. I myself can’t whistle, nor can I carry a tune when singing. My one-note friend can’t carry a tune either. I really think there is a relation there.

  • jonsbebe

    2010/06/23 at 7:50 pm

    My Dad is a whistler of nothing in particular…it got worse after he quit smoking. It is one of my Mom’s favourite things to bitch about. ‘Cheese and rice (Jesus Christ) I wish that man would put a cork in it!’

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more