I've been driving around for the past month, practicing my whistles in a way that made sense to me; namely learning to whistle old sitcom theme songs and commercials from the 70's. Somedays I really impressed myself with my repertoire. Mr. Ed, Green Acres, the Patty Duke Show!! (I know! I KNOW! 1960's even!)
Of course, though he claims to have been crying for an entirely different reason, and not for joy, I believe that Eric was proud of my progress with Stairway to Heaven.
I believed that, though I might be lagging behind in the dog/human communication portion of herding, my whistling skills would be the stuff of legend.
Sadly, like most things, turns out that my tonal talents are not translating to the sheepdog world quite as smoothly as I had fantasized that they would. Today I was trying to replicate the tones that Jen has been trained to understand and…
I can only do 'Walk' and 'Look Back'. Everything else leads me, frustrated and angry, straight into the intro to My Three Sons.
I know what you, reader, are thinking, because I thought of it, too: Well, Katy, it might take a little longer, like trying to drive your car somewhere, say Portland, using only left-hand turns, but you can eventually navigate a trial field with Walk and Look Back. Just concentrate on straight lines.
But I want to have it all and it's really humbling to find myself up against such a small yet significant stumbling block. Rather than question my own abilities, or admit finally that it may involve my family's long standing assertion that I'm "tone deaf" and "shouldn't be in the same room with a musical instrument of ANY KIND"….I find myself considering the problem to be that of the Whistle itself. It's just not good enough, it lacks the RANGE, to communicate my more sophisticated instructions.
So, my next thought was, could Jen work under a boat horn? That would free up my mouth for screaming incessantly, something I hate to give up. But ….no range there, either.
Which led to might Jen respond even BETTER to the harmonica, say some bluesy notes driving her Away melodically, regretfully? Upbeat frolicky rifts telling her to Come By? Transitioning to the folksy Walk, Look Back…Neil Young has an entire career I could use. That'll Do, sad and spiritual…
Close, but too much blowing and sucking in. Too likely to be abused by people who are depressed by the way their run is going or who like to get high beforehand. NOT that anyone does that, but they might if we started having decent tunes and more food available.
Why not the Pan Flute? Pan was the greek god of Shepherds and Flocks. And I can get one on Ebay for like a buck ninety five. PLUS they'll throw in Yanni's Greatest Hits. Yanni. Yeah.
I've hit rock bottom.
Back to Patrick's Welsh Tones…