Who knew whistling could stir up so much emotion?


Robert Smith has reached a deal in which he has agreed to whistle in downtown Portland, Maine as long as he is not standing still.

Smith, who lives in nearby Westbrook, apparently had gotten people into a tizzy because of his loud whistling. It’s so loud, in fact, that police cited him twice in the last year after people had complained about it. So now, Smith is free to keep on whistling – as long as he’s moving.

Smith had argued his whistling was nothing more than free speech, but several downtown business don’t see it that. They say Smith is annoying.

Portland Downtown District Executive Director Janis Beitzer summed it by saying, “Just like if somebody plays an instrument in front of your business or has the radio on constantly, it's irritating."

For his part, Smith says he wants people to feel as happy as he does when he whistles, noting, “I'm not out here to be the best whistler in the world. I'm just trying to make people smile.”

[Portland Press Herald]