Whistle Me Up Scotty

Whilst in the doctor’s surgery last week I was arrested by a strange noise
that evoked memories of my youth. Another patient was waiting for his turn
to be treated (an odd word for an experience that seems to be far from
anything resembling a treat).

Rather than spend the time reading tired copies of Readers Digest he
amused himself by whistling. This in itself might not seem an unusual
occurrence. However this musician, for that is what his skill obviously
made him, was purposefully producing a melody.

Indeed he seemed to be working his way through a selection of Glen Miller

If it were not for the modern surroundings of the newly built health
centre I could have sworn that I had been transported back to my late
sixties childhood.

The rise of the MP3 player and mobile phone seems to have all but put an
end to the long lost art of whistling.

When I was a kid every tradesman worth his salt could belt out a
recognisable tune as he climbed ladders, hammered in nails, or painted
window frames.

Today people have music available in any and every situation and so there
no need to amuse oneself and others making melody through pursed lips

A couple of younger folk in the surgery looked across at our waiting room
musician as if he was a little odd.

This seemed rather strange to me if not a little sad.

Today it is not unusual to see someone walking through a town centre,
plugged into a mobile phone, in full conversation.

For a split second I am convinced that they must be talking to themselves.
In the days of my youth the only people who did this were those of a more
delicate disposition.

What a change in a mere four decades. It is now acceptable behaviour to
walk around having disconnected conversations yet if you whistle you look
like a mad man.

I was walking through Leeds Railway station looking for my connecting
train when a young lady appeared from the steps declaring 'it's the wrong
way and if you don't change you will be late'.

The fact that she was looking directly at me seemed to indicate that her
comments were aimed at me. Not so! She was engaged in a mobile conversation
with someone from her office. She happened to look at me because my
eighteen stone frame happened to be directly in her path at this very

For a split second I prepared to answer her but fortunately realised the
situation in time to spare my blushes.

Such mobile conversations would have seemed futuristic when I was a lad,
confined to the likes of Star Trek.

Matter Transmitters, Phasers, Warp Drive, and tiny electronic
communication devices were all the stuff that fed a young boys imagination.

Most of these technologies haven't been invented yet but one out four
ain't bad.

Nobody has yet found a way of separating the component parts of flesh in
order to reconstitute it again; unless you count chicken nuggets.

Warp speed would be a complete waste of time given the near gridlock we
experience at rush hour.

The nearest thing we have to Phasers are the police use of tasers; even
then the sight of a long wire shooting out of a gun is hardly space age.

I should have seen these changes coming, after all you never saw Captain
Kirk whistling on Star Trek.

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