Fun_People Archive
29 Nov
Chiff & Fipple

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 99 12:42:46 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Chiff & Fipple

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
From: Kevin Johnsrude <>
Chiff & Fipple: The Post-Structural Tinwhistle E-Mail Experience -


Studies in marital tension
Chapter 52
Tin whistle vs goat

by Casey O'Rourke

ABSTRACT: This article examines the relative intensity of tension induced
in a domestic relationship by tin whistle playing, vs. that induced by the
common goat (Capra hircus).

As a whistle player sharing a household with several WHD (whistle
hypersensitivity disorder) sufferers (both human and feline), I have
gradually adopted a range of mechanisms intended to reduce whistle-related
ambient household tension. Said mechanisms include practicing in a remote
cellar workshop and application of cellophane tape across the wind-egress
orifice of a black Sweetone D, as well as moving practice from the cellar
location to a white Mazda compact at the train station parking lot before
boarding the commuter train.

This latter move was taken in response to a decision by my marital partner
to begin storing used diapers in said remote cellar workshop prior to their
ultimate disposal, rendering the air unbreathable, and to the impossibility
of just practicing in the living room when said partner is absent, due to
the fact that our alpha cat - a sufferer of feline WHD - vomits on the floor
when I do that.

Usually on a carpet.

However, the combination of increasingly frigid temperatures and
increasingly skeptical looks from passersby has rendered the parking lot
situation also less than satisfying, resulting in a rising frustration level
on my part and therefore increasing ambient household tension as well.

Last weekend, my WHD-suffering spouse and I, together with WHD-suffering
offspring #1 and whistle-tolerating #2 visited some farmer friends in the
area, where we had the opportunity to observe first-hand GRMT (Goat-Related
Marital Tension, the existence of which we had priorly been ignorant) .

My wife was delineating the depths of her misery evoked by the sound of the
common tin whistle, when our friend said, "That's nothing, my husband has
a goat."

For those reading this who may be unfamiliar with male goats (Capra hircus),
"pungent" is an adjective often used when describing them, although it is
in most cases insufficient and additional modifiers are usually employed.
When her husband returned from working with the goats in the barn, he
smelled like the goat, she related. When he (the husband, not the goat)
slept in the bed, the bed then smelled like the goat. When she slept in the
bed, she smelled like the goat too, a fact not lost on her colleagues and
pupils at the school where she teaches. Not only did he stink, he limped as
well (the goat this time).

Their three children had also begun avoiding their father, due to his new
smell. (My children, in comparison, avoid me only while I'm practicing.)

So the goat had become something of an issue around the farm. Her husband
insisted on keeping him, because he guaranteed a steady supply of goatlets.
The wife complained of people calling when her husband was away and asking
to bring their nanny-goats over to be impregnated. Her husband responded
that it was no problem, the goat could handle that himself (his limp was
not so bad that it hindered him in this) and required no assistance on her

CONCLUSION: The goat wins, on points: goats induce a relatively higher level
of marital tension than do tin whistles. After the visit, my wife told me
I could play the whistle whenever I wanted as long as I didn't get a goat.
In fact, tin whistle players wishing to reduce marital tension may wish to
consider renting a billy-goat for a week or two then getting rid of it
again, after which time ambient tension may fall to a level below where it
was before the goat was first acquired.

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