Robert Smith is called 'The Whistler' because he walks around Portland, Maine, whistling almost every day of the year (video below).
“I’m just trying to make people smile,” Smith told the Portland Press Herald.
After being warned to keep his whistling down, Smith allegedly started whistling louder, intentionally to annoy bystanders.
Smith was arrested last year for disorderly conduct for his "loud whistling."
Smith said he told police, "You can arrest me a thousand times, and the day I walk out of this jail, I'll be whistling out the door."
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A local court has ruled that Smith is free to whistle, but he must keep walking while he whistles so that he doesn't annoy businesses and people in any one area.
Smith, who works construction jobs during the summer, doesn't seem to acknowledge or care that his whistling might bother some.
"I walked around singing for a year," said Smith. "I whistled a tune one day. I don't know where it came from. It came from God, that's where it came from. God is showing me what I'm doing is OK. He shows me every day with laughter.
"I thought, you know, that sounds pretty cool. I get more self-worth out of whistling. I do it every day, weather permitting. I'm not out here to be the best whistler in the world. I'm just trying to make people smile."
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Rather than make people smile, Smith's whistling comes in stabbing bursts, which can be heard a block away.
"It just got to the point last summer where the complaints just mounted," said Trish McAllister, the city's prosecutor. "He's so loud."
The Portland Community Chamber and the Portland Downtown District are worried about unruly behavior downtown, including disorderly conduct.
"Just like if somebody plays an instrument in front of your business or has the radio on constantly, it's irritating," said Portland Downtown District Executive Director Janis Beitzer.
"All I'm doing is expressing myself freely," Smith asserted. "People who express themselves freely should be held in the highest regard, not the lowest regard.
"I'm doing it because of the reward it gives me. My goal is if someday I can walk down the streets of Portland and I can see 20 or 30 people whistling along, doing the same thing I'm doing, well then I will be a happy camper. I'll know I did something right."
That goal seems highly unlikely, but that doesn't deter The Whistler.
Source: Portland Press Herald