David Bouchier: A Few Well Chosen Words

David Bouchier’s weekly essays are full of unexpected observations and whimsical opinions. Listeners will relish his entertaining, enlightening, and sometimes exasperated commentaries on the routines that carry us through the year, the surreal rituals of politics, the unsettling experience of foreign travel, and the confusions and comedies of everyday suburban life.

You can hear David Bouchier on-air Monday mornings or by subscribing to his podcast, A Few Well Chosen Words.

Helena Lopes from Pexels

This is the sociable month, the month of eating dangerously. In December we will eat out much more, be invited to more dinner parties, and even give a few of our own. There will be buffets, with food of unknown antiquity, mystery meals from over-stressed restaurant cooks, and far too much of everything. Thanksgiving was just a warmup exercise. Now we really have to eat.

Courtesy of Pixabay

At the end of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade comes the most popular saint in Christendom, Saint Nicholas a.k.a. Santa Claus, a.k.a. Father Christmas. His benevolent appearance signals the official start of the holiday shopping season. The pressure is on. We need to think about gifts for our nearest and dearest, and for ourselves.

Courtesy of Pixabay

As I get older I get lazier, but the technology of laziness is always several steps ahead of me. I accept that my car has electrically operated windows, and that not having to crank them up and down must save me at least half dozen calories of energy in a year. The seats and mirrors can also be adjusted electrically, without any effort on my part, and a GPS (if I had a GPS which I don’t) would preserve me from the exhausting labor of unfolding a map, and looking at it.

National Archives and Records Administration / Wikimedia Commons

Most Americans are taught that Thanksgiving celebrates the first harvest gathered by the Pilgrims in the autumn of 1621. The story goes that they feasted for three days on turkeys and fruit given to them by the Indians. In other words Thanksgiving is symbolic of peace and mutual trust.

Courtesy of Pixabay

National holidays make complete and perfect sense if you grew up with them, and no sense at all if you didn’t. It’s difficult for anyone not brought up in America to get excited about Thanksgiving, for example, as Americans find it hard to work up much enthusiasm for Bastille Day in France, Guy Fawkes Day in Britain, or the Foundation of the Workers’ Party Day in North Korea.