David Bouchier


David began as a print journalist in London and taught at a British university for almost twenty years. After coming to the United States in 1986 he continued to teach and to publish a regular humor column in The New York Times regional edition.  He joined WSHU as a weekly commentator in 1992, becoming host of Sunday Matinee in 1996. His latest book of essays, Peripheral Vision, was published in 2011. His other books include A Few Well Chosen Words, The Song of Suburbia, The Cats and the Water Bottles, The Accidental Immigrant and Writer at Work. He lives in Stony Brook, New York, with his wife who is a professor at Stony Brook University, and two un-musical cats.

Stephen Brashear / AP Images for Washington Prime Group

I read an article in a magazine about young people who make pots of money by becoming “Influencers” on the internet. The idea of making pots of money without any real work has always appealed to me, although I have never succeeded in actually doing it. The “Influencers” described in the article, though rich, didn't seem to be particularly talented or intellectually gifted, so I thought there might be a niche for me in this new industry.

StockSnap from Pixabay

This is the season when weather gets interesting: first the hurricanes, then the winter storms. The unpredictable cruelty of the weather led our ancestors to assume that it was sent by capricious gods to torment us mere mortals, or perhaps just for their own celestial entertainment. This theory has persisted for thousands of years, and it makes perfect sense to me. Weather forecasting, in spite of satellites, super-computers and sophisticated modeling techniques, remains almost as fallible as stock market forecasting. The weather will do what it will do.

Courtesy of Pixabay

It is a paradox that Labor Day is devoted to fun and idleness because, after all, it is the one-day in the year when we are supposed to celebrate work. In particular we should be honoring the history of the Trade Union Movement that protected workers and gave them a political voice.

Gareth Patterson / AP Images for Kingsford

The barbecue season has been kind to me so far – nothing worse than a couple of minor burns and a few hundred mosquito bites. The house, miraculously, is still intact. We haven’t had to call the fire service or go to the emergency room, and I count this as a success. It is a risky business, but it is part of the summer ritual, and it must be done.

David Bouchier

I was preparing to take a photograph of some attractive buildings in a French village when a little girl popped out of her doorway and asked: “Why are you doing that?” in excellent French, considering how young she was. I had no ready answer, in that or any other language, but it was an interesting question. Why was I doing that? She may not have understood that I was simply taking a picture. My big, old, black camera looks more like a death ray machine than the colorful toy-like cameras she grew up with. But either way she had, like any child, gone straight to the heart of the matter.