David Bouchier

Commentator

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.

Wikimedia Commons

One of the many annoying things about the Corona affair is that it has brought out of the woodwork an apparently unlimited number of people who pretend to know the future. “What will happen next?” they ask breathlessly, and go on to offer their unwelcome wisdom with all the confidence of Old Testament prophets. Some anticipate the apocalypse and have stimulated a lively market in old nuclear bunkers and survival gear. Others predict a kind of post-industrial economic collapse and a return to nature with a vestigial population of survivors.

S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

The COVID scare seems to have changed the landscape of exercise. Now there are so many walkers of all ages that it’s hard to avoid them. It seems to have become a national hobby, even though walking has been deeply unfashionable in America ever since the invention of the motor car. People will normally go to great lengths to avoid walking even a few steps, as you can observe in any supermarket parking lot as drivers compete for the parking spaces closest to the entrance.

StockSnap from Pixabay

It is the symbolic start of summer, and thousands of people will be heading to the beaches this week, restrictions or no restrictions. There's something magnetic about the seashore. Seventy-five percent of Americans choose to live within fifty miles of the coast. We are especially lucky on Long Island because the whole place is basically nothing but a beach, a narrow finger of sand, getting narrower every year. So we are never far from the sea just as we are never far from a pizza place. We scarcely ever see the sea, because so much of the shoreline is private property.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

At last my favorite barbershop has reopened. On the first day, when Long Island moved into Stage Two of the return to normal life, I drove over to the shop to see if this was real. A crowd of disheveled men waited outside, while in the interior I could see a busy scene of tonsorial activity, with every other chair occupied. This was a great relief. My small crop of hair has flourished mightily so that I look like a hedgehog with curls.

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One of my quarantine projects has been to catch up with my serious reading, and now I have an unread book on my mind, a splendid and impossible book, "Ulysses" by James Joyce. But why now? Because every year in the middle of June, and uniquely in literature, this book has a special commemorative day known as “Bloomsday.”

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