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.

Todd Ponath / AP

Our local library always has a special display of light reading for summer, which I examine with interest. I certainly can’t argue with the adjective “light.” Some of these books are so lacking in substance that you half expect them to drift off the shelves and out the library window. The general assumption seems to be that a little sunshine boils our brains away, so that only the lightest of light entertainment can be tolerated.

Scott Webb from Pixabay

The sight of the first bride in springtime always brings tears to my eyes. It must be some kind of allergy. She was climbing into a block-long white limousine outside a big church in a very expensive area. The bride and guests were all beautifully dressed. The bridegroom though paid no attention to his new wife as she struggled to get her billowing white gown into the limo. He was more interested in the elaborate video camera being used by the photographer to record the moment for posterity.

Jason DeCrow / AP

One hot day last summer I was watching a trail of ants in the back yard, marveling at their disciplined and orderly behavior. They marched in a steady line, bunching up occasionally behind an obstacle, but always in perfect unison. Another line flowed in the opposite direction, returning to the nest. Then I had one of those curious moments when the mind superimposes one image upon another. I was looking down at the Long Island Expressway from a plane taking off from the local airport, marveling at an almost identical exhibition of discipline, order, and inscrutable purpose.

fancycrave1 from Pixabay

When foreigners fly over our suburbs for the first time, the first things they notice are all those brilliant blue patches in the midst of the trees and green lawns. Americans seem to have more, bigger and better backyard swimming pools than anyone else on the planet.

McElspeth from Pixabay

It’s commencement season again. Over the next couple of weeks our local colleges will ceremoniously hand out their diplomas, leaving thousands of parents feeling relieved – and the young graduates feeling slightly lost. Suddenly they feel the need for a plan that will guarantee a smooth passage through career and marriage to retirement and the nursing home and that final graduation. If you are in this situation, here’s my post-commencement advice about your life plan.