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.

Elise Amendola / AP

Why do they call it Daylight Saving Time? Time is one of the many things, like youth, beauty and opened bottles of wine, that cannot and should not be saved and, in any case, saving things is positively un-American. Daylight Borrowing Time would be more appropriate. All through the summer we took that extra hour of daylight on credit, adding it to the end of the day to give us those long summer evenings.

Patricia Alexandre from Pixabay

The only thing I really like about Halloween is that it gives equal time to witches. We scarcely even think about witches the rest of the year, and we certainly don't give them the respect they deserve. But during the last days of October, we can scarcely think about anything else. Even the latest mega-celebrity can't hope to keep our attention, unless she sails into the headlines on a broomstick.

Courtesy of Pixabay

I can never resist those columns in newspapers and magazines that pretend to offer expert advice on everyday problems – they are so entertaining. Many of them are about what to wear on particular occasions, although here on Long Island there is no sign that this kind of advice is ever followed. In a recent advice column a woman who planned to wear an off-the-shoulder dress to an outdoor event asked how to avoid being cold. The columnist advised her to put on a shawl or a coat. I could have told her that, and I’m no expert in ladies' fashions.

Architect of the Capitol

“In fourteen hundred and ninety two/Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” That little rhyme was something I learned I don’t know how many years ago, and it has proved to be a faithful friend. I never had any trouble remembering the date of Columbus’s famous voyage.

Columbus did not sail the ocean blue, of course. He sailed out into the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean. However the couplet: “One miserable August day/Columbus sailed the ocean gray” would be neither memorable nor useful.

There’s a village in England that I think of as “my” village because I made my home there for many years. But the real villagers are much more deeply rooted than I could ever be. They are practically part of the fabric of the place, a real community, and they have their own way of doing things.