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, on AppleGoogle or Spotify.

Claude Paris / AP

There is a generational war at least once in every generation, because the old guard and its old ideas have to be replaced. That’s how we move ahead, and that’s one difference between human beings and animals. In the animal kingdom there are very few changes over the years or centuries. They follow the immemorial habits of their species. Humans are different. Older people like me imagine that they know how the world should be run and how civilized people should behave.

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.