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.

Courtesy of Pixabay

As I get older I get lazier, but the technology of laziness is always several steps ahead of me. I accept that my car has electrically operated windows, and that not having to crank them up and down must save me at least half dozen calories of energy in a year. The seats and mirrors can also be adjusted electrically, without any effort on my part, and a GPS (if I had a GPS which I don’t) would preserve me from the exhausting labor of unfolding a map, and looking at it.

National Archives and Records Administration / Wikimedia Commons

Most Americans are taught that Thanksgiving celebrates the first harvest gathered by the Pilgrims in the autumn of 1621. The story goes that they feasted for three days on turkeys and fruit given to them by the Indians. In other words Thanksgiving is symbolic of peace and mutual trust.

Courtesy of Pixabay

National holidays make complete and perfect sense if you grew up with them, and no sense at all if you didn’t. It’s difficult for anyone not brought up in America to get excited about Thanksgiving, for example, as Americans find it hard to work up much enthusiasm for Bastille Day in France, Guy Fawkes Day in Britain, or the Foundation of the Workers’ Party Day in North Korea.

Seth Wenig / AP

November 5th, otherwise known as Guy Fawkes Night, was my favorite night of the year when I was growing up in England. The fireworks were wonderful: majestic Roman candles, spinning Catherine wheels, and unreliable rockets that we launched out of old lemonade bottles, and that might land almost anywhere, like unguided missiles. Every backyard was ablaze with colored lights, and many houses were ablaze too. The fire engine and ambulance bells clanged throughout the night, adding to the drama.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Only 5-year olds and witches really enjoy Halloween. The build-up is long and tedious, and the event itself is no fun at all unless you happen to be a five year old, or a witch. The first bite-sized candy and spooky decorations appeared in our local supermarket right after Labor Day. Since the beginning of October the quiet highways of Long Island’s North Fork have been jammed with cars heading east, where thousands of great orange pumpkins appeared in the fields, apparently overnight.