Bouchier’s (A Few Well Chosen Words, 2008, etc.) fourth collection of his public radio commentaries reads like a top-of-mind brainstorm.
Covering topics from prejudice to politics, Bouchier pontificates in manageable, bite-sized meanderings on everything from the mundane—such as remembering computer passwords—to end-of-the-world prophesies. For Bouchier, no topic is too big or too small to take a position. In “Global Absolutely Everything,” he addresses the sad reality that just about everything we buy in America is made somewhere else. “They Know Where You Are” is his defense of the need for road maps even in the age of GPS. He takes on a few serious subjects—“The Voice of Authority” highlights the negative messages being broadcast to viewers through reality television, and “No Place to Hide” laments the loss of personal privacy—and also chimes in with a personal pet peeve or two, as in “A Glass of Penguin and Thou,” in which he discusses his irritation with modern winemakers who are taking the culture and mystique out of being a wine enthusiast with their silly labels and often crass names. (He drives his point home by using an example from James Bond’s Goldfinger in which an assassin posing as a wine waiter gives himself away by claiming that claret is not a Bordeaux, noting: “Bond killed him of course, which was only right.”) Bouchier peppers many of the short vignettes with deadpan wit but also freely displays his humorous side in essays like “Never Again” in which he regales the reader with his thoughts on the annual avalanche of seasonal catalogs—especially those that promise to permanently solve just about every issue from shower mold to cushions sliding off the chair, noting that he has neither a problem with shower mold, nor sliding chair cushions, as his are held firmly in place by his cats.
Filled with humorous, wry, often spot-on observations of real life in today’s world, Bouchier’s insightful musings are not to be missed.