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May 31, 2005

Advice Column for May 31, 2005

Hey!

Alright, some of you still aren’t getting it. I NEED your questions to be under 637 pages in length. I’m serious when I say that you can probably get it down to three sentences before you send it my way. When writing down your problem, remember: Ray ain’t made outta time, and nobody wants to read your 637 page letter about whether you should go to the Star Wars opening instead of the birthday party your girlfriend set up for you. Jesus, people.

Goodbye, Chochachos. For now.
-=Ray=-


Download the theme to Ray's Place - MP3, 981kb, by MYCC

About a year ago I wanted to venture into the world of Scotch, and decided to purchase a bottle. Unfortunately, I didn't do any research before my trip to the store, and ended up buying a bottle for about $12. The bottle is still sitting here, about 90% full, and hasn't been touched in months. So I'm seeking advice on whether I should cut my losses and dump the bottle, or if there is any way I could mask the total unpleasantness of the Scotch to make it drinkable.
Chris in Iowa City

Dear Chris,

If this was your first time trying Scotch, you might just not have a taste for it yet, although I will be the first to publicly admit that a $12 bottle might not be the smoothest sip on the market. Try it again, on the rocks, and if it’s still all burny and tears your throat up then just use it on your cut flowers. Seriously: mix a half-shot of that stuff into the pint of water you put in a vase, and your blossoms will last twice as long. Plus, you’ll have the inward pleasure of knowing that your crocuses are sitting there wasted.


Now, I know that the best sushi in the world is supposedly toro, but I would like you to give your opinion on another cut of fish. You will want to take a field trip to Seward, Alaska this summer to taste-test for yourself. Once you hook into a nice size halibut (80+ pounds) and land that sucker, grab your fillet knife and slice out her cheek. While the monster is flopping around on the deck, possibly maiming the grandpas that are on your fishing charter with you, step back and let that halibut cheek melt in your mouth. Even though this sort of "sushi" lacks the panache, presentation and artisianship [sic] of a finely sliced piece of toro in a Tokyo restaurant, I would suggest to you that no cut of fish tastes as fantastic as one-second-fresh halibut cheek. So, my questions to you are: 1) what is the best cut of sushi in the world, and 2) once you return from your week in Alaska this summer, what are the relative merits of world-class toro and insanely fresh halibut cheek?
John, Alaskan ex-pat, jobless in San Francisco

Dear John,

Yeah, Mayor C is a total sushi nut (he went abroad to Japan while in college) and we are always takin’ epicurean trips to sort of push the sushi envelope, you know. We did the halibut thing in ’99 and the captain did the whole cheek routine. Damn fine, you know, not an experience you can have just anywhere. But I have a couple that top that, and I’ll share one of them here today.

In a certain part of the Maldives there swims a variety of red snapper which feeds exclusively on feces from the ocean-draining sewage system of a major local hotel. The head chef at this hotel specializes in extremely fatty vegetarian dishes, which gives the guests’ feces both an extremely mild ketone load and an excellent buoyancy. This translates to well-fed snapper with delicate, enlarged livers, much like a foie gras. Mayor C and I chartered a special tour with Ino Thés Pthala, a specialty food guide, and set out to sample this potentially deadly delicacy (if the snapper has not been properly scrubbed and flushed after catching, it may still be contaminated with the filthy water in which it feeds).

Now, you know from what I have said in the past that I am generally against eating anything that was a coprophiliac, but Mayor C had comped my trip and I felt sort of obligated. That is why I did not puss out on this particular dish. Back to my story.

We hooked a couple snapper straight away and threw them on the sorting table for inspection and preparation. The first mate stuck a medicated hose in their mouths to flush the gills of feces, and then they were placed in a double-brine tank which helps pull moisture out of the fish while it dies. It is also put on an antibiotic IV with 2mL of Barotexin for five minutes. Finally the fish is sprayed with a diluted iodine solution and flash-immolated with a blowtorch to kill any surface-borne pathogens. The liver remains raw, and the guide takes it out with a melon-baller that has extremely sharp edges. He just scoops into the side of the fish, and you get kind of nervous, but when the utensil rises from the flesh with a perfectly-intact liver you know you have just witnessed living art and thousands of years of culture.

Ino had a little tray of accoutrements for dressing the liver, including bruised tobiko, cilantro custard, and mammal salt. I took the first bite nude and raw, and it was not unlike a Malpeque oyster, but it had a continuously unfolding earthiness. Due to the high fat content the liver melted on the tongue over the course of fifty seconds or more, during which Ino expertly handed us iced shots of coconut-infused Linie to help scatter the lipids as they degraded.

I got to tell you, Mayor C and me were pretty nervous as we tried that stuff, and for the next hour or so we could both tell that we were watching each other for signs of toxic onset. We were joking around and puffing on moist tobaccos, but there was an unspoken sense of fear. And if you ask me, that’s exactly what one wants from an unforgettable food experience: a transcendent height of sensation, followed by a period of terror, followed by relief that one has not died, followed by laying in a crisp clean hotel bed, with just like one second before one falls asleep where one worries about death again, followed by about ten hours of solid beauty rest.


I have been dating a girl for a couple months now. We seem to have a really awesome thing going on. The only hitch comes in that we have incredibly different views on religion. While she's incredibly Christian, I've never really put too much stock in religion. I find it incredibly interesting though, and we actually have nice talks about our differences and what-not. The problem comes in that almost all of her friends are also incredibly Christian, and aren't as cool as she is about my lack of faith. She seems to not mind, but i'm fairly uncomfortable when we hang out with her friends and they give me shit for not being Christian.

Any suggestions on how to handle the situation? Should I fake it? Should I tell them off? Should I show up with a pentagram tatooed on my forehead?
Anonymous, Internet

Dear Anonymous,

Your “awesome thing” sounds more to me like a young guy is hoping that he can score some box and is using his mind to ignore the massive, permanent problems which accompany the box. Your situation reminds me of the parable of the teenager who is lowered into the cage of vipers: the teenager never actually gets sexual relief.

My advice to you? Start over. You did not find a match this time.


Ray, I'll be frank with you. My lady has gotten heavy. Two years of steady, unnrelenting [sic] weight gain has left her with a gut like a darts player. Every man knows their [sic] are certain bonuses when a girl fills out and I'm all about that, but she's just not presentable. Where do I go from here?
James

Dear James,

Yeah, I know what you mean. Tina did this on me, and eventually when we would go to parties I would introduce her to people as “Tina” but in my mind I would say stuff like “...and this is Tina! She loves to eat macaroni-beef surprise from the cafeteria at her work! Do handshakes, Tina! ...Oh, God.”

It’s hard to tell a lady that they are so fat that they are nasty. What’s even harder is to realize that they know it and have developed a dangerously complex mental denial/acceptance/maintenance framework around their issue. Talking to them about it is kind of like trying to get to the top level at Donkey Kong: the girl will constantly be rolling deadly barrels of peanut oil and aerosol cheese down the sloped metal beam walkways which represent your progress.

If you really want to help this girl lose her buttresses, you got to spend about three hours having that breakdown kind of time where you are sitting on the bed in a medium-dark room together and somehow you are able to get her comfortable talking about the weight problem. I don’t know how you will do this, but once you get it going, just make all kinds of promises about how you’ll look out for each other and how you and she will only eat so many calories a day and cut back on restaurant food. Also, when the terrible conversation is just beginning to find its legs, hold her and say maybe walks are good and that you will go on them together, say that you completely promise this and cry noiselessly for about 1/4 minute. Maybe you can take some walks each day, before lunch, you can say. Oh god baby we can do this, you can say. You’re worth it to me, etc.


In your latest comic, we learn that Teodor's last name is Orezscu. Is he meant to be Romanian? I ask because generally last names ending in -scu are Romanian. Either way, I love your comic!
E. Poinescu, Internet

Naw, dude. He is from Minsk, which is in Belarus, which is by the Caviar Sea or something. Probably like north of Turkey or just generally west of Russia. It is possible that his family emigrated from Romania at some point but it is like three A.M. and I ain’t gonna call him. I am pretty faded and I still mean to watch some TiVos of Monster Garage before I take for the night. I guess you want to know if you are of the same country. I mean that is what you are saying.


The time has come for my boyfriend and I to purchase some adult toys together. We're dynamite in the sack and I have absolutely zero complaints, but I'm concerned that he might begin to feel self-conscious or inadequate if I get any toys that are larger than his average-sized self. Any thoughts on how to breach this tactfully (if at all)?
Thanks,
Trying to Keep it Real

Good morning! Boy, am I glad I didn’t read this until after I got some sleep. I got mad kinds of advice about the whizz-jigglies and bum-ticklies on this fine day, particularly if you are worried that a toy larger than your boyfriend’s tummy snake will make him have mental issues.

In the main, start with bullets or jackrabbits, stuff that doesn’t challenge the size of his tummy snake. Working with these should fill out a couple nice weeks during which he won’t feel sexually challenged by the toys. After that, bring home a casting kit which you use to make a life-size translucent silicone replica of his tummy snake. He will feel good-crazy when he watches you use this on yourself, particularly if you do like a ladyfriend of mine did in the past and drop several coins into the silicone before it sets completely.

When you get to the point that you want to wrangle something larger than his tummy snake, just whip that oversized toy out and make like a Busy-Arm Sally! He will completely not care if the device is larger than his tummy snake because he will like seeing what you are doing. I guess I could have said that right up front, but I had a lot of ideas. Anyhow, your boyfriend will like whatever you do. He will feel like he has his own private Internet.


* A Gentle Reminder (“Disclaimer”): This is advice from a cartoon cat, and should not be taken seriously. We are not responsible for anything you do based on what Ray says, or otherwise. Do not commit suicide or otherwise interrupt the lives of others. Continue on with your life as though you had never read this column. Erase your browser history. Not for readers under 18 years of age.