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Jun 11, 2003

Advice Column!

Dear Reader,

We received literally hundreds of inquiries from troubled people such as yourself. I am sorry that I cannot answer* them all in this column, but I have made efforts to address those which seemed either most important or most easy. Keep sending in your questions, because I'm just going to delete the ones I didn't feel like answering this week.



H E R E   W E   GO !

I've got the charms and some decent looks, but I can never pick up the signals from the ladies. How do you know if a gal likes you, and how do you make the first move? —J.R., Internet

Dear J.R.,

A lot of guys think they know that I always do the right thing where women are concerned. Well, I'll let you in on a little secret: sometimes when a woman is flirting with me, I don't always pick up on it right away. Every woman has her own subtle style. However, the following clues are pretty universal:

  • She establishes eye contact with you, then suggestively places a maraschino cherry between her lips while grinding on her barstool
  • If a woman is talking with you and basically not trying to get away, you have a decent chance.

I hope that helps, J.R. Thank you for being the first person I ever gave advice to.

I'm having a little trouble with the drink. I'd given up liquor, for it turns me into a smallish, chubby man who thinks he is a hulking brute. This past weekend, I forgot my promise to myself and put my fist through my wall, nearly breaking my hand in the process as I punched one of the studs.

How can I maintain a penchant for sobriety? Failing that, how can I keep myself on beer and wine, and not fall through to the temptation of liquor? —A.A., Atlanta

Dear A.A.,

Do not blame your bad attitude on liquor. It makes me feel terrible when people blame alcohol for things, because alcohol is an innocent chemical substance, much like a carrot or a tomato. It's like what they say: “guns don't kill people, people kill people.” In the case of liquor the saying should go, “liquor doesn't punch holes in walls, you just hate your dad.”

However, if you want to stay off the hard stuff (which has more of the Devil in it), try just drinking like five times as much beer. You'll thank me.

I hope this was good advice.

I went out to a club last night and at one point in the evening this woman came up and started talking to me and we chatted for a bit because she thought she recognised me. Her name was Kira, and oh my goodness I am such a fool for not talking to her more and getting her number.

What can I do, Ray? Liverpool is a city of many hundreds of thousands, how can I ever find a Kira amongst all of them? —N.R., Liverpool

Dear N.R.,

Maybe if you say her name a few more times the whole Internet will get annoyed and look her up for you. Sheesh.

Hey, Ray. I've been away at college for a year now, and I feel like my relationship with my friends from my hometown is slipping away. I know people always say that when you leave home you meet new people and move on, but my friends from home were more like my brothers, I used to spend probably 20 hours a day with them, lightning fires, stealing, running amok... I miss all that [stuff]. —M.R., Boston

Dear M.R.,

Yeah, this is a tough part of life. It's best not to go back to your home town if you can avoid it, because you'll always run into your old friends, all like pumping gas and folding shirts at Macy's and stuff. It's weird. In general, try finding new friends every couple of years - that way you can never tell if anyone's changing for the worse.

I'm a gin gimlet girl at heart, but now that summer is fast approaching, I think I need a new signature cocktail for the season. Any suggestions? —J.D., Milwaulkee

Dear J.D.,

You are a very thoughtful lady. Gimlets are a good drink for late fall, but you are correct in discerning that they are too severe for summertime. Summer is a time for crisp lagers, chilled Pinot Grigios, and mixed drinks with a bit of fruit to them, in harmony with the ripened fruits of the season. Don't be afraid of Midori.

If you wanted to attach a picture next time, I could probably find the time to look at it.

The other day, while watering the hanging plants on our front porch, I noticed that in one of the plants there is a small bird's nest with two eggs in it. I accidentally watered the eggs too. There was MiracleGro in the water. Do you think this will pose a health risk to the embryonic residents of the eggs? —J.B., Connecticut

Dear J.B.,

Yeah, you probably messed those little guys up pretty bad. I'd advise you to just smash them before they hatch into little birds with like human thumbs for wings, but then the Mama bird would probably be all heartbroken and commit suicide. I guess it's your own little hell on earth you gotta deal with now. Maybe you should just stick with succulents.

I've been courting a lady for some time but she just doesn't seem to be showing any interest in me. In fact, she shows interest in several other guys. I would usually move on but this one is fine...I mean fine. What can I do to catch her eye? —P.

Dear P.,

It straight-up isn't happening between you and her, dude. Step aside, quit being a douche.

I'm with a girl. She's wonderfully attractive. In all honesty, she has the best tush I've ever seen, but she is SO boring. Our leisure time is composed of either Monopoly, Scrabble, or horrible movies like Maid In Manhattan [...] I can't figure out what to do. [Do I] accept being beaten at Monopoly every day, because [I] won't meet anyone [this] gorgeous [ever] again [,] or run like a madman [before] I cut my Scrabble tile-laying hands off [?] —No Name Given

Dude, you are a douche also. I spent so long editing your letter that I decided not to help you.

I have an internship in New York City for the summer and I miss my boyfriend back home. What can I do to keep myself busy so that I don't feel sad about missing him all the time? —S.X., NYC

Dear S.X.,

Forget it, baby. Once you taste NYC you ain't gonna go back home and marry that dude from Jiffy Lube. Get freaky and maybe you'll meet Lenny Kravitz.

My question is whether or not I should be getting it on with one of my professors. I mean, she is a total fox, and she's giving me those eyes all the time. Man, you know what I mean. The problem is though, that it isn't very professional, and I guess we could both get in lots of trouble. —T.P., California

Dear T.P.,

It sounds to me like you haven't read the Sex Rulebook! The first rule of Sex is that everybody can always get it on. Man, go for it! Awesome! Awesome!

I am looking for a new stereo and I'm trying to decide between getting a record player or a CD player. Which do you recommend, analog or digital? —J.B., Arkansas

Dear J.B.,

I know a lot of people are all hot on old vinyl, trying to make some stance about all these hard to define qualities of it, but basically digital is way better. You can take a CD and make an “MP3” file out of it and it never scratches or gets broken in half if you leave it on the floor and step on it in the dark. Plus vinyl has been phased out due to not being as good as digital.

A lot of people would like to become famous weekly columnists, just like you. Do you have some advice for young doggs who want to be large in the daily paper like Ann Landers and so forth? —K.L., Reno

Dear K.L.,

I think what a lot of people don't realize is that the newspaper has kind of gone away. Sure, you can still find it in the lobbies of certain kinds of old-fashioned businesses, and also in the driveways of old people who have died, but for the most part everyone is getting hip to saving paper and just using the Internet. I would focus on the Internet.

My sister's boyfriend is a loser. Do I have to out-and-out have him killed, or is there a way to break them up without going to jail? —Revolted in Raleigh, NC

Dear Revolted,

These things usually work themselves out in time. If he disappoints you, chances are he'll disappoint your sister soon enough. If they end up getting hitched, however, it won't be the first time someone in North Carolina made a bad decision.

A few days ago my best friend said that he loved me! I'm not homophobic or anything, in fact, I always knew he was gay even though he had never technically come out to me. And it was cool. I was cool with it. But then he told me that he thought he loved me. And that was not cool, because I am not gay.

What should I do, Ray? I don't want to hurt him! He's my best friend! -N.H., TN

Dear N.H.,

A lot of people know me as kind of a man's man, a real stone cold player from the old school. However, I am quite in tune with gay society and, moreover, the general concept of love. It sounds to me like there was just a little bit of miscommunication here. Your gay friend obviously knows that you aren't gay, and wasn't trying to convert you. I think he just wanted to tell you that he was your best friend, and that he loved you. Don't flatter yourself. You sound like you might be kind of an asshole.

I have an ex-husband who won't leave me alone. He keeps violating restraining orders and keeps somehow evading the police. —J.

Dear J.,

I just had a crazy idea. Maybe you could hire a judge to pose as a cop outside of your house! That way when your ex came around, the judge could prove that he was violating the restraining order and immediately sentence him to prison. Just a thought.

Is there a good, classy way to go about getting a lady's attention in a bar? If so, what is it? — “Confused in California”

Dear C.C.,

This is probably one of the most often-asked questions of any advice columnist. I would say offhand that the best way to get a lady's attention in a bar is to walk up to her and explode. Or, be the lead singer in the band that is performing at the bar.

I am afraid of flying in an airplane. I used to really enjoy it, but lately all I can do is imagine things going wrong the whole flight. My heart races, I shoot looks at the other passengers to see if they seem alarmed, and I have to admit I usually go through my stash of tiny bottles of booze way too soon. —J., CA

Dear J.,

A plane is kind of like a metal tube that will fall straight to the earth and explode if anything goes wrong. Everyone will die, and they will know that they are going to die for at least thirty seconds before it happens, the certainty of death increasing exponentially with each second that passes. I've pictured it in my head but obviously I can't know for sure how terrifying it actually is.

Confidential to the guy who was turned on when his one night stand farted in her sleep: you should not have been turned on by that. Shame on you. Gross. There is a problem in your brain. Or: maybe this rudimentary biological function has made you realize the simple animal connection we all have with one another, and has awakened your sense of carnal honesty. Due to this development you may be able to communicate with this person more meaningfully than you ever have communicated with anyone before. Incredible.


* 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.