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Apr 10, 2006

Advice for April 10, 2006

Boy, I got some bad news for you people. This is the part of my job that I hate the most. Anyhow, the bad news is that I am quitting the advice business again, after just three days and no advice.

Only kidding. The bad news is that I am gettin’ way too many questions to ever answer! I feel terrible for the people who spent all that time typin’ up a message, only to have my inaction retroactively turn that time into wasted time. Please don’t be mad at me if I don’t write back to you. Okay?

Okay, I feel better about all this now, and I hope that your problems can go away even without my aid.


Listen to the theme to Ray's Place, by Milwaukee Youth Children's Choir, aka MC Frontalot

I have a dog that doesn't like to swim. I thought all dogs liked to swim. Can you give me hints on how to help her learn to enjoy it?
Glenn in Pantego

Hi Glenn. Sorry to hear about the dog and the swimming problem. If you really do need your dog to be able to swim (perfectly good tennis ball accidentally thrown to opposite bank of river by startled child, etc) then there are a couple things you can do, says Rudolph K. Mueller, Achewood City Animal Control director.

First of all, in general, try not to yell at the dog too much. This may relax the animal, and make it curious about swimming and other things it has not yet tried.

Secondly, has the dog had lunch? “A hungry dog is not interested in sport,” says Rudi, “and will usually loiter in the kitchen until plied with kibble.”

Lastly, is the dog overweight? Many tubby dogs are embarrassed to go swimming for fear they will be laughed at. Try to ply the dog with less kibble when persuading it to leave the kitchen and consider swimming. And remember, no yelling.

Hope this helps! I ain’t too keen on dogs but that ain’t to say I don’t wish every creature basically a good, safe life.

I'm a college student at a semi-respectable, east coast, mountain-type university. I've been studying Anthropology, concentrating in Sustainable Development, for the last few years. Last semester I went off on a trip with my (now former) girlfriend to France and Thailand. Needless to say that shifted some things around in my list of priorities. I'm now a senior and I need to graduate one day, but I have realized I love making pottery!! Sort of embarrassing to tell my Dad, but it's true. Please tell me, should I finish my Anthropology degree and move to Sri Lanka to help tsunami victims OR should I try to go the way of the starving artist: completely blowing off my chances of cocktails and other fancy beverages?
Anthro/Clay Guy

Dear Clay Guy,

Why not do your helping people job during the day, and then make pottery in the evenings and at night? I’ve only ever thrown clay after about 11pm, and you don’t see my life all a-shambles.

My advice is go and do your helping people thing, and get paid, and do pottery in the evenings and on weekends. Transition to a life of total pottery in a few years, once you have built up a pottery sideline business that can support you. “Do what you love and the money will follow,” as they say, but I would add, “...but don’t do ONLY what you love until it generates adequate cash flow.”

According to your blog, you're athletic. You showed everyone that in the Great Outdoor Fight when you killed people with your bare hands. You seem like the type of guy that would go to a basketball court at a local park, after it's closed and you're drunk. Like you'd just hang out with your friends and play some ball, all tripping over yourself and laughing, just having a good time. What do you do to workout and stay in shape, and what can you recommend for the rest of us?
—BB, Internet

Hi BB,

First off, I don’t remember killin’ anybody in the GOF. I did some damage to Cody Travis, yeah, but he has since recovered, rediscovered his faith, and even sent me a pretty nice set of gift meats and CDs as a way of showing forgiveness.

Anyhow, to address your main point: I guess I’m just one of those guys who’s naturally pretty athletic. We’re out there, you know? Like, Beef could train at basketball for years, but never in his life will he ever make a lay-up. Dude just doesn’t have the capacity. Somethin’ about the gyroscopes in his ear canal just don’t allow him to do that move. Some dudes, like me, have great gyroscopes in our ear canals and are comfortable moving freely and confidently in physical space, at any speed.

But that don’t help you, now does it? I feel like someone who’s searching for an exercise routine has probably already considered joggin’ (terrible for the body and for the mind), tennis (terrible for the knees and the heart), and swimming (expensive and dull). What does that leave? Why, the most natural thing of all: walkin’. Just walk, dude! You can think, work up a little sweat, and never, ever be in pain! Talk on the phone, listen to some iPod, maybe even just look around. Before you know it an hour or two will have passed and the pounds will just melt away. I walk, and I conduct much business out on the trails.

Dear Ray,
I'm thinking about gettin' some ink done, but I don't want it to be lame. If I wake up in 20 years and have some sort of tribal dolphin jumping through a ring of movie quotes, I'll definitely be bummed.

So Ray, give me some suggestions. Or better yet, design a tattoo for me. I'll send pictures when I get it done.
Denton, TX

See? Do you see what Peter did there? He made a good joke. I keep thinkin’ about some stylized traditional Pacific Islander dolphin illustration, all jumpin’ through a ring of writing which says,

And I am all kinds of cuttin’ laughs, here in my room. So, sorry, Peter, either I stop laughin’ and help you or I keep laughin’ and go gruffle me some mad ham pizza and caesar salad from delivery. Your call, not mine. Sorry.

* 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.