Ray’s Place
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Jan 26, 2004

Advice Column for January 23, 2004

Thank you to everyone who helped with my Spy-ware question last time! Next week I will summarize my findings in my new “Technology Corner.”

Oh, and I got a lot of questions this week. Unfortunately, I was in Antibes most of the time. I will try to take up the slack next week.

Thanks Chochachos!
-=Ray=-


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I enjoy a nice few beers as much as the next lady. The problem is though, that I always get really, really full after only about half of one. This happens with all carbonated beverages with me, but it makes me especially sad when it happens with beer. I was wondering if you had any advice on how I could drink more and not be so full. Thanks a whole bunch.
- Karin

Dear Karin,

Yeah, I know what you’re feeling. I love a good night of beers, but they can really fill you up quick if your stomach chemistry isn’t handling them properly. Anyhow, I did a little reading around the Internet and consulted Dr. Andretti and came up with a pretty good solution for not getting full off of beers.

First of all, don’t be drinking heavy beers like porters, ales and stouts. Stick with light beers and pilsners. They have less sugar content and fewer calories overall.

Secondly, don’t pour all those beers down your throat onto ingredients which will react with them in a gaseous manner. In one of my past columns I made an analogy to the vinegar/baking soda volcanoes we used to make as kids, and that analogy holds true to this day. For me, really starchy foods tend to have this volcanic reaction with beer, so I stay away from Mexican and Cuban foods when drinking beers. Try to find a cuisine to avoid that’s right for you.

A third idea is to do a highly unusual thing which I don’t endorse and don’t even like to talk about.

You see, when I was first cuttin’ my teeth on the liquor scene, I used to go pull a few back with this old wino named Punch Man. He usually hung out in this junkyard clearing that was behind an old Safeway, and he was a bad-ass dude, just drunk as hell all the time. He would stand up and scream as trains rolled by the yard, the way a dog barks at a stranger, and usually throw a bottle at their wheels. The train engineers didn’t care, they knew Punch Man and they knew it was always just glass.

I drank with Punch Man because he was the rawest of the raw, but he was gentle as a lamb if he knew you were on his side. There was nothing Punch Man wouldn’t do for you if he knew that you wouldn’t arrest him or hit him with a brick while he was sleeping. We spent a lot of afternoons and late nights just taking blasts from whatever rot-gut I showed up with, talking the real stuff of life. The dude could pull down a whole gallon jug of Paisano in thirty seconds, a fifth of Ancient Situation in the time it took you to smoke a cigarette, and—I’m getting to the point here—he could shotgun a half-rack of Rainier Ice in as much time as it took you to unpack them and hand them over.

One time after I’d cracked him a twelver of brew he held his chest and fell down onto his side. Thinking Punch Man’s number had finally come, I knelt close to him. With his horrible breath he hissed “get me a liiiime, motherfucker!” I ran as quick as I could into the Safeway and boosted him a lime. When I got back I handed it to him and he shoved it deep down into his throat with a stick, way down into his stomach. Then he took my hand, forced my fist into a clench, and showed me that he wanted me to punch him as hard as I could right in the center of his chest.

I figured he’d die either way, so I hit him for all I was worth. He shit in his pants, puked up the lime, and let out a burp as loud as a thunderclap. Slowly he stood up, brushed himself off and smiled at me. “Old hobo trick,” he said, grinning toothlessly in the cold fluorescent light.

The next day I found Punch Man dead next to a pile of empty beer cans. His face was all blue around the mouth and his eyes were all purple – he’d exploded on the inside after going on another beer bender, with no one around to get him a lime. In the pile of cans I found one he hadn’t gotten to yet and cracked it. I drank it slowly, thoughtfully, as the sun began to fade and the chill set in. Later on I gave him a traditional Hobo Funeral, like he always said he wanted, in the Safeway dumpster.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


According to common wisdom, a "chode" is a phallus that is wider than it is long. Does such a thing really exist?
Chode skeptic

Dear Chode Skeptic,

The choad has come to be known as a lot of different things, largely thanks to the supercilious folks over at the O.E.D. and their unwillingness to define this extremely common and highly practical term.

I have never heard it defined as you described in your letter. I came up using it to refer to the taint, which is the perineum (also known as the mat). Other definitions can be found here, most of which are wrong. Hope this helps you know what a choad is. Good luck.


My girlfriend and I are on our third tour of duty in the last five years. We started dating when we were very young and we're separated by three years (I'm 23, she's 20). It's been the classic push-pull relationship where one of us always wants something different than the other, but it takes months to convey that because we're both "feelers" and don't want to hurt the other person.

Most recently, we split for a solid two months and didn't talk to each other for an extended period of time, which was the first for us. I went on my fair share of dates, got to know many a wonderful girl, but in the end nobody really compared to my ex. So when we started to hang out again, I told her how much I missed her and that I was ready to give our relationship a try again.

She told me that, while she hadn't met anyone "better" than me, either, she wanted to be "110% sure" (if there is such a thing) that I was the one she loved before we got involved again because, as she put it, "if I get back with you it's going to be for good," meaning "marriage."

I am not afraid of commitment. In fact, I prefer it. And I can totally see myself marrying this girl down the road, but I am still not 100% sure. I find myself wondering sometimes what it would be like to be with another girl, and there are girl friends of mine who I've had little romances with in the past who I still am sort of attracted to. I have a lot of time to myself during the week because my girlfriend lives an hour away and we only see each other on weekends. Thus, it's hard for me to get really cranked up and into the groove when we do see each other. It's like I'm single for five days and married for two.

The other issue is that, being 20, she still has a lot to experience. Not that I've been around the world and back yet, either, but a lot changes between 20 and 23. She's a sweet girl, is gorgeous, and would do anything for me, but at times I feel like she wants more than all of me. Does that make sense? She tells me that she doesn't mind if I hang out with my girl friends, but I still find myself not telling her things because it seems to lower her self-esteem and make her mad (even though she says it doesn't). I can read her like a book.

I'm a person who likes to keep his options open. I know I can't live a single guy's life when I'm involved, but I feel like I've been given a marriage "sentence" from her already and I'm not totally ready to grasp that.
-Confused in the Zoo

Dear Confused,

Is this the e-mail of a happy man? No. I state that it isn’t.

Anyhow, everyone involved here is too young and unfulfilled to be talking about marriage, particularly when both parties are such head cases. Suck it up and tie this one to a rock! (the relationship, not the girl.) You’ll thank me when you reach the incredibly old age of like 25 or 26.


I've been having a long-distance relationship with a man in England for the last six months, mostly through email but with frequent visits too. It was very intense, and I was fully prepared to spend the rest of my life with this guy, and I thought he was very much in love with me too. I was applying to schools in Manchester so that I could be nearer to him. Just as I was about to send in the applications last week, he told me that he didn't want me to come to England, because he would leave me if I was around all the time, and that we could still be friends as long as I didn't write any "sad stuff about us." As you can imagine, this has dissolved into bitterness on my part and dismissiveness on his. It's time for the final kiss-off email.

My question is, should I write a sweet, fond goodbye, or should I write a long deconstruction of his problems and his issues with women? I feel like I've got a pretty good insight into his psyche, and it would be so satisfying to make him cry. Should I give into the temptation to hurt him even a fraction of the amount he's hurt me, or play the good girl and wish him well?
Broken Heart in Brooklyn

Dear Broken Heart,

I think you and I both know there’s no real use in sending the dude a nasty email. Speaking as a man, I can tell you that no email will ever make a man cry or change the way he is, particularly when it comes from a lady he just dumped. He’ll probably just delete it as soon as he sees that the subject line is like “Gary, These Are Your Problems” etc.

Your pride is hurting and that’s gonna take some time to heal, is all. Just send me some photos of you in pajamas and stuff and let me make it all right again. Pour yourself some wine before you take the photos. You deserve it, baby. Show me stuff you don’t show other men. Show me all that stuff. Show me some of that stuff. I don't care what it looks like, I just want to see it.


I am having a party with a lot of friends here in a few weeks. We all know each other pretty well, and they all know my tastes in music. What I wanted to know from you is if you could recommend some party tunes so that I'm not playing the same songs (albeit cool ones) that the friends are expecting? It can be anything - rock, rap, big band, soul, bluegrass, whatever.
Classy Lady Apprentice

P.S. Is 'Ray' short for Raymond, Rayhugh, Raysean, or some other form of Ray?

Dear Classy Lady,

First of all, thank you for asking about my name. It is Raymond, which in the original French means King of the Air. It is very classy of you to ask me a question about myself – this is a very good conversation technique. Maybe we can get together sometime and talk Carnegie. I bet you are extremely pretty.

As far as party music goes, I do have some advice for you. I used to play it real “close to the changer,” you know, just monitoring every single song and constantly sweating it. As soon as Night Fever was over I’d have some Al Green all cued up like under a microscope practically, with Al B. Sure constantly in a backup holding pattern in case of mechanical or media failure.

These days I just pop in a bunch of compilations that Williams-Sonoma made for parties, and the party is basically on auto-pilot from there. I think they have some links to some of my favorites here. They also have mega-punishing gourmet foods, such as a six pound Stilton and heck of awesome Poilâne sourdough from France. Also good is the seventy eight dollar steak they offer. Believe me, every bite tastes like it is worth approximately five dollars if you cook and sauce it properly.


* 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.