Paris Portingale

My Brother-In-Law, Ray: Nice Chap, but an Idiot (Part 2)

You, too, probably have a family member like Ray. And you’ll see them around the holidays. This is an ode to all the Rays in our families. Part 2 of 3.


Ray and Outer Space.

My brother-in-law has no interest in being a pirate and I know this because—for reasons I can’t remember but possibly because I was drunk—I asked him recently.

I said, “Do you ever think about being a pirate, Ray?”

He said, “Nah. Wouldn’t mind being an astronaut though, go up into outer space and all that. Be fucking brilliant.”

The background to that is as follows:

Earlier on, Ray had seen the movie Gravity. He said it was pretty stupid because he didn’t understand what the fuck was going on. He did think going up into outer space would be pretty good though, and because he’s an idiot, the next weekend he drove up to Movie World to see if they had a Gravity ride to feel what it would be like to go into outer space. Here’s the conversation we had when he got back.

Me: “So, what was Movie World like?”

Ray: “It was okay.”

Me: “Did you get to go up into outer space?”

Ray: “No, because they didn’t have a Gravity ride, did they? But they did have this brilliant sign though, ‘You Are Here.’ Clever little bloody thing, I was there and all. But that’s not the good bit. Here’s the good bit. So, I’m wandering off and I think, I wonder if that thing still thinks I’m there.”

Me: “Yeah, so what did you do?”

Ray: “I got this guy to go over and have a look.”

Me: “Brilliant, what did he say?”

Ray: “He said I wasn’t mentioned, but the fucker knew he was there alright.”

Me: “Astounding.”

Ray: “I think it could be using GPS.”


Ray, Philosophy, and Computers.

I got stuck with my brother-in-law, Ray, in the pub the other evening and to make the experience a little more bearable I got quite drunk.

The conversation bounced around for a bit, ricocheting off Ray’s theories of: the ten major food groups, Nigella Lawson’s tits being wasted on a cooking show, how ridiculously slow the speed limits are, and how cops never seem to listen to reason … finally embedding itself into the concrete of philosophy-as-Ray-sees-it.

To test the waters of Ray’s experience on the subject, I put forward the proposition, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Ray said, “Yeah, it’s like when a branch falls off a tree, then it’s just a stick.”

And as for computers, after years of ridiculing people who carry on like pricks about having a fucking computer, Ray has decided to get himself one, probably because his mate Terry got himself one and looked up gearboxes and now knows more about them than he does, the little cunt.

I found the idea of Ray with a computer intriguing, and as he’s had no experience with them I asked if he planned on doing some sort of course. In typical Ray fashion, he said, “Nah, no need. I’ll just keep pushing buttons until something happens. I mean, if a thousand monkeys with typewriters can end up writing Shakespeare, how hard can it be?”


Ray and His Girlfriend.

Strangely, my brother-in-law has a girlfriend, Marjory. I say strangely because my brother-in-law, along with being an idiot, has this really stupidly tiny little head which can be extremely annoying if you have to look at it for any length of time. He can’t get a hat because they don’t make them small enough. No hat manufacturer ever anticipated anyone having a head as stupidly small as my brother-in-law’s.

On Valentine’s Day, Ray usually buys Marjory an “interesting little present.” He was telling me about this year’s the other day. The conversation went like this:

Ray: “I got Marjory an interesting little present for Valentine’s Day this year.”

Me: “Yes, what?”

Ray: “Oh, just an interesting pair of underpants.”

Me: “And they’re interesting how?”

Ray: “They fuckers are only red, that’s all.”

Me: “Did you get her a card?”

Ray: “No, I think the underpants say it all.”

I suppose Ray will have Marjory wearing the underpants at the Valentine’s Day barbecue, and I suppose, like past years, after Ray’s had a couple of beers, he’ll be going around saying something like, “Show everyone the underpants I got you for Valentine’s Day, Marjory.”

This will happen until he passes out on the lawn later in the afternoon. Around 3:30 you can hear people saying, “Shouldn’t be long now.”


Next Up: Ray and Services to Humanity. Ray and Cheese. Ray and Shakespeare.



Paris Portingale

Paris Portingale is a writer and dog owner. While having a somewhat indifferent attitude towards abstemious self-restraint, he does follow the safe guidelines of four standard drinks a day, although his standards are a great deal higher than most, certainly the medical profession’s. Paris is visited often in the night by God, and the meetings are anything but pleasant.

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