Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't Ask, Do Tell

In the spirit of the repeal of the infamous (and stupid) "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I thought I would share a scene I wrote clear back in 2003 when I was a student in the Second City Conservatory Writing Progam.

I just want to say that Obama has knocked another one out of the park. If only Gomer Pyle were still around to enjoy this. And I can't wait to see what happens to the Beetle Bailey comics now.


Chris Othic
February 26, 2003 (Version #2)
JOE – 30’s
BILLY – 30’s
SARGE – 40’s

(A foxhole in Afghanistan)

That was Sergeant Wiggams on the radio. He says we need to lock and load. Those bastards are coming our way.

Oh God, no. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die in this hellhole. I have everything to live for.

Well, then you better start shooting. Here they come!

(They both start shooting like crazy.)

Joe, there’s something a need to tell you.

Die you bastards!

There’s something I just have to get off my chest. (fires frantically) I’m, I’m gay.

You need a grenade?

No, I said I’m gay. I’m a homosexual.

(laughs) That’s a good one, Billy. Don’t let the war ruin your sense of humor.

No, really I am. And I just want everyone to know it before I die.

I don’t believe it.

It’s true. I wear flip-flops every chance I get.

If you’re gay then I’m gay.

And I love show tunes!

You’re killing me, Billy-boy!

Really, I do. I love them more than Rosie O’Donnell. Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, La Cage Au Fox. I even like opera.

That don’t mean your gay. You just have bad taste in music. Hell, I like disco but I don’t like di--

(A grenade lands in their foxhole)


(JOE grabs the grenade and throws it out of the foxhole.)

Whew! That was close. No more gay talk.

(Sgt. Wiggams comes crawling up to the foxhole.)

How you fellows holding out? It’s a goddamn hornet’s nest out here!

We’re hanging in there Sarge. Hard Core!

Sergeant Wiggams. I told Joe I’m coming out of the closet.

What the hell are you talking about, soldier?

He thinks he’s gay Sarge. He likes show tunes.

That’s right, and if I die here today, I want you to tell my parents that I died a gay man. Today is my coming out day and I want everyone to know. As a matter of fact (shouting) hey Talibans, I’m gay!

Stop saying that, damn it! I don’t think you want to open this can of worms. Remember the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy?

But what about be all you can be? I want to be as gay as I can be! I love the penis!

I order you to not be gay!

I’m sorry, Sergeant. I’m tired of living this lie, and I want everyone to know, if I should die today, that I’m wearing panties.

Soldier, I’m warning you!

And a bra.

Stop it!

As a matter of fact (shouting) hey Talibans, I’m wearing panties and a bra. It’s a matching set I got from Target.

You know, Billy, honestly, I hate to smear your queerness, but, that’s really just a fetish, you know. Lot’s of guys wear women’s clothing that are perfectly heterosexual.

Not me. I wear them because—(shouting)—I’M GAY.

If you continue in this manner I will shoot you myself.

Sarge, come on. Stop playing dumb. What about me and you?

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I’m tired of all the hiding and sneaking around behind everybody’s backs. Tell Joe that we’ve been lovers for the last three months.


That’s right, Sarge and I are lovers. And I don’t care who find’s out. As a matter of fact (shouting) hey Talibans, Sarge and I have been doing it regularly for the last three months!

Stop saying that! We are not lovers.

You know Billy, I hate to rain on your little gay pride parade, but, uh, that’s just part of the survival training.

The what?

Yeah, the survival training. He’s been porking the whole platoon for a long time now, myself included. And I’m definitely not gay. Good training though.

Oh, god, Sarge. You two-timing bastard.

Actually, it would have been more than just two. There’s a lot of us, you know. So I guess you’re still not gay, you’re just well trained like the rest of us.

(We hear the whistle of an artillery round)


(Explosion. BILLY is hit.)

I’m hit. Oh god, I’m gonna die.

Yeah, that’s a bad one.

I’m sorry soldier.

Please, just tell them that I died in a gay manner, that I had an accident while decorating my foxhole or something. I don’t want people to know I died on a battlefield. It’s too stereotypically masculine. (BILLY reaches in and pulls out the letter.) And I want you to give this letter to my wife. It tells her that, well, that I’m gay.

Oh Billy, even facing death, such a kidder.

Please, just do this one thing for a dying homo.

(Billy dies.)

Do you really think he was gay?

Hell no. If he was gay, he would’ve joined the Navy.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Holiday Card To You

Below is a video I dug up of an old Teatro Bastardo Chicago Sketchfest appearance back in January of 2007. This was a scene I wrote on the timely subject of Christmas carols.

I hope it speaks for itself. Happy NSFW holidays.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


As most of you know, my father passed away last June after a battle with cancer. A few months before that, in March, my parents celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary. Because of crazy schedules and frequent trips back home to see him and my Mom during his illness, Mary and I couldn't make the date of anniversary party, so I decided to do a video and send it to the party.

Despite the quality of the video (I shot and edited it on some software made for kids--the Intel Play Kids Movie Editor) I'm pretty happy with it. I think I got my point across, and my parents loved it.

So this is for you Mom and Dad. With love. From me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Does Your Television Viewing Say About You?

Hello from Hollywood! Since I've moved to the land of studios, I've learned that ratings and viewing figures mean everything. In fact, if fewer than 125 people look at me in a day, I may cease to exist.

The Hollywood Reporter has a story highlighting the viewing habits of Republicans and Democrats. Here are the top 15 for each group:

What does this say about you? Have you discovered that your voting record is a lie?

Looks like I'm a Republican. As a big fan of sitcoms (and seeking a gig writing on one), I apparently want my taxes lower, my gun rack larger, and my immigrants non-existent. The Democrat list include three comedies whereas the Republican list has four (five if you include Glenn Beck). Chuck Lorre must be thrilled.

What are you, RvD blog readers?

(Also, buy my book.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Steering Wheel Desk

Posting has been slim around here, to say the least, but here is a little present for you. Just click the link below and start reading the comments on this amazing product. Don't forget to look at the customer images as well. You will not be disappointed.

I give you: The Steering Wheel Desk.
After you are done you should consider taking Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge. Seriously.

I like to think I'm saving lives.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Video for My Mom

They have no idea why they must do all this, but they know there are treats in it for them. Dogs with a purpose in mind.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Only Four Weekends Left!

(Erin Morrill, Lisa Lohman and Emme Williams)

You tell them you're not coming to see "The Saga of the Viking Women." And then run!

Or come see the show. Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30pm at Stage 773.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Press Release - Viking Women

For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Nat Topping, Robot vs. Dinosaur,, 734-657-8582
Audience Contact: Stage 773 @ 773-327-5252,

Viking Vixens Search for Missing WarriorsRobot vs. Dinosaur’s mash-up of deliciously terrible B-movie and “Marat/Sade” takes audiences on hilarious voyage
CHICAGO, IL (September 14, 2010) ... You could call it a metatheatrical feast of love, lust, betrayal, loyalty, and the struggle of all human beings to overcome the suffering of being alive, or like the poster says, “A hilarious play based on a bad movie, with songs and scantily clad ladies, performed by lunatics.” It’s Robot vs. Dinosaur’s The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Great Sea Serpent). The show runs Fridays and Saturdays, September 24 - October 23 at 10:30 pm at Stage 773.

This comedic play reanimates Roger Corman’s 1957 babesploitation fantasy about Viking women in search of their men and mashes it together with the famous 1963 Peter Weiss play best known as Marat/Sade.

The production first appeared as part of this summer’s Neo-Futurists Film Festival, which typically features staged readings of deliciously bad movies. But this go-round at Stage 773 features even more madness than before. Joe Janes, director of the show and head honcho of Robot vs. Dinosaur added, “The great part of the new show is that we’re no longer beholden to the original film script, which is quite horrible and filled with long stretches of just people walking. We also added original music and material because the Great Sea Serpent demanded we beef up his part. He’s quite a diva.”

The Saga of the Viking Women… will challenge all of your preconceived notions of both asylum inmates and buxom berserkers. Catch it Fridays and Saturdays, September 24 - October 23 at 10:30 pm. Stage 773 is at 1225 W. Belmont (the former Theatre Building Chicago).Tickets $15. Call 773-327-5252 or

More about Robot vs. Dinosaur: Robot vs. Dinosaur is a writer-centric group with a great deal of experience in the Chicago sketch comedy and improv scene. Their goal is to write and perform original comic material that is eclectic, dynamically staged and fun for audiences. Assembled by Joe Janes, the comic mind behind the 365 Sketches Project, Robot vs. Dinosaur consists of fellow writers Geoff Crump, Susie Gutowski, Rebecca Levine, Chris Othic, Nat Topping and Greg Wendling. More information can be found at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road

I recently enjoyed an 8-hour road trip to New York State with two of my favorite gals. Of course, I packed the essentials: Love Actually, my fav martini glasses, my lip stick collection, tissues for weeping, and all my high-heels (you never know!). And no ladies weekend is complete without your worn out copy of The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road.

If you haven't read this life-changing book, here is a bit from the back cover!

(Note: Best when read out loud.)

The road-trip handbook that's strictly AAA – attitude, adventure, and ass-kicking good times!
  • 14 ways to open a beer bottle on your car
  • Essential drive-by dating hand signals
  • How to change a flat tire without asking for help
  • 9 non-gun weapons you already own
  • 8 tried-and-true ways to get out of a speeding ticket (you might not even have to cry!)
  • Everything else you need to know for high-drama, low-budget, safe road tripping
  • Plus a Bad Girl bumper sticker – stay it loud and proud!
The perfect read-it-before-you-leave, toss-it-in-the-glove compartment, use-it-if-you-run-out-of-toilet-paper handbook, The Bad Girl's Guide to the Open Road is a must-have for any woman with a jones for freedom and adventure. Because sometimes a girl's just gotta go!

Get ready for my next sassy post from this book! How to avoid a DUI!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Crap For Sale

So these items were posted For Sale at my work recently. I think the seller was really out of touch in regards to quality and price. Here is what they had, and my thoughts (in red).

Items for Sale


Hardcover -- $5.00 each (okay, $5? Really? If this were a yard sale wouldn’t the going rate be about $1? So these are a 400% mark-up from garage sale prices? (Or maybe it’s 500%, I’m a writer, not a math scholar.)

Murder In Brentwood by Mark Fuhrman (If you don’t already know what happened during the OJ murders—mainly, that OJ murdered his wife—you can find out here. For $5.)

Michael Jackson Unmasked by Ian Halperin (I would pay $5 if Michael would put on a mask.)

The No Spin Zone by Bill O’Reilly (Sheesh.)

Who’s Looking Out For You by Bill O’Reilly (Double Sheesh.)

The Funny Thing Is by Ellen DeGeneres (Finally, a book I would read—no accounting for taste with me. But did you know that as I type this there are 9 available copies in the Chicago Public Library system? And one on audiobook.)

Paperback -- $3.00 each (Once again, I think the pricing is absurd.)

Love, Greg & Lauren by Greg Manning (I cannot in good conscience make fun of this book as it is about someone who was involved in 9/11 attacks (summary here), but would point out that there are 10 copies available in the CPL, none of which is currently checked out, and five or which are available in LARGE PRINT format.)

Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly (You know, I’m starting to form a profile of this person.)

Music and DVDs and VHS


George Strait – Somewhere Down In Texas (CD new, unopened) $8.00 (Hey, only $8 because it’s like, brand new, you know? Only you can get it on Amazon for 7.48, and USED – VERY GOOD for about $4.) (Or just click this link and listen to this for free.)

George Strait – Twang -- $6.00 (Must already be opened. Yep.)


World Trade Center (2 Disc Commemorative Edition) -- $10.00 (I’m kind of speechless that this is either the only DVD they own or the only one they wanted to get rid of.)

VHS (Okay, really, you think someone wants to buy your old VHS? I had a box of about 50 Disney movies – good stuff, too, like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – and nobody wanted them. I tried to give them to people with kids, for free, and they looked at me like I was selling them rat poison. I’m just sayin’. And none of these listed below is even in the same ballpark as The Fox and the Hound.)

The Thorn Birds (4 tape set in slip case of the popular mini-series based on novel by Colleen McCullough) $20.00 (Yipes! Priests having sex on VHS for $20? Sounds like really, really bad porn – from the ‘80s – when you say it like that. I like that they included the whole description of how it was a mini-series based on a novel, because it probably helps justify the price in their eyes. You think for only $5 more they throw in the Hardcover? Whattadeal!)

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (new, unopened) $8.00 (How this was purchased back in 2002? I imagine like this: “Hey guys, look, it’s the new Harry Potter movie on VHS! I can’t wait to get home and watch it in my VCR! I know it’s available on DVD, but come on, that will never catch on! VHS is here to stay! No, you say? Would it sweeten the deal if I offered up popcorn and a viewing of Lord of the Rings on Betamax?”)

The Ten Commandments (40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, 2 VHS tape set in slip case) $20.00 (This seems like a great deal until you realize you can record this from AMC every Easter onto your own VHS tapes.)

If you are interested in any of these items, let me know and I will contact the seller. A $2 facility fee will be added on to each purchase.

Monday, August 30, 2010

THE Original Saga

Here it is. The heart of it all. Our first rehearsal of the rmeount is tonight.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Robert Blagojevich Celebrates Dropped Charges By Filming Cialis Commercial

So the charges against former governor (and hair model) Rod Blagojevich's brother, Robert, have been dropped. As this pictorial from the Chicago Sun-Times reveals, he celebrated by filming a Cialis commercial with his wife, Julie.
Here are just a few of the shots from the filming:

And here are a couple shots that probably won't make it into the commercial:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love at Comic Con

I went to my first ever Comic Con this weekend and it was amazing. It's all the fun of Halloween without the pressure of having sex at the end of the night. But who says you can't find love at Comic Con? I almost did.

In addition to sci-fi celebrities (like the "Final Five" cylons from Battlestar Galacatica and Rod Blagojevich) you can also meet and greet your favorite '80's wrestlers. Like my future husband, the Iron Sheik.

My friends wanted to get a picture with his highness the Iron Sheik, but a photo cost $20. So they cleverly decided to take a picture in front of him... but go figure the Iron Sheik's bodyguard shut it down faster than you can say "Boston Crab hold." But as the bodyguard is laying down the law, the Iron Sheik raises his eyebrows at me and gives me the thumbs up. I awkwardly smile back at him and continue to walk by. Then I hear "You're beautiful, baby!" and as I turn, I see the Iron Sheik giving me the thumbs up AGAIN. Two thumbs up, back to back?

Somebody pinch me. Am I in some Hollywood story? Is he the Aragorn (son of Arathorn) to my Arwen? Peter Parker to my Mary Jane? Han Solo to my Chewbacca?

Alas, I was so overcome with arousal that all I could do was smile and keep walking. But even though I walked away from the Iron Sheik that day, he forever put a choke hold on my heart. I don't think it's that crazy. Imagine me and the Iron Sheik re-flooring our master bedroom, riding the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, and delivering meals-on-wheels to homeless veterans. Honestly, I could see it working out.

Here are a few things me and Iron Sheik would probably talk about:
  • Pizza toppings
  • How do handicapped people navigate snowy cities in the winter?
  • The TV show "Hey Dude"
  • If we had to choose animals to respresent our personalities, what would they be
  • Country music celebrity gossip
  • That video where the dancing woman changes her dresses like 10 times
  • Types of apples we like (and ones we DON'T like!)
  • Roller derby
I hope our paths meet again.

Emails I Received

Possibly Racist/Homophobic Random E-mail I received this week:

From: Billy (name has been changed to protect the guilty)

Subject: funny chinese guys

hey chris,

i can't explain why i thought of you while i was sitting in a meeting with the gayest, most insecure chinese banker on the planet last week, but, well, i thought of you. i think i imagined you working this character into a scene. he was a piece of work if ever there was a piece of work. he appologized incessantly for the most trivial little things. at one point he mis-wrote a digit in my contact number as he was filling-out an application. he proceeded to appologize as though he had just run down my mother in a car.

did i mention that he was really, really gay? that, too was funny because, well, gay guys are funny.

so there you have it. go to work. be gay and chinese. be so gay that people think your chinese because you're squinting so hard trying to be gay.

hope all is well,



A Non-Racist Random E-mail I received this week:

From: My Aunt

Subject: Salmon Wars forgot to add some chopped onions....I would have voted for your patties. Sorry Mary.


Favorite Email from a Former C0-worker Who Now Lives in Another State:

From: Ricardo (name has been changed to protect the innocent)

Subject: No Subject

I miss me some Chris Othic. There is no one here as funny and good-looking as you are.


If you psychoanalyze these emails I must be gay, Chinese, a bad cook, and awesome.

I'll take it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Try Not To Dance Even a Little

One of my favorite things in the ever of existence is when a new song appears and I really like it. There is so much new music I don't like or simply don't care about that when a beacon of musical newness delights my ears and heart I get really excited and must share it. So here it is:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Salmon Wars!

Well, there comes a time in every marriage when you have to break out of the old rut and try something new. And for Mary and I that something new was me taking her on in a cooking challenge.

Now, for those of you that know Mary, you know that she is a fabulous cook. Me, not so much. But after we got into a heated discussion about, of all things, salmon patties, it was time for me to take her to the proverbial woodshed.

Mary is an elitist when it comes to food, I think. She believes in using high quality, fresh, and simple ingredients and frowns at preservatives and chemically enhanced foods. Well, at some point recently I mentioned that I was in the mood for a salmon patty, and she crinkled her nose.

"What is that about?" I asked.

"Disgusting," she said.

"How can that be, it's just salmon, eggs and crackers. It's fried."

"Salmon from a can?"


"Like I said, disgusting."

Somehow this led to us talking about the virtues of canned salmon and the even better virtues of fresh salmon from the meat counter. I don't know what my point was but it ended up in an old fashioned salmon throwdown this past Tuesday night. It would be my old-fashioned family recipe salmon patties versus Mary's fancy Martha Stewart recipe salmon burgers. I was trying to make a point.

So I went to the store and bought this:

It cost around $5.

Mary, on the other hand, bought this:

Which cost this:

So, if nothing else, my recipe would be cheaper.

I have to say, I did have a couple of secret weapons. One was that I had called my mom and got the low down on how to make these salmon patties, a favorite from my youth. It was pretty easy, she told me, just do this and this and this and this. I was pretty sure I would screw it up. My mom said that was impossible. All Mary had was Martha Stewart, who wouldn't answer her phone calls.
My other secret weapon was this:

This is the pan I have been making popcorn in for the last two years. I've poured so much oil in it that it practically fries your patty for you.

Oh, and one more secret weapon:

My mom always served salmon patties with mac and cheese and creamed peas. I skipped the peas because I never really liked them and I'm an adult and I don't have to eat them and I will have a cookie and spoil my dinner if I want thankyouverymuch.

Mary had some secret weapons of her own:

Those would be a tartar sauce (yucky) that she made and also some pickled onions (double yucky) that she also made. If she hadn't purchased some Ore Ida french fries I would accuse her of showing off.

Once I got home from work the battle began. Mary cubed her salmon and blended it in the food processor (sorry, no pictures). The she delicately formed her burgers, after first consulting ME to get an estimate of "how long is three inches." Insert your own penis humor here, please.

I have to admit, they looked pretty good when it was all said and done:

The burgers weren't just salmon, they had some lime zest and juice in them, too. Like I said, fancy.
I forgot to take pics of me making my salmon (plus my hands were pretty messy) but I basically opened the can, took out the bones (Mary: "Gross!"), added two eggs and some cracker crumbs, then blended it up until it was "sticky." Then I masturfully formed some patties and popped them into the secret weapon with a little vegetable oil. Don't they have a perfect golden brown color?

Mary started hers as well. They didn't look nearly as tasty as mine.

And here is a side-by-side action shot of me kicking her ass:

While they were frying, we prepped our plating area. These are Mary's buns (pun intended):

And here is my beautiful plate with some lettuce stuff that Mary told me would make everything look beautiful.

Mary was nothing but helpful whereas I talked trash the whole time and tried to make her forget that her buns were in the broiler (which didn't work). I think I had more at stake than she did, like, my family pride.
When the patties/burgers were done, we plated them up. I added some more green vegetable leafy stuff that I chopped up to give my plate even more pizazz, and of course added the mac and cheese. This is probably what heaven looks like when you sit down for your first meal:
Mary plated hers as well. It looked okay, I mean, for a bunch of sandwiches.

Then we presented the plates to our esteemed judges (yep, we had judges, wouldn't be a salmon war without judges).
This is Don Loukota. His qualifications for being a salmon war judge are that he is our friend and he likes food. You can't tell from the picture but he also has a great ass (his words, not mine) that he could not stop talking about all night.

Our other esteemed judge was Elizabeth Drury. Her qualifications for being a salmon war judge are that she is our friend and she likes wine. She didn't not mention having a fine ass at the judge's table, and was a very cordial guest indeed.

Here are the judges saying something intellegent about salmon:

When all was said and done, they announced the winner, because of it's "complex flavors":

Pickled onions are complex flavors? Bleeeeecch!
Oh, well, at least I got Second Place--downgraded for "dryness and salmony tasting"! What did they expect. It's called a salmon patty, for cry pee sake!
I won the award for best side dish, though.
So there you have it. Mary 1, Chris 0.
I did have a salmon patty for lunch today.
The End

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pop Quiz!

From the world of Michigan politics!

Q: What is the most appropriate method of engaging in political discourse with a United States Senator?

  (a) Engaging in vigorous, respectful debate.
  (b) Spewing foamy spittle at the Senator as you blather irrationally about something angry.
  (c) Throw a pie in the Senator's face.

A: Clown it on down!

Don't you touch my Medicare.

God Bless America!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How would I murder Becca Levine? I'm glad you asked...

At least once a week, I invite fellow RvD writer, Becca Levine, to hang out. But try as I might to organize sushi dinners, beach hang outs, etc, she always has an excuse. In fact, last night she said, "I can't. I'm getting dinner with my landlord."

Are you kidding me? Is this the beginning of a '90's horror movie starring Nev Campbell? First he asks you to dinner, then when you show up, he impales you with a shovel, puts your body in the trash incinerator, and uses your ashes to fertilize the garden.

And yet, to Becca, an evening that potentially ends in cremation is still more appealing than us two ladies drinking margaritas on a patio of a Mexican restaurant and playing "Marry, Fuck, Kill" with the men of RvD (always KILL Greg Wendling).

Well, I won't stand for second place to the landlord. You've left me no other choice. I must murder you, Becca Levine.

Since Becca loves art - she sells it for a living - here are some ideas I've been toying with, any one of which would be a great way to murder Becca (click to enlarge):