Diana Nyad just quit her attempt to swim to Cuba because she is a quitter. She can blame a Portuguese Man O’ War and its intensely painful sting, but if every 62 year old endurance swimmer quit what they were doing after getting stung by a Portuguese Man O’ War then we’d never have whatever it is 62 year olds do all day. I assume that means a lot of driveways would go unwashed, and Werther’s Originals would go unsuckled. A lot of local papers unread. That sort of crap. Portuguese Man o’ War are always leaping out of the Sunday paper.
Diana isn’t the first quitter in the world. She might be the most Man O’ Warred, but there have been others and if you’re a quitter too, you’re in good company. Read on! Or quit now, whatever.
Remember Richard Nixon? His head stars on Futurama sometimes. He was once a President and an asshole. I guess he’s still an asshole, that might outlive people. It’s not like he stopped being an asshole just because he died. People pretend that a lot of assholes were good people after they died, but let’s be honest, this is Nixon. He sucked.
The only thing Nixon didn’t suck at was quitting. He was the President of the US and he had to ditch that job thanks to some manner of scandal he’d managed to get himself into. What kind of scandal? Not like he put a cigar in a lady or started an unjust war or was black, oh no, he spied on some Democrats and made recordings and lied about it and was also an asshole. A normal citizen doing this would likely face some serious criminal charges, but Nixon managed to skirt out of trouble by quitting and then getting a pardon from Gerald Ford. Being the only President to quit in the history of ever makes him a special kind of quitter, though.
I may be wrong, but I swear when the Spice Girls started, Geri Halliwell went by the name Sexy Spice. Then she started looking a bit like John Goodman in drag and switched her name to Ginger Spice. Maybe that’s all just a marvelous dyed-red fantasy, I can’t say. Nonetheless, there was a time when the Spice Girls were hugely popular because innumerable terrible bands are popular for a short period of time before people come to their senses. Just look at Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, Wilson Phillips, O-Town and so on. Good luck with that career, Jonas Brothers. Anyway, while they were still at the peak of their fame, Ginger left the group due to depression and maybe realizing how much the Spice Girls sucked. They really did, you know. They so really did.
Halliwell tried her hand at a solo career later that did well enough to probably buy her a few new pairs of shoes and whatnot but she couldn’t have gotten to that point without quitting one of the biggest girl groups of all time. Probably would have helped her career to quit before Spice World but hindsight is 20/20.
Way back in the day, David Caruso starred on NYPD Blue which used to be a popular cop show and then one day became a showcase for the asses of every actor on the show. Even Dennis Franz. Gross.
Caruso, having come from nowhere and achieving immense popularity on Blue, quit, because he felt he was so awesome he’d be famous all on his own. He was so goddamn wrong we still joke about it. He expected to have a wicked career in movies and, in fact, made a movie. It was called Jade and you never saw it because it sucked. It sucked because, to this day, David Caruso cannot act to save his life. Despite that, he’s on the immensely popular CSI: Miami, a show that very slow people watch because it makes solving crimes look as complicated as a paint by numbers picture of the night sky. Fun side note, the CSI effect is a real problem for actual law enforcement as the show has so addled the brains of dummies that when they get selected for jury duty, they expect real life to look like the show. That’s the kind of audience that makes Caruso famous – people who think he’s a real cop doing real things.
Caruso quitting NYPD Blue could be argued to be a good career move, if you ignore the fact it was almost 10 years before he was cast in CSI: Miami. Otherwise it was a dick move by an arrogant prick. Decide for yourself which makes more sense.
You may have forgotten that, long before she was a punchline, Sarah Palin was an actual, real politician, not just a pretend one. She was the governor of Alaska. For real! However, after John McCain had a ‘Nam flashback and took some extra meds, he selected Palin as his running mate for the 2008 election campaign and man, that was weird. Suddenly everyone knew who Sarah Palin was, at least in terms of what she looked like, and that was enough for America because before her the only lady politicians we had were Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno and screw that. Palin was Republican, yet almost hot, and that wowed people. Then we found out she’s dumber than a sack of hammers. Of course, by then it was too late. Besides, she’s super unintentionally funny.
Suddenly famous, Palin did what any rational person would do and she ditched Alaska like it was a forgotten state you didn’t want to govern any more. She went on to work for FOX news (hilarious), star on a reality show (hilarious), be featured in a “documentary” film (hilarious) and now, she’s running for President. Go on, laugh, the rest of us are.
David Lee Roth
Remember Van Halen? Yeah, they were a band in the 80’s that sang in a Coke commercial. Plus they’re the reason you know who David Lee Roth is, assuming you know who David Lee Roth is. If you don’t know, he’s a burnout who used to be a rock star. Awesome! If you do know, then you just nodded. On the other hand, you may have mixed feelings about Sammy Hagar so you’re not sure who to hate more. Sammy walked into an established band which is a hard play for anyone, but David Lee Roth sang California Girls which is so bloody awful it’s ridiculous.
You may also be surprised to know that Roth is actually the lead singer of Van Halen again right now (I didn’t know that), but the fact is he did quit for a while (22 years). In that time he made a fool of himself publicly which his odd solo career, but he was still super successful and is arguably one of the greatest living rock stars. And it only took him 22 years to realize Van Halen is one of the greatest living rock bands so they kind of belong together. If he’d stayed, they’d probably be on par with Aerosmith right now, but since he didn’t, Van Halen is more of a bum, guitar aficionado kind of band that casual music fans couldn’t give two shits about.
Reclusive and somewhat less than prolific, Salinger is the author of the Catcher in the Rye and a handful of shorter works you’ve probably never heard of. As far as we know, he published that book in the 50’s and then lived the rest of his life in a fridge box. He shunned the public and media attention and probably wasn’t amused by all the weird ass attention his seminal work received.
Catcher still sells thousands of copies every year, but the success of that work didn’t convince Salinger to keep up with his craft. The last thing he ever published was a novella called Hapworth 16, 1924 in the year 1965. He died in 2010, so that’s 45 years of quiet brooding or doodling dicks in the margins of his own books to keep him busy. Salinger didn’t just quit writing, dude quit hard. Hard! It’s like he got attacked by a whole pack of Man o’ Wars. Literary ones.
King Edward VIII
Edward was the actual King of actual England until he fell in love with an American girl whose name was Wallis and abdicated his throne to be with her. Wallis. He quit being King to marry a girl named Wallis. I’d write more but there’s a Man o’ War on my desk and by that I mean glass of Scotch and this thing is killin’ me.