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Perseverance is what makes mankind great. Where would we be if George Washington stayed home smoking his weed and boning his slaves? How many of us would still be masturbating to our mom's old issues of Glamour if the guys who invented the Internet hadn't stuck with it?

But for some people, perseverance beats them up, slaps them around and makes them dance around in a pretty pink dress. These are the people who should have known when to quit... but didn't.

7
Troy Hurtubise, Bear Fighter

His Dream:

Designing and constructing grizzly bear-proof armor.

His Quest:

The strange journey of Troy Hurtubise begins with two seemingly unrelated events. First, when Hurtubise was 20, he was attacked by a grizzly bear while hiking. Hurtubise escaped unharmed, but he became extremely interested in grizzlies and wanted to find a way to "study" bears safely, and by "study" he apparently meant "get his revenge by beating the shit out of."

Three years later, when he was in college, Hurtubise was struck with the inspiration to build a grizzly-proof suit of armor while watching Robocop. This is probably not the first epiphany ever achieved while watching a Paul Verhoeven movie, but probably the first one that did not lead to either criminal charges or new laws being written.


"Your move, Bear."

Hurtubis, apparently unaware that things you dream up when you're stoned out of your mind at three in the morning watching Robocop should be promptly forgotten about, decided to build the damn thing.

But Should Have Quit Before...

Hurtubise spent the next seven years and over $150,000 constructing this:

Keep in mind that this is the Mark VI. That means that he made five suits before coming up with this. Hurtubise spent all of his money, nearly lost his wife and son, and wasted countless hours of his life building a suit that looks like it was thrown together by a couple of cosplayers the week before Dragon*Con.

But don't let its incredibly shoddy appearance deceive you, the thing actually worked. Hurtubise didn't want to pussy around with a bunch of "science" tests in some "lab." If you're going to test bear-proof armor, you go to the closest thing thing to a grizzly bear you can pay with beer: bikers. Hurtubise hired a bunch of biker dudes to beat the crap out of him with baseball bats and two-by-fours.

He also had someone hit him with a car and throw him off a cliff to prove that not only was the suit effective, but that Hurtubise was clinically fucking insane. After several more tests, a Mark VII and a new suit of armor called "The Trojan," Troy Hurtubise has still yet to use any of the suits for their original purpose: studying bears. Unable to find investors rich and/or stupid enough to back him, his financial difficulties forced him to sell the Trojan on eBay.

Unfortunately nobody on eBay was rich enough (or wanted to fight bears bad enough) to meet his list price, so he just ended up raffling the thing off. Broke, unable to interest anyone in his designs and exhausted from years and years of failure, Troy Hurtubise took a long hard look at his life, reflected on the mistakes he'd made and built another goddamn set of armor.

6
Darius McCollum, Train Thief

His Dream:

Working for the New York City Transit Authority.

His Quest:

Obsessions come in all shapes and sizes, but fewer are harder to understand than an obsession with trains. For most of us, trains are means to an end. They take us to work, they allow us to experience the sights and sounds of a place when we're traveling, and they're awesome for secretly feeling up strangers. For Darius McCollum, they're the equivalent of a cheeseburger that blows you while you eat it.


"Hey. Hey train. Whatcha doin' later? Carrying passengers? Hot."

McCollum grew up in New York and by the age of five, when most people are still not 100 percent sure where the bathroom is, he had memorized the entire subway system. Shocked at how little respect and admiration this earned him with other kids, McCollum's obsession grew until in 1981, at the age of 15, he stole the E-train.

You may be asking yourself, "how the fuck do you steal a train?" Well, he didn't exactly steal it, he more sort of borrowed it. McCollum hijacked the train and drove it along its regular route. He was so good, in fact, that the passengers had no idea anything was wrong. Passengers only became suspicious when they noticed that the driver was doing his job in a professional manner and wasn't muttering "fuck 'em all" under his breath over and over.

McCollum was eventually caught and charged.

But Should Have Quit Before...

Instead of enjoying his joyride and devoting his energies into a full time masturbation regimen like other, healthy 15 year olds, he kept on stealing trains. McCollum has been arrested 26 times and incarcerated for 19 of them. All this just to pretend to do a job that the people who actually do probably loathe.


In a rare moment of clarity, McCollum wonders how his life would have been different if had just decided to be really into Star Wars.

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5
Jocelyn Wildenstein, Aspiring Cat-Woman

His Dream:

Making herself look like some kind of cat-human hybrid.

Her Quest:

Back in 1990, Jocelyn Wildenstein had what a lot of people would call a "charmed life." First, she was stinking rich. We're not talking comfortable, second house on the lake rich. Wildenstein owned a private jet, houses all over the world, a priceless art collection and probably a suped-up Camaro. All this and she didn't even have a job. She was living the American Dream.

Then, something horrible happened. About the time she turned 50, Wildenstein found out her husband was cheating on her. Feeling depressed and unattractive, she did what people with money do: She got some plastic surgery. A little something to help her self-esteem in a trying time.

But Should Have Quit Before...

She decided she wouldn't be happy with just a nip or a tuck. No, Jocelyn Wildenstein wanted to look like a cat. Whether she just went insane or snapped after watching one too many episodes of Ron Pearlman's show Beauty and the Beast is unclear.


We can see wanting to have his hair--it's fucking awesome--but his face?

But most observers are able to agree that whatever the reason, she was out of her fucking mind and rich enough to make it a reality. Wildenstein has spent the last 29 years and over $4 million transforming herself into Catwoman.

She has had numerous silicone injections into her cheeks, chin, forehead and lips, as well as facelifts and surgery to make her eyes look more "feline." But what's $4 million when you're loaded, right? Well, when her husband, Mr. Wildenstein, saw what she was turning into, he decided to divorce her before she had the tail and claws installed.

After a judge granted Mr. Wildenstein a divorce on the rare-used grounds of My-Wife-Is-Turning-Into-A-Catmonster, Jocelyn lost a huge chunk of her fortune. If that wasn't enough to create the "What the fuck was I thinking?" epiphany, it's probably not coming ... until she's got that first live mouse in her jaws.

4
Glynn "Scotty" Wolfe, Wife Collector

His Dream:

Being married, at all times, at any cost.

His Quest:

Had his first wife not died after only a year of marriage, Glynn Wolfe might have led a very different life. The details of his first marriage are few, but he must have liked it because after his first wife died he got remarried ... 26 more times.

To be fair, Wolfe was a Baptist minister whose strong religious beliefs prevented him from living in sin. But he was also apparently a horn dog because he couldn't stay single. In order, Glynn Wolfe married:

Marcie McDonald, Stephanie Delaney, Victoria Ernest, Katherine Johnson, Rachel Jennings-Prescott, Charlotte Devane, Valerie Harborn, Charlotte Devane again, Frances Hunter, Carol Demmings, Priscilla Ralph, Katherine Archer, Lisa Walters, Katherine Archer again, Nina Morgan-Stuart, Chase Jones, Kathleen Briggs, Sharon Goodwin, Sharon Goodwin again, Demerle Goin-Rankin, Julia Santiago, Gloria Mascari, Vivian Alvers, Maria Velez, Eileen Shelton, Guadalupe Chavez, Maria Chavez (no relation), Christine Camancho and Linda Essex.

Wolfe's longest marriage lasted seven years and his shortest only 19 days. 19 days! What the hell can go wrong with a marriage in 19 freaking days? It turned out it was a dude, right?

But Should Have Quit Before...

Actually, we're thinking it's not marriage he was addicted to, but divorce. According to his son, Wolfe divorced one of his wives because she ate sunflower seeds in bed.


BITCH.

That may be irritating, but most of us wouldn't get divorced over it. But what did Wolfe care, it wasn't like he couldn't just find someone else. He knew how to play the game.


Hmmm... Maybe he was onto something.

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3
Robert Kearns, Intermittent Wiper Inventor, Damn It

His Dream:

Fighting the world's biggest automotive companies.

His Quest:

One night in 1953, Robert Kearns had a great idea. Tired of not being able to see clearly out his windshield when his wipers were on, Kearns invented the intermittent windshield wiper. This may not have been the coolest invention in the world (unlike hot dogs with the cheese inside) but it's still pretty awesome.

Kearns took the idea to Ford. After a few positive meetings, Ford told him they weren't interested. Imagine Kearns surprise when a few years later he saw that Ford was in fact interested enough to use his invention on their cars--they just weren't interested in paying him anything for them. Understandably outraged, Kearns prepared to fight to get his patent back.

But there was a slight hiccup in his plan; he went apeshit insane. He didn't just get angry and take a dump on Ford's front lawn, he went honest-to-goodness, call-a-psychiatrist, the-C.I.A.-is using-my-fillings-to-control-the-world's-pancake-supply crazy. For some reason he believed that President Nixon had asked to meet him in Australia to build an electric car. Boarding the local bus for Melbourne, Kearns made it as far as Alabama, where he was briefly institutionalized. Kearns recovered and made it his life's mission to get revenge on the car companies for almost making him go to Australia.


The horrible depths Kearns nearly sank to in his quest

But still, after Kearns sued 27 different car companies (including Ford, for $325 million) he won a few of the suits and was awarded millions. If he had walked away at this point, he would have been number one on Cracked's list of The Top 7 Crazy Guys Who Came Out On Top, So Good For Them.

But Should Have Quit Before...

Hearns turned around and plowed almost all of his earnings into other lawsuits. For him, it wasn't enough that the car companies admitted that intermittent windshield wipers were his invention and paid him for it, he wanted to be the only person to have the legal right to build them. Kearns was a notoriously difficult client and went through five different law firms before finally taking the final, obligatory step in crazy obsessions; he became his own lawyer.

Kearns devoted so much time to his legal battles that his marriage fell apart and because he had no legal training, he was unable to manage his lawsuits and missed several filing deadlines, losing out on his chance to make millions more.

In 1991, a federal judge dismissed all his outstanding lawsuits because Kearns' patents had expired. Exhausted and only partially vindicated, Kearns left the past behind and retired to a big house in the country to devote himself to a new hobby: trying to reclaim his patents.

2
Hiroo Onoda

His Dream:

To win WWII ... in the 70s.

His Quest

In 1941, Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda was sent to a small US-occupied island in the Philippines to mess with Uncle Sam's shit. Within the first month, all but him and three other guys were dead or captured. In spite of having all odds against them, they were determined to press on.

In 1945, the enemy began air-dropping pamphlets claiming that the war was over. Being well trained soldiers, Onoda and his men knew the Japanese would never surrender, and it was obviously a foolish attempt by Allied forces to destroy their morale. They also found cleverly planted newspapers in the farms they raided that claimed the Americans had built a bomb that could level cities, but that was obvious bullshit too, right?


Wakka wakka!

But Should Have Quit Before...

World War Two ended. Over the course of the 30-some years that followed, the rest of his troop either defected or were killed by locals during attacks on enemy food supplies. When the locals found the body of his recently deceased comrade complete with his WWII era uniform, they called the Japanese government who dug up the old file on his mission, and put a notice out to the press that there might be some crazy ass Japanese soldier trying to kill Allied soldiers out in the woods.

Eventually a backpacker ran into Onoda and told him the war was over, but Onoda still wouldn't hear of it, and insisted he was simply waiting to be relieved of his post. When the kid returned with Onoda's former commander, who was long retired and now worked in a library, he finally decided that maybe he should reconsider his stance on the war.

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1
Jack Thompson, Anti-Game Crusader

His Dream:

Ridding the world of evil things, most notably Grand Theft Auto. The game, not the theft.

His Quest:

Most of you know Florida attorney Jack Thompson as the anti-video game guy. But even before that he worked overtime as a moral crusader. Be it rap music, Howard Stern, South Park, video games or Janet Reno, Thompson never found an imaginary threat he couldn't exploit, an opponent he couldn't harass or a crime he couldn't blame on the evils of popular culture.

Jack Thompson first came to national attention in the late 80s when he ran for Dade County State Attorney against future Attorney General and UFA Fighting Champion, Janet Reno. At a campaign event, Thompson asked Reno whether she was gay or not. Reno told him that she only liked "virile men" and that's why she wasn't attracted to him. Unlike most people, who would have crawled into a hole for the rest of their lives after having their manhood disparaged by Janet Reno, Thompson launched a public career out of it.


He wasn't man enough for her.

His dick probably permanently shriveled and useless, Thompson began attacking anything and everything he perceived to be a threat. He started by trying to get 2 Live Crew records banned, not on the grounds that they were shitty, but on the grounds that were corrupting youth and spreading indecency. In one of his first of his many jaw-droppingly inane public statements, Thompson likened the release of their albums to firing an AK-47 into a crowded schoolyard.

Thompson also started to refer to himself as 'Batman' and sent people copies of his driver's license with a Batman costume drawn over his face. Clearly, the man meant business. You don't draw a Batman costume on your picture unless you're serious. Or 10.

Thompson continued to look for things to be upset about until he came upon the gold standard for people convinced that kids are too stupid to understand the difference between fantasy and reality: Grand Theft Auto.

Thompson started his crusade in 2003 when he forced his way on to the legal team in a case involving a shooting by a teenager. He attempted to get the defense, the prosecution and the judge to blame Grand Theft Auto for "training" the kid to kill people. Thompson was eventually thrown off the case.

But Should Have Quit Before...

Like most crazy people, Thompson only drew encouragement from his failure. For the next few years, he traveled from state to state, shoehorning his way into murder trials involving kids, trying to get someone, anyone to blame violent video games.

When none of those attempts worked, he then tried to sue the makers of GTA, Take Two Interactive, claiming that the game was "the greatest threat to children since polio." He also sent a letter to Take Two chairman Strauss Zelnick's mother, claiming she had raised him like he was in the Hitler Youth. All of Thompson's cases against Take Two Interactive failed, and he eventually agreed not to publicly comment on or decry their games ever again. He honored his agreement by appearing on CNN to publicly comment on and decry the game.

But all was not lost. The Florida Bar Association, moved by Thompson's quest for public decency, did their part in bringing it about. They permanently disbarred Jack Thompson due to his repeated violations of legal procedures and harassment of other attorneys and judges.

That's right: In the end, Jack Thompson was considered too sleazy to be a lawyer.

Thanks to Marc Russel for giving us the tale of Mr. Hiroo Onoda. To learn about more people who should've quit while they were ahead, check out 6 People Who Died In Order To Prove A (Retarded) Point and The 6 Most Utterly Insane Attempts to Kill a US President.

And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks because you know you could never give up on us.

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