British author and playwright A. A. Milne wrote the two original Winnie the Pooh books in the 1920s for his young son, basing the stories on the boy's stuffed animals. By the 1930s, Pooh was a multi-million dollar business, and after Milne's death the rights were sold by his widow to Disney. Approximately eighty thousand movies later, Pooh now earns Disney over one billion dollars a year.
It's how Winnie the Pooh funds his crippling "hunny" addiction.
But Milne wasn't a fan of Pooh. Annoyed enough by the bear to attempt to kill him off at the end of the second book (that's right - he tried to kill off Winnie the Pooh), he complained about him in his autobiography and spent the remainder of his life resenting the creature. His biographer wrote that the fictional-bear-based reputation Milne had earned by age 50 was "not the one he wanted."
A real-bear-based reputation would've been way more awesome.
Why He Regretted It:
Milne was a serious author and playwright before writing the Pooh books. He published seven novels, 25 plays and several works of non-fiction. Pooh was just meant to entertain his son, and once the boy grew up he tried to return to adult fiction, which went over about as well as when David Caruso left NYPD Blue and tried to make movies.
Even worse, Milne had also made Goethe's mistake and used his son's real name (Christopher Robin) in the story. Poor Christopher was relentlessly mocked at school, and apparently never had much success with the ladies because most girls don't want some dude that's famous for spending his time hanging out with two-foot tall bears.
Ranger Smith was constantly getting cock-blocked by Boo Boo.
The Pooh curse doesn't end there, either: The books' original illustrator, E.H. Shepherd, also hated the bear for overshadowing the rest of his life's work as a political cartoonist.
The lesson here is clear: Putting bears and young children together usually doesn't work.
It's one of the most famous photographs of the 20th century. The man who took the photo, Eddie Adams, won a Pulitzer in 1969 for the picture, which strengthened the peace movement with its graphic depiction of wartime brutality.
Much like Stripes.
Adams, however, repeatedly expressed regret about the picture until he died in 2004, saying it "destroyed" the life of South Vietnamese General Ngygen Ngoc Loan, the man doing the shooting. According to Adams, two people died the moment he took the photo: "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera." Sort of like that guy that took all the pictures in The Omen.
When Loan died in 1998, Adams sent a bouquet of flowers to his widow. Judging by the photo, one can imagine that while he was alive, Loan reacted to Adams's repeated apologies by swiftly kneeing him in the groin and then killing several puppies with his bare hands.
Why He Regretted It:
At the time the picture was taken, Loan was Chief of Police and the guy getting shot was the leader of a Viet Cong assassination squad tasked with murdering South Vietnamese police officers, and if those officers couldn't be found, their families would be killed instead.
The man Loan shot had been caught near a ditch containing 34 murdered men, women and children, among them were the wife and six children of one of Loan's closest friends (the six murdered kids were also Loan's godchildren).
Adams's real problem with the photo was that those that saw it were so caught up in the horror of the image that they took it out of context, sort of like when you burst into your parents' bedroom at the exact wrong moment.
As for Loan himself, when he wasn't gunning down bad guys, he was into building hospitals and giving presents to orphans. After he immigrated to America, he spent several decades running a remarkably non-murderous pizza parlor until his identity was leaked and death threats forced him to close his business.
Some kid probably knocked his mascot head off.
In response to Adams's repeated apologies for ruining his life, however, he expressed forgiveness, saying that Adams was just doing his job. Maybe, but couldn't he have stuck a caption on there, explaining the context? Maybe an lolcat-style speech bubble?
Anna Jarvis started a campaign to make Mother's Day a national holiday in the U.S. in 1907, two years after the death of her own mother. The campaign succeeded beyond her wildest dreams, with Woodrow Wilson soon signing a Congressional Resolution endorsing it and over 40 different countries soon following.
Wilson would egg anyone that didn't approve.
Jarvis, however, didn't sit back and live in contentment like most of us would have after creating a god damned day. She spent the rest of her life and her considerable fortune fighting against the holiday, eventually dying penniless.
Is there a card for that?
Why She Regretted It:
Jarvis was disgusted with the commercialization of Mother's Day and the idea of florists and candy makers taking advantage of her holiday for profit. Most of all she hated the greeting cards, which according to her meant "nothing except that you are too lazy to write for the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world."
"OOOOOHHH. Flowers and a card. That makes up for the crotch trauma you put your mother through."
At one point she even got herself arrested while protesting the holiday, calling her enemies "charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites," which suggests that Mother's Day was far more awesome in the 1920s.
"The termites are on their way."
Find more from C. Coville at http://bloodslides.livejournal.com.
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For other people's creations that we regret, check out 7 Inventors You Didn't Know You Wanted to Punch In the Face. Or learn about some creations that you can MacGuyver (and regret) in your house, in 5 Deadly Sci-Fi Gadgets You Can Build At Home.
And stop by our Top Picks to see Jack O'Brien confessing his regret at keeping Swaim and DOB on the payroll.