Persistence can be a virtue. However, there’s a fine line between being persistent and just being a good old stupid, stubborn, sonovabitch. Sure, in many fields, a dogged pursuit of the truth might bring you to massive new discoveries, but you also have to realize when you’re barking up the wrong tree. Otherwise, that passion of yours might turn into a full-on obsession, and before you know it, you’re pissing in mason jars and growing out your fingernails.
Here are three people (and one special guest) who couldn’t take a hint, with mixed results.
Harold Stassen, Perpetual Presidential Candidate
The job of President of the United States is one that doesn’t open up often. So, if that’s your plan, I suppose there’s two ways to go about making it happen: First, you can carefully plan and make sure that when you do run, it’s the perfect time, when you have the best possible chance of success. Second, you could just keep running for president over and over, hoping, I guess, that people finally decide to give you a chance, or that every other candidate dies in one big plane crash like the Big Bopper. Harold Stassen chose the latter.
Another important thing to note here is that Stassen is not some anarchist wackadoo putting himself on the ballot as a write-in. He was a legitimate and effective politician who served, among other positions, as the Governor of Minnesota at the age of 31. In fact, when he first attempted to become the Republican nominee, in the 1948 primaries, he did very well. Unfortunately, coming that close to the nomination seemed to stick in his craw, as he would then run for president in 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, and finally, after a brief break, 1988. It seems, unluckily for Stassen, that “guy who desperately wants to be president” is not a particularly presidential image.
Isaac Newton and the Philosopher’s Stone
Newton is generally regarded as one of the better scientists of all time. If you’re booting up a time machine to form some sort of All-Stars of Discovering Important Shit, he’s pretty high on your list. At the same time as his investigations into gravity et al were going swimmingly and historically well, he was secretly pursuing some experiments that were a little bit more batshit. Specifically, it was found years after his death that Newton was big time into alchemy.
One particular focus of his, as with most alchemy enjoyers, was his hunt for the Philosopher’s Stone. Not the one from Harry Potter, which grants eternal life. The “real” one, which was capable of turning unassuming materials into gold. You can see why it was a pretty compelling pursuit. Unfortunately, Newton was unable to ever crack it, because, you know, it’s absolute horse dookie as a scientific idea.
Though if you’re the guy whose name is written under “Gravity,” I guess it’ll convince you that you might be the one.
It might sound like the most unnecessary possible stand-up bit, delivered by a profusely sweating open-mic newcomer, who’s decided that the cleaning product Formula 409 is the key to their new closer. “Uh, Formula 409? What happened to the first 408 formulas?” Even after uttering the requisite groan, if you gave it further thought, you’d probably assume it was some inside joke, a personal reference from the creator, or just a focus-tested number that was found to roll off the tongue particularly nicely. Strangely but simply enough, however, it’s called Formula 409 because there actually were 409 formulas, with the last one up to snuff.
You have to applaud their tenacity, as I don’t think there’s many people who are taking over 400 stabs at anything. As soon as the third time, popularly known as “the charm,” fizzles out, I’m probably tossing whatever I’m doing in the “loss” bin. In order to carry Formula 409’s inventors through a couple hundred failures, I have to assume there were emotional stakes involved. At least one parent must have found an early end due to a slip on a greasy floor, or toxic mold. Either way, I definitely have more respect for a cleaning fluid now, which isn’t something I thought I’d ever say.
Candy-Loving Bear, Bane of One Specific 7-Eleven
Working at a 7-Eleven isn’t usually a job you consider as one that will expose you to the majesty of nature. However, if you land the gig at the 7-Eleven in Palisades Tahoe, California, in between your duties of restocking Monster Energy and not cleaning the Slurpee machine, you’re going to be building a relationship with one specific bear. This bear seems to have figured out, on a base level, that this is a building filled with food that’s free as long as you don’t understand the concept of money.
As documented on TikTok, the bear is a regular visitor anytime his tummy is in need, and it turns out there’s not a whole lot of ways to stop a bear from doing what it wants. What are you going to do, hit it with bear mace? Now it’s too blind to find the door and supremely pissed off. Better to just let him raid the hot dog rollers and head out. I’m sure the big boy’s life hack is eventually going to result in it getting put down via chemicals or large-caliber bullet, but until then, he’s eating good.