Write today's date down in your diaries, kids. Because this week will heretofore be known in the history books as "The Week of the Quitter." Now, it's one thing to quit one's job, and quite another to quit one's job and act like the rest of us should give a shit. Case in point: Hugh Grant. Though charming as a snake slithering around an apple, Hugh announced to the world today that he has lost all interest in acting and is QUITTING. The handsome star who we've silently obsessed over for years told the Evening Standard that film acting is a "miserable experience. It's so long and boring and so difficult to get right." Yeah? Well... screw you, jerk! Since acting is such a laborious career, we'll find someone else who can charm us with his deprecating humor, rakish good looks, and deep blue eyes, like... like... well, just you wait! We'll think of someone! Meanwhile... In a weird example of synchronicity, perennially pudgy Renée Zellweger (Grant's co-star in the new film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) also announced her semi-retirement today from the excruciating world of acting, claiming "I feel like I need to take a minute and have a little bit more of life experience." Frankly dear, we're looking forward to you "experiencing" the feeling of Hollywood's door slamming your pudgy ass on the way out.


More quitters are in the news today, and in this instance, we couldn't be happier. Two high-ranking members of the Bush administration resigned today: the reptilian and morally disgusting Attorney General John Ashcroft... and some other guy we've never heard of. In his resignation letter to Bush, oozing pus-hole Ashcroft humbly noted, "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." Yay! That must mean we no longer have to remove our Manolo Blahniks at the airport! He continued, "I believe that my energies and talents should be directed toward other challenging horizons," which will more than likely be drowning bags of kittens. Since getting his job with the Bush administration, Ashcroft has become the pin-up boy for the far right movement, who go absolutely gaga over his support of the Patriot Act, willy-nilly detention of terror suspects, and advancing into law all sorts of Fundamentalist Christian anti-morality. However, while most people who quit their jobs quietly pack up their cubicles and take down their Ziggy cartoons, Ashcroft refuses to leave without demonstrating one last time what a complete prick he can be. After handing in his resignation, Ashcroft asked the Supreme Court to block Oregon's "Death with Dignity Act"--a twice-approved voter initiative that would allow terminal patients who are mentally capable (and have the permission of two doctors) the opportunity to end their own lives. Pandering to Bush's conservative Christian voters, Ashcroft argues that assisted suicide for the suffering does not serve "a legitimate medical purpose." On that note, from now until the end of his life, we wish Ashcroft all the suffering he so richly deserves. As for that other guy that retired, we'll try to find out who he is.


It's day three in "The Week of the Quitter," and today's exhausted celebrity is none other than One Day whipping gal Britney Spears. (Was it something we said?) For those who forgot to check her website [] for this week's highly anticipated "Letter of Truth" (which she now writes on a weekly basis), the princess of pop-tarts has decided to take a couple of years off and focus on the real priorities such as: a) "reading magazines," b) "helping other people achieve their dreams," c) taking "art lessons" (which actually includes doing her "sister Zoe's make-up." Look out, Picasso!), d) interior decorating, e) having her dog Lacy "fixed", f) throwing "a huge party for all our friends," g) focusing on "myself," and h) whipping up a huge batch of baby batter with her new Vanilla Ice-ish hubby Kevin Federline. (We know. "Eww.") A gabby pal of the star added, "Britney is going to disappear from the spotlight for a few years and come back almost unrecognizable." Oh, come on. We'll always recognize Britney--regardless of those stretch marks reaching up to her neck.


And the quitters just keep on quittin'! Today's quitter du jour is none other than martyr/terrorist (depending on who you talk to) and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who died at the age of 75. QUITTER! For days the Nobel Peace Prize winner and bomb-throwing former honcho of the PLO has been going back and forth and back and forth on whether he should die, or stick around to continue mucking up any Middle East peace talks. Today he handed in his resignation, claiming he needed more time for himself, his new husband, and to "fix" his pet dog Lacy--oops! Sorry, that's Britney. Loyal subjects of Arafat flooded the streets, emotionally expressing the loss of their leader. Cried one Palestinian on a loudspeaker in Gaza, "Let the doors to hell open and burn the Jews to dust." Ohhh-kay. That's one speaker who won't be invited to Madonna's next Kabbalah meeting.


In a stunning bit of anti-climactic television news, a California jury has QUIT deliberating and found Scott Peterson guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Laci, and GUILTY of second-degree murder in the death of their unborn son. But in a more shocking bit of television legal drama, a lawyer sued the producers of Law & Order today for 15 million bucks, claiming they had based a character on him. According to the lawyer, the character, a corrupt Indian attorney with facial hair, was clearly inspired by his own personage, causing him great grief and, due to reruns, perpetual embarrassment. How many corrupt Indian lawyers with facial hair can there be in New York City? Just one. The lawsuit gave Scott Peterson some hope, on an otherwise downer day. He may be headed for prison and possibly the needle, but the next time Law & Order airs a pregnant-victim- husband-killer "ripped from the headlines" episode, he's got precedent for legal action. Oh... and a corrupt Indian lawyer to represent him.


Vice President Dick Cheney temporarily QUIT overseeing his diabolical plotting today and went into the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath. He was released after three hours, when tests found that his heart had NOT QUIT working. Doctors discovered that Cheney's bated breath was due to residual excitement over this week's season premiere of The O.C.


The Associated Press reported today that rapper O.D.B. (AKA: Ol' Dirty Bastard, Dirt McGirt, Big Baby Jesus, and Russell Jones), a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, has QUIT life at age 35 (AKA: 32, 31, 36, 34). He collapsed inside a recording studio and was dead by the time paramedics arrived. While the cause of death was not immediately apparent, O.D.B. had recently finished a prison sentence for drug possession and escaping a rehab clinic. He had also complained of chest pains and expressed a giddy anxiety over whether Seth and Summer would get back together. (Note to O.C. producers: Seth and Summer need to QUIT dicking us around.)