Forget roller disco. Forget gasohol. Forget Rickie Lee Jones. Forget whatever or whoever is in. Forget everything.
You got it, stop whatever you're doing and offer to quit.
First of all, look who's doing it. The Cabinet did it. The key White House staff and aides did it. Quitting in the Carter administration is the moral equivalent of patriotism.
And American politicians aren't the only ones bailing out. Down in Nicaragua, President Somoza said "hasta leugo" and flew to Miami where theyre holding a table for him at Wolfie's. Over in India, Prime Minister Desai said "here's looking at you, kid" and rented a paddle boat for a trip down the Ganges. And it's not just politicians. Al Rosen, the president of the Yankees, is threatening to pack up his$&(WORD ILLEGIBLE Reggie! bars and pull a hit and run out of the Bronx and into a casino in Atlantic City.
Mass resignation - or "quit pro quo" as they're calling it at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue - is os in right now that the trades say People magazine scrubbed its scheduled John Belushi-Chubby Chic cover and assigned its reporter to work up "Jimmy Carter - Will He Quit Too?" (Acting in the national interest, however, the reporter immediately quit.)
So it has become obvious what President Carter was referring to last Sunday night when he told the American public that each and every day each and everyone of us should "say something good about America."
This is what he wanted us to say.
Now, for the benefit of those of you who have never resigned before, here are a few recommended ways of doing it:
1) Say it out your mouth. Walk right up to your boss and tell him it's over. Tell him anything you want. Tell him it's too hot; tell him it's too cold; tell him the karma is bad; tell him you had a vision; tell him you just bought a People's Drug franchise from Peter Bourne. It doesn't matter so long as somewhere in the conversation you say "I quit." Then immediately go and apply for food stamps, giving Jimmy Carter as a reference.
2) Say it over the phone. Or have a friend - or even a total stranger - call up your boss and quit for you. If anyone you know can do a good President Carter imitation, have him make the call. If you can't get someone who does Jimmy Carter, get someone who does Jimmy Stewart. Or Jimmy Durante.
3) Say it with music. Send your boss a cassette of John Denver singing, "I'm leaving on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again." This could lead to the Domino Theory of Resignation - it might take the boss only one chorus of Denver's screeching to smash the cassette and hand in a resignation of his own.
4) Say it with flowers. Send your boss a terrarium with poinson ivy. Or, send in Pete Rose with a Louisville Slugger.
5) Say it with cake. This is the most sophisticated and most guilt-inspiring way of quitting. Send in a woman who looks somewhat like Shelley Winters - or, rent Shelley Winters and send her in - and have her give your boss a nice cake (or a nice piece of fruit) and tell him, "My son (or daughter) has developed the heartbreak of psoriasis since working here and he (or she) has to quit. He (or she) wanted me to tell you that you shouldn't feel this is your fault, even though the doctor bills are in the thousands of dollars, not to mention the anxiety it has caused." If this doesn't work get Shelley to go to Plan B, which is to threaten to put her head into an oven.
Now, in the patriotic interest, all you bosses out there should know exactly how to react when your employe resigns. Remember, it's your duty to accept the resignation, but you should be able to have fun with it.
1) Laugh in your employe's face.
2) Tell him, "Hey, that's the best news I've heard all day. Now I won't have to apologize for moving your desk into the alley and selling all your personal items to the Salvation Army."
3) Put a voodoo hex on him. Tell him that it's okay to resign, but maybe he'll think better about it when his tongue falls out, his fingers and toes turn blue and no matter where he goes people mistake him for McLean Stevenson and say to him, "Boy, you are such a jerk for leaving "M*A*S*H." If you had any decency you'd retire from show business immediately."
4) Laugh in your employe's face again.
5) Give his home address and telephone number to every Moonie and Hare Krishna group in the country with this message - "I feel an emptiness in my life. Can you help? I would like so much just to have a nice day."
Now, obviously not everyone can resign on the same day. If they did, there would be no one left to resign the next day and the movement would lose momentum too far in advance of the New Hampshire primary. So we're going to have to go to a state-by-state, odd-even plan of resignation. People in the upper Midwest and Northeast would be exempt from this plan, however, because they need time to pack up all their belongings and move to Ft. Lauderdale before there is even the hint of winter.
And the more money you make, the more extravagant your resignation should be. Reggie Jackson should be able to hold a press conference at Yankee Stadium. Sylvester Stallone should be able to make his announcement on the steps of the Museum of Art in Philadelphia. David Rockefeller should be given time on all three networks, and as a symbolic gesture of his resignation he should be allowed to burn a few spare $20 bills.
Okay, everybody resigns.
Who'll set the thermostats at 78 degrees? Who'll feed Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling? Who'll give Mike Douglas the proper cue cards so he can ask all those penetrating questions, like - "How did you get your start in show business, Liza?" Who'll stop the rain?
We're going to need a floating employment force to fill in at all the vacated jobs until this national madness stops, until President Carter goes on television and says, "When I said we should be "bold," I didn't say we should all "bolt." I guess it was my accent. Sorry. You can all go back to work now - all of you except Schlesinger, anyway." But until then we need this substitute work force, this guest work force.
The key word is "guest."
As in guest star, guest host, special guest.
Take all the regular guests, the Zsa Zsas, the Jaye P.'s, the Robert Blakes, the Bert Convys, the John Davidsons, the Cheryl Ladds, the Enzo Stuartis, the - heaven help us - Florence Hendersons and put them to work for a change. Who cares about their openings at Vegas-Reno-Tahoe-Sheboygan-Hilton? Who cares about their fluffy little Hollywood parties? Let them drive a bus. Let them work in a steel mill. Let them sling hash in a diner. All they do is make the rounds on the talk shows. If they can't even be amusing, at least let them be useful.
And if they don't like it, let them quit.