6 Hilarious Loopholes Normal People Used To Beat The System
The world is full of rules, and whilst we know that a vast number of them are there to keep us safe and not-dead, many others come straight out of a bull's anus (to put it delicately). In their haste to clamp down on everyone's fun, however, the powers that be sometimes leave unintended loopholes, which the clever can ride straight to their hilarious conclusions. Look at these heroes ...
The NYC Subway Bans Dogs Unless They're In "Containers," So New Yorkers Start Carrying Them In Bags
For a few years now, New York City has banned pet owners from bringing any type of animal into the subway unless they're service dogs or if it's a K-9 (PAW Patrol for our younger readers) type situation. Presumably, the fear is that they'll poop on the floor and temporarily improve the atmosphere. While it's probably for the best that you can't bring a giraffe or something, not everyone agreed with the notion that a dog can ruin the experience of being trapped in a sweaty tube with someone's armpit two inches from your face whilst a mime picks your pocket.
As New Yorkers are renowned for not giving a single damn, however, they found a workaround to the rule: putting their dogs in bags.
We should explain. The MTA rules are strict about dogs unless they're "enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers." They were thinking of pet carriers, or at most, some tiny Chihuahua in a handbag. The rest of the city thought "time to dust off that old hiking backpack."
While the upshot is that this improves everyone's commute immeasurably, you have to wonder if this isn't setting a bad precedent. This is New York, after all. It's only a matter of time before someone finds a bag large enough to hold a giraffe.
British Schoolboys Protest "No Shorts" Rule By Turning Up In Skirts
Because the daily toilet-dunkings and terrible food don't make life hellish enough for schoolkids, countries like England also enforce a strict uniform code for all educational institutions (not only the rich and/or magic-based ones). That's why British children always dress like tiny accountants. But what happens when the uniform code goes up against a group of students eager to escape a stifling heat wave?
As part of 2017's total desire to not make any sense, the UK experienced a scorching heat wave which left many residents begging for the return of their damp, overcast utopia. Among those suffering were the schoolkids of the stuffy Isca Academy in Devon, which slapped down all requests from male students to temporarily switch from suffocating full-length trousers to shorts. Because heaven forfend, what would that result in? It'd be kneecap anarchy.
In response to the protests, one teacher dared the boys to dress up in the only alternative allowed on the uniform policy: a skirt. That teacher went onto learn a valuable lesson about hubris. The next day, a handful of boys arrived for lessons wearing skirts borrowed from their sisters or girlfriends. The gender barrier smashed, around 30 boys were attending lessons in skirts and praising the "nice breeze" they were getting.
And you know what? They killed it.
In an ill-thought-out attempt at, um, kneecapping the protest, a teacher dressed down a student for showing too much hairy leg ... which led to several boys buying up razor blades and shaving themselves smooth. After realizing that they'd been bureaucratically sassed out by a group of sashaying teenage boys, the school ceded and promised to revisit their damn policy. With the school defeated and the heat wave over, the boys returned to their normal garb, to the delight of several who'd started to worry about hemlines and the disappointment of several who'd discovered something new about themselves.
A Funk Band Makes $20,000 From Spotify By Having Fans "Listen" To A Silent Album
As you may remember from the days before Tidal came and totally changed the music streaming landscape, Spotify used to pay artists a set fee -- anywhere between $0.0030 to $0.0038 -- for every song that users listened to. For big-name artists, it's not a bad rate, because they have millions and millions checking out their stuff all the time. For up-and-coming musicians, however, they might as well spend their days begging for pennies. That is, unless you can rig the system to take the small number of fans you do have and find a way for them to listen to your tunes on constant rotation ...
Which is exactly what the funk band Vulfpeck did, using "songs" like this:
Because not even funk fans can listen to funk music for too long without going insane, the band "recorded" a completely silent album titled Sleepify. The idea was that users could play it on repeat while they were sleeping or in class or, well, doing anything. It was a dumb and insane plan which raised $20,000 before Spotify shut it down with a statement thanking the band for screwing them over so brilliantly. By way of thanks, the band used the funds to record some new material and embark on an admission-free tour known as The Sleepify Tour, or as we call it, Malicious Compliance: Spotify Just Paid For Our Hookers And Cocaine.
Trader Joe's Wouldn't Open A Store In Canada, So A Fan Just Imported All Their Products And Opened His Own "Pirate" Version
You probably take your local Trader Joe's grocery store for granted, but they sure don't in Canada. Maybe it's the prices or the products or the overwhelming sense of ennui, but Canucks go nuts for that stuff. There's only one problem: Trader Joe's has shown dick-all interest in expanding tundra-wards, so anyone politely wanting to bulk buy beef steak tips has to traverse the border. And that's where businessman Michael Hallatt came in. While standing at a checkout line wondering how to explain to the border agent that he wasn't hiding cocaine in his chickpeas, he started daydreaming about buying up a whole bunch of Trader Joe's products and setting up his own store in Canada to sell them. He could even call it "Pirate Joe's." But for how long could he possibly keep up that ruse? Two weeks? A month?
Pirate Joe's opened in 2012, and word of mouth soon made it a smash. Trader Joe's responded by banning Hallatt from their stores as a way of cutting off his supply of goods. That failed, however, when he roped in family and friends and other resisters to do his grocery runs for him. So the company fired off a cease-and-desist letter, figuring that ought'a shut Hallatt down fast. A judge didn't agree. The court decreed that Pirate Joe's wasn't exactly in the "white market," but they weren't a "black market" joint either, since they weren't stealing or smuggling the products (they paid import taxes at the border). They were smack dab in the middle of the legal/illegal Venn diagram, in a little-explored area known as the "gray market." And that meant Trader Joe's couldn't stop them.
Until, of course, they did. Trader Joe's appealed to the decision, and although the law never charged Hallatt with any wrongdoing, the legal costs eventually piled up to the point where Pirate Joe's had to close its doors in 2017 (after temporarily removing the "P" from the name).
Still, Hallatt got five years of memories and a crapload of fine, fine steak tips out it.
Librarians Create A Fake Patron To "Check Out" Books About To Be Destroyed
Over nine months in 2016, a Florida resident called "Chuck Finley" checked out 2,361 books from the East Lake County Library. No, he didn't have digestive problems. In fact, he didn't even have a digestive system. Finley was a fake patron created by librarians George Dore and Scott Amey to stop the library from going all Fahrenheit 451 on some books.
The librarians were countering a dumbass system that the local government had installed to make sure that the library was performing at peak optimization. See, having books that no one withdraws is inefficient, and all inefficiency must be culled ... even though such books have a habit of being withdrawn in peaks and troughs. Burning books to save money and space becomes pointless when the books come back into vogue and the library has to reorder new copies. So the librarians figured, hey, why not save everyone some time?
Unfortunately, the state didn't agree. The inspector general who disciplined the librarians justified their punishment by pointing out that the making of fake library cards constitutes manufacturing a fake public record. Which is total bullcrap, considering that library cards are only useful for a) jimmying open doors, and b) visiting the library. It was also never made clear why the library needed a system to monitor the collections when that's literally the job of librarians, but our requests for information were never returned by PRBot 2.0.
One Woman Rent-Controlled A Suite In NYC's Fanciest Hotel For Over 30 Years
Renting is God's trick on an innocent species. You subject yourself to more intensive screening than a boatload of immigrants (and pay for the privilege) and fill out forms until your hand falls out, only to find yourself stuck with a landlord whose tactics that last saw use in 1700s Calcutta. If you find a good thing, you have to hang onto it with every fiber of your being.
And this is where we introduce you to Fannie Lowenstein.
During World War II, desperate to stay in business, several high-end hotels in New York City opened their doors to people looking for long-term tenancies. One of these couples was Fannie and her husband Leo. In return for around $500 a month, the couple found themselves living in the Plaza Hotel, ensconced in an opulent three-room suite overlooking Fifth Avenue.
It was a dream tenancy ... that Fannie kept alive for 35 years, thanks to a little thing called "rent control."
Because of the never-ending nature of the lease and the fact that her husband passed the apartment into Fannie's name before his death, the price was frozen at the wartime rate. And she knew it. And abused the hell out of it. Under a series of obscure rules outlining what rent-controlled tenants were entitled to, she made sure that the suite was regularly cleaned and repainted. She also made an enemy of the hotel's staff for, well, being a firebrand old lady who knew she had everyone by the balls.
Speaking of grabbing people by the genitals, she also ran afoul of Donald Trump. Or rather, he ran afoul of her. In 1987, Trump bought the Plaza and dared to ask about the hotel's liabilities. Only one thing came to the minds of his lawyers: Donald Trump. OK, two things: Fannie Lowenstein too. Upon hearing about his new acquisition, Fannie demanded a private face-to-face with Trump to chew him out. (Today, you have to be a head of state or go to a crappy country club and shell out $200,000 for that privilege.) According to Trump's pal Tom Barrack, Fannie ended up with a bigger apartment, new furniture, and a Steinway piano. And that's probably why there wasn't a chapter about her on Art Of The Deal.
But, much like the hotel under Trump's stellar leadership, Fannie's health took a turn for the worse. She had launched lawsuit after lawsuit against the hotel's previous owners for, among other things, defective carpeting and their insidious plot to murder her with toxic paint. In the end, fearing her room, she moved out and took up residency in another nearby hotel paying the full day rate. She finally died in April 1992, never having seen the dossier of compromising material that Trump had probably asked Boris Yeltsin to hack from her CompuServe account.
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