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no one withdraws is inefficient, and all inefficiency must be culled … even though such books have a habit of being withdrawn in peaks and troughs.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?
DonrussGetting to pay homage to one of the greatest mustaches in the history of the game was just a bonus.
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.
20th Century Fox, HBO, Metro-Goldwyn-MayerYou may recognize it from every movie and TV show ever set in New York.
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.
You can follow Adam on Twitter. Don’t forget to like his new Facebook page!
If you really feel like training your dog to sit in a bag, here’s one that’ll fit most dogs. We think.
Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.
For more sketchy lifehacks, check out 7 Loopholes That Are Basically Glitches In Everyday Life and 9 Insane Loopholes You Won’t Believe Are Legal.
It’s not a crime to follow us on Facebook.