I had a number of friends with disrupted travel plans over the last few days, as Northern Europe’s airports tried to get to grips with the cold and snow, highly unusual in these parts in December and not the kind of weather anyone could ever expect, let alone prepare for. It's ruined a tasting event I had planned, so I looked into the matter more deeply.
Brussels Airport at one point announced that it had run out of de-icer, so planes were grounded. I found that somewhat odd and called the airport hotline to inquire what had happened. I was passed from one person to another, but to Brussels Airport’s credit, their staff did have some pretty solid justifications for the shortage, including:
“We were waiting to buy de-icer in the after-Christmas sales.”
“With all this talk of ‘global warming’, we figured it wasn’t going to be necessary this year.”
“I wrote down ‘buy de-icer’ on a yellow sticky note and put it on my computer screen, but it must have fallen off. Or maybe the cleaning staff removed it.”
“We were all sure there was another season between autumn and winter, so no one was rushing out to buy it.”
“I ordered de-icer in French, and the Flemish-speaking guy pretended not to hear me.”
“We haven’t had cold weather for so long -- like ten months or something -- so we just sort of forgot about it.”
“Too few budget airline passengers paid the ‘de-icer supplement’ when purchasing their tickets online.”
“We were waiting for the new Belgian government to formally approve the order for more de-icer.”
“Wait, I thought you bought de-icer.”
“We’d cleaned out the de-icer holding tanks to fill them with Leffe for the big staff barbeque in July.”
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