Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Here in America, draining the swamp is hard.
We are, though, wonderful at fixing toilets.
That, at least, is the conclusion I lurch to on hearing the torrid tale of passengers on Flight 412 from JFK to Nice on Tuesday. (Yes, the Nice in France.)
It seems that a passenger broke one of the toilets. Or perhaps more than one passenger broke more than one of the toilets.
It's not entirely clear.
Crucially, instead of flying for another three or so hours to Nice, the captain made the possibly constipating decision to return to the the U.S.
As the Daily Mail reports, Bravo TV's genial host Andy Cohen was on the flight and offered his own perspective on Instagram Stories.
He wasn't happy.
"We were an hour outside of Europe, somebody pooped or put something down the toilet that didn't go, broke the toilets. Guess where we are? Back at JFK," he wrote.
Broke all the toilets? Surely no one can be quite so accident-prone. After all, Delta's Boeing 767's have six toilets.
And could it be that the country currently undergoing its own latrine controversy doesn't have the mechanical wherewithal to fix an airplane loo?
I don't believe it. This is the nation that brought us Clochemerle.
I drift to this disturbing nook of my mind because the Mail claims the reason this plane flew all the way back to America is because it would be easier to fix the toilet -- or toilets -- there.
I pause for flushing sounds to invade your mind and incite guttural noises to emerge from your principle orifice of noise.
Naturally, I asked Delta what on earth had happened here and will update, should I hear word.
Cohen and his best friend, restaurateur Bruce Bozzi, weren't alone in their discomfort.
Have you ever taken a u-turn in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? With @Delta you can experience the joys of a 9 hour tour to nowhere and back. And then you get to wait another day to try again! pic.twitter.com/olQ4xxfphd-- Wes Lowenfeld (@WesLowenfeld) August 15, 2018
It's not as if passengers aren't used to their toilet style being cramped -- and not merely by the minuscule size of the toilets.
Recently, I wrote of a cross-country United flight on which Economy Class passengers meekly lined up to use the lone operable toilet.
The other toilet, a United fight attendant admitted, hadn't been cleaned because the airline hadn't had the time.
Why, then, would this Delta flight turn around so far from home over just one toilet? Unless it was somehow several toilets. Or even all the toilets.
Indeed, my sources are now suggesting that all the toilets endured a simultaneous crisis, and returning was regarded as the best option.
Which makes you wonder how that could have happened, and why French mechanics couldn't have fixed it.
Oh, it couldn't have been something to do with money, could it?
Still, passengers were, apparently, hoping for a quick flushing not too far from Flushing before departing again.
That idea slowly went down the drain.
@Delta Hello Delta, any follow-up on DL412? Now back at JFK 4, and again almost ten hours to wait. Next time I will probably avoid spending almost 2000€ for a « direct » flight (by the way, the outbound leg was also late by 2,5 hours).-- Christophe Michaux (@11feb2000) August 15, 2018
If you'd been on that plane, would you have kicked up a stink?
It seems that those who were flying from Nice back to JFK did.
Arrived to Nice airport to fly to NY with my wife this morning. Without any prior notification, delta canceled our flight. Need to get to NYC tonight delta refused to even assist with rebooking to a different flight-- Ross Bederman (@BedermanRoss) August 15, 2018
Sadly, too many passengers are used to this sort of thing.
All they can do most of the time is get snitty.
Until that is, one of the pilots on the plane decides to tell me his story. Please feel free to read that here.