News from the Rashomon Weekly
Hash Cloud over Amsterdam
Tuesday 20 April.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of the busiest airports in the world, has suffered a major blow after what is considered a bizarre meteorological happening.
All planes have been grounded, with no incoming flights and tourists stuck in the Dutch capital from what is known as a Hash Cloud that appeared over the sky in recent days.
This particular hash cloud, a strain known as Icelandic Volcano, that blurs the pilots’ vision, has greatly impacted Amsterdam tourism and trade.
One young British tourist due to fly out today said he wasn’t put out by the plane delay at all and was quite enjoying the extra time in Amsterdam. Meanwhile an American expat says he vaguely remembers the great hash cloud of ’68 where the hardest hit regions were Amsterdam and British Columbia, Canada.
“The cloud was, like, created in Mexico,” said the man. “It blew across the world on warm trade winds known as the Pineapple Express. I missed my flights because the haze lasted for months. I have had a paranoia about flying, among other things, ever since… but it’s all copasetic, Dude.”
However, scientists say today’s cloud is much stronger and far more dangerous than ’68’s strain, especially to those flying planes or operating any type of heavy machinery, for that matter.
Agreeing with the scientists, French pilots held a press conference yesterday, warning against the hazards of getting high.
However air quality passed the Dutch airline company KLM’s safety standards, used to taking off and landing in such conditions and said the French are over reacting. A spokesperson for KLM issued this Press Release statement: “Everyone just needs to take a deep breath, and like, chillax.”
Interestingly the hash cloud is not just impacting the aviation and tourism industries. The residue from the hash cloud leaves an environmental impact too. The thick blanket laying over the land traps carbon and smoke, heating up the land and making the impact of the cloud even stronger – a phenomenon, similar to the Green House Effect, dubbed the Dutch Oven Effect.
Economically speaking, tulip growers suffer due to an inability to export their early blooming flowers and Heineken announced their sales too have dropped.
However, not all industries are bummed out. Local proprietors of Belgian chocolates are seeing a rise in business via the stranded tourists and residents alike. Piet van der Broek of Vlaamse Chocolades said “a, we have extended our trading hours into the evening as that is when the cloud is heaviest.”
Chipperies too are seeing an increase in their conicalled portions. Fritz’s Frites have introduced a new jumbo size called the ‘cone of silence’ – heavy on the mayo.
Meanwhile, local Amsterdam hotels are exploiting the scenario by charging five times their prices for a room as tourists remain stranded, some even bed-ridden, due to the cloud.
Acting Mayor Lodewijk Asscher, in possibly his most important press conference since becoming appointed, today asked his city’s residents to remain calm.
“Amsterdam is a city built against great odds,” said Asscher. “We’ve withstood flood, famine and war. We are a small but strong nation that will come out of this with a fresh perspective and a bank holiday commemorating the event, forever known as 4-20 Day.”
Latest news from Schiphol suggests tomorrow morning will see the first planes take off with a 6am red-eye service.
By Colin Delaney