The newly-elected President of the United States strode confidently to the podium, his patented cryptic half-smile revealing little of what he was feeling or thinking. Adjusting the microphone, he slowly surveyed the eager journalists with a patience that his predecessor never showed. And then he spoke his first public words as President, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am ready to take your questions.”
He pointed to a young woman from CNN in the third row who stood and asked, “President Bloomberg, can you please address the rumors about your business dealings in the 1960’s in rural Alaska? There are suggestions of some very sharp business practices by some of your employees, sir.”
The President responded in a measured and quiet tone, “I assume you are referring to the network of appliance salesmen I had working in Alaska during that period. The Department of Justice has thoroughly investigated those business practices and has determined that everything was completely above board. Every refrigerator my salesmen sold to the Eskimo population during that period was of the highest quality.” He pointed to an MSNBC reporter standing in the back of the room and announced, “Next question.”
“Sir, there are strong suggestions that you duped some very wealthy Middle Easterners out of a lot of money in the early ‘80’s. Do you care to address these allegations at this time?” the questioner asked.
“Of course, I have nothing to hide. You are referring to the forty shiploads of sand from my properties in Florida sold to the Kuwaitis during the Winter of 1981. These transactions were entirely legal. The buyers, the Kuwaitis, did not have sand of high quality and they contacted me to fill their needs. I was really providing a valuable service even though it just appears that I was ‘selling sand to the Arabs’.” And as many hands shot up, the President continued, “And before you ask, I provided a similar service to some English clients in Newcastle in the late 1980’s. Again, completely legal. Merely twenty shiploads of high quality coal they couldn’t source locally.”
A Fox News reporter yelled out a question, “President Bloomberg, what about the bridge deals? Aren’t you still under investigation for those, sir?”
The President adjusted his silk tie and leaned closer to the microphone. “As you may not know, I came into possession of the Brooklyn Bridge legally in the late 1950’s. You can check the ownership records. Regardless, you are undoubtedly referring to my multiple sales of that property over the years to a series of different buyers. All completely legal, I assure you. And the fact that I reacquired the Bridge after each sale was merely a feature of New York repossession law. And no, I am not currently under investigation for any of those transactions. Next question!”
“Sir, Jenny Macy from the Seminole Times. Can you comment on your many land deals in central Florida that have come under scrutiny?”
The President calmly responded, “Climate change has emerged as a critical issue for my Administration. And I know only too well the insidious impact of seawater intrusion into Florida real estate. Many real estate transactions I have been involved in have subsequently turned into ‘swampland’ due to Global Warming, I’m afraid. A tragic outcome for the buyers, but certainly nothing I did was out of the ordinary. Okay, one last question, and then I have to get back to work for the American people and sell them on my policies.”
“Sir,” came a voice from the back of the room, “can you comment on the millions you’ve made recently in deals with Micronesions?”
“Again, this issue is tied to Global Warming,” the President responded. “Many Pacific Islanders are faced with rising sea levels that have caused great suffering and even deaths by drowning. The fact that one of my companies sold shiploads of bottled water recently to one of those tiny countries is merely a logical result of the ongoing crisis.”
“But, sir, doesn’t ‘selling water to drowning men’ smack of a scam,” came a shouted-out question.
“I don’t think I’ll dignify that question with an answer. But thank you all for coming today, anyway. You will find autographed photos of me for sale as you leave the Press Room,” the President declared. “This is a one-time offer and they're cheap at twice the price.”