New York - Former mayor Michael Bloomberg personally demonstrated the safety of flying commercial jets to Tel Aviv recently, with a well executed publicity stunt in which he down played the threat of terrorist rockets that have been raining down on the Israeli capital. But the effort lost much of its impact when it was discovered that Bloomberg had an emergency parachute in his carry-on luggage.
"I thought it was my personal pillow," Bloomberg protested. But when airport security also found a personal oxygen mask in another of his bags, he relented.
"Okay, you caught me," he said. "It never hurts to take a few extra precautions. And that strip search they just performed was quite invigorating."
Changing the subject, Bloomberg said that this was the first time in years he abandoned his private jet for a commercial flight. "It was nice to have people to interact with," he said. "I even visited the cockpit. They were going to let me pilot the plane, but my feet didn't reach the pedals."
The diminutive politician, who will always be remembered for his attempt to criminalize the possession of soda water, apparently fails to see the danger in mixing terrorist controlled surface-to-air missiles with commercial air traffic.
"Missiles come and go," a Bloomberg spokesman said. "Peanuts come and go. Do you know that more people die annually from peanut allergies than they do from missile attacks?"
The flight to Tel Aviv proved the point. "The Mayor made sure he ate all his in-flight peanuts so that no one would get hurt. He was very impressed by the little cans of soda that they served to wash the peanuts down."
An armored transport whisked Bloomberg and his entourage to his private jet, waiting at the other end of Ben-Gurion International. It was boarded immediately for the flight back to New York. "We've made our point," the spokesman said. "Now we're getting the hell out of here."