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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 02 october 1998

The Gecko: 02 october 1998

Ataxi driver in Battambang

picked up two Chinese at the airport who said they wanted

to go into town to make a phone call to confirm their

hotel reservations. The driver took them to an interphone

but the guys couldn't make the call. The driver noticed

that the number was for Siem Reap and told them so. They

responded "Yeah, yeah, we know. We're in Siem

Reap!"

After a bit of explanation, the chagrined would-not-be

visitors to Angkor Wat agreed to let the cabbie take them

back to Phnom Penh for the bargain price of $130.

**Ambo Sven Linder had his big farewell party at the

Cam-bodiana last Tuesday. Heaps of CPP VIPs showed up but

none from the opposition. The closest Funcinpec got to

the festivities was Sisowath Sirirath. He was downstairs

in the lobby buying pastries.

** One demonstrator at Democracy Square, before it was

shut down, was asked about the banner which read "We

support Balinsky/Young formula". The obviously

well-informed protester replied: "Oh, that means

America supports us. You know Monica Balinsky, big

problem... she's Young!"

** There must be a conspiracy here. After all MPs took

their oaths at Angkor Wat, King Sihanouk hosted a lunch

at the Grand Hotel where Funcinpec, SRP and CPP

parliamentarians sat at their respective tables with,

according to one source, no inter-party chit-chat. One of

the tunes struck up by the pianist for the gala occasion

was "Send in the Clowns".

** An overseas volunteeer aid worker was attending a

seminar on budgeting for schools in Prey Veng. One school

principal was asked what his projected budget for the

coming year was. The reply: $28.

** Former US Congressman Stephen Solarz seems to have

irked his fellow board members at the National Democratic

Institute with his "Miracle on the Mekong"

comment after the election. They recently chucked him off

the board.

It appears Solarz has had second thoughts himself. At a

recent private meeting he is alleged to have said:

"The miracle on the Mekong has turned into a

massacre on the Mekong."

** A reporter from Cambodia observed the recent state

elections in Bavaria, Germany on September 12. He asked

voters leaving one polling station if they believed the

election was free and fair and if there was any voter

intimidation during the electoral campaign. They looked

at him in disbelief as if he came from some other planet,

answered "yes" to the first question and

"no" to the second, and then ambled off to

lunch.

** Sources in Bangkok say the convicted-then-amnestied

1994 coup plotter Sin Sen stays at the same hotel as Gen.

Nhek Bun Chhay during visits to the fair City of Angels.

Its a tiny little establishment south of Sathorn.

** In response to a letter to the editor entitled

"Let's Ban the Stupid" one of our avid readers,

Bruce Roberts from Lakewood, CA sent in this year's

nominees for the Darwin Award "an annual honor given

to the person who did the universal human gene pool the

biggest service by getting killed in the most

extraordinarily stupid way." A few selected 1998

nominees and honorable mentions follow:

** In Detroit, USA, a 41-year-old man got stuck and

drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first

through an 18-inch wide sewer grate to retrieve his keys.

** A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who

"totally zoned when he ran," according to his

wife, accidentally jogged off a 200-foot high cliff on

his daily run.

** Sylvester Briddell, 26, from Delaware, USA, was killed

in February as he won a bet with friends who said he

would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into

his mouth and pull the trigger.

** In February, according to police in Ontario, Canada,

Daniel Kolta, 27, and Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on

collision, thus earning a tie in the game of chicken they

were playing with their snowmobiles.

** In France, Jacques LeFevrier left nothing to chance

when he decided to commit suicide. He stood at the top of

a tall cliff and tied a noose around his neck. He tied

the other end of the rope around a large rock. He drank

some poison and set fire to his clothes. He even tried to

shoot himself at the last moment. He jumped and fired the

pistol. The bullet missed him and cut through the rope.

Free of the threat of hanging, he plunged into the sea.

The sudden dunking extinguished the flames and made him

vomit the poison. He was dragged out of the water by a

fisherman but died in hospital from hypothermia.

** In North Carolina, USA a man died on a beach when an

8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he

sat inside it. Beachgoers said Daniel Jones dug the hole

for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been

sitting in a beach chair at the bottom when it collapsed,

burying him beneath five feet of sand.

** In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in

California, USA as he fell face-first through the ceiling

of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused

when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to

keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as

he hit the floor.

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