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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 03 May 1996

The Gecko: 03 May 1996

Here's a good story. It comes under the category of "Western backpackers

whose mothers shouldn't have let them out of the playpen", escapees which it

seems tiny little Cambodia has a penchant for drawing to its welcoming shores.

A backpacker shows up at a deminer's office and pulls out of his rucksack an A-72,

Chinese-made landmine. The global traveller didn't know this, but the deminers did,

because if it was a B-72 they would have immediately run for cover to the nearest

bunker as the latter go off when tilted more than ten degrees.

The mine was then plunked down on a table and the guy asks if the deminers can defuse

it, and give him a certificate saying it was harmless so he could take it back to

the West.

The mine experts take off the casing and - lo and behold! - there is a detonator,

firing cap and some explosives. They then politely explain that "Sorry"

its not in their mandate to disarm mines and just give them out like candy bars.

They also explain that the mine could have gone off in his rucksack if there was

enough pressure, or in the cabin of an airplane should the tension be "wrong"

blowing a hole in the craft and killing all aboard.

The know-all youngster doesn't seem to get the point, starts arguing and then gets

really ticked off when the deminers tell him he can't leave their offices with the

device. He storms out of the office madder than hell.

Moral of the story? Beware of Western children posing as adults. They're out there

and Cambodia is on the list of neat countries where it's really happening, man!

** A Scotsman who does not go by the name "Mac" has made a major scientific

breakthrough after exhaustive research here in Cambodia that will soon bring him

and his discovery widespread international acclaim. He's found a surefire technique

for avoiding hangovers. After in-depth field testing, he's discovered that the major

cause of the dreaded "morning after" feeling is, none other than, sleep.

Said the wizard: "I always felt good when I went to bed. It's when I woke up

that I had these killer headaches." The trick, he says, is to just stay awake

till sunrise and then cruise on through the next day's duties.

** Rupert Murdoch has made heaps of new enemies as of April 1st when, under pressure

from China, he cut off BBC from the Hong Kong-based Star TV satellite emissions.

One local wag woke up on the 1st, turned on his tube, and upon seeing a gaggle of

Indian ranis jiggling and crooning thought: "Oh my God, there's been a coup

in London."

Seriously though, what's the price for cutting off the free flow of intelligent information?

Ask Murdoch, he knows!

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