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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 25, June, 1999

The Gecko: 25, June, 1999

AT the trial for Nuon Paet one municipal court official was asked "Are

you happy the war with the Khmer Rouge is over?"

The reply came brusquely: "No, no! Not at all. Before the Khmer Rouge were in

the remote forest areas. Now they are all around us; we live among the tigers."

** A number of revelers were enjoying the music and cocktails at a five-star

hotel in town when "a monster rat" scurried past their table. The waiter

was alerted who responded: "No problem, no problem. The floor is not sealed

so they come up the stairs from the basement. But we've poured rat poison around

the bar."

The guests, a bit concerned, approached the Night Manager who replied "Sorry,

sorry, I'm not on duty now."

Deciding to get into the flow of the moment, another round was ordered and the band

was asked to have a go at the song "Ben" by Michael Jackson.

"And could you dedicate it to Ratus Norweigis?"

No problem. The customers were even further delighted when they received a $5 "rat

sighting" deduction from their $50 bill.

** Anyone who doubts that some kind of aircraft exploded and crashed over

Trapaing Prasat district in Oddar Meanchey province on May 10, including less-than-convinced

Thai officials, need only talk with the Medecins Sans Frontieres doctors based in

Anlong Veng.

They are happy to display huge chunks of twisted metal turned over to them by villagers

who heard an explosion, looked up to see a ball of smoke and then watched heaps of

stuff fall from the sky.

And the pieces of camo-green scrap look distinctly non-martian.

** Health workers in Rattanakiri trying to deal with the cholera epidemic

were a bit puzzled in early June. It seems the provincial health director decided

to go on vacation. Fair enough. Maybe he needed a break from overwork. But why take

the only ambulance in the whole province for a holiday get-a-way?

** Speaking of epidemics in Rattanakiri, journos are debating if that was

really the case. One scribe postulated that he'd heard it was just a coincidental

confluence of multiple cases of diptheria, thyphoid and cholera.

Said another: "But Fontaine was up there. He would have checked it out."

Only to be reminded by a third: "Yeah, right, that's why he came back with malaria

and hookworms."

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