Is the road ahead to democracy going to be tough? An NGO worker who was in the
countryside surveying the public on attitudes towards the issue came across one local
woman who, when asked how she felt about elections in '98, said: "The UNTAC
elections must have been no good if they have to hold another one in l998."
** Anybody remember the multi-talented Robin Davies? He has a new business
card which lists his skills as: "Revolutions started, Negotiations negotiated,
Governments suborned, Uprising quelled, Tigers tamed, Bars Emptied, Orgies organized
and Bras fitted."
** Who says the mail system doens't work properly? One happy camper received
a package this past March that was only sent on February 16 - 1995.
** Keep your ears open. There are heaps of coup rumors going around town,
but it's not Phnom Penh. They're coming from Bangkok. One long-term resident of the
City of Angels says "I can feel it in my bones".
** If you are having dental problems or have had a tooth fall out lately,
keep this in mind. According to a health worker, some Vietnamese prostitutes in town
believe that oral sex makes your teeth fall out. But it wasn't actually clear whose
they were referring to: theirs or yours!
** Jim Kennelly had a rough go of it when he came home to find a burgler inside
his house. He couldn't find his key quickly enough so he ended up punching and head-butting
his way into his own apartment.
The thief had a whole bunch of his plates and crockery lined up and ready to put
in some sacks of loot, but with Jim busting in through the front door, the guy fled
out of a small hole he'd cut in the window. Quick-thinking Jim picked up the plates
and proceeded to smash about ten in an effort cut the guy off at the pass. The thief
got away; Jim is nursing a bruised fist, elbow and eating straight from the pot.
** Bert Hoak has rightly pointed out that there was an error in this column
some time back concerning the delivery of his and several other children. It wasn't
Bert who suggested that someone bring a flashlight to the hospital. It was his mother-in-law
who had the foresight to realize what was needed. And, moreover, as far as the other
deliveries, Bert did hold the flashlight, but when the power came back on he was
politely told to get his Bert out of the delivery room.
** Nice touch from an army chief who took the time to write a thank you/apology
to a local woman who - while extremely tired and emotional late one night - left
her wallet on the back of a moto-dope... "or maybe I just dropped it, I dunno."
The wallet was discovered by a soldier who, the following day, was ordered up to
Battambang for three weeks.
"My assistant just told me about this information, that [the soldier] picked
up your wallet near the Tonle Bassac riverside," the chief wrote later, "now
he's returned to Phnom Penh and he told me, so I have brought this wallet to your
"Excuse me please that he spent all the moneys in the wallet," the chief
ended his letter. Sure enough, the returned wallet was full of business cards, a
couple of cheques, IDs - but alas, no cash.
The Ballad of Barnaby Jones
- Twas a dripping hot night, the FCC was mobbed,
Ears keen to hear Barnaby,
On how NOT to get robbed.
The CCC security don was expansive,
Drinks under his belt,
The crowd leaned closer,
Expecting deep secrets be dealt.
"Keep little cash in your pockets and put greenbacks in
Said the pundit of prudence,
As he jiggled his rocks.
"Be home by eleven," pined the recorder of rough tales,
Who says he's English but tis known roots for Wales.
The crowd left nodding: "Ooh, he's so right!"
Jones lingered a bit, then 'twas - "Yikes" - midnight.
He crept down the stairs,
And took a cyclo to boot,
Thinking: "I'll go home low-profile, no one will shoot."
The ride was a breeze till he neared his abode,
When a bad guy on a moto stopped him and said in English: "Money!"
The cool boffin Barnaby remembered the first of all rules,
He threw up his hands,
And disgorged his pockets of jewels.
Turning over 150 in bucks, a small chunk of riel,
And also his helmet (but to this the cad said, no deal),
Jones thought the dirty deed was done,
That the thief's needs were won.
And the smug bandit left, with the loot in his lap,
But then he came back and, of all things, gave Jones a
Barnaby trundled on home, musing once and then twice,
"Perhaps I should heed my own damned advice!"