Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 19 December, 1997

The Gecko: 19 December, 1997

The Gecko: 19 December, 1997

Recently returned Pen Sovann seems to have an aversion to hard hitting news stories.

The sign outside his office reads: "Please leave your explosive article with

the guard. Thanks."

** Do political party signs really mean anything? Inquiring minds want to

know. On Route 5 between the Japanese Bridge and Kampong Chhnang city several eager

beavers decided to tally up all the various political party signs. Here's the results:

KNP - 1; Khmer Citizens Party - 4; Funcinpec - 4 (1 sign with its logo painted over);

BLDP - 10; Free Republican Party - 1; CPP - 103.

** The only things missing were a squadron of interminably effervescent cheerleaders

and a full-dress marching band. Otherwise, the World Record Breaking Longest Clothes

Line in the Known Universe attempt on Dec 15 at 3:24pm was an extravaganza the likes

of which the global community may never see again. That is, at least not until the

VISO laundry soap company finds another country where it thinks it can establish

a significant market share. In Cambodia they're looking at carving a chunk out of

the $12 million spent yearly on soap.

As the last t-shirts were hung on the 6,000 meter-plus clothes line, the excitement

in the air was as thick as the space between the electron and nucleus of a hydrogen

atom.

"Cambodia is firmly in the record books," said Pollyanna Nethersole de

Ramirez (not a fake name) of Unilever Singapore, a partner in the event.

One of the official observers, Paul Freer of the British Embassy, in a true test

of his diplomatic skills, and exuding a gush of enthusiasm similar to that of the

BBC announcement that Germany had invaded Poland in Sept, 1939, took the microphone

and confirmed to the crowd that the clothes line was 6,152 meters, the laundry was

clean and that the t-shirts were all touching each other.

One has to give Unilever's Monty Pythonesque marketing wizards some credit. They've

discovered the secret of turning soap suds into news copy. But hey! What about a

few free trial packets of VISO for the non-believers? Especially since it seems that

the only people in town whose clothes aren't clean already are those who can't afford

to buy any soap at all.

** Contrary to the rumor mill, the PPPost is not going under. Although, cost-cutting

is only prudent in these difficult economic times. Accordingly, the Post is not sending

out Christmas cards this year but sincerely wishes all its friends and foes alike,

its loyal readers around the globe and throughout the Kingdom, its advertisers, critics,

colleagues, letter writers and anyone else a Merry Christmas and Happiest New Year.

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