Retired King Norodom Sihanouk may be sick, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humor.
In a letter posted on his Web site and dated Monday, the retired King reveled in extracts of Eric Fottorino’s book “200 Hundred Years of Anglo-Saxon Humor” published in the French newspaper Le Monde on May 28.
Among the retired King’s favorite one-liners was one from legendary US stand-up comedian Henny Youngman: “I read somewhere that smoking can cause cancer, since then I’ve completely stopped reading.”
The retired King has been in Beijing receiving medical treatment and chemotherapy for cancer since mid-May.
Vice and defiance seemed to be common themes linking the retired King’s favorite jokes.
Embattled former soccer star and legendary boozer George Best also gave the monarch a laugh. “I’ve stopped drinking, but only when I’m sleeping,” the recently arrested Best is quoted as saying.
Another quip about drinking by British humorist Jerome K Jerome caught the retired King’s eye: “It’s because we’re always drinking to other people’s health that we end up ruining ours.”
In a separate Web posting, the retired King said that King Norodom Sihamoni would soon escort both he and Queen Norodom Monineath back from Beijing.
Royal Palace officials said that King Sihamoni would fly to Beijing today or Friday. In a reply dated Sunday and posted on the retired King’s Web site, King Sihamoni wrote: “I am so happy to know that You will soon return to your people.”
The retired King also asked King Sihamoni to give his “warmest regards” to CPP and Senate President Chea Sim.
In a faxed reply, King Sihamoni said Chea Sim was “thrilled” to hear of the retired King’s return.