MADRID - About a half million Spaniards were so amused when their king told Venezuela's president to "shut up" they want to hear the words every time their phone rings.
They have downloaded a mobile phone ringtone featuring the phrase "Porque no te callas?" or "Why don't you shut up?" leading Madrid daily El Pais reported on its website yesterday.
That's what King Juan Carlos told Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez during a heated confrontation at a summit in Chile last week.
The ringtone is thought to have generated around $2.2 million for the companies selling it, El Pais said.
T-shirts and mugs featuring the words are also becoming a profitable business, and videos of the confrontation have been a hit on the YouTube website.
Chávez's opponents in Venezuela are no less obsessed. Pirated copies of the quote have been popping up in the South American country. T-shirts with the slogan in Spanish have the "NO" in uppercase - a call for voting against constitutional changes that would significantly expand Chávez's power.
"The king said what Venezuelans have wanted to say to Chávez's face for a long time," said Jenny Romero, 21, a student sporting one of the T-shirts in Caracas.
The spat last week began when Chávez repeatedly called former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar a "fascist."
Spain's current prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, asked Chávez to be more diplomatic and show respect for other leaders. As Chávez repeatedly tried to interrupt, King Juan Carlos leaned forward and said: "Why don't you shut up?"