Proving that some urban myths can have at least a grain of truth in them, Thomas Pendlebury, the governor of Dartmoor prison, reports that there were no less than five attempts last year to smuggle files into the prison inside fruit cakes. However, these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Amongst some of the other items discovered within confiscated confectionery were an assortment of power tools, fourteen duplicate keys, half a dozen rope ladders and a chainsaw.
Previous finds have included a moped wedged between the layers of a Victoria sponge, and a tunneling machine that was smuggled into the prison grounds cunningly disguised as a blancmange. However, these incidents would have to go a long way to beat the now notorious attempt in 1983 to smuggle the whole of D wing out of the prison in a raspberry cheesecake. The plot very nearly succeeded, and was only foiled at the last moment when an eagle-eyed young warder noticed that the cheesecake was past its sell-by date.
This plot may have been the inspiration for the disasterous 'Operation DeathCake', undertaken by the SAS during the Gulf War. The plan was for a squad of highly trained commandos to smuggle themselves into Saddam Hussein's secret war bunker disguised as a Black Forest gateau, assasinate the Iraqui leader using explosive walnuts, then escape in a dinghy hidden in an apricot and rubarb flan. The scheme went tragically awry when the gateau was intercepted by a sweet-toothed member of Saddam's elite Republican Guard, who found its dark, rich chocolate and creamy filling irresistable. Three of the squad were eaten instantly, and one man only escaped after being badly nibbled. To this day, Lieutenant Hugo Lucas still cannot look a chocolate mousse in the face.
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