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A line from British comedy series "'Allo 'Allo," and the whole purpose of the episode in which it appears, "The Gateau from the Chateau," (series 2 episode 7 if you must know) is to get to this line.

Basically, it goes something like this. René, working for both the Résistance and pretending to collaborate with the Germans in occupied France, is informed that the fearsome General Von Klinkerhoffen is taking over command of the occupied forces in his area. Klinferhoffen is a ruthless man and takes no nonsense from anyone, least of all his subordinates. Needless to say, the Résistance cannot allow him to take over or they're sunk, so a plan is formed to assassinate him.

Meanwhile, the Colonel who is the town commandant has been up to quite a lot of naughtinesses, such as stealing priceless paintings, having them forged, and sending the copies onto der Fuehrer, while keeping the originals to sell after the war and retire on, as well as general incompetence. Needless to say, he wouldn't want his superior to find out about all this or he might be sent to the Russian Front. So he and his adjutant, Captain Geering, a delightfully animated and cartoonish German, devise a plan to assassinate him also.

Well, the opportunity presents itself at Rene's cafe when the General, being a distant relative of Kaiser Wilhelm, throws a huge drunken party in his honour and orders René to do the catering and send it to his commandeered chateau. The centrepiece of this is a Black Forest gateau, as is tradition, so the Résistance procures some dynamite and puts a bomb into the cake. The fuse is a distinctive candle with a protuberance on it shaped like, well, a handle. Meanwhile, the Colonel and the Captain procure a poison to put into the General's wine at some point.

It all goes wrong of course, the chateau is "bummed by the RAF" (it makes sense in context) and the entire party decamps to René's café, where all this comes to light and the gateau from the chateau, with its candle with the handle, is brought in, and the Captain gives René the poison pill to hide in his till which contains a drug to put in the General's wine jug. When René realises that the bomb is about to go off in his café he really does not want them to light the candles and set it off. However he does not want to poison the General in his café or everyone will think his cooking did it. Anyhow. After much flapping, the Captain delivers this:

"You do not need to kill the General, we have already arranged to kill the General... Do you not see? That if we kill him with the pill from the till by making with it the drug in the jug, you need not light the candle with the handle on the Gateau from the Chateau!"

It also gets worse because Herr Flick of the Gestapo has also arranged to assassinate the General by using a poison dart concealed in a cigarette holder.

Needless to say, the General survives but only after the timely intervention of some aspirin and a bucket of sand - "I do this, in honour of when the Kaiser was buried!"

The programme went on for another 7 series after this, and it only got more and more complicated and absurd.


(IRON NODER 2011, 19/30)

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