Haven't done one of this type of entry for a while, like those first Quaire Fellow posts that were simple musings.
So Steve from the pub regaled this tale. I was dubious but thought I'd pass it on while I've got the new post window on this thing opened.
He had a pal who was involved in the army around the time of a first Gulf conflict (1991 or so) as a tank mechanic. Or something like that.
Anyway. The whole company was going out there and told to respect the local no booze rule. All fine, of course but this chap sensed a harebrained money making scheme.
He knew that one particular tank's hydraulic brake system held about 300 litres of fluid (I raised an eyebrow at this detail) and proceeded over the course of a few late nights to clean it out and fill the air tight tubes with gin.
The army shipped the tank over (along with loads of others - the perfect camouflage) under his supervision into some base position quite out of harms way, but with a good number of potential customers.
Apparently he was being watched and was approached a number of times by several military police type figures inspecting his unusual nocturnal activities before the trip over. They found nothing amiss - amazing considering the stink of that volume of gin sealed away right under their noses. I suggested this might have come to light had the tank driver lit up a fag and the whole lot had gone up. But no, the tank wasn't used and wasn't expected to be until the booze had gone.
He got away with it for a few days, until, astoundingly, his massive order from the catering corp turned up: A lorry of lemons, limes and gallons of tonic water. He got bollocked. Almost too fantastic not to be true.