Alexander de Seversky, U.S. aviator and engineer, was once visiting a fellow flyer in the hospital. The young man had just lost his leg; de Seversky, who had had an artificial leg for some time, tried to cheer him up.
“The loss of a leg is not so great a calamity,” he said. “If you get hit on a wooden leg, it doesnt hurt a bit! Try it!” The patient raised his walking stick and brought it down hard on de Severskys leg.
“You see,” he said cheerfully. “If you hit an ordinary man like that, hed be in bed for five days!” With that he left his friend and limped into the corridor, where he collapsed in excruciating pain. It seems the young man had struck de Seversky on his good leg!