Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pulling My Mahogany

From Spencer comes the tale of a Wikipedia, which, in turn, tells the tale of Harvey Stanley Hyde Blackburn, who earned every one of his four names by tricking doctors, friends and the entire Australian army by hiding the fact that he only had one leg.


After his left foot was crushed in a railroad accident, Blackburn was fitted with a wooden prosthetic from the knee down. Having already been enlisted at the time of the accident, Blackburn did not tell his superiors that he was now an amputee because he still wanted to serve. He then fooled his doctor with what he later called a "one-in-a-million ruse" — after telling the examiner that he was "shy," he took his pants off only his right leg. After his still-intact leg was given a once-over, Blackburn distracted the doctor with questions long enough that he could present the good leg again. The doctor didn't notice and Blackburn was told he was fit for service. Eventually, the medical staff realized the trick, but Blackburn protested to the point where the doctors agreed he could serve. He did so throughout World War I.

Stories like this amuse, especially when the come with good epilogues. Blackburn applied again for service in World War II, but was rejected. He lived to be 90 years old. His leg now at the Australian War Museum in Canberra.

As it should be.

[ More: Blackburn's Wikipedia page ]

1 comment:

  1. http://www.powells.com/blog/?p=2267#more-2267

    Another interesting faker story.

    ReplyDelete