The 90s indie band REM famously sang the miserable dirge, Everybody Hurts, but is it really true? Certainly not for lepers.
Leprosy is a disease which leads to nerve damage. There is a common misconception that it leads directly to the loss of limbs, but that is an unfortunate side effect of sufferers not knowing when their extremities are in danger.
Now the British Army is hiring lepers to create a unit of super-soldiers who feel no pain, in a plan that has been branded as "reckless", "cruel", and "a spanking good idea" - that last one by Boris Johnson himself.
Thirty lepers have signed up to the experimental division and have undergone training and testing on Salisbury Plain. One man, known only as Geoff, 35, was enjoying the experience. "I was shot three times in the leg. Didn't feel a bloody thing. It was great. Of course, I can't walk now, but that's all right because I'll get shore leave. Wahey! There's always lots of quim for a horny one-legged squaddie leper."
Others are not so sure of the efficacy of the strategy. Military expert Hugh Waugh Wattsit-Goodfore said, "This is typical of an army forced to deal with cost-cutting and a government attempting to grab attention with a cheap stunt to cheer up the jingoistic masses. It's got Boris's clumsy paw-prints all over it, just like a loose posh woman."