What?! Man Wants to Settle Custody Fight with Estranged Wife using Samurai Swords
Divorce, as anyone who has been through it or who has observed someone who has been through it, can often be very brutal. An estranged couple, who presumably went up the aisle in love enough with one another to say “I do” to the idea of being married for life will find themselves on the opposite sides of an unarmed war with the house, the kids, and lots of money at hazard. Every tactic, short of mayhem, seems to be permitted.
According to the UK Guardian, David Ostrom of Paola, Kansas wants to elevate things to the level of mayhem and, perhaps, death. He has petitioned the divorce court to allow him to confront his estranged wife on the field of honor and settle matters with katanas, the swords that ancient Japanese samurai carried and used against one another.
Ostrom claims that his former wife Bridgett and her lawyer Matthew Hudson had “destroyed him legally.” He claims that the code duello has never been officially outlawed in the United States or any of the subordinate states or localities. He would like the judge to grant him 12 weeks for time to acquire the kit of a samurai and, presumably, train in its use. Finally, he allows the former Ms. Ostrom to allow her lawyer to fight in her place.
Mr. Hudson, apparently taking this motion seriously, filed a counter-motion. He contends that since a duel with live steel can result in serious injury or death, that factor far outweighs the issues of property or visitation rights. He also suggested that while no law exists that forbids a duel to the death between consenting adults, courts are generally enjoined from ordering them.
The presiding judge, Craig Dreismeier, has decided to punt for the time being. The judge suggests that both motions have so many irregularities in them that they cannot be considered seriously.
On a more serious note, according to USA Today, Hudson has asked the court to suspend Ostrom’s visitation rights and to undergo a psychological evaluation. Ostrom has denied that he has a mental health issue.
Nothing in any media account has revealed why Ostrom wants to diel with his estranged wife or her chosen champion specifically with a katana. Why not rapiers medieval broadswords, or pistols? Perhaps Ostrom is a fan of Akira Kurosawa movies. Perhaps he has watched “Kill Bill” one too many times.
The jokes on social media have gone as expected. A gentleman on Twitter who is a comedian calling himself Roy Wood Jr., Ex Jedi, quipped, “Divorce Court meets Kill Bill. I would watch this show. Ostrom said his ex-wife can choose her attorney as a “champion,” or stand-in fighter. He asked the Court to give him 12 weeks to source or forge katana and wakizashi swords.”
Respondents replied with gifs from shows like “Game of Thrones” images of a very scary real-life samurai and the classic scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” where Indiana Jones shoots the scimitar wielding thug in the marketplace. One suggestion that made a strange kind of sense involved Ostrom and his estranged wife settling their difference by playing the Mortal Combat video game.
One fly in the ointment concerning Ostrom’s trial by combat scheme is that while perhaps duels are not officially forbidden, killing people as a result of a duel is. One can fight with blunted swords. The Society for Creative Anachronism does that sort of thing all the time at Renaissance Festivals, Another alternative would be a game of Laser Tag.
The judge, barring some attack of whimsy, is not likely to grant even a nonviolent version of a duel to Mr. Ostrom. It does not take a mental health expert to realize that the man is not normal and needs help that does not involve allowing him to carve up his estranged wife or her champion like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Finally, Mark Steyn, subbing for Rush Limbaugh on the popular radio talk show, did have an attack of whimsey, He suggested, tongue no doubt in cheek, that katana duels be used in other legal disputes, say impeachment. Perhaps Adam Schiff would be less eager to bring proceedings against President Trump if the result may be losing his head literally rather than just figuratively.