Guys who are really into swords love those long, sharp, pointy bastards, but lament that there hasn't been a legitimate practical use for one in ages. The steel is practically itching for a duel. While I can't say for certain if 40-year-old David Ostrom from Kansas is a sword guy, he certainly talks like one, and he threatens people like one, too. He's challenged his ex-wife and her divorce lawyer to a trial by combat so he can meet them "on the field of battle where (he) will rend their souls from their corporal bodies." I should note that I did not misspell corporeal there. David did. Possibly because he was typing with a sword.
All of this is the result of a custody dispute between David and his ex-wife, with some tax issues thrown in for flavor. One does not need statistical proof to know that getting your ex's lawyer to act as her champion in a sword fight to the death is one of the least effective ways of keeping your children. But David, putting the cart before the horse, is also requesting 12 weeks of "lead time" so he can have a katana forged for the slaying of his soon-to-be ex-wife's lawyer.
All David's doing is exploiting a legal loophole. He says that "to this day, trial by combat has never been explicitly banned or restricted as a right in these United States". You might remember back in 2015, when a Staten Island lawyer named Richard Luthmann claimed he wanted to settle a dispute with a fellow lawyer in a trial by combat. That prompted a New York judge to begrudgingly declare that trials by combat are still technically legal, since no one bothered to make them explicitly illegal. It's a real "the rules don't say a dog can't play basketball" situation.
While David's wife's lawyer agrees that neither the Iowa or US constitutions prohibit trials by combat with badass katanas on a ridge overlooking the majestic sea at sunset, it just isn't something the courts will recognize as a legal resolution to a custody battle. Though surely there is at least one judge out there with a closet full of mall swords...
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. And now you can listen to the first episode on Youtube!