The Richmond Register

August 13, 2013

The case of the thin-blooded American

What’s the Law

Jack Strauss, J.D.

RICHMOND — Alice was involved in more foreign affairs than the secretary of state.

Consequently, her husband Bill finally tossed in the towel and called it quits. He not only divorced her, he also obtained custody of their two young children.

While she did not mind parting from Bill, Alice missed her children and started a new preceding to regain their custody. In doing so, she pulled out all the stops. She started by rattling off some of the old skeletons in Bill’s closet.

“The man is a hopeless coward,” she told the judge. “During World War II, he intentionally avoided meeting the enemy by going in the opposite direction. Retreat was his favorite word, and the whole army knew it. Now, is this the kind of man who should be raising two children?”

“My valor is irrelevant,” responded Bill. “With bombs bursting in air, I didn’t look to see if the flag was still there. I only looked to see if I was still there, and when I found out I was, I got out fast. Under the circumstances, any thin-blooded American man would have done the same thing, particularly if he was as frightened as I was.”

If you were the judge, would you deprive thin-blooded Bill of his children?

This is how the judge ruled: No. The judge held that, while being “dauntless in war” was an inestimable virtue, a father may not be deprived of his children because he may have been a coward in war.