In zombie lore, as I understand it, a person dies when bitten by a zombie, and then comes back as one of the undead. For the purposes of this article, I’m going to refer to that interval of death between “life” and “undead” as the “Pre-Zombie Condition.” As you will soon see, delicacy demands that I use some sort of metaphor as I present this next tidbit to you.
Last year, a Moroccan cleric by the name of Zamzami Abdul Bari issued a fatwa declaring that marriage continues even after death, and that, therefore, a man can continue marital relations with his wife for up to six hours into her “Pre-Zombie Condition.” To be fair, he said that women could also partake of this. . . . joy. *cough, cough*
Setting aside such vomit-inducing questions as ‘How can this possibly be an issue?’ and ‘Exactly what research did Zamzami do to arrive at the magical six-hour figure?’ it occurs to me to wonder, ‘Why stop there?’
Let’s face it. One of the many inconvenient facts about death is that whether it occurs instantly or over a tortuous period of time, chances are you haven’t had time to clean your house to a level of comfort for yourself or for all of the descending relatives and kind souls who come bearing briskets and casseroles. In light of that, I can certainly think of more useful things for a husband or wife to do during that six hours than engage in unilateral marital relations.
In fact, I made up this Honey Do List for my husband, just in case he meets his reward before I do. I mean, why waste a good Pre-Zombie Condition, right?
- Clean the grill. You know we have to have hotdogs if your family is coming.
- Move those boxes of tools back out into the garage so we have more room for chairs. You know my family never stands up long enough to burn a calorie.
- Change the lightbulb over the porch so no one breaks a leg and sues us. Cousin Kenneth’s only livelihood is bringing litigation, after all.
- Hide the liquor, because if I see Uncle Fred drunk at one more family gathering, I’m likely to kill him myself.
- Mow the yard. While you’re at it, please pick up the dog poo…. On second thought, leave the dog poo where Uncle Cody’s high-stepper wife will prance through it on her way out.
- Break the handle in the downstairs bathroom so the water never shuts off. That flowing brook sound will be soothing while we’re mourning you, and it’s not as much trouble as maintaining an indoor fountain.
- And please paint the living room. You told me yesterday you’d get that done this month, and Zamzami makes it clear that you can’t get out of your obligations just because you’re dead.
So why is this coming up now? Apparently, an Islamist or two or three in the Egyptian parliament found the idea of Pre-Zombie Condition marital relations appealing. Naturally, Egypt’s National Council for Women strongly opposes this move and is encouraging the fundamentalist parliament to not approve the law. Click here for the story from Al Arabiya News.
To all of the decent, sensible Egyptian people who are frozen in a facepalm right now, wondering how their Arab Spring sacrifices turned into an argument about necrophilia, I feel your pain. We have the Westboro Baptists, after all.
What would you put on your spouse’s Honey Do List? Please keep it clean or keep it in a metaphor.
All the best to all of you for making good use of the time you have.
Piper Bayard—The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse