101 Uses for a Dead Spouse

By Piper Bayard

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?

  1. Clean the grill. You know we have to have hotdogs if your family is coming.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hide the liquor, because if I see Uncle Fred drunk at one more family gathering, I’m likely to kill him myself.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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41 comments on “101 Uses for a Dead Spouse

  1. *facepalm* I thought religious fundamentalists didn’t believe in zombies? Wasn’t Jesus/Allah/whomever supposed to revive them? If I did have a zombie spouse, I’d ask him to make me a sammich and try not to drool on it.

  2. Well, I had no idea about this ruling, but I’m not surprised. Actually the Jews have something kind of similar: the man cannot have marital relations with the spouse during the pre-Zombie, or so-called life, phase. Much more respectful of women …

    • Piper Bayard says:

      LOL. No offense, Perry, but I’m suddenly glad no one places Jewish expectations on me. I’m rather fond of marital relations in the life phase of things. :) Good to see you!

  3. NC Pendergast says:

    WTH? Some people…

    Anyways, assuming I had a spouse and assuming they would be a zombie, I’d take them to the next Resident Evil convention. Saves on make-up and stuff. :P

    Apart from that, interesting blog. :)

  4. donnagalanti says:

    Hysterical! I would be more inclined to find my EX-husband’s fresh dead body and use him for such purposes. LOL. But if it were my hubby, I would have him clean the bathrooms, clean out the litter box, get my oil changed and fill up my gas tank, and mow the lawn – all at once! He’s not good at multi tasking so perhaps in death he could figure it all out!

  5. Piper Bayard says:

    I know. That was my first response, as well.

  6. tomwisk says:

    Don’t have a spouse. Item five on your Honey Do list could be combined into one task. Run over the dog poo with the mower. It fertilizes the lawn and you can create designated sun tanning areas. I know it sounds a bit gross but it depends on how much entertainment value your guests have. I learned the trick from a neighbor who had two German Shepherds.

    • Susan Spann says:

      I ran over cat poo with the mower Saturday. Didn’t realize it was there. After the fact, however, I decided not to do anything about it because there’s no way I was going to the extra trouble of cleaning that up…

      • tomwisk says:

        If I could only train the two cats to go outside my life would improve a lot. Anyway, experience with aged cat poo has taught me that it becomes a deadly missile seconds after it’s produced.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      LMAO. I am not passing on this tip to my hubby. :)

  7. Susan Spann says:

    Piper …

    On second thought, I’m with Tammy. There are no words.

    There is, however, a wildly ironic coincidence. The fact that you and I both posted blog entries featuring zombies today – when neither of us has a tendency to go there – must mean something is in the air.

    Here’s hoping it’s not an incoming wave of shamblers (no doubt followed by individuals wishing to take full advantage of the victims while they remain in a pre-zombie state…).

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I’m with you for hoping we aren’t having some sort of group premonition here. And I’ll admit, this left me pretty speechless, as well, but it was just too good to let pass without some comment. :)

    • Tammy Salyer says:

      Darn, I missed the boat on zombie day. Oh well. Maybe I’ll catch up on vampire day, or did that already happen? (that’s okay, Twilight killed my vampire love, anyway).

  8. Just one word….. “eeeewwwwww!!!!”

  9. What? The hilarity of some people never ends. In your case, yes hilarity, in the dumb a$$ Zamzami’s case I really mean stupidity. Seriously.

    If I had an extra six hours to get out of my husband before he’s declared officially off limits? He’d cleaning the backyard, washing my car, fixing the shelf in the garage, making calzones (he’s the only one with the magic touch with these. I always burn them), and he’d be showing me how to do all the little things on the computer that I totally rely on him to do. Okay, maybe that last one he’d be showing our son who actually understands computer speak more than I do.

  10. gojulesgo says:

    Piper, you bring us the most incredible news stories. I want to thank you, but that seems like an inappropriate sentiment right now.

    Then again, this might be the only way to get my husband to do the weeding…

  11. EllieAnn says:

    So I say my dead spouse will go on a thieving rampage and collect some money to use for his burial. He probably won’t even need to use a gun, because really…who wouldn’t give over their cash if a zombie was holding you up?
    (by the way, I”m not in favor of thieving rampages, but this is fantasy, right?)

  12. I can’t get past the six hour thing. My brain has frozen in disgust.

  13. Julie Glover says:

    I live in the Houston area. The most practical use of a “prezombie condition” spouse here is as a passenger in the car so you can stil get into that dang high-occupancy vehicle lane and beat the traffic jam. However, my own to-do list for the hubs would be to gather all of those things I tried so desperately to have him get rid of in his living days and package them up to join him in the coffin (like that super-ugly sweater).

    • Piper Bayard says:

      LMAO. Now that’s a practical use for an inert spouse, for sure. There was a guy here in Denver who dressed up a mannequin to get into the HOV lane. Eventually, they caught him, but it made for a good laugh and no doubt spawned similar ideas. . . . Good luck getting shed of that sweater. I know the one (more or less) and you have my sympathies. :)

  14. Andrew says:

    …this raises so many questions. How many faiths have such a rule? How did this become a thing? And dear God WHY?

    …sorry.

    Anywho. I don’t have a spouse…but if I did and if she tripped off the mortal coil I’d use her as a decoration when that freaking Polar Express comes in front of my house in December. See, for a few weeks in December I’m an (crabby and often unshaven) elf. Not just me but the whole neighborhood. We’re supposed to decorate and all that, which is fine for less curmudgeonly sorts.I don’t because I’m lazy and don’t like to waste electricity. But what really rubs me raw is that they have the nerve to tell use we can’t park on our own street, and that as of this past year they put up a bunch of spotlights that light my yard up like noonday and shine in all my windows to boot.

    I’ve considered buring a Santa in effigy in protest, or at least hanging one by the neck from my tree (a fake Santa of course!) but a zombiefied spouse in an elf outfit would be more traumatic =P

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Wow! That is one intense HOA you’ve got there. I LOVE your idea of using your pre-zombie condition spouse as a Christmas decoration. And I’m afraid the temptation to mess with these people with some gruesome Santa action would be overwhelming. My daughter once made a suicidal snowman in our yard when we had over a foot on the ground for six weeks or so. She put a cardboard knife at its throat and red food coloring across its neck with a sign that said, “Good-bye, cruel winter.” Perhaps that could give you some ideas for your buried Santa’s friends. Another fun one is the Redneck Rudolph. It’s a red-nosed reindeer that hangs upside down in a tree and “bleeds out” onto the ground with red lights…. Okay. I’ll stop. But as you can tell, I’m really getting into the idea of messing with your up-tight neighborhood. :)

  15. I… don’t know what to say. My mind boggles at so many points:
    1) Why *six* hours? Considering rigor mortis starts to set in at 3 hours, he can’t be simply trying to spare the husband the inconvenience of rearranging increasingly uncooperative limbs. Maybe the corpse starts to cool uncomfortably by hour six…?
    2) And if that’s the case, I don’t want to know how he knows six hours is the cutoff point…
    3) …and seriously, what guy in his right mind sees a dead woman and thinks, “I gotta get me some of that”?
    4) And even granting all of the foregoing (with shudders of revulsion), exactly how much influence do you want your religious leader to have in your bedroom? Does he get to specify other times/conditions/positions? Does he get to watch? Participate? And…
    5) Eeeeuwwww!!!

    I can’t think of any uses for a pre-zombified spouse. If the poor guy is that desperate to escape me , it seems kindest to just let him rest.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Seriously. If the only thing a guy is thinking when his wife dies is, “Nookie, nookie,” that was one incredibly poor excuse for a marriage. Good to see you, Diane. :)

  16. Why let such a small thing as death separate the two, ahem, lovers?

  17. I laughed when I read the title and just kept on laughing all the way through. And dam*it, my husband needs to paint the living room too. But the handle in the kids’ bathtub is already broken, so we might just have the babbling brook effect already er . . . happening . . .um, gotta go check on the kids lol.

  18. Precisely HOW would the pre-Zombie husband participate? Unless, of course, rigor mortis extended to … ah … EW. Never mind.

  19. I suppose we should be glad that they didn’t just enforce a “you have to die too” clause. Or should that be enfarce?

    We just finished the washing up (together and very much alive), so there’s not much left to do at the moment.

    Cheers!

  20. [...] (If you look at what’s happening in Egypt right now, you could argue that this prophecy has proved correct. See here : http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/101-uses-for-a-dead-spouse/) [...]

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