Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dame De Deportment: Zombie Etiquette

Today, we are lucky enough to have received a transmission from New London, from the world of Lia Habel's Dearly, Departed. The New Londoner's are our future descendants, now living somewhere in South America after World War III and Climate Crisis completely annihilated the world as we know it and the human race fled to the gentler climes of the south. In addition to a calmer climate, people also longed for a quieter and simpler time, so they adapted the ways of the Victorians to reinstate and maintain a sense of decorum for the human race. Unfortunately for the citizens of New London, a new disease has added a new element to their lives that the original Victorians could never imagine: Zombies...so many of the uptight citizens are struggling with how etiquette deals with the undead. When a companion's arm detaches from their body, does one pick it up? or should one apply a good deal of restraint and ignore the dessicated limb? Lucky for them, they have the Dame de Deportment to assist in matters just like these...let's take a look. 
"Dame de Deportment" for March 3rd, 2196
by Mrs. Georgianna Yabusa
The New London Times

Greetings, fair readers. So many of you have been writing to inquire after the "new zombie etiquette" that our servers are quite besieged - one of them actually set fire to the tea tray linens the other day. Please be assured that my dedicated team of Deportment Dearies has been striving day and night to come up with answers to your queries, and that I shall continue to publish only zombie-related questions for the foreseeable future. So, let us begin!
Q: Dear Dame de Deportment. Alas, I still find myself confused by the proposed etiquette concerning self-mourning. Are we obligated to enter into mourning for ourselves, and if so, for how long? And might it be considered proper to wear half-mourning attire for the duration? I'd like to save all-black for when I begin to decay entirely; it does wear so well. - Lavender Would Match My New Complexion
A: Dear Lavender Complexion, This is the debate of our times, at least in some circles - although many of the best people have declined to weigh in, considering the idea beneath notice. Given the uneasy political and social conditions of our tribal territories, and the amount of sheer work yet to be done, it is somewhat tiresome to see so many well-intentioned souls dwelling so obsessively upon it. While no formal rules have yet arisen, I can note (with personal satisfaction) that many people, of all ranks and mortalities, are currently going about their lives unfettered by black crepe despite experiencing great personal tragedy. Frankly, I find the idea of self-mourning utterly repugnant; it has rather the air of the convent about it, as if the deceased person has behaved scandalously by fighting back the arms of the Reaper, and should now be punished for it by shaving her head and donning black robes. And I cannot imagine that any member of the living dead would enjoy being reminded each morning at the breakfast table of his or her condition by the profusion of mourning garments. As I continue to receive questions on this topic, I shall now state definitively that I am against self-mourning, and against obligatory mourning for the deceased still with us. It is entirely too morbid. - DDD
Q: Dear Dame de Deportment, My little sister's thirteenth birthday will soon be upon us, but she was, unfortunately, a victim of the Siege. Should we continue to celebrate her birthday, or will such celebrations only serve as a painful reminder of her pre-death existence? She's still rather shattered, and not doing as well as some of her little reanimated classmates, so we'd appreciate any advice. - Cake is Vegetarian, Right?
A: Dear Brother Cake, Absolutely, you ought to continue to celebrate - for one's death does not negate one's birth. How can that which was never born die? But more importantly, I think your question suggests a certain lack of comfort with your sister's condition, and it is this that you ought to address. Living death certainly alters many things, from the cut of one's gowns (should one, say, now be missing a sizable portion of one's shoulder) to how one plans for the future, but it ought not alter our day-to-day existence, or rob us of the small joys of life. It is then that "the plague," as some refer to the spread of the Lazarus Syndrome, will come to infect our hearts and minds, as well as our bodies. - DDD
Q: Dear Dame de Deportment, I fear there is no delicate way to phrase this. How does one deal with...defilement? I refer, of course, to that inevitable fact of unlife for many of the reanimated - leakage. Alas, despite undergoing all the recommended post-mortem medical treatments, I continue to suffer from this most unfortunate ailment, and I wish to know how to address it with friends. - In a Bad Humor
A: Dear Bad Humor, First of all, from a medical point of view, I think you ought to consider speaking to your doctor about your recommended fluid levels. I know from conversations with my darling dead aunt that hydration plays an important role in post-mortem longevity and hygiene, so it would not surprise me to learn that something is amiss there. To address the meat of your question, I believe that prevention ought to be the first and last thought on your mind, especially on visiting days. A concern in New London, a Mssrs. Davrick Raya and Sons, has a splendid assortment of silicone shields available, and I would consult their Aethernet page for the best selection - they offer everything from arm sleeves to bustle covers. Should the unfortunate occur, I believe a heartfelt apology and speedy restitution (should that take the form of dry cleaning, upholstery replacement, or the purchase of an entirely new item) are the only things absolutely required of you, and that anyone of good breeding will certainly understand. I believe some responsibility for this falls upon the shoulders of the living, as well - if there is some item of which you are very fond, it may be wise to remove it to a seldom-used part of the house until that day when the dead walk amongst us no more. - DDD
Well...wasn't that...enlightening...our poor, poor, zombified decendants...hopefully Dame de Deportment will continue offering all manner of assistance for those who are newly deceased to get them through their hardships...Thank you Dame de Department! Or should I say, Ms. Lia Habel, for joining us here on the blog today. It was fantastic to get a deeper look into the zombificated world of Dearly, Departed. I can't wait to see what the next books in the series have in store. 


  1. Oh my gosh, this is wonderful! Haha. I think this is one of my favorite authors guest posts I have ever read. :)

    Love, love, love.

  2. LOL! What a hilarious post! I read Dearly, Departed when it came out and I don't remember a character like this! I hope Dame de Deportment comes out in the next one!