Man Keeps Zombie In His Front Yard, 5 Years Later Gets An Order To Remove It

Is it illegal to keep a friendly zombie in your front yard?

A Nashville resident has found to his horror that it just may be the case -- his homeowners' association has ordered him to remove a zombie statue from his front yard, WKRN reported.

Jim Grinstead has had the statue on his lawn for the last five years, and there had been no problems with it -- ever. So, he was shocked to receive a letter recently from the Bayview Homeowners' Association ordering him to lock away the undead gentleman lounging on his lawn.

"During a recent inspection of the community on April 19, 2016, it was noted that there is a zombie in your yard that needs to be removed."
The zombie, lovingly named "Clawed," is a dead-white, chest-upward installation that looks as if it was about to emerge from the ground, "clawing" his way out of a grave.
Speaking to the Daily News, Grinstead said the homeowners' association was making "a mountain out of a molehill."

"At first I was pissed, but then I thought about it for a second and I said, 'this is utterly ridiculous,' " he said.

More than the order, the manner in which it was conveyed to him has left him disappointed, Grinstead told WKRN.

"A nice phone call, somebody saying 'Yo! Thanks for the yard work, it looks great … [though] the zombie is a bit of a problem, and can we work something out there?' You know, that would have been a much nicer [way of] saying."
The order has been doubly harsh for Grinstead, as he spent a whole lot of money (nearly $12,000) landscaping the yard recently, and instead of bringing in appreciation, it brought in trouble for his beloved zombie. Before the landscaping, the zombie statue had a much more discreet presence and had never caught the association's attention.

Even when Clawed caught anybody's attention, it was in a positive way. Neighbors mostly laughed about their zombie next door, some found it weird, some took photos with it. But nobody ever complained about it.

So, the association going out of its way to make the zombie statue disappear has left Grinstead completely baffled.

However, moving beyond the bafflement, Grinstead has decided to do what the association wants him to do. He will remove the zombie from the yard within a week's time. (Though he did hint mysteriously to the Daily News that the zombie could "come back to life again somewhere else.")

As of now, it doesn't look like Grinstead has much choice in the matter.

In the event of him refusing to remove the zombie, the association would do it themselves and charge Grinstead for the job, according to a copy of the association letter accessed by WKRN.

The letter, citing rules, doesn't say anything specifically about statues. Though it does have the loaded phrase "neat and attractive," which may just about cover the association's action against zombie statues that are deemed "unattractive."

"The Covenants, Conditions & Restriction for Bayview state, 'Section 6. Duty to Maintain Lot. From and after the date construction of a single family residence on a lot is begun, it shall be the duty of each lot owner to keep the grass on the lot properly cut, to keep the lot free from weeds and trash, and to keep it otherwise neat and attractive in appearance. Should any owner fail to do so, the declarant, or the association, may take such action as it deems appropriate, including mowing, in order to make the lot neat and attractive and the owner shall, immediately upon demand, reimburse declarant or the association for all expenses incurred in so doing."
Do you think the homeowners' association has been unduly harsh on the zombie? Why is sense of humor looked upon with suspicion and unease by those in authority?

[Image via Shutterstock/Alex Malikov]