Think about the thing you care for the most.  Now forget about your new HDTV and think about the thing you care about the second most.  That’s right – your family.  In the event something went terribly wrong, wouldn’t you like to have \”family insurance,\” just like you have homeowners insurance on your flat screen?  Of course you would.  Read on to find out how your government can help.

With a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the statewide ballot in 2006, the issue of state government’s role in the institution of marriage was at front and center in Wisconsin.  Some questioned why government has a role at all in marriage, which they argued is solely a religious institution.

The bottom line is that government does have its greasy fingers in your marriage.  State law dictates how marriages are formed, how those marriages may be dissolved, and how the whole mess is sorted out when things go bad.  In fact, Wisconsin state law even prevents someone who is divorced from being remarried within 6 months of their divorce, presumably to protect people from the horrors of marrying you.
Yet, there’s one area where government doesn’t help marriages nearly enough, which is why I’d like to propose a new law strengthening our households.  Think about what we do to insure ourselves against catastrophic events when they happen to individuals we love: We have a backup plan. The President has a Vice President.  The Packers have assistant coaches.  Ronald McDonald has Grimace.  That is why I am proposing the groundbreaking “Vice Wife” law.

In the event something horrible happens to your spouse, wouldn’t it make perfect sense to have a backup at the ready to assume those duties?  If your wife were to be pummeled to death by a kangaroo at the zoo, would she really want you to suffer, alone and miserable, while having to take care of the rest of your family duties?  I know your wife, and I think not. Who would take care of the kids while you spent all your time in court suing the kangaroo? The law would work like this:  A husband could direct one single woman to be his Vice Wife, eligible to take over marital duties should his “primary” wife die horribly and unexpectedly.

The rules are as follows:

  • The Vice Wife has to be single; in the event the Vice Wife gets married to someone else, the standard sequence of the U.S. Constitution kicks in and the husband must marry Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
    • The Vice Wife has to agree to serve in this capacity – obviously, the husband can’t just pick anyone, regardless of how appealing that might be.  (I’d love to see Katherine Heigl’s face when she gets the call explaining she has to make me pancakes every morning.)
    • The husband may not have any physical contact with the VW while his primary wife is still alive.  Any funny business with the Vice Wife is punishable by having to serve as the Brewers’ closer for the remainder of the season.
    • For taking part in the Vice Wife program, the VW gets to pay her taxes on May 15th instead of April 15th.  She also gets one small free Wendy’s Frosty per month.
    • If you actually cause the death of your wife, you forfeit the ability to take part in the program.  (Chances are, your Vice Wife will be assigned to you by the Wisconsin penal system.)  If your Vice Wife is significantly hotter than your regular wife (as determined by me), you are presumed guilty in any and all circumstances where your wife dies of unnatural causes.

    Now, I realize the Legislature is out of session until next January.  But once lawmakers read this proposal, chances are they’re going to want to call a special session and bring everyone back into town to get this done.  I imagine there will be a lot of lights on in the Capitol late into the night finalizing the legal language on this groundbreaking new law. Of course, the only people that would oppose such a law are “pro-wife” groups, but they’re always nagging us to do things and we’ve all tuned them out anyway.  They can usually be dismissed with a wave and a grunt.  After all, this proposal is meant to strengthen the family by restoring order in a time of crisis.  Who would oppose such a thing?  Selfish, unreasonable wives, that’s who.
    Of course, this program could work for women, too.  Certainly my wife will need a warm body to hold the couch down to the floor and make sure all the oatmeal cream pies get eaten in the (now extremely likely) event of my demise.

    So here’s the plan of action, fatty: put down that gyro, print this column out, rush home, and explain the new plan to your wife.  It is likely she will immediately recognize that this proposal is what’s best for keeping your family strong in a time of crisis.  However, just in case she is too excited about this plan, you might want to make sure you have a sturdy protective cover over your lower abdomen and are wearing a football helmet.