Let’s start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy, that things are all wrong: The Catholic community has no Pope, Venezuela no longer has Hugo Chávez, Kanye West was only ranked No. 7 on the “Hottest MC” list! It’s getting pretty scary out there. But, luckily for us, there is always one good old thing we can rely on — Mr. Reliability, you might say — that helping hand that’ll scratch your back, that wall you can lean on when you’re feeling tired. Look in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a twin! No, it’s a B.O.M.E.! That’s right, I’m talking about a “Bane Of My Existence.”
All right, so maybe that hand that’s scratching your back has nails that are two inches long and sharpened to a deadly point, and maybe that wall you wanted to lean on disintegrates when you touch it and you fall flat on your face and end up looking like Seth Brundle from “The Fly”. Kaboom! Kablam! The Mad-B.O.M.E.r strikes again!
For some people it might be a dictator (I mean democratically elected leader), for others some religious law (Thou Shalt Not Have Fun), or it could simply be an editor (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) or even a good friend. Everyone’s got that one paper, that one midterm, that one obstacle that they just can’t seem to get past. Heck, even Batman’s got a Bane … literally. And sure, while our B.O.M.E.s may not have climbed out of an evil hole in the ground and breath out of a mask in a strangely pitched voice, it doesn’t make our B.O.M.E.s any less important. Gee willikers Batman, why not throw Albert a bone once in a while!
Sure, maybe dealing with nail polish and lipstick, or the futile effort of trying to read every book in the library isn’t life altering, but “bane” didn’t always have such a causal effect in language. Back around circa 800 (that’s C.E. for all of you history buffs out there) the word was recorded in the “Old English Chronicles” as literally meaning “murder.” First-degree bane, “[Bane], She Wrote,” I’m going to bane you! Hmm, something about it seems less, how do I say it, “murderous.” It sounds like ABC’s lame attempt at editing out offensive words.
However, in later years bane came to take on a different meaning. Instead of murder, it referred to a cause of death, and mostly notably, poison. Now this I can relate too. I mean, every intelligent human being carries around wolfsbane with them. You wouldn’t want to get randomly attacked by a werewolf on the streets of Boston would you? Did nobody watch the third Harry Potter movie!
So maybe the game of life isn’t exactly going your way. Score — You: zero, B.O.M.E: 942. But I say it’s time we turned this match around, rub a little Flubber on our shoes, if you will. I think it’s high time we high-tailed it … I mean, reclaimed our lives from the firm grip of our B.O.M.E.s. But, you should be wary; it’s not as easy as it may sound. Oh no, B.O.M.E.s are a tricky business with red wires, secret compartments and leech-like precision. I recommend you start by using one of these five [highly difficult and excruciatingly painful] methods.
How to properly diffuse a B.O.M.E.:
Run the top of your B.O.M.E. under hot water for a minute or so. With a towel, so as not to burn your hands, smoothly twist the B.O.M.E. off.
Take a sharp knife and very carefully stab a hole through the top of the B.O.M.E., releasing the pressure from the B.O.M.E., then twist it off.
Use a knife and stick it between the edge of the B.O.M.E. and yourself. Carefully pry the B.O.M.E. off.
Take a hard object such as a spoon and tap the edge of the B.O.M.E., creating small indents around approximately half of the B.O.M.E. Then tap your bottom and twist the B.O.M.E. off.
If you’re absolutely desperate you can buy a product such as the “One Touch B.O.M.E. Diffuser” to pop off B.O.M.E.s of any kind! (Only 99 cents if you call right now!)
But, if all else fails, you can just do what I always do — live with it. Or better yet, make that son of B.O.M.E. regret the day it ever decided to bane your existence. In essence, be the B.O.M.E. you always knew you could be. So, as they say in France, B.O.M.E. voyage! Until next time, fair citizens of Boston. And remember: where there is a bane, I’ll be there, when your existence is in danger, I’ll be there, where B.O.M.E.s rear there ugly heads, I’ll respectively be far, far away, hiding over here.
David Fontana is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and a weekly columnist for The Daily Free Press. He can be reached at email@example.com.