We’ve all been there. You’re going into the kitchen to cook some food. You turn out the lights and a German poet swoons at the violence of your action, collapsing behind one of the cabinets. No two ways about it. You’ve got an infestation of Romantics. And if you’ve ever had them before, you know once your house has a movement of late-18th to mid-19th century artists and intellectuals who value emotion and individual experience over Enlightenment rationality, it’s not easy to get rid of them.

Try these tricks to deal with yours:

  • Don’t leave any emotions or aesthetic experiences on exposed surfaces overnight.
  • Try leaving patent applications in places where they congregate. Romantics find these and other traces of scientific advancement unbearably repulsive.
  • If you find that one of them has left poetry in your living space, clean it quickly using a disinfectant spray. Do not read it, and above all, do not feel yourself connecting to the honesty and power of the passions displayed in it.
  • Act quickly! Despite the name, Romantics do not reproduce sexually. However, scientists have theorized that by pining for a kind woman with a pure heart, they may be able to produce spores.
  • Silence all mirthful pan-pipes and have any reminders of the joyful, pastoral life heated to at least 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If they produce music, make sure to listen to it only with a jaded, analytical attitude that dryly reduces music to a set of meaningless harmonic rules. If you find yourself allowing the music to evoke emotions in you and then feeling those emotions without judgment, go outside or put on earplugs.
  • Be careful about inviting friends over, especially kind women with pure hearts! Romantics may cling to their hair or clothes!
  • If you feel bad about killing Romantics with traps, you can buy no-kill traps, and then drive them to a mountain or imponderably deep forest to live happily. Alternately, you can use an ethical Romantic trap, which kills them, but only by allowing them to sacrifice their life to prove their passion.
  • If there’s something you particularly want to protect, write a scientific explanation for why it is financially and objectively beneficial to have it in your home. The Romantics will then avoid it.
  • If you are a kind woman with a pure heart, do not wish for anything that might entail a knightly quest. While it may help manage the infestation temporarily, eventually, they always return.
  • You may be able to manage an infestation by buying a jock. Jocks make excellent pets, and they naturally prey on Romantics as well as other potentially irritating household nerds.
  • Search your house for tight, confined areas with dim lighting. Romantics often use these as lairs. If you suspect a Romantic is using an area as a lair, look for crumpled love notes or engravings of nature on the wall.
  • If you leave out traps, do not use a kind woman with a pure heart as bait. While the Romantics will pine for her, they will not approach.
  • If you find a novel in your house that you don’t recognize, don’t read it! If you inadvertently do, don’t allow it to appeal to the old, strange part of you that watched as you first followed and then joined the society you live in, which it could neither understand or be understood by.
  • If you experience light-headedness, dizziness, or a sense that the march of technological progress does not allow the individual to fulfill their heroic impulses lasting more than one hour, go to a hospital immediately. You are at risk of infection, and may become a Romantic yourself.
  • If it’s already too late for you, try asking a friend to take you to a mountain or imponderably deep forest. If the friend is a kind woman with a pure heart, do not cling to her hair or clothes.