14 FEB 2017: My most enthusiastic participation in Valentines Day was when my daughters were in elementary school and I made them ham sandwiches cut into a heart shape. I am somewhat dismissive about the consumerism and manipulation of expressions of love, so when I read what the Bronx Zoo was doing for Valentine’s Day, I was certainly captivated. I may have emitted an involuntary hiss.

America’s largest metropolitan zoo is continuing a tradition where the public can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach for their Valentine’s Day ‘Name a Roach’ promotion.

Who among us has not looked into the beady eyes of a loved one scavenging among leaf litter, and thought “Gosh you are special. Someone should name an insect after you?”

And this is not restricted to crushes with a hard outer layer.

No, this is open to anyone, even if our cupid doesn’t have a thick hairy antennae or mouthparts located outside of the head capsule.

The beauty of this promotion is that you can also name an insect after someone who used to be your snuggle-bug and has now been relegated to the varmint category.

See, you can have closure for US $10. Or more, depending on how many exoskeletons you have in the closet.

The zoo website says, “Whether the gesture is spicy or sweet we promise not to judge.”

It is also worth noting that the hissing cockroach is not of the pest variety. Hailing from Madagascar, this species is considered exotic and enchanting due its sound effects

The roaches live in small spaces and hide from the light. I apologize if this is conjuring more images of your ex.

This year the Bronx Zoo sweetened the ‘Name a Roach’ promotion by adding the option of a plush cockroach or a box of chocolates.

The zoo’s tagline is ‘Roaches are forever.’ Touching, isn’t it? I can’t even pretend to stop the flow of tears that are triggered with that sentiment.



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Pam Stellini

Pam Stellini is an original. Her quirky outlook and wry humour defy categorization. Readers have compared her to Erma Bombeck and Art Buchwald with a travel spin – and we're not about to argue. 

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