Valentine’s Day can be a wretched time of year for the brokenhearted. Rather than taking Cupid’s arrow and stabbing that devious little cherub in his butt with it, the Bronx Zoo has another idea: Name a cockroach in honor of the one who scorned you.
In a holiday all about cliches, “take their breath away” is the real deal with Name a Roach. This isn’t just any common water bug: The zoo has its own nest of giant Madagascar hissing cockroaches, which at nearly 4 inches long are the world’s largest species of roach.
For $15, the Bronx Zoo will name one after your not-so-loved one and email them a certificate as a token of your affection. Or for the first time this year, you can send a “care” package for $75 with a Roach Broach, themed socks and a box of chocolates. Check out this terrifyingly romantic video all about it:
“The Bronx Zoo’s Name-A-Roach promotion is a lighthearted, fun way to reach out to someone on Valentine’s Day to let them know that you are thinking about them,” says spokesman John F. Calvelli, somehow, despite having his tongue firmly in cheek.
“Roses wither, chocolates melt, but roaches are forever. Nothing lasts longer than a roach, so it could be sent as a symbolic gesture about how long your love will last — or exactly the opposite.
“Some might say that love is like a roach – elusive, resilient, and sometimes very scary.” Sure isn’t the hearts and flowers and Cupid’s arrow version the greeting card companies are selling. But it’s somehow more romantic, in its own way?
Since the Name-a-Roach program launched in 2011, thousands people from around the world have named roaches after their loved ones — as well as exes, and even mothers-in-law. The tradition has also gotten political at times, unsurprisingly.
Proceeds from the program benefit the Wildlife Conservation Society, to make sure we have animals beyond roaches to cherish in the future.
And for you lovers who actually do like giant bugs, see thousands more super-sized insects at the zoo’s Madagascar! exhibit.