(Gray News) - Forget chocolate, roses, candy hearts - think of the cockroach as the new Valentine's Day symbol, both for love and love lost. A love bug for all types.
Think about it - cockroaches never die, like true love; but a spurned lover can easily equate the cause of their heartbreak with a critter that will eat anything - including "decaying matter."
A few weeks ago, a zoo in England made a splash on Facebook encouraging a way to get back at your ex that also benefits the world at large.
For about 1.50 pounds (about $2 depending on the exchange rate) the Hemsley Conservation Centre is offering a chance for the heartbroken "to name a cockroach in honor of your, or your friend's, worthless ex-'someone' on this special holiday of love."
That person's name will appear on the "roach board" in the bug's enclosure.
You feel better and the organization raises a little money to help study endangered animals.
Sure, there's a little bit of poetry naming your ex after a bug that many associate with filth, but what if you want to delight in your schadenfreude a little more while doing a little good?
Enter the El Paso Zoo. If you sent the zoo a message by Feb. 10 with the name of your ex, staff will name the cockroach, decorate the meerkat enclosure with all the submitted names, and then feed the meerkats those cockroaches.
These aren't the only zoos getting in on the cockroach game, but some are doing it out of love.
Zoo Boise in Idaho is encouraging folks to name a roach after that "special someone, your best friend, or your favorite family member."
For $10, you can take home a certificate with your beloved's name on it that says in Comic Sans font, "To my valentine, I named a Zoo Boise cockroach after you. Just like cockroaches, our love can survive everything."
Larger donations will grant you private tours of specific exhibits at the zoo.
If you're not near Boise, and your local zoo isn't doing anything to help you get over love or celebrate it, enter the Bronx Zoo with fancy swag and a reminder that love is like a giant hissing bug.
The zoo is offering a "Timeless Gift" - Romeos and Juliets can name a Madagascar hissing cockroach after their sweetheart.
"This Valentine's Day, #NameARoach for your sweetheart. Because roses wilt, candlelight fades, but roaches are forever."
A video on Facebook says that teddy bears will collect dust bunnies and flowers will wilt, but naming that roach will really prove your love because those suckers don't die.
For those not familiar, Madgascar hissing cockroaches are the largest of the roach species. The make a hissing noise as a defense mechanism when they force air out of "spiracles" on their back, which are used for breathing.
The zoo offered packages with items like pins, mugs and beanie hats, but many of those packages are sold out. Heck, the roach pin by itself for $30 is out of stock.
Maybe someone will re-release the 1996 movie "Joe's Apartment" for a Feb. 14 screening. It features Jerry O'Connell and hundreds of singing and dancing cockroaches. Perfect to watch as you're snuggling up with your love bug.
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