A Valentine’s Day alternative to teddy bears, chocolates or naming stars

The remedy for those profoundly annoying commercialized Valentine’s Day garbage guilt commercials.

From FoxNews with my emphases and comments.

Name a Giant Hissing Cockroach After Your Valentine

“Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever.”

Ambitious Romeos looking to differentiate themselves from the typical diamonds, roses, and chocolates are in luck. The Bronx Zoo is offering a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day gift — naming a gigantic hissing cockroach after a loved one.

The unique light-hearted gift, though gag-worthy, has deeper meaning to coincide with its shock value. The zoo’s famous Madagascar hissing cockroaches are part of an award-winning Zoo habitat that also includes lemurs, crocodiles, and many other unique species. [Hey!  It’s green, too!  What’s not to like?]

With a simple online form, each $10 gift comes with a colorful e-card sent to your loved one — or favorite ex-girlfriend, bestowing upon them not only the honor of having a cute, loveable cockroach named after them, but also the satisfaction of knowing that the proceeds will go to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which helps save wildlife and wild places around the world.  [Awwwww!]

“They’re extraordinary, which means if you’re cool about bugs, they’re really cool,’ a spokesman for the Wildlife Conservation Society, told FoxNews.com. “We’ve got about 50 or 60 thousand in a hollowed out tree.”  [What gal could resist that?]

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are the world’s largest roach species reaching nearly four-inches long. The hissing noise they make is a natural defense mechanism. [Rather like the sound a vase makes in that last moment before it strikes the wall next your head.]

Nothing says forever like a cockroach,” said Jim Breheny, Senior Vice President for Living Institutions and Director of the Bronx Zoo. “They are resourceful, resilient, and have been around for hundreds of millions of years.  [The gift that keeps on giving.]


Did you know that in Roman dialect “cockroach” is the nickname for a priest?  Bet you didn’t know that.  Just some roach-lore for your Sunday relaxation.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Everyone who reads this even the cockroaches (I knew the ancient reference):

    May St. Valentine shower you with hundreds of messages of God’s Love, the original reason for Valentine’s Day. And, if you get gifts, pass them out to the hundreds of lonely people in retirement homes, who are alone and need to be reminded of God’s love.

    That is what I have done with Valentine’s decorations and old cards-made them for the shut-in.

    This does not have to be a bimbo day just about romance, but a celebration of God’s Love for all of us…

    I shall get nothing, as I am old and not married and definitely not dating. Those of us in that position should remember those who seem unloved. Mother Theresa said, after visiting England, that the greatest poverty she ever saw was in Manchester, and here is her quotation: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

  2. Dr. Eric says:

    I think the pajamagram or a teddy bear would even beat the cockroach idea.

  3. pelerin says:

    That picture of the cockroach has quite put me off my coffee! Interesting comment about the nickname for a Priest. One French priest I spoke to last year told me that when he used to ride his bike whilst wearing his cassock , children used to shout ‘corbeau’ (crow) after him!

  4. Mrs. O says:

    So, would the guy end up in “roach motel” instead of the dog house?
    Now, if you were buying for your boys…that would rock in their, weird, world.
    Not one way to woo the typical woman.

  5. AnAmericanMother says:

    Friend keeps a German Cockroach on her hunting cap. It’s dead, very dead and on a pin, but it’s amazing how many people catch sight of it and try to sidle up to her and whisper, “Hey, there’s a bug on your hat . . . ”

    I could one-up her with a Hissing Madagascar Cockroach on my hunting cap . . . my daughter is a wildlife biologist and I bet she could find me one or at least a reasonable facsimile in plastic if real ones would make us fall foul of the DNR . . . .

    My Valentine’s gift turned out to be a set of ice crampons for my hiking boots, in case we have any more ice this winter. I wasn’t supposed to see them, they were in the garage on the workbench, but I needed some nails . . . . hubby hasn’t found his Chocolate Largemouth Bass yet (it is well hidden in the laundry room, a place he Never Ever Goes), so I guess I’m ahead in the Valentine Surprise Category . . . .

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z,

    By the way, am I correct in that the etymology of the nickname for priest started in Rome, because there were so many of them scurrying around the Eternal City in blacks? Is there another story as to the reason for the name? Happy Valentine’s Day sans cockroach.

  7. aspiringpoet says:

    I love it! Cockroaches are so cute.

  8. Supertradmum says:


    Have you read Kafka’s The Metamorphosis? If you are an aspiring poet, you should know the stuff of modern literature, and what, at least, not to write.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    opps, sorry about the ap spiring–had apps on the mind…poetry for the phone

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    “Als Gregor Samsa eines Morgens aus unruhigen Träumen erwachte, fand er sich in seinem Bett zu einem ungeheueren Ungeziefer verwandelt.”

    What a hideous story that is.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    And, having studied the text in college at least twenty years before I actually saw a real cockroach, Kafka was my primary source of information on the critters, except for a brief look in biology class.

  12. JKnott says:

    I could not bring myself to look at that picture of the cockroach!
    However, I am thoroughly enjoying Father Z’s posts on the topic as well as the comments
    @ supertradmum:
    I disagree that you will “get nothing”. You can go to Holy Communion and get EVERYTHING – GOD ALONE IS SUFFICIENT.
    I just read in some little book by St. Bonaventure and the prologue that said:
    I am nothing, I have nothing and I want only Jesus Christ.

  13. wanda says:

    May I suggest a much better use of that 10.00?
    l. Put it in the poor box
    2. Donate it to a crisis pregnancy center
    3. Donate it to Priests for Life
    4. Donate it to the Susan B. Anthony List (Works to elect Pro-Life Folks)
    5. Donate it to Catholic Relief Services
    6. Buy some Mystic Monk Coffee – help the good monks and Fr. Z. Enjoy the coffee, it’s swell. [Couldn’t have said it better myself!]

    Mrs. O – Good one! Roach Motel! LOL! I can totally see that!

  14. Supertradmum says:


    Of course, I understand spiritual blessings, but I still LOVE chocolate….

  15. q7swallows says:

    This post was HILARIOUS! I’ve been away from the blog for weeks and I was so glum I didn’t even realize that I really *needed* some humor today. This one caught me off guard and I laughed so hard at the post and your comments that I couldn’t even read it aloud to the rest of the family.

    Thank you! [ o{];¬) ]

  16. AnAmericanMother says:


    How on earth did you avoid cockroaches for twenty years?

    They are to put it mildly endemic in the American South. When hubby and I were first married we lived in a cheap fleabag apartment in a lousy neighborhood. I walked in the kitchen one night and turned on the light and thought, “I didn’t know we had brown linoleum in here.”

    Eeeeewwwwwww . . . . I’m so inured to them that poor Gregor Samsa’s experience didn’t gross me out as much as it was intended to. Didn’t want to eat apples for awhile though . . . .

  17. irishgirl says:

    I read about this in the NY Daily News last week.
    And I’m not even going to look at the cockroach picture!
    Valentine’s Day is hard enough to endure without looking at some icky bug!
    (OK, end of rant….)

  18. q7swallows says:

    AnAmericanMother, I hear ya.

    This post transported me back in time to our long family visit to Peru, as well. I discovered the importance of getting ALL the garbage out DAILY because one night, I awoke to a very light but persistent tap-tap-tapping on the bedroom door. To my horror, my husband explained that it was the sound of the shells of the (huge) cockroaches bumping against the door as they tried to get under it (we’re talking at least ½” clearance, too!). They had already feasted on the kitchen scraps and were looking for more! It’s a sound I’ll never forget.

    My appreciation for garbage removal service and the men who do it soared from that day.

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