The release of Aunt Bessie’s ludicrous heart-shaped Yorkshires and Marks & Spencer’s now infamous love sausage can only mean one thing. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.
But if Hallmark cards, liquor-filled chocolates, and pickle bouquets aren’t your jam, how is one to celebrate the third biggest holiday of the year? By naming your ex after a cockroach, of course.
El Paso Zoo in Texas is offering people from across the world the opportunity to name a roach after their ex and then watch as said roach is fed to a family of hungry meerkats on Valentine’s Day.
All you have to do is send them the first name and initial of the last name of your ex via Facebook messenger, and voilà. Not only will they feed your no-good ex to some certifiably adorable fluffies, but they will also exhibit their name in and around the meerkat enclosure and on social media from February 11 to ensure the perfect level of public humiliation.
It’s all fabulously petty.
“This is a fun way to get the community involved in our daily enrichment activities,” Sarah Borrego, an event coordinator at El Paso Zoo, told CBS News.
“The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!”
The event, appropriately called “Quit Bugging Me!!!”, will be live-streamed from the zoo’s Facebook page.
But because it has proved to be so popular (since Monday, 1,500 names have been submitted, the BBC reports), only some will be given to the meerkats, zoo officials have said.
“Cockroaches are considered a treat for meerkats,” Borrego told the BBC, so each individual meerkat will receive just one insect. It does, however, mean that staff at the zoo have decided to “share the love” and include some of the institution’s other animals (cotton-top tamarins, golden tamarins, and white-headed marmosets) in this feeding extravaganza.
El Paso Zoo is not the only wildlife center to offer such a service. For £1.50 ($2), the UK’s Hemsley Conservation Center will name a cockroach after your ex, while the Bronx Zoo in New York and Zoo Boise in Idaho will charge you £15 and $10 respectively to name one after your significant other.
It might not sound romantic but, as the Bronx Zoo explains, “After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant.” Hmmm.
Meanwhile, Sydney Zoo, Australia, offers something a little more hardcore, promising to name a highly venomous brown snake after your “snake of an ex”.