I understand the appeal of pet ownership and I also understand that the more exotic a pet the more it can cost to acquire. Snakes aren’t my thing, but some folks like keeping them and some of them can cost a pretty penny. So it’s not entirely surprising to me that some folks would engage in silly competitions for the chance to win an expensive snake. What I can’t understand is why anyone would consider snakes, or any other expensive pet, worth eating cockroaches over.
But apparently I’m in the minority in that opinion as a contest held at Ben Siegel Reptiles in West Palm Beach required contestants to do just that and several people signed up to participate.
Alas, for contestant Edward Archbold it would be the last meal he’d ever consume:
Edward Archbold, 32, collapsed after winning the repulsive contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store. Archbold, who was competing for a free python, was stricken outside the Deerfield Beach business, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators reported that Archbold “wasn’t feeling well and began to regurgitate” shortly after the contest’s conclusion. “He had consumed dozens of roaches and worms,” a sheriff’s spokesman noted.
Archbold was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital. An autopsy was conducted, and the Broward County medical examiner is awaiting test results to determined Archbold’s cause of death.
On the positive side, he won the contest.
If I had to guess I suspect he may have had an allergic reaction. Eating bugs isn’t particularly dangerous in itself if they’re cleaned and cooked, but live insects can carry a number of potentially problematic diseases (read: e. coli and salmonella, among others) not to mention possibly pesticides.
Knowing all of that, I still wouldn’t eat cockroaches — live or otherwise — unless I was starving and had nothing else at hand. Certainly not for an expensive pet. Very few bugs, uh, bug me, but roaches are at the top of that short list. I couldn’t tell you why. I’ve never had to live in a roach infested home and my encounters with them over the years have been few and very far between, but they give me the heebie jeebies.