Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cockroach-eating Contest

Edward Archbold was, according to those who met him two Fridays ago, the life of the party – a bit of a show-off who was up for anything, even a giant cockroach-eating contest. It was held at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach, about forty miles north of Miami, Florida. He won. And then, tragically, he died.

Y'see, after winning, Archbold felt sick and started vomiting. He then collapsed in the store and was later pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office is conducting tests to determine a cause of death, according to the sheriff’s office statement.

On Facebook, a comment by an attorney claiming to represent Ben Siegel Reptiles wrote that contest participants had signed waivers accepting their participation in this “unique and unorthodox contest.” A python was the grand prize.

“The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken from an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles,” wrote attorney Luke Lirot.

No other contestants felt sick, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Michael Adams, a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, told The Associated Press that he has never heard of someone dying after eating roaches.

"Unless the roaches were contaminated with some bacteria or other pathogens, I don't think that cockroaches would be unsafe to eat," Adams said. "Some people do have allergies to roaches but there are no toxins in roaches or related insects."

I guess if there’s anything to learn from the above story is that if you must eat insects – please avoid roaches! There's nothing more disgusting than cockroaches and worse, do not – I repeat – do not eat them alive! These are hardy creatures that can survive under the harshest of conditions. In fact, researchers found they were the only organisms that could survive in an area after atomic experiments, except for scorpions! They are primitive insects, after all, and they have thrived for 320 million years! I am saying that if an autopsy is conducted on Archbold’s dead body, do not be surprised if the forensic pathologist who cut him open will find that the roaches are still alive!

On Wednesday, I went to Bukit Jalil for the AFC Toastmasters meeting. I was the Evaluator for CC speech #9 delivered by SL Ong about my favorite topic, that is, how to be a best-selling author! He did not have to ‘persuade with power’ because I was already persuaded. Certainly, this was one of his most polished performances yet. Perhaps, because he is a living example – he did have a book in his name titled “Dirty Tricks: Pretty Lies, Ugl Y Truth”. Overall, I am only giving the thumbs-up to two of the five speeches I had the privilege to listen to – but having said this, I must still acknowledge that all the speakers did try in all earnestness to give their best. Therefore, full marks for effort. Evaluations were generally good because this club normally have quality evaluations. And Jocelyn Lim was of course in her element as the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening. My only complaint was that members were tardy in their time management – to finish the meeting thirty-three minutes behind schedule is really testing my patience! Anyway, I would score this meeting a 6.5 out of a 10.

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