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At the risk of sounding ‘distasteful’

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POSTED: October 16, 2012 9:00 p.m.

There’s an old saying that goes: “Everyone has to be somewhere doing something.”

I have no idea who first said that but the general idea is that it came about to explain away someone involved in an incredibly lame event.

So here’s an example that should epitomize that notation: On Monday, the winner of a live roach-eating contest dropped dead right after his victory.

Witnesses said Edward Archbold, 32, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was cramming roaches by the handfuls in his mouth.

The grand prize was a snake — a python. Here’s the great irony. Down around Miami you can get pythons for free. All you have to do is go near the Everglades and tie your dog to a tree. A Burmese python will soon show up and you can just grab him. You don’t have to eat any bugs.

The news story that told of this weird tragedy didn’t say if the winner had any survivors and if they got the snake. And the story didn’t make mention if medical personnel thought the roaches had anything to do with his death. It did say that he vomited violently right after he won. And yes, he also ate some worms during the event. Probably the worms made him sick.

The story did clarify that there were several contestants who really wanted that snake. And it said that the contestants signed waivers of liability on the part of the pet store owner who sponsored the contest.

Now here’s a quote from a witness: “It was quite amazing, because it looked like he hadn’t eaten breakfast, lunch or dinner. And the guy definitely wanted to win that snake, at least that’s what it looked like to me, at first,” witness Mason Kahzam said. “I mean, unless he was really just that hungry. I wasn’t sure if he tried eating worms or snakes or what he tried to eat before he ate those cockroaches, but he looked like he knew what he was doing.”

So now you should have some idea of the type of crowd this event drew. They probably all went home and watched “Honey Boo Boo” on television.

And once again I bring up the possibility that aliens may have visited earth at some point but finding no signs of intelligent life, they left in a hurry.

I don’t want to sound insensitive here or promote levity in someone’s passing. That would be rude, crude and socially unacceptable. But sometimes we must talk about things in a mode of self-preservation even if it initially seems “distasteful.”

I’ve seen people on survivor shows eat all sorts of insects. It’s simply a matter of protein. And it’s a matter of survival. They don’t win a snake or a sports car. And they chew them up before they swallow.

As children we are instructed to chew our food well. I don’t know the rule of thumb for chewing a roach but there must be one.

What I mean is, it’s always been said that a roach can survive a nuclear blast. Just imagine swallowing live roaches. Of course they don’t come with warning labels. And if they did would that really seem that bizarre? After all, we are warned not to use a hair dryer in the shower and to rinse once we have lathered our heads with shampoo. So maybe ...

When I first saw this story pop up on Associated Press, my initial thought was, “Please don’t let it be in the U.S., and please don’t let it be in the South.” Well, it was both. But fortunately, unlike “Honey Boo Boo,” it was not in Georgia.

I don’t know if the surgeon general will offer any comment on this tragedy, but I think it should be common sense not to eat live roaches. You can never know where they’ve been.

Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.

 

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