February 13, 2011

Cochran Cornell Responds to the Bronx Zoo (N. Y.) Fundraiser




     “I don’t believe it!”

     Cochran Cornell the Cantankerous Cockroach irately jumped up and down on the brim of his creator’s hat, from where he’d been reading the Saturday newspaper. Before she turned the page to the article on the Madagascar hissing cockroach, he’d been rejoicing at the front page headline: ‘Egypt is free!’

     It was amazing how quickly his joy turned into rage.

     “How could they?” he shouted.

     Carolyn shifted her eyes toward the ceiling. “Calm down, calm down,” she told him.

     “Calm down? Do you see that picture? My ugly cousins are crawling all over that woman’s head, and she’s smiling!”

     “I see.”

     “Well, why is it that these underhanded cockroach cousins of mine are the chosen ones?”

     Carolyn read aloud the caption on the photograph: If lingerie is too intimate and dinner is out, is too expensive, the Bronx Zoo…is raising funds by offering the public the chance to name the huge cockroaches…

     “You see what I mean?” Cochran ranted. “Why did the Bronx Zoo choose the Madagascar hissing cockroach for their fundraising? They’re ugly?”

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

     “I have to admit, they are a bit, well, unattractive.”

     “Look at me! My back is such a gorgeous bronze, and my wings…their iridescence outshines the stars. My ilk, the German cockroach, would be a much better choice for the Bronx Zoo naming contest.”

     “I must admit you have a point. For a mere $10 donation you can name one of the zoo’s 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches in honor of your honey, grandmother or secret paramour. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who run the Bronx Zoo will use the funds for their continued global wildlife and wild places conservation programs.”

     “Conservation programs, my eye. Us German cockroaches don’t need a conservation program. We pre-lived the dinosaurs! We’ll never become extinct! And why would you want to honor your honey, grandmother or secret paramour with something that hisses every time they come near it?”

     Carolyn glared at Cochran, indicating he should quiet down while she read more.

     “In return for each name, the zoo is asking for a $10 donation…about 1,700 cockroach names were bought in the first two days of the promotion.”

     “Boy, you human beings are so gullible. You’ll fall for anything! Look how many of you named stars? All you get for your money is a piece of paper you’re supposed to be proud of. A certificate! Give me a piece of tasty wallboard any day!”

     “For this fundraiser, all the recipient gets is an e-mail card informing them of the one-of-a-kind gift you’ve sent them…You know, Cochran, that the Madagascar has probably been the most recognized roach-type in the United States. After all, it was featured in the animated film, Madagascar.”

     “You see how us German cockroaches get passed over…

     “In the movie zoo animals from New York’s Central Park zoo were repatriated to the African island of Madagascar, where they had wild adventures with the native lemur colony. Oh, what fun.”

     “You mean you saw that movie? Where’s your loyalty?”

     “With fifty eight thousand Madascar roaches…

     “And how many German cockroaches do they have, I might ask?”

     “…it will be a long time before they run out of cockroaches to name. I wonder how they will identify each named roach? Do they make teeny weeny name tags for them? If so, how will they stick them onto the roach? With a miniature hat pin?”


     Carolyn continued reading: Nothing says “I love you” more than naming a cockroach in honor of your sweetheart…The zoo says naming a roach will honor a sweetheart’s resourcefulness and resiliency. As the zoo puts it: “Flowers wilt. Chocolates melt. Roaches are forever.”


     “At least you could wish our readers a happy Valentine’s Day.”

     “I guess—Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Please don’t celebrate by watching the movie Madagascar. Try renting the movie Joe’s Apartment instead.

     “Good suggestion, Cochran.”    

     “Oh no, you aren’t going to include a link to the Bronx Zoo site, are you? Where’s your loyalty?”

     “Don’t worry, Cochran, I’m not abandoning you. I just think it’s such a creative idea, and zoos really need the money. So for anyone who wants to honor someone by naming a Madagascar hissing cockroach—the last day is Monday—click on the following link.”




Preparing for a First Date with Carmena

To Andrea Bocelli: A Valentine

Valentine’s Day

ROSES ARE RED: Two Original Versions

CANDIED VIOLETS: Remembering My Mother on Her Birthday




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