What would you like to see happen to that ex? You know, the one who cheated on you on Valentine’s Day... or the one who once took you on a date so utterly lacklustre that you found yourself wishing for the sweet release of death, just to liven things up a bit; or – at the very least – an unforeseen accident serious enough to demand hospital treatment (think of the bed rest), but not grave enough to warrant the last rites.
Unless... the priest can come now, right now, before Dave finishes his second anecdote about the low-budget “monster shark” movie he’s desperate to make? You know! The one that will be “way better than The Meg” and will “pretty much definitely” star Carey Mulligan, because a friend of a friend knows her grandma and she promised to ask her, and now she’s almost signed up, because Dave is “very persuasive, actually”.
Yes, darling. It is one of your talents. Along with Kung Fu, apparently – but please, God, don’t make me watch another 30 minute montage of your self-taught moves in the garage gym at your mum’s house. Please. Now I know how they felt in Network.
I digress: if you have a Dave, or have had a Dave in the past, and are filled with enough antipathy to warrant shelling out on ways to make yourself feel better about all the hours of your life spent in All Bar Ones that you’ll never get back, while he clicked his fingers to “Mr. Brightside” like he’d never heard it before and said “this track bangs”, well you can channel those years of pent-up aggression, self-loathing and regret by going to a zoo in California this Valentine’s Day.
There, for an undisclosed fee, you can fulfil that slightly niche dream of naming a cockroach or a rodent after your “love rat” ex-boyfriend and feeding him – I mean, “it” – to a bigger animal. Such romance! Such halcyon ideals! Such a gag reflex!
The San Antonio Zoo “Cry Me A Cockroach” fundraiser campaign is so popular it’s become an annual event. Visitors can pick out the perfect pest (either a cockroach of a rat) and name it – and if the idea of condemning a living thing makes you too squeamish, there’s even a vegetarian option (although I’ll admit, the death of Dave the lettuce may not bring you quite the same level of emotional catharsis).
It costs around £4 for a veggie option, £8 for a cockroach and £20 for a rodent, according to the zoo’s website, which states: “San Antonio Zoo will help squash your past, a true heartbreak healer, by feeding your selection to an animal resident.”
Is it the healthiest way to heal from heartbreak? Probably not. And is it a wise use of one’s money during an age of constant financial catastrophe? Not really (especially if you don’t, you know, actually live in California). But hey, it’s more effective than dream journaling, and those cockroaches were going to be eaten anyway!
So this Valentine’s Day, why not give yourself the most romantic gift of all: closure on a bad relationship. Sure, knowing that a literal love rat that shares your ex’s name is being eaten by a hungry falcon may not make up for the hours of self-obsessed droning and bad film pitches you’ve had to listen to during your dating life, but neither will sitting there feeling sorry for yourself. Go on. Get yourself something nice. You deserve it.