I just read I Will Rot Without You by Danger Slater, a book I highly recommend by the way. It got me thinking about what happened over the summer when Danger was traveling across the country with Lisa LeStrange and I got to meet them and talk writerly things over dinner at Casa Bonita.
Part of his promotion for the book involved these rubber roaches he was leaving all over the place, taking and posting pictures of them occasionally. We of course explored Casa Bonita after eating, and at one point ended up in the treasure room. The little bins of dime store kids toys were empty. No big deal since we weren’t kids anyway, and Casa Bonita was really, really slammed that night. With that many people, you couldn’t expect them to keep the treasure room bins stocked constantly. We were rational enough to understand that, but Danger got the wild hair to put one of the rubber roaches in the bin.
I think he was hoping it’d be funny, that someone would see it and get freaked out. However, when we checked back a short time later, the roach was gone. No one said a word about it. Nothing. No screaming, no freak out. Nothing.
Of course, this wasn’t surprising when we thought about it. Really, a rubber roach isn’t that much different than the sort of things that are in free kid toy bins at places like that. Rubber bugs are pretty common, and kids often go for them (little boys in particular, but definitely beyond that when cultural conditioning hasn’t completely forced kids into a predefined path). Worse, Danger’s rubber roaches were probably more expensive and significantly higher quality than the free toys that were supposed to be there. We’re probably talking about hard plastic spider rings and nickel bounce balls. Not only did some kid just think it was a toy, they were probably overjoyed to find something better than the toys they normally found there.
The hoped for shock and disgust did not happen. I think he wasted a roach.
It’s cool though. Danger didn’t seem to be averse to sharing roaches with children. That’s just the kind of guy he is.