In cockroach races all the signs of gambling are obvious: the uncertainty of the outcome, the possibility of betting, the real struggle. And of course, entourage: excitement, fans, real struggle. And let it not be underground dog fights or jumps, on entertainment to which cockroach runs do not hold, but races of six-legged friends of the person have other advantages:
- Exotic entertainment - indeed, few people can boast that they saw, or, moreover, participated in such competitions. And even fewer people made real bets here.
- Tickling of nerves, especially in women. Still, the typical "stallion" here causes a lot of ambiguous emotions in the subtile viewers.
- Ease of holding - for a cockroach race, a large room or lawn in front of the house is enough. No rings, no stadiums.
In serious cases, cockroach runs endure the whole entourage of serious games: here is a trained participant in the "race", and the stakes, and the nickname of each "horse", and a large audience, and even a mini-racetrack!
History of entertainment
Cockroach races - entertainment is ancient. Evidence of cockroach runs are in the history of Ancient Egypt, Byzantium, the Roman Empire.
It is believed that this kind of gambling has reached its peak in Turkey. About the races of cockroaches in Turkey writers write, here the most famous cockroach growers live.
It is interesting
One of the most famous suppliers of cross-country cockroaches was the Kurd Shahin Fesah, which was most active in the mid-20th century. He carefully concealed this side of his life, as he was repeatedly convicted of numerous crimes related to betting and gambling, but restless journalists managed to find out that on a special farm the man kept up to half a million cockroaches at the same time , and the most famous cockroach stars in Turkey were bought exactly him.
The first serious mention of cockroach races dates back to the 18th century. There is an opinion that this kind of entertainment was invented in Russia, but historians are increasingly inclined to the opinion that its origin is due to sailors sailing from the countries of the Caribbean. They had a lot of free time, a huge number of cockroaches in loads from tropical countries, and the desire to somehow entertain themselves during long flights.
Not surprisingly, several English writers told of sailors in Jamaican brothels who enthusiastically bets on the fastest cockroach.
It is known that the wide spread of cockroach runs was received in Turkey in the beginning of the last century. Nevertheless, the occupation was an underground activity and mostly Russian emigrants took part in it.
On a note
During the filming of the Russian film "Running" the film crew could not find evidence that in Istanbul in the 20s of the last century similar races were held. However, more thorough studies of historians confirmed that after the closure of the club, which regularly held a lotto, his regular customers switched to racing cockroaches.
Today the fashion trendsetter in the sphere of cockroach races is Australia. It is from the small town of Brisbane on the east coast that they are widely spread throughout the country.
Brisbane students started the tradition, holding competitions in the hostel, which invariably attracted a large number of spectators. So great that very soon the cockroach race became a real show, and so far every year on January 26 there is a holiday, which is called "Australian Day of Cockroach Runs". To the same event special costume points are timed - "Miss Cocky Races".
On a note
Cockroach runs are well described in Russian literature. For example, in the novel "Running" by Mikhail Bulgakov and in "The Adventures of Nevzorov or Ibiskus" by Alexei Tolstoy.
Rules of the competition
Traditional is the type of competition: each cockroach is placed in a separate groove length of about one and a half meters. At the same time, a light starts shining at the start site, frightening the insect. The cockroach tries to get into a darker place and runs to the opposite end of the track.
Usually 5-8 cockroaches participate in one race. The owner of each cockroach can drive his party through various means. Usually the participants do not have their cockroaches, and they just choose from the organizers of the insects they provide the most liked "horse", gives him a nickname, like "Tarakan-Meteor" and tries to lead him to the finish faster than rivals.
The drivers are given almost complete freedom of action: the cockroach can be urged with a shout, illuminate the way with a flashlight, blow at it, so that it runs faster. You can even slightly push the stick, if he lost his way. In the Australian cockroach races there is a basic limitation - you can not strongly zealous, otherwise you can cripple the athlete.
In Australia, there is another system of competitions, in which there are no racetracks, or special "hippodromes". In any convenient place, for example, on a lawn in front of the house, on a table, on the beach, a wide circle is outlined. The center of the circle is placed in the participants of arrival and covered with an ordinary pan.
On the signal "Start" the pan is picked up, and cockroaches creep in an arbitrary direction. The winner is the one who first crosses the boundaries of the circle. In the "arena" really heated passions, because each driver wants to lead his ward on a direct trajectory to the finish and win. Sometimes run and run with overcoming obstacles.
The desire to win from the drivers of cockroaches is truly incredible. In one of Tokyo universities found a way how to train cockroaches in the best way. After carrying out the research, the scientists came to the conclusion that the cockroaches suffer the worst from heat, so they attached the heated controlled wire to the insect armor. The researchers are so adept at "controlling" the cockroach that they can carry it through a labyrinth of pipes!
The most famous champion is "Soft Cocky", which translates "Soft and Bold", which came first in the race in Australia in 1982. There is even a special "Hall of Fame", which lists the winners with the most unusual names - Cocky Balboa, Cocky Dundee, Drain Lover, Priscila-Queen of the Drains.
Hikers usually show an unprecedented originality in the choice of nicknames for their wards. So in the cockroach races that were timed to the Berlinale-2001 film festival, "Ruthless Ivan", "Unsurpassed Olga", "Uncompromising Ural", "Stubborn Nina", etc. participated.
In one of the most famous races in Moscow, under the leadership of Nikolai Drozdov, the Prosecutor, Voland, Impeachment, Zyugan, Zhirin participated.
Most often in the races participate Madagascar cockroaches - the largest and fastest of cockroaches, and one of the fastest running insects in general.
It is interesting
According to the speed developed at short distances, Madagascar cockroaches give way only to beetles, able to run a distance equal to 50 lengths of their body per second. If people were running at a proportional speed, the sprint champions would run one hundred seconds in one second.
In the Caribbean, Colombian cockroaches, slightly smaller, are in great demand, but they are not inferior to Madagascar cockroaches. But traditional Russian cockroaches and black cockroaches are not suitable for such entertainments: they are too small, unpredictable in the direction of running and fussy.
Where today you can look at the race and expose your "stallion"
In the classic form, cockroach runs are officially held in all major Australian cities. In our country there are several agencies that provide as accessories for the party all accessories for such competitions for hire.
It is enough to call such a company and place an order, and at the right time, at the specified address, the cockroaches themselves, the treadmills and the necessary attributes will be delivered. Included in the kit is a specialist who can hold such competitions.
It is interesting
At the film festival "Berlinarle 2001" for the stars of art and cinematography, cockroach runs were conducted. The attraction received incredible praise and kind reviews, and all the prizes, among which there were also quite large ones, were donated to charity. The "Hippodrome" was not left without attention until late at night and the organizers could confidently say that such competitions can bring bright colors to any event and remain a bright trace in the memory of all spectators and participants.
Whatever it was, but from a purely legal point of view, cockroach runs are a violation of animal rights and an infringement of cruel treatment. It is unlikely, of course, the siloviki of any country will only for this reason shut down the dens in which the races are held, while in the higher educational institutions, strict animal experiments are simply conducted to train students. But as an excuse for the next round-up, such a formulation is quite suitable.