Friday Follies: Baker College Cockroach Races, c1972

If this is the winner, I’d hate to see what they did with the losers.

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2 Responses to Friday Follies: Baker College Cockroach Races, c1972

  1. almadenmike says:

    On page 11 of the Sept. 12, 1974, Thresher is an article by Howard Laidlaw announcing “The First Annual Baker Cockroach Competition,” to be held at 4 p.m. September 14 next to Sewall Hall.
    (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/66667/thr19740912.pdf?sequence=1)

    There were three competition divisions: fastest, largest (length x width) and best decorated. In the latter two divisions, dead (but not “disfigured” or squished) roaches were permitted.

    The competition was open only to Baker College members, who were encouraged to enter “as many roaches as they can catch,” with the restriction “that all the cockroaches entered in the competition be from the Baker College premises.”

    “Frankly, we at Baker know that we would have been ‘swamped’ by Will Rice and Wiess. However, we do offer our full encouragement to the other residential colleges to have their own cockroach competition.”

    Baker sophomore J. Martin Stewart proposed the event due to his “personal desire to make B&G, now under the new heading of ‘Physical Plant,’ aware of the cockroach problem in the university’s residential colleges. … Full student support of this type of activity should make the cockroach problem so blatantly obvious that B&G will be forced to take action—hopefully, action that will make cockroach competition next year unfeasible.”

    • almadenmike says:

      The next thresher (Sept. 19, 1974) contained on page 7 a full-page article with the competition results. (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/66668/thr19740919.pdf?sequence=1)

      Jonathan Livingston Roach III, trained by Baker freshmen Rick Fienberg
      and Dave Pearson on a diet of Fig Newtons, bolted away from 14 other roaches in the speed contest — first to exit a 6-foot diameter circle, starting at the middle — winning by a foot.

      “The freshmen girls in entrance seven, first floor, captured the ‘Best Decorated’ crown, while freshman Trissa Elkins entered the largest cockroach, Godzilla.”

      Rain forced the competition indoors from its advertised Sewall Hall site. Instead it “was held in the dark, damp, game room of the Baker new wing basement. This environment was probably more favorable to the contestants — that is, the live ones — since they are often spotted traversing the concrete corridor which joins the game room and Rice’s most popular laundry facilities.”

      The article contains three uncaptioned photos different from the one shown above.

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