Bug-eyed: The Sun’s Don Burgess gets acquainted with the roaches that will be caressing his face this evening at a Harbour Nights stunt on Front Street. *Photo by Glenn Tucker
Bug-eyed: The Sun’s Don Burgess gets acquainted with the roaches that will be caressing his face this evening at a Harbour Nights stunt on Front Street. *Photo by Glenn Tucker
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Every Bermudian has had an experience with a cockroach. 

The insects are fairly common and frequently encountered, but the thought of one crawling over your foot or running up your arm is enough to send a tingle down most people’s spines.

Now imagine standing in a sealed plastic container and having 70 live roaches dumped on you. It sounds like something out of a nightmare, but that’s exactly what the Bermuda Sun’s own Don Burgess will be doing for charity at Harbour Nights this week.

Clyde Swann, of Bermuda Pest Control, will be providing the bugs: “When the lady [Patrina O'Connor] first called me to ask me to get the cockroaches, I asked her if she was losing her mind,” he told the Sun. “With what I know about cockroaches, I would never get into a container with them. Not me!” 

Mr Swann was commissioned to trap and collect the roaches, and will be the one to dump them into the container with Mr Burgess, the Sun’s Deputy Editor.

“Right now it’s not bothering me at all, but it might be a different story on Wednesday night,” a relatively nonchalant Mr Burgess said of his impending cockroach encounter.

The stunt is one of many being performed by different Bermudian celebrities, members of the media, and others, as part of a charity dare show to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda.

Mr Burgess said: “I was asked to do this by PowerGirl, because she’s in charge of running Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it’s a great opportunity to help some of the youth in Bermuda. By doing something fun for Harbour Nights, it’s also entertaining for the people on Front Street. If people were going to be donating a lot of money, I wanted it to be something that was a bit ‘out there’ and entertaining.”

Mr Swann was not able to share the exact method involved in securing the roaches for the event as it is a trade secret, only that they were captured alive and transported to a larger container where they are being held in preparation for the event. Bermuda Pest Control generously pitched with a $500 dollar donation towards the event.

Mr Burgess plans to wear bicycle shorts, nose and ear plugs and swimming goggles as his only defence against the insects.

“Afterwards, I can tell you I’m going to have one of the longest, hottest showers of my life and I’ll get a good scrub down to make sure whatever filth that they’ve left isn’t there anymore,” he said.

Photographer Glenn Tucker and columnist Christopher Famous, both also from the Sun, will be performing stunts of their own. For Mr Tucker’s stunt, the audience will be able to choose between him eating a bug, kissing a pig, or licking someone’s feet. Delicious. 

Donations are still being accepted at bdatix.bm, where people can choose one of the contestants and donate money to their fund, all of which will end up going to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

The event
will take place at Harbour Nights tonight, in front of the Bird Cage, and the dares are due to get underway at around 7.30pm.