homepage logo

Standard Deviations: A Valentine’s Day of pickles, cockroaches and meteorites

By Staff | Feb 3, 2019

Ozone and particulate matter aren’t the only dangerous things floating around Northern Utah this February.

With Valentine’s Day barreling down on us like a runaway freight train filled with those “Kiss Me” and “Be Mine” heart-shaped candies, something else — something far more insidious than the PM2.5 pollution we find in the skies above our Northern Utah valleys this time of year — is in the air.


In honor of the upcoming holiday, your friends here at the Standard-Examiner have put together the ultimate gift guide for Feb. 14. Whatever your current Facebook relationship status, we’ve got the perfect passionate presents to express your innermost feelings.

And so, without further ado, we present the 2019 Standard-Examiner Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for hopeless romantics, no matter what your social-media status …


Sure, you could get that sweetheart o’ your’n flowers. Or chocolates. Or even, like, flowers dipped in chocolate.

But the smart amorous money? This year, it’s on — wait for it — pickle bouquets. That’s right, apparently lovers are giving one another bouquets made of pickles and cucumber-related items.

NBC’s “Today” show punningly points out that pickle bouquets for Valentine’s Day are “a really big dill” this year, explaining that the Boston-based company Grillo’s Pickles is pushing the trend. Using skewers and toothpicks, creative suitors can use spears, chips and whole pickles to create an edible bouquet to make their sweethearts swoon.

Because really, nothing says “Be my Valentine” like small cukes preserved in a vinegar or brine solution and artfully arranged.

“Not only is a pickle bouquet more beautiful than a dozen red roses, and healthier than a standard box of chocolate, it’s also far more creative,” Grillo founder/CEO Travis Grillo told “Today.”

I can’t argue the health benefits of pickles vs. chocolate, and I suppose a cucumber-based arrangement is arguably more creative. But actually trying to claim that pickles are “more beautiful than a dozen red roses”?

I think we all know what Travis Grillo’s current Facebook relationship status is: “In a pickle.”


Just ask anyone who doesn’t have someone: Being single on Valentine’s Day is the absolute worst. But lucky for these folks, the sexual wellness company plusOne is having a giveaway to make the special day of love a little less lonely.

Those who’ve gone through a recent breakup are invited to go to https://myplusone.com/v-day-giveaway between now and Feb. 13, and enter to win by sharing their breakup story. As the company explains on its website: “What’s worse than a breakup? A breakup right before Valentine’s Day. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’re giving away 250 of our sexual wellness products to newly single individuals who could use a little bit of self-love this time of year.”

So then, just exactly what is this “sexual wellness product” they’re giving away? The family-friendly nature of this newspaper precludes me from sharing the product’s name, but suffice it to say the company reports that the device has “10 exciting settings.”

Not to mention being rechargeable, waterproof, and “body safe.”

I don’t even want to know what that last one means.


Maybe you just went through a bad breakup, and now Valentine’s Day is nothing more than a painful reminder of your failed attempt at Happily Ever After. Well, don’t despair, because the Hemsley Conservation Centre in London, England, has an ideally cathartic gift for you: For the equivalent of just under $2, you can name a cockroach after your ex.

The name you choose (sorry, first names only) will appear on the roach board near the cockroach enclosure at the zoo. The gift also comes with a certificate that reads: “I’ve named a cockroach at the Hemsley Conservation Centre in the not so loving memory of my worthless ex!”

Money raised from the name-a-cockroach project will go toward future zoo projects.

If you’re not wanting to send your money “over the pond” as they say, The Bronx Zoo in New York offers a similar deal on its Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Calling it “A Timeless Gift,” the zoo’s website touts the roach’s survival abilities, promising: “After the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers wilt, roaches remain thriving and triumphant. Give the gift that’s eternal and Name a Roach for Valentine’s Day.”

Cost is $15, and it includes a digital certificate.


And finally, let’s call this one, “From Russia With Love.”

The British auction house Christie’s is selling off a heart-shaped meteorite that fell to Earth on Feb. 12, 1947. The meteorite is believed to be a part of a large mass of iron that split from the asteroid belt 320 million years ago and exploded in a giant fireball over Siberia’s Sikhote-Alin Mountains.

It’s one of 45 meteorites going up for online auction Feb. 6-14 . Although some may sell for as little as $500, the so-called “Heart of Space” could fetch as much as a half-million dollars.

Now THAT’S a Valentine’s gift. Naming a star for someone? Pffft, star names are a dime a dozen. But giving your significant other an honest-to-goodness falling star, come to earth in the shape of a heart?

Incidentally, the aerodynamic heart shape of this very special meteorite is believed to have been sculpted as it streaked down through the atmosphere, causing untold destruction upon impact.

A fitting metaphor for love if ever there was one.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)