It Doesn't Pay to Eat A 2-Inch Roach
Reprinted from an article appearing June 2, 1989
At the Chicago Board of Trade, people hardly notice when a futures trader eats a $1 million
loss. But on May 26, the feast consisted of a 2-inch American cockroach, and that
halted all other activity in the Treasury note pit. The bug was perched on the tongue
of Brian Waller, a trader's clerk who consumed la cucaracha in response to a $200 dare.
He bit it and turned around so everybody could see it, including the visitor's gallery,"
said Geoffrey Getz, a trader who witnessed the incident.
Waller's feat amazed traders and runners from adjacent pits, who flocked to the
spectacle and chanted: "Eat it, eat it." But the bite bugged floor officials,
who collared Waller and began disciplary proceedings leading to a $1,000 fine
for disrupting trading. Waller, who couldn't be reached for comment, was later
fired. There's another entry in the CBOT rule book that might better fit his offense,
though: No eating on the floor.