Drunk, Sober, High: The Insect Fair

The Bryce Jordan Center hosts a plethora of eclectic events throughout the year. Naturally, when we found out that Penn State’s Entomology department would be hosting “The Great Insect Fair” at the BJC, our curiosity was piqued. We sent three of our writers to the fair in different states of mind and asked them to write about their experiences.


We entered the BJC in a steady rain that really pissed me off for some reason, but regardless, we got there. There was some creepy guy controlling a robotic bug (I think?) outside of the BJC, which was really weird in hindsight, but we were at an insect fair that was oddly full of kids and we weren’t exactly sober, so we let it slide.

As soon as we walked down to the floor, I had to go to the bathroom again, so I told Sober to find me one. That didn’t happen, so I aimlessly wandered around the BJC looking for one. Around 15 minutes later, I finally found one under one of the two big red signs that said RESTROOMS… Whoops.

The actual Insect Fair itself was pretty boring. There were bees in wooden boxes and a grasshopper that was an invasive species, so of course the woman showing it to us opened up its container because, you know, that’s a good idea. We did get to play with a stick bug, but High was hogging the damn thing and just kept saying, “Hey, this is really cool.”

The highlights of the trip were the honey and worms in dirt that we got because A) I was jonesing for some food and B) dirt dessert was easily the best drunk food I have ever tasted. Try it. You’ll thank me later. As an added bonus, the sugar high made me pass out for four hours after I got home. (Or was that the alcohol?)


Before Saturday, I’d only been to the Bryce Jordan Center for THON, basketball games, and a handful of concerts. So when I walked into the BJC to see the floor teeming with townies and bugs, I was a bit surprised.

I also hadn’t been inside the BJC since THON, so it felt eerily quiet as locals sampled homegrown honey, painted their faces with insect decals, and learned about Pennsylvania’s entomology.

My friend High and I had just made it to the front of the honey tasting line when we noticed Drunk was no longer with us. Earlier, he had left in search of a bathroom, and we realized he had yet to return. I pulled out my phone to contact him and saw he had called three times. We found him seconds later, desperately scanning the crowd for his less-inebriated friends. He was worried he’d be stuck in this world of townies and insects alone forever.

We proceeded to a booth with phasmatodea, better known as the infamous stick bug. The bug-tender placed the creature on High’s hand. High laughed as it crawled over his skin, giggling, and repeated “Hey, this is pretty cool” a couple thousand times.

It wasn’t.

Finally, we retreated to the best station: the concession stand. I hadn’t eaten all day, and High and Drunk were ready to munch. Ravenously, we devoured a classic middle school snack: dirt dessert. For just three dollars at the Bryce Jordan Center, it was a real steal.

Insect Fair


By the time we arrived at the Insect Fair, my body was as toasty as humanly possible. Like, that “sweating like a madman” kind of toasty. The dude with the remote control bug car and voice modulator out front of the BJC damn near gave me a heart attack, and I knew instantly that I was way too high for this. When I heard “Insect Fair,” I guess I thought it would be more like a zoo. Instead, there was an actual exterminator there. What the hell is that?

The stick bug was pretty neat, definitely the chillest bug there. I lost my cockroach race, but my roach definitely tried really hard, so it’s okay. Also, people kept randomly opening up jars of insects. If you don’t want someone to freak out and smash your bug, you should probably ask them before you open up your jars, entomologists. I swear, Drunk was ready to cry. I was too wavy to be worried, except when we got to the bees and I was paranoid they’d break out of the glass. I don’t like bees. Nic Cage and I have that in common.

The honey was so good, but by the time we finally got to it, I was so stoned that all I wanted to do was eat a snack and go to bed. The dirt dessert was the greatest high food ever created, I think. I was kind of worried that I was stealing it from a townie kid, but I didn’t really care, if I’m being honest. The goddamn robot bug car guy scared me again on my way out.

I fell asleep in the car and dreamed of cockroach races being an Olympic sport. Moral of the story: Don’t eat pot brownies on an empty stomach.

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