There's a special place in hell for people who screw with other people's adult beverages, and for Dawson City, Yukon, that unshakeable truism just got really personal this week. The town is famous for its "Sourtoe Cocktail," a drink served at the local joint the Downtown Hotel. The crucial ingredient to the cocktail is a preserved human toe, which is used to top a shot of whisky. The traditional rule goes that the drinker must allow the toe to touch their lips while shooting the hooch. This fun, bizarre local tradition fell apart this this past weekend when some total jabroni decided to steal the toe.
"We are furious," Terry Lee, the hotel's "Toe Captain," righteously responded in a press release this week. "Toes are very hard to come by."
Let's back up and put this into context. Dawson City is a town of less than 1,400 residents. The Sourtoe Cocktail has been a popular tradition and tourist draw for years partly because it's so unique to the city, but also because it hearkens back to the Klondike region's Gold Rush heritage. As Lee -- a gray-haired local who wears spectacles -- unapologetically stated in this video a few years back, looking directly at the camera: "This is the Yukon. This is a very strange place, where very strange characters hang out." The thieves have gone and pissed Lee off.
"Stunts like this adversely affect the whole community, not just the Downtown Hotel. We fortunately have a couple of back up toes, but we really need this one back," he said. He gave a quote to the Alaska Dispatch News saying he's "got to watch my temper" and claiming he had names of suspects.
A toe theft is a matter serious enough at the Downtown Hotel to have precedent. The fine used to be $500 for swallowing or stealing one of the hotel's dehydrated toes, until another jerk in August 2013 swallowed his whole shot, including the toe, in one go, putting $500 on the table like that somehow made it OK. The hotel upped it to $2,500 since then, because human toes -- which are donated -- aren't exactly cocktail ingredients you can order through a distributor.
The suspect was reportedly passing through town from Quebec, and successfully convinced a bartender to serve him the signature cocktail after regular "Toe Time" hours.
"One of the new staff served it to him to be nice," Lee told CBC News. "And this is how he pays her back. What a low life."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are on the case and investigating the toe theft and the Downtown Hotel has put out a flyer and offered a reward for information leading to the brazen thief. To add idiocy to douchebaggery, the Mounties know who the suspect is because he was so busy stealing the sacred digit, he forgot to take the hotel's certificate that comes with the the cocktail on his way out.