Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dan Davidson

DICK’S BIG TOE – Shown is the urn in which sourdough cocktail inventor Captain Dick Stevenson’s ashes will be placed when he departs this world. He’s shown in the mounted picture. The mummified human toe that is the key ingredient in the strange drinking ritual in Dawson City has been stolen.

Dawson hotel staff looking to catch toe-napper

The Downtown Hotel, “Home of the World Famous Sourtoe Cocktail”, is temporarily (they hope) without the last of its supply of big toes.

By Dan Davidson on June 20, 2017

DAWSON CITY – The Downtown Hotel, “Home of the World Famous Sourtoe Cocktail”, is temporarily (they hope) without the last of its supply of big toes.

According to general manager Adam Gerle, a customer made off with the toe last Saturday night. He did so after persuading one of the bar servers to let him take the drink after the usual time for the evening ritual had passed.

“We are furious,” said Terry Lee, the Downtown Hotel toe captain.

“This guy asked to do the toe after the 9-11 p.m.­ toe time hours and one of the new staff served it to him to be nice. And this is how he pays her back. What a low-life.”

The toe vanished after the server was called away to perform another task.

Gerle said it took staff a day or so to figure out what had happened.

“We just got the word out, and it seems to be getting around quickly.”

A press release went out Monday.

Dawson RCMP have been notified, and the hotel is offering a reward for information in getting the toe back.

RCMP Cpl. Jeff Myke confirmed a theft investigation is underway, adding the toe represents a tradition that has been an important part of community history.

The suspect is from Quebec, speaks with a French accent and was boasting about wanting to steal the toe prior to taking the drink.

Gerle is not surprised that no one took his boast seriously, given that other people express this wish from time to time.

The last time a toe went missing was in August 2013, when a man swallowed one and subsequently posted a YouTube video of the deed, which he had planned to have a buddy video.

At the time, there was a fine for toe-swallowing, which the Downtown has since raised to $2,500 for anyone swallowing or stealing the toe – because toes have been stolen in years past.

The hotel fully intends to both fine and encourage legal charges against the man involved unless the toe is returned safely.

The toe is included in a shot of alcohol and, according to tradition, drinkers must permit it to touch their lips in order to join the Sourtoe Cocktail Club.

The foolish thief left his sourtoe cocktail certificate behind, so the police have his name and are looking for information for the digit’s safe return. They can be reached at 867-993-2677.

Gerle said the hotel is not releasing the name as it might be a fake, and it might interfere with the investigation.

“Toes are very hard to come by” said Lee.

“And 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.”

The back-up toes are what Lee refers to as “hammer toes”, meaning they are the four remaining toes from that particular foot.

The larger digit’s absence did not prevent the evening crowd from being thick when Captain Terry took his place at the table between 9 and 11 p.m. Monday.

Comments (5)

Up 2 Down 0

Roger on Jun 23, 2017 at 11:04 am

@ Darrel
The McToe?

Up 3 Down 3

Jeff Donaldson on Jun 21, 2017 at 6:49 pm

I heard that sneaky Royal Canadian Ranger Instructor Dean Lushman from 1 CRPG was in town and he ate it!

Up 6 Down 5

Darrel Drugstore's Smartest Neighbour on Jun 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

The Hamburglar did it !

This is really just a McDonald's commercial setting up Dawson getting
a franchise .

Up 25 Down 1

Obvious Justice on Jun 21, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Catch the Frenchman by his toe, and make sure he donates his now.

Up 3 Down 24

jc on Jun 20, 2017 at 9:56 pm

Sounds like a publicity stunt. I read this story in the National Post.

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