Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sour Toes

It really wasn’t the most appropriate breakfast conversation on the cruise.  But it was fascinating.

The woman at the end of our table – let’s call her “Celeste” was talking animatedly.  Was I hearing correctly?  

An amputated toe?  In a drink?  

She called it the Sourtoe Cocktail.

Although I hated to call attention to my eves dropping, I had to ask. 

Excuse me,” I said.  “Did you say that you drank a cocktail containing an amputated toe?”

“Uh-huh” said Celeste.  “They serve it at a bar called The Downtown Hotel in the Yukon."

“A human toe?” I asked, as if the toe of an orangutan would be any better.

“Oh, yeah,” she replied.

Then she added, "And if you drink the whole drink you get a certificate.  But the toe has to touch your lips."
I  gagged.

I mean, it’s one thing if you were enjoying an adult beverage in your back yard. And someone chopping wood while barefoot accidentally chopped off his toe sending it reeling through the air, landing in your drink.  And you took a sip without realizing it was there.

But these people Do. It. On. Purpose.  

 “And you paid for this drink?” I asked. 

“It was a deal!” bragged Celeste.  “Just ten bucks.”

I wish she had stopped there.

“But if you swallow the toe they charge more.”

I looked down at my breakfast sausages.  They were beginning to lose their appeal.

“Does that ever happen?”  I asked, aghast.

Celeste informed me that it has happened more than once.  The fine used to be $500 until somebody SWALLOWED IT ON PURPOSE.  Now the fine is $2,500.

Guess swallowing a toe was on someone’s bucket list.  Somewhere between getting his eyeballs poked out by ravens and watching Donald Trump pole dance in a thong.

Celeste told me that The Downtown Hotel keeps a “back up toe” for these occasions.  Over the years they have received nine donor toes.   One was delivered in a jar of alcohol with the message, “Don’t wear open-toe sandals while mowing the lawn.”

At this point I decided I was done eating and placed my napkin atop my partially eaten sausages.

As you might expect, amputated toes are hard to come by and after the most recent accidental toe consumption, the Downtown Hotel placed the following newspaper ad:

Wait. One. Minute.

This ad is lacking specificity.  There is no mention of which toe would qualify.  

I would assume that the big toe would be preferred, as that would minimize the chances of swallowing said toe.  But it also seems to me that the market potential for amputated toes would be significantly larger (by a factor of 5) if they broadened the target market.
I had to ask.

(Adam hasn't responded to my email yet.)

I had a flashback.  

When Linda was a baby she had a hair tourniquet around her "tall man" toe from strings hidden deep within her footie pajamas.  It took a trip to the doctor to figure out why she WOULD NOT STOP CRYING. 

I nearly had an donor toe.

Oh, well.  It's irrelevant.  She kept her toe.  And if she hadn't the doctor probably would have kept it.

But I did keep some baby teeth.  And hair from her first haircut.

Which gives me a scathingly brilliant idea. 

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