Yukon Bar Famous for Its Sourtoe Cocktail Has Its Toe Stolen


Update: According to The Globe and Mail, the thief has since mailed the toe back to the bar along with an apology note. The toe is reportedly in “good condition.”

The Sourdough Saloon's toe has gone missing. The appendage is the key ingredient in the Sourtoe Cocktail, the infamous specialty of the Downtown Hotel's bar in the Yukon town of Dawson City. A thieving customer made off with the salt-cured big toe on Saturday, June 17, after drinking his whiskey-and-old-foot cocktail.

This is not the first toe to disappear. The original toe was accidentally swallowed, and since then, the bar has cycled through more than a half-dozen amputated digits, enough that it instituted a fine for any toe-related damage. After a patron purposefully gulped down the toe, put $500 on the table, and left the bar in 2013, the Saloon had to raise the fine for swallowing or stealing the body part to $2500.

The bar’s management is, understandably, pretty upset about the loss. "Toes are very hard to come by," the Downtown Hotel’s Terry Lee said in a media release. This most recent toe was donated by someone who had to have it amputated, and it had to be cured in salt for six months before it could be used in cocktails.

"This was our new toe, and it was a really good one," hotel manager Geri Coulbourne lamented to the CBC. "We just started using it this weekend." (Although the hotel says it has a few back-ups to use in the meantime.)

What's more, the patron shouldn't have even been served the Sourtoe, as he requested it outside of the official "Toe Hours," which run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night, and it was pure generosity on the bartender's part to serve him. That generosity wasn't rewarded, it seems. According to the media release, the man had previously been heard boasting about running off with the toe.

The police are still searching for the thief—who left his award certificate behind—and the bar fully intends to collect its fine.

[h/t Chris Windeyer via Twitter]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

Mental Floss Shop
Mental Floss Shop

You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

Mental Floss Store

If you’re just in the mood to express your love of all things Mental Floss, you can also get our darling little logo on phone cases, tote bags, mugs, baby bibs, and more.

Mental Floss Store

Head on over to the Mental Floss Store to see our entire collection. And if you use the code FLOSSERS at checkout by end of day Sunday, you'll get 20 percent off your order. 

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

The Time Larry David Saved a Man from the Death Penalty


In 2003, 24-year-old machinist Juan Catalan faced the death penalty for allegedly shooting a key witness in a murder case. Catalan told police that he couldn’t have committed the crime, as he was at a Los Angeles Dodgers game at the time. He had the ticket stubs and everything to prove it.

When police didn’t buy his alibi, Catalan contacted the Dodgers, who pointed him to an unlikely hero: misanthropic comedian Larry David. On the day in question, David had been filming an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm at Dodger Stadium. It was a long shot, as there were 56,000 people at the game that day, but maybe Catalan could be seen in the background. So his attorney started watching the outtakes ... and found the evidence he needed. In fact, it took just 20 minutes to find shots of Catalan and his daughter chowing down on ballpark dogs while watching from the stands.

Thanks to the footage, Catalan walked free after five months behind bars. And Larry David found one more thing to be self-deprecating about. “I tell people that I’ve done one decent thing in my life, albeit inadvertently,” David joked.

In 2017, Netflix released a short documentay, Long Shot, about the incident.