If you visit Dawson City in Canada’s Yukon Territory, you may find yourself sipping on a Sourtoe Cocktail at the Sourdough Saloon. The drink, conceived in 1973, includes the cocktail of your choice garnished with a pickled amputated human toe. “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have gotta touch the toe,” says “toe master” Terry Lee. On June 18, one of the saloon’s toes went missing when a patron, who identified himself as “a drunken fool,” took the digit. Although the thief mailed the toe back with an apology, Travel Yukon has launched a campaign for an “insurance toe,” saying, “our toe was returned, but we can always use back-ups!”
People And Their Money
— Some find it hard to leave their falcon at home while they do errands. So high-end automaker Bentley now offers a customized SUV featuring a “removable transportation perch and tether” for hunting birds and a wood inlay in the shape of a falcon on the dash. At a starting price of $230,000, the Bentayga Falconry also features a refreshment case and special compartments for bird hoods and gauntlets. “Falconry is regarded as the sport of kings in the Middle East, so it was vital that the kit we create … appeal to our valued customers there and around the world,” noted Geoff Dowding with Bentley’s Mulliner division.
— A stretch limo wasn’t posh enough for Saudia Shuler, a Philadelphia mom who wanted to make her son’s high school prom memorable. She spent $25,000 creating a Dubai-themed prom night, that required the use of 3 tons of sand and a camel (for pre-prom photos). The lucky senior took not one but three dates to the dance. Along with him, they wore designer clothes and accessories. Shuler also sprang for a rented Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Range Rover.
Thailand’s Scorpion Queen, who holds the Guinness World Record for holding a scorpion in her mouth (3 minutes and 28 seconds), shocked onlookers in June as she let scorpions crawl all over her body and in and out of her mouth as part of a show in Pattaya, a city on the Gulf of Thailand. Kanchana Kaetkaew also holds the record for co-habiting with scorpions. She lived in a 12-meter-square glass enclosure with 5,000 of the creatures for 33 days.
Samurai Of Fang And Claw
Japan’s Samurai Age store, which offers novelty samurai apparel, is featuring a new line of samurai armor outfits for cats and dogs. The body armor is sized for small pets, but custom orders for larger sizes are possible. These can include a helmet and mask. Samurai enthusiasts can also order armor for liquor bottles and dolls.
The 7th Inning Squat
Male baseball fans attending the June 15 Jacksonville, Fla., Jumbo Shrimp minor league game were treated to a novel promotional giveaway: pregnancy tests. The “You Might Be a Father” promotion was conceived to help fans decide whether they should return for the Father’s Day game on Sunday, June 18.
It’s No Fun To Go To The Bathroom
Maintenance workers at the courthouse in Jonesboro, Ark., are fed up with people urinating in the elevators, especially considering that restrooms are within spitting distance of the elevators. Craighead County officials hope to stem the tide with newly installed security cameras, which have caught three men in the act since their installation last fall.
The Firearm Fetish
Tourists and father-son duos looking for out-of-this-world bonding experiences are paying up to $50,000 for the opportunity to “hunt” feral hogs from helicopters in Texas, sometimes using machine guns. “There’s only so many places in the world you can shoot machine guns out of a helicopter and no one shoots back,” said HeliBacon company co-owner Chris Britt. Texas passed the “pork-chopper” bill in 2011. It allows aerial hunting of feral hogs. In May, legislators approved hunting from hot-air balloons, which are quieter and give hunters a steadier shot.
Do Not Disturb The Sloth
Zoological Wildlife Conservation Center in Rainier, Ore., is offering sleepovers in its sloth sanctuary. The visit includes a tent with a cot and satellite TV (in case the animals are being too sloth-like). Visitors, who pay $600 (double occupancy) for the 12-hour experience, are asked to whisper so as not to stress out the sloths.
Compulsions For The Ages
Could it have been overconsumption of caffeine that provoked Londoner Kit Lovelace to scan all 236 episodes of Friends to chronicle how much coffee each character drank? Lovelace told the Huffington Post in June he was disappointed that no one had ever collected data about the characters’ coffee habits. So he meticulously studied how much they drank; how their consumption changed over the years; and how much they spent on coffee. Spoiler alert: Phoebe drank the most coffee. Collectively, the group spent more than $2,000 on joe over the course of the 10-season series.
— A California man’s 2,000th visit to Disneyland in Anaheim made him a celebrity in the park. Jeff Reitz began visiting Disneyland every day after receiving an annual pass as a gift in 2012. At the time, he was unemployed. But he continued his habit even after finding a job, using the $1,049 Disney Signature Plus Passport. “Until today, cast members would think I looked familiar, but now they know who I am,” Reitz said. “It’s been positive, it’s been a motivator, it’s been my workout gym. This past year, I’ve lost about 40 pounds.”
— A serial underwear thief in Tokyo was finally snagged July 4 when he was caught on surveillance video stealing nine women’s undergarments that had been hung out to dry. Yasushi Kobayashi, 61, told police that he’d been lifting lingerie for 20 years. He says he steels them because he enjoys wearing them. Police found more than 1,000 pieces during a search of his home.
— A SWAT team from the Sumter County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Dept. raided The Villages retirement community on June 21, uncovering what they believe is a golf cart chop-shop operation. Souped-up golf carts are a popular way to get around in the community, which is home to more than 150,000. Windshields, seat cushions, wheels and tires were found in the garage, along with drugs “in plain sight” in the home, Deputy Gary Brannen said. Five people, ranging in age from 38 to 63, were arrested.
— A determined pregnant woman in Asheville, N.C., was charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon after she ran over the man who had been caught rifling through her SUV. Christine Braswell, 26, confronted Robert Raines, 34, in a Walmart parking lot. But when he ran, she couldn’t run after him. “Me being five months pregnant, I chased a little ways, then come back, jumped in the car, threw it in gear and come across the curb and ran him over,” she said. “I was not going to let him get away with it.” Raines sustained minor injuries.
Mother Jeannine Isom in Cedar Hills, Utah, took her 7-year-old son’s dental care into her own hands in June when she purchased hand sanitizer and needle-nose pliers at Walmart, then ushered her son into the store’s restroom and pulled out two of his teeth. Police were alerted after the boy’s older brother heard him screaming. The mother was charged with felony child abuse.
The Wall Street Journal reported on a small group of enthusiasts who participate in the esoteric sport of container spotting — discovering and documenting unusual shipping containers. Spotting a distinctive box “is analogous to the satisfaction that bird-watchers get from spotting a very rare breed of bird,” noted Matt Hannes, who maintains the Intermodal Container web page. Unusual boxes, known as “unicorns,” include those with outdated names or logos or that sport discontinued colors, as well as those from very small shipping companies. Charles Fox of Indianapolis may be an extreme hobbyist: On his honeymoon, he spent two 12-hour days taking photos of a variety of boxes in Belgium. Mrs. Fox was not amused.
Robert Dreyer, celebrating his 89th birthday, suffered no apparent injury when he crashed his car into a fire hydrant in Viera, Fla., in May. But as he got out of the car to check the damage, he drowned after being sucked into the hole by the strong water pressure where the hydrant had been.
Get Out Of Jail Free
A driver pulled over by Dakota County (Minn.) deputy Mike Vai in June, produced a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card from a Monopoly game in an effort to escape charges on a controlled substance warrant. The amused officer shared the incident on his department’s Facebook page, but took the unidentified man into custody.
It’s The Thought That Counts
A China Southern Airlines flight between Shanghai and Guangzhou was delayed for five hours on June 27 after an 80-year-old passenger, identified only as Qiu, was spotted tossing coins into the engine as she boarded. She said she was “praying for a safe flight.” Passengers already onboard were asked to deplane while crews searched inside the engine and around the area. Ultimately, they found nine coins worth 25 cents. Local news outlets estimated the cost of the delay and the search at $140,000.
Things We Didn’t Know We Needed
A Chinese company has developed fruit and vegetable molds that form growing foods into little Buddhas, hearts, stars and skulls. Farmers affix the plastic molds over the stems of growing plants, and the fruit fills the mold as it grows. The company also offers custom molds.
Graffiti Made Easy
Police in St. Petersburg, Fla., were hunting in late June for the artist tagging buildings with butt cheeks. At least 20 downtown fanny paintings, sporting from two to seven buttocks, have been reported. “It’s not very creative,” sniffed one office worker. “The bottom line is, whoever is doing this is destroying property,” Asst. Police Chief Jim Previterra said. Property owners are wiping the butts away as fast as they appear. But police say the vandal, when caught, will have to pay for clean-up.
Suspicions were aroused in New Hope, Ala., when veteran mail carrier Susanna Burhans, 47, was seen throwing food at a dog along her route. On June 1, she was charged with aggravated animal cruelty after the dog’s owner found a nail-filled meatball near his house, and a subsequent X-ray revealed nails in the dog’s stomach. The USPS has put her on non-duty status.