Odds & Ends
A Canadian hotel and bar famed for selling a cocktail with a mummified human toe is out one severed digit after a customer swallowed the historic item. Since the early 1970s, the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City has served a whiskey drink called the Sourtoe—which includes a black, shriveled-up human toe which has been preserved in salt. Customers are not supposed to swallow the toe, but are expected to let it touch their lips as they down the drink. Those who complete the task—and more than 52,000 have—are given a certificate of accomplishment. On the night of Saturday, Aug. 24, however, a customer identified only as “Josh from New Orleans” broke the bar’s cardinal rule and downed the desiccated digit with his drink. Accidentally consuming the toe comes with a $500 fine—something Josh was apparently prepared to pay. According to bartender Terry Lee, the customer sucked down the cocktail—toe and all—slammed $500 on the bar and started to walk away. “I said, ‘Where’s the toe?’ and he said, ‘I swallowed it.’ . . . I was shocked,” Lee told the Canadian Press. The toe has actually been swallowed, lost or destroyed several times since the Sourtoe Cocktail Club was formed in the early ’70s. Most of the mummified toes have been donated to the bar through someone’s will. For now the bar does have one backup toe and has raised the toe-consuming fine to $2,500 to prevent future incidents.
A Plattsmouth man is suing Walmart and the maker of its plastic bags after he says a Walmart bag led to his wife’s death. According to William Freis, the bizarre chain of events began when his wife Lynette went to a Walmart Supercenter to buy dinner on April 16, 2010. The cashier allegedly gave her a plastic bag to carry two 42-ounce cans of La Choy Chow Mein and a 2-pound bag of rice. On the way back to the car, the bag broke. According to the lawsuit, one of the cans of La Choy fell on Lynette’s right foot, breaking her big toe and causing a deep cut. Despite multiple treatments with antibiotics and two surgical procedures, Lynette Freis’ condition deteriorated and an infection spread throughout her body. Mrs. Freis died on March 12, 2011. In late August of this year, Mr. Freis’ case was transferred to U.S. District Court in Omaha. The lawsuit alleges the defendants provided Lynette Freis with a defective grocery bag and failed to train employees on the proper use of double-bagging. Mr. Freis is seeking more than $656,000 in medical expenses, plus an unspecified amount for pain and suffering and burial expenses.
A Republican state senator who is leading a legislative committee on the subject of giving guns to school teachers is standing by his ideas—even after he accidentally shot a teacher during a training exercise earlier this year. In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson introduced a proposal that would allow law enforcement officials to deputize teachers, janitors and principals and allow them to carry guns in schools. In late August the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dug up information that Hutchinson “was invited to attend an ‘active shooter’ training and—using a rubber bullet-loaded pistol—he mistakenly shot a teacher who was confronting a ‘bad guy.’” The teacher in question was not seriously injured. The experience reportedly “gave Hutchinson some pause,” but the senator is still sticking by his plan to arm teachers. “The ideal would be to have a trained resource officer in every school,” Hutchinson said. “The state and school districts can’t afford that.”
Police in Bellingham have arrested a man who tried to sneak marijuana into the Whatcom County Jail by attaching it to an arrow and shooting it into the facility. A civilian employee of the Whatcom sheriff’s office allegedly saw a man step out of a red Ford pickup truck and use a bow to launch the arrow toward the jail’s second-floor recreation area. The shooter missed, however, and sent it up to the facility’s roof. Sheriff Bill Elfo says the man, identified as 36-year-old David Wayne Jordan, was tracked by his license plate and later arrested for introducing contraband into the jail, resisting arrest and obstructing law enforcement. According to the Bellingham Herald, Jordan reportedly told deputies he had been aiming at a squirrel. The arrow was recovered from jail property and found wrapped with “a few grams of marijuana and a yet-to-be-identified substance.”