Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Sourtoe Cocktail


I debated writing about the ensuing topic, as it neither pertains to running nor particularly enhances any professional credibility I have gained through my years of teaching.

Why share this tidbit of my own sordid personal history, then?  Well, let's just call it one more example of the strange things I will pay money to do, for the story if nothing else.  Sometimes I like being thought of as strange, and capable of just about anything.

It seems that in 1973, a Captain Dick Stevenson had just purchased himself a cabin deep in the wilderness outside of Dawson City.  While cleaning out the cabin, he found none other than a real human toe, amputated by the cabin's previous owner during a bout of frostbite some years ago.  That night at the pub with his friends, Ol' Captain Dick came up with the challenge of drinking a beer glass filled with champagne with the petrified toe lurking at the bottom.  The challenge has since morphed into a shot of liquor, gained a name (the Sourtoe Cocktail), and over 50,000 challengers later, I stepped up to the plate.

The toe is not the original 1973 version, but rather the sixth or seventh incarnation.  While the drink and toe have changed with the years, the rule remains the same: "you can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips have got to touch the toe."

Afterwards I received a certificate stating that I am a "person capable of almost anything," and am "therefore fully entitled to bear this certificate with such rights and privileges that may at any drunken moment be decided upon."

Yet another reason why I love to travel.  You just never know what you'll find out there.

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