If you visit Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory, you can't skip one of its famous traditions: sipping on a Sourtoe Cocktail at the Sourdough Saloon. The drink, conceived in 1973, comprises 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 (specifically, a second toe). 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 backups!"
A wing and a prayer
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 "to pray for a safe flight." Passengers already onboard were asked to deplane while crews searched inside the engine and around the area, ultimately finding nine coins totaling the equivalent of about 25 cents. Local news outlets estimated the cost of the delay and the search at $140,000.
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 because he enjoys wearing them. Police found more than 1,000 pieces during a search of his home.
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," Assistant Police Chief Jim Previtera 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 cleanup.
• A SWAT team from the Sumter County (Fla.) Sheriff's department raided the Villages retirement community on June 21, uncovering what they believe is a golf cart chop-shop operation, along with illegal drugs, in the sprawling complex near Ocala. Souped-up golf carts are a popular way to get around in the community, which is home to more than 150,000 people. 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 hopeful Minnesota driver, pulled over by Dakota County 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 nonetheless.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.