I am so sick of this damn toe.
There is news, fake news and Weird Viral News. That last category includes treats such as the story about the Italian court that ruled live lobsters should not be frozen before they’re boiled to death because it causes too much suffering, or the one about the dead bat found in a bag of salad, or anything that happens in Florida.
This is the stuff that lights up your social media feed in waves. You see it once when the news breaks. And you see it again as the people who were getting coffee when it was first tweeted out come back. Then you see it another time as the late adopters and people with like, lives and stuff, post the same damn article over and over again. Finally, two days later, someone’s mum puts it on Facebook, and you’re ready to die.
Most of the time, that’s fine, if mildly exhausting in the way that only the internet content cycle can be. You can’t get that mad about seeing the same bear who walks on his hind legs too many times, and if you do, you’re the weirdo and it’s time to log off.
But not with this story. The weird news du jour is genuinely driving me insane. As you’ve no doubt seen on your own feeds, a man in Canada is on the run with a mummified toe he stole from a bar that sells a stupid gross drink with a toe in it.
It has everything one of these story needs. Colourful, quirky, faintly adorable quotes from locals:
“I’m really attached to that toe,” Lee told the National Post from the bar on Monday night. “He’s in deep trouble.”
An absurd sense of importance attached to the most inconsequential thing, a delightful contrast that momentarily distracts us from the genuine misery surrounding us:
A man walked into a bar on Saturday night and walked out with a human toe worth $80,000. He is now being hunted by the police.
In Dawson, this is no small act of mischief. “(The toe) is an institution in Dawson,” Lee said. “When someone frigs around with it, there goes our institution.”
And an incredibly gross picture that begs to be shared:
How the fuck is this drink even legal? https://t.co/pWRpBbR2zd Aren't there… I dunno, like licensing laws for handling corpse chunks?
— Greg Stolze (@GregStolze) June 20, 2017
And shared it was. Not only was this shrivelled digit all over Twitter today, it was shared not once, not twice, but three times in the Gizmodo work chat room, which meant I absolutely had to see it or I’d get fired and sent back to England:
Toe Appearance 1, pre-9AM, pre-breakfast.
Toe Appearance 2, plus media commentary.
Toe Appearance 3, resentment sets in.
The worst part about this? I already knew about the toe, as it was featured in a 2010 episode of QI, a British panel show that has soothed me through most of the migraines and hangovers I’ve had in the past 10 years. The toe news wasn’t even news to me.
I am tired of hearing about the toe. I do not want to see, nor read, nor be told about the toe. And I would bet $20 I’ll see this thing on Facebook next week anyway.