The New York Times launched a proper Australian arm back in 2017, piggybacking off the success of other international news media like The Guardian and the Daily Mail who have also launched very successful operations down under. Two years later, they’ve published some good work, and also some grim anthropological investigations of Australian life clearly intended for New Yorkers to read on the subway and go, “Huh!”

Today’s entry: the humble shoey.

Truly an honour to have the august gaze of the Grey Lady turned on a proud cultural tradition.

To “do a shoey” is to pour alcohol (usually beer) into a shoe (yours or someone else’s) and chug it. Beer cascades down your shirt. Then you (or someone else) wears a wet shoe for the night.

Famous people who have quaffed from a boot, usually at the insistence of Australians, include the Australian Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo; film and television stars like Sir Patrick Stewart, Gerard Butler, Hugh Grant and Jimmy Fallon; and musicians including Stormzy, Machine Gun Kelly, Aminé and Luke Bryan. Harry Styles, the former One Direction singer, declined a shoey.

Despite the fact the shoey ceased being a red hot meme well over a year ago, it manages to perpetuate itself zombielike into the present day based on the fact that a) touring acts from around the world are told to do one, which disgusts them; and b) we keep fucking doing them. Slurping curdled toe fungus from a crusty Reebok has been baked into the culture now, and it might take something like a devastating climate catastrophe to reverse course.

Look, now that it has reached “covered by the global paper of record” status, we can probably let it die. Maybe we can drink beer from some other unorthodox receptacle, like a hat or backpack or some shit like that.

Image: Getty Images