jeff snow 40 friday

Mississauga man has been drinking 40s of OE every single Friday since first lockdown

In just a few days, Ontario will lift almost all remaining pandemic restrictions, including those pertaining to capacity limits, social gatherings and vaccine passports.

Things certainly seem to be moving in the right direction as far as COVID is concerned, but the last two years have been tough. Really tough.

And yet, despite all of the lives and livelihoods lost, there are scores of people who've found ways to cope with these uncertain times in novel ways, whether through taking up new passions, starting lucrative side hustles or simply reconnecting with the outdoors.

Jeff Snow, a 37-year-old Mississauga software developer, formed a ritual called "40 Friday" that he's now kept up every week since the pandy first hit back in March 2020.

"It started the first week of the first COVID lockdown. I was trying to figure out what to do that weekend since everything was closed. I just happened to be listening to Dr Dre's The Chronic album," he tells blogTO, noting that it's "hard not to listen to that album without wanting to drink a 40 of OE."

So, he decided to get a bottle and, at the urging of his brothers, decided to keep drinking 40s of OE every Friday (as well as barbecuing chicken) during the lockdown.

"Of course, this is when it was assumed we would only be locked down for a couple weeks," he tells blogTO. "One hundred plus weeks later, I am still drinking 40s of Olde English on Fridays."

But it hasn't just been Snow drinking all of that OE — friends took notice of the tradition almost right away and started reaching out to participate. In total, Snow says that upwards of 80 people have joined him in his backyard to drink Olde English on Friday nights over the past two years.

"People began to reach out to me when I started to consistently post 40 Friday pictures on Instagram," he says. "I am still getting lots of people who are trying to come out. It essentially became a great way to hang out with people safely while following the COVID safety restrictions. I always have the hand sanitizer close by."

He and his friends have had some legendary nights on account of this whole 40 Friday business, says Snow, who has his guests perform something called the "reaper challenge" when they join him for OEs.

"I use Carolina Reaper seasoning on some BBQ chicken, it is a bit of a rite of passage for the elite 40 Friday drinkers," he says, noting that he enjoys the expressions on peoples' faces when they ingest the what's been dubbed the spiciest pepper on earth.

There have been themed nights (green OE on St. Patrick's Day, fancy glasses on New Year's Eve, a three-piece suit in the dead of winter for Snow's birthday) as well as regular features, including Snow's ever-changing fly sock wardrobe and the presence of a Volleyball pal named Pete Wilson (named after a neighbour, Pete, and Wilson from Cast Away.)

Snow hasn't yet decided if he'll keep doing 40 Friday once things go back to normal (or whatever the new normal may be) but says that he has considered doing the notorious Edward Fortyhands challenge as a type of closing ceremony.

Whatever the case, he'll keep on drinking OE well into the future, perhaps just not every Friday.

"I have not been infected with COVID yet," he tells blogTO. "Forty Friday science tells me it is because of all the Olde English flowing through my veins."

"I am still holding out hope that Molson Coors (Miller Brewing Company) will sponsor 40 Friday and send me some fly Olde English socks to match my shirt."

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