Bros Icing Bros: Has the Icing of Bros Affected Smirnoff Ice Sales?

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Are you familiar yet with the nauseating cultural epidemic known simply as Bros Icing Bros? It involves your friends and co-workers, and falls in the gray area between social assassination and masochistic drinking games. The "object" is to force (or "Ice") fellow "players" (or "Bros") into drinking the Grossest Malt Beverage on Earth -- Smirnoff Ice -- by surprising them with one in strategic or creative ways, and ensuring humiliating photographic evidence centered around the "Icee" (or: "Bro" getting "Iced") drinking the "Ice." Amid all the excitement surrounding the alcoholic equivalent of a bitch slap, though, one question remains: Since we now know that the new drinking-game marvel is commercially unaffiliated with the product it utilizes, how are the bros, or "alpha consumers," affecting sales?

We took it upon ourselves to find out more. Since we don't really have access to official sales records within the last two weeks, we looked to the next logical source: the bodegas where Ice is purchased. We traveled to six different bodegas downtown around which many an Ice has been reported to have been delivered, and asked the cashiers what peculiar activities, if any, they may have witnessed in the last two weeks or so involving Smirnoff Ice. The responses and trends were varied, but we have theories.

Cafe Deli Cious 114 West 23rd Street (at Sixth Avenue)

No idea what I was talking about. None. When I showed them the Weapon of Choice in their cooler, no one had any standout memories of anyone purchasing Smirnoff Ice en masse in the last two weeks. Bros in Chelsea must be quite stealth. That, or they outsource Ice purchases to women as to quell suspicion and seemingly maintain the status quo. Or: This is all just bullshit.

Results: Nothing.

Fern Cliff
70 Third Avenue (at 11th Street)

All I could get out of the shopkeeper ("Ronnie") was that Smirnoff, "is selling very good!" all around. This may or may not be related to Icing. Note that Fern Cliff is located below and beside two different NYU dorms, where we know personally that much "bitch drinking" (read: "underage," "whatever's around," or "secured for girls by older members of opposite sex") occurs outside of Bro Icing.

Results: Inconclusive.

Sam's Grocery
254 West 14th Street (at Eighth Avenue)

The cashier, Muhammad, gave a curious -- yet knowing -- look, and reported that in the last two weeks "more guys and old men" (?) had been purchasing Smirnoff Ice. When asked why he thinks there's been a recent increase in sales, he had "no idea." When asked if the purchasers in question seem excited or giddy when purchasing the Ice, he noted: "Maybe in their minds ... but usually they just act normal." Interesting. Bros acting "chill" upon acquisition of Ice. Must feel comfortable enough in their "neighbrohood" to not make up some "pussy excuse" for their embarrassing purchase. Muhammad was also aware that it is, in fact, a silly thing for a bro to purchase an Ice. Ouch.

Results: Affirmative! If not bizarre.

Taehama Grocery
187 Houston Street (Ludlow Street)

Cashier Sammy noted one middle-aged man has been coming in every day to buy Smirnoff Ice, but then remarked that it had been going on since before the phenomenon's inception. He also noted that he acted totally normal when purchasing the Ice. That's two counts of older men purchasing Ice! Perhaps after a certain age, a bro ceases to be confined to typical alcoholic bro-norms.

Results: Creepy.

Deli Mart and N7 Market
Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street

The two bodegas off the Bedford L stop each said that Ice was not a major seller in their business space whatsoever, and recalled no increased sales in the last two weeks. Clearly, the only explanation for what's been perceived as a "high rate of Icing" in South Brooklyn is that Brooklyn Bros are sourcing Ice purchases further into the borough to avoid humiliation at bodegas they frequent.

Results: FAIL.

Conclusions:

1. Either there is simply not nearly enough Icing happening in this city, or

2. Bros everywhere need to man up and and own their Icing purchases. We know you're out there, Icers. At this point, it's only a matter of time before broscatchingbros.com, a website dedicated to catching bros in the act of purchasing "bitch beer" (a preemptive Ice Block of sorts), hits the meme scene as a retaliation mechanism by those who have been Iced. Have no shame, lest that shame get watched. Of course, there's always the cynical standby:

3. This "meme" is being perpetuated by a bunch of drunk, post-ironic assholes who're good at the Internet. And bloggers.

The truth is out there, and it will not be put "on Ice" for anyone.

[awerner@villagevoice.com | On Twitter]


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