Steelhammer: Shaking up classic Bond titles
While British secret agent James Bond routinely faces death from a legion of ruthless operatives from NATO-unfriendly dictatorships, the legendary spy actually faces a bigger threat of meeting his end by wrapping his Aston Martin around a power pole while driving drunk.
According to a lighthearted but mostly scientific study published in the December issue of the British Medical Journal, Bond consumes four times the recommended maximum amount of alcohol. That conclusion is based on a painstaking review of all 14 original James Bond books, with the authors tabulating all the vodka martinis, Scotch-and-sodas and champagnes quaffed by the spy each week.
"Contemporaneous notes were taken detailing every alcoholic drink taken," the authors wrote in the methodology section of the study. "Predefined alcohol unit levels were used to calculate consumption. Days when Bond was unable to consume alcohol, such as through incarceration, were noted."
For every 87 days Bond was able to drink, he chose not to drink on only 12 of them, according to the study. His maximum daily consumption was 49.8 units of alcohol (on Day 3 of 'From Russia with Love'), the equivalent of 16.3 martinis.
Seems as though the fictional spy's blood alcohol level may be a bit higher than 0.07.
Bond is known for preferring his martinis shaken, not stirred. The reason for that preference is suggested in the headline for the journal article: "Were James Bond's drinks shaken because of alcohol induced tremor?"
By seeking quantum solace in alcohol at four times the advisable maximum rate for adult males, Bond "is at considerable risk of developing alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, impotence and other alcohol related health problems," the authors of the study concluded. "Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond ... to reduce his intake to safe levels."
Should Bond's screenplay writers take the researchers' advice, a new set of 007 movies could be on the horizon, with titles like:
Liver Let Dry
A View to a Still
Dry Another Day
From Rehab With Love
You Only Live Nice
The Spy Who Chugged Me Dr. Just Say No