The Real Reason Bond Liked His Martinis Shaken, Not Stirred

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The British Medical Journal’s current issue “exposes” the real reason behind James Bond’s penchant for having his drinks shaken, not stirred: tremors from alcohol withdrawal.

A group of researchers analyzed 12 of Ian Fleming’s novels about the iconic, womanizing British spy to examine how much alcohol the ole’ boy actually consumed, and it was 4x the BMJ’s recommended limit. Interesting observations they made about his drinking habits:

  • In at least one of his novels, he claims to be using alcohol as an “eye opener”
  • He gets irritated when confronted about his excessive drinking by “M”
  • On many occasions he gets behind the wheel for a high speed chase when he’s over the legal limit
  • He admits in one of the novels that he feels better when he doesn’t drink as much
  • He drank an average of 92 units (a unit is the equivalent of 8 grams of  ethanol) a week
  • Given the fact that most people underestimate or lie about how much they drink by about 30%, he could be consuming as many as 130 units per week

Because the novels were written during an age when drinking and smoking cigarettes was highly glamorized (think “Madmen”), it’s no real shock that Bond drinks to excess.

But he probably should follow the lead of a fellow Brit who was also in the news this week — Peter O’Toole, who quit imbibing after being told he needed a liver transplant.

The research team decided that if Bond doesn’t get his drinking under control, he could very likely become a stroke victim, develop certain malignancies, or suffer from cirrhosis of the liver. And, probably the thing Bond would hate to lose the most would be his ability to  womanize, and we all know what alcohol does in that regard.

The good news is that his prognosis is pretty good if he stops hitting the sauce right away — actor Peter O’Toole lived another 30 years after swearin’ off the sauce.

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