“The Spy Who Loved Me” may have loved alcohol too much, according to British researchers.
British medical experts read 12 James Bond novels written by Ian Fleming, and determined that agent 007’s copious alcohol consumption would have impeded his ability to drive Aston Martins to chase villains. It also likely would have killed him by his mid-fifties.
The researchers concluded that his penchant for that martini that’s “shaken, not stirred” may have been his socially acceptable way of coping with tremors caused by alcohol-induced brain damage.
The man who fought off “Dr. No” probably should have said no to a drink once in awhile.
“Although we appreciate the societal pressures to consume alcohol when working with international terrorists and high stakes gamblers, we would advise Bond be referred for further assessment of his alcohol intake and reduce his intake to safe levels,” wrote the researchers, led by Graham Johnson, an emergency medicine specialist at Royal Derby Hospital in the U.K.
Ian Fleming authored 14 Bond books, but the researchers excluded “The Spy Who Loved Me” because 007 only appeared for eight hours as a peripheral character and "Octopussy and the Living Daylights," because it was a short story collection.
The researchers were shocked when they quantified how much Bond drank, given his ability to perform action-packed feats in pressure-filled situations. They determined Bond consumed more than 1,150 units of alcohol in 123.5 days of face time in the novels. Factoring in days he was unable to drink -- such as when incarcerated by an evil genius or hospitalized -- that worked out to roughly 92 units of booze each week, about four times more than the 21-unit limit British health officials recommend.
“It is likely that these are an underestimate rather than an overestimate of his intake on these few occasions,” they wrote.
All that booze likely meant he was over the 0.08 blood alcohol legal limit each time he got behind the wheel to chase criminals.
“In 'Casino Royale' he drinks over 39 units before engaging in a high speed car chase, losing control, and spending 14 days in hospital,” the researchers wrote. “We hope that this was a salutatory lesson.”
Based on Bond’s consumption, the secret agent would be categorized at the highest risk for cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, depression, high blood pressure and stroke. Chronic exposure to alcohol may have caused lesions in the brain’s cerebellum, which is responsible for movement, which could cause tremors he might mask with his atypically-made martinis.
“He is also at high risk of suffering from sexual dysfunction, which would considerably affect his womanizing,” the researchers added.
Oh behave, researchers.
They estimated Bond would die by age 56, about the same age Fleming -- himself an excessive alcohol and tobacco user -- passed away.
“We conclude that James Bond was unlikely to be able to stir his drinks, even if he would have wanted to,” the authors concluded in the study, which was published Dec. 12 in BMJ.
The silly study was part of the
British Medical Journal’s annual Christmas issue, which blends scientific
analysis and humor.
Recent issues include scientific papers that concluded the Grim Reaper can’t walk faster than 3 miles per hour, as based on walking speeds of senior citizens in Australia, or that a rogue tooth fairy may have committed malpractice by lodging a tooth in a boy’s ear canal.
See this infographic below for more on Bond's drinking habits: