Bond: Shaking From The DTs?
December 17, 2013

Bond: Shaking From The DTs?

People around the world love Ian Fleming’s famed character James Bond. He is magical to men and women alike. Classy and debonair, sexy and thrilling, and a British spy? Yeah, makes sense why so many adore James Bond. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him…or at least that is the thought. However, one group of researchers looked into the less sexy, less classy, less thrilling side to the fiction character according to a CNN article. They wondered about his alcohol use. In fact, they found that not only was he an alcoholic, but also he would likely have died by age 56 if he had been a real human.

Okay, so first one needs to understand a few bits of terminology. One unit of alcohol is 10 milliliters or 8 grams of pure ethanol according to standards in the United Kingdom. That means that a bottle of wine would be nine units while a pint of beer is three units.

Right, so the study consisted of the researchers reading all 14 of the books and “focusing on the number of days on which alcohol-related events were described.” What they found was that James Bond consumed 92 units of alcohol a week. That would be about 13 units a day, which is the equivalent to a little over four beers a day or a little under a bottle and a half of wine a day. Ninety-two units is quite a bit of alcohol.

And when we take into consideration all the seriously technical stuff Bond did – from racing vehicles to chasing the marks to all the other stuff – one must wonder just how he was capable of doing all his tricks with about a bottle of wine and a half’s worth of booze in his system. Many people can barely walk after just one glass of wine let alone jump from rooftop to rooftop.

On top of that, drinking that much way exceeds the doctor recommended amount of alcohol intake per a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate (and thus suggested) alcohol use should not exceed one drink per a day for women and up to two drinks per a day for men. Bond regularly drank something like double or more the recommended amount.

Plus, the researchers found a compelling pattern:

In From Russia with Love, on the third day of the story, Bond drank about 50 units of alcohol — the highest daily consumption in the collection of stories.

It also appears that the spy’s alcohol intake dropped around the middle of his career, but then picked back up gradually toward the end.

“This consistent but variable lifetime drinking pattern has been reported in patients with alcoholic liver disease,” study authors wrote.”

Oh, and if that were not enough, even Bond’s famous catch phrase, “vodka martini – shaken, not stirred,” may further support his alcoholism since alcohol abuse often leads to tremors, which would mean he could not stir his drink.

Though Bond is a fictional character, the realities of alcohol use and abuse mean that this is a bit troublesome. For those who look up to the spy, they just may imitate his choices, which, if they do so with his alcohol use, could lead to injury, liver cirrhosis, poisoning, malignancy, and other alcohol-related health issues including early death. Since around 2.5 million deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol use, this means that a seemingly silly study highlights a very real issue.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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