There’s nothing worse than watching a movie or discussing a book with an “expert.” That astronomy major who had to explain to you why the mining rovers in Moon are not where they should be or have to bitch about how the International Space Station and telecommunications satellites in Gravity couldn’t get hit by the same bit of debris. The weapons guys that tell you that grenade doesn’t create a fireball worthy of 10kgs of explosives, or there’s no f@#$ing safety on a Glock, which also doesn’t go “click” multiple times when empty (Okay…I’m that guy.)

Well, these humorless know-it-alls at the National Health Service in the UK have turned their attention to James Bond. They were shocked…shocked to find that Bond had a drinking problem, something that was painfully obvious in the Ian Fleming books, and was hinted at in multiple movies from the Moore period on. The NHS killjoys tracked his consumption by unit (at modern standards of drinking…not those of the 1950s for the books) and found that Bond was dropping back liver-damaging levels of alcohol. Four times the recommended level — how could he function? He would be impotent (a problem the NHS wallah would certainly know something about), and could shoot or drive straight.

1) All racial stereotypes included — Bond was a Scot. In the ’50s. A survivor of World War II and an MI6 agent when it was dangerous. He drank to excess because he had lost people he loved, was in a soul-destroying job, and most importantly — was a pulp fiction hero, hence an idealized version of what a “man” should be. My family in Scotland functions just fine on amounts of alcohol that Americans would instantly define as “clinical abuse.”

2) They were shocked to find he drove drunk. Again…1950s. Of course he did. We didn’t have schoolmarms at every turn telling us to wear seat belts, drive sober, and wear motorcycle helmets. (That doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea in all of these cases — just that life was a lot quieter when you didn’t have some meddlesome prat up your ass moralizing.)

3) How could he shoot straight? I don’t shoot drunk, as I recognize it’s whacking stupid, but I have had to qualify and shoot in the field on three days of sleep deprivation — just as debilitating, once you factor in adrenaline and discomfort — and I still shot expert. It’s doable. Just not likely.

4) But then again, a guy that tools around in a Bentley and can get a Beretta .25 to kill folks — that’s not a likely man. One that can get a Walther PPK to fire three times without jamming is superhuman. (Really, James — you gave up the exemplary P99 for a weapon your own service pulled for its lack of reliability? Crap…I’m doing it, too!)

5) The quip about him not being able to stir his drink…Bond doesn’t make his own drinks, deeb! And shaken is better. Even for a drink as awful as the Martini.

Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Bond that was a bit off after a night of drinking, but who powers through it while not being quite as physically capable. That would make him even more badass. Or imagine the scene — “We’ll launch the raid at dawn.” “Why dawn, 007? So they’ll be at their low point in their circadian rhythm?” “No, because I’ll have dried out enough to not get shot to death.”

One of the other points they might have hit on (and that Never Say Never Again addressed) was that Bond was also a foodie — a serious gourmand snob whose diet was an artery-clogging festival of delight. He smoked to excess — something they toned down in the Brosnan films, but brought back with Craig — why not tell us Bond would be an emphysemaic or in Stage 1 lung cancer? Here’s something you skinny-assed scientists didn’t take into account — Bond didn’t expect (like so many hard living people) to live past his 20s…30s…last week. When you’re in a job that involved getting brutally murdered at any moment, why wouldn’t you smoke, drink, and eat to excess? Plenty of athletes do it and did quite well in that time period (until you fall apart.)

Oh, that brings up 6): It’s fantasy! Just let me enjoy it.

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