Licence to swill


The joint winner of the Australian Medical Journal’s Christmas competition is a study of James Bond’s drinking patterns over six decades. Bond satisfies 6 of the 11 DSM criteria for severe alcohol use disorder. His drinking is particularly problematic given his exposure to chronic risks such as car chases, high stakes gambling, operating complex machinery or devices, contact with dangerous animals, extreme athletic performance, and sex with enemies, sometimes with guns or knives in the bed. The conclusion is that Bond has a chronic alcohol consumption problem at the severe end of the spectrum. He should seek professional help and try to find other strategies for managing on-the-job stress. Look out for the film about that, Deep Deep Breath, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, with Emma Thompson as the therapist. (No, he doesn’t sleep with her).

Bond is not the only iconic figure with severe health and personality issues, when you start to think about it.  Santa Claus is an overweight alcoholic running a personality cult, who employs undocumented labour, flouts international aviation rules, and at the very best exploits the credulity of children, at worst has a sinister interest in having them sit on his knee; Mary Poppins is a fantasist and serial liar who appears to give her charges hallucinogenic drugs, and Puff the Magic Dragon is clearly smoking far too much funny stuff…

Image: By Ken30684 – Flickr, CC BY 2.0,





14 thoughts on “Licence to swill

  1. Right out of college I had a boss, a business professor who owned a store that I was managing. He thought that it was time for me to learn about the two-martini lunch, and treated me every now and then (he certainly didn’t pay me enough for me to afford it on my own).

    Great start to the holidays –hope you are having calm weather and not too much heat for Christmas. And by the way — how does Santa survive in that heavy red and furry outfit in Melbourne? Does he get to wear a seersucker suit or some such for tropical gift delivery?

    1. No, it’s the full red furry catastrophe. Well, he has come direct from the North Pole and he hasn’t got changing rooms on the sleigh, has he? But maybe he could wear budgie smugglers underneath and just shed the top layer.

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