|Of course it's the record player that's really cool.|
You’ve probably heard me say before that James Bond, fictional as he was, must have been the worst customer in the world when he came into the bar where you were working. He’d be there telling you how to make his drink, telling you how to do your job, being an all round clever dick. I imagine a certain amount of spit might have gone into the shaker if he ever turned his eyes away.
Well, thanks to a book titled The Man with the Golden Typewriter, a collection of Ian Fleming’s correspondence, edited by Fergus Fleming (Ian’s nephew), it seems that Bond’s far from fictional creator wasn’t much less annoying.
Fergus has tracked down Ernest Cuneo, an American lawyer, newspaperman, author, intelligence liaison officer,a spy during World War Two, and a long time friend of Fleming. Cuneo is quoted in the book, “Of all the maddening trivia through which I have suffered, nothing quite matched Fleming’s instructions on how his (martinis) were to be made. [He] was painfully specific about both the vermouth and the gin and explained each step to the guy who was going to mix it as if it were a delicate brain operation. Several times I impatiently asked him why the hell he didn’t go downstairs and mix it himself, but he ignored me as if he hadn’t heard and continued right on with his instructions. Equally annoyingly, he always warmly congratulated the captain when he tasted it as if he had just completed a fleet manoeuvre at flank speed.”
According to some credible, if not cast-iron, online sources there was a time when Fleming was drinking a bottle of gin a day. His doctor convinced him to substitute bourbon. Where do people find these doctors?
I can’t for the life of me find a photograph of Ian Fleming with a martini, unless that's one above in a wine glass (surely not): hard enough to find one of him with a drink. Cigarettes and guns no problem whatsoever.