Whoever put the kibosh on the three-martini lunch that was not only popular, but acceptable in the 50’s and 60’s really needs to have their knuckles smacked with a ruler. We could blame President Jimmy Carter who actually campaigned against it in 1976 or maybe just point our fingers at the evolution back into some puritanical way of thinking and living. Although it should be noted that the president who preceded Carter, President Gerald Ford, once said, “The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful and a snootful at the same time?” At least someone at one point in the White House was thinking straight.

While thoughts on drinking during lunch — especially if you have to go back to the office afterward — have evolved, regressed, then evolved again over time, science has found that indulging in the sauce during the middle of the day is actually a good thing. A study conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that when their subjects’ blood alcohol hit the legal limit of 0.08, wonderful things started to happen! Through game and problem-solving experiments, it was discovered that those who were a bit tipsy were 50% more creative and 25% faster at reaching solutions than those who stayed sober.

As Kyle Smith pointed out in the NY Post this past weekend, the problem with society is that there isn’t enough drinking going on during lunchtime. People have somehow gotten it into their head that such behavior shows you’re “less intelligent” in the eyes of those abstaining. Less intelligent? That thought can’t really hold much weight against science which basically says those of us who drink during lunch are awesome and just greater human beings overall. (Yes, that’s what I’m inferring from that study, because I can read between the lines.)

If people like Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and Christopher Hitchens could get half in the bag and still pump out some amazing work and even help to change the world at the same time, don’t we owe it to ourselves to also start drinking during lunch? Just think about how impressed your boss is going to be when you come through that door reeking of whiskey but spouting brilliant ideas. Or how fun it will be to swear up and down that you didn’t have a drink, only to cave, admit that you did, then compare yourself to Winston Churchill. This is the stuff that is the highlight of everyone’s workday!

No matter what your preferred poison is, go ahead and have a few. It’s OK if it’s not martinis as long as it’s at least something stronger than a San Pellegrino.


Photo: Modern Drunkard