Dear Alex Salmond,
How are you? Hope you're well.
Don't be hoodwinked by that chatty intro as we're writing to you with a solution to not one, but two problems we've noticed since being here at the Edinburgh Fringe. As Englishmen we wouldn't normally interfere with Scottish legislation but this is a good one so listen up big man.
Issue number one is that Scotland has an acute drinking problem. Not only do the Scots consume a wee bit too much, they also sip the wrong stuff: faux Australian lager brewed in Berkshire and served in plastic cups; Irn-Bru blended with own-label vodka: Buckfast and so on and so forth.
Issue number two? Scotland, like a lot of the world, is in a recession, its economy displaying all the buoyancy of a concrete stingray that's been grounded by his mum.
Two serious problems Alex - yet one obvious, stunningly simple solution: the Three Martini Lunch (TML). The TML was an imbibing institution associated with 1950s America; an unhurried, extravagant lunch enjoyed by business people who order three martinis - one before the meal, one during the meal and one after. And the best thing about it was that it was tax deductible.
So here's the thing, Alex: You need to bring back the tax-deductible three martini lunch. The TML will oil the corroding wheels of commerce and fix Scotland's fiscal fiasco. Without a tax deductible TML then Edinburgh, Scotland's financial hub, really will be the Athens of the North.
Emboldened with a martini, the white-collar worker returns to their work station with a new sense of purpose. Stress subsides, meetings morph into much more matey affairs, creative resolutions to hitherto unsolvable issues appear, the courage to make that call will be conjured up and slowly but surely Scotland will emerge from this economic pickle. Encouraging martinis is a vote winner. Don't worry about the teenagers as they can't drink martinis - their palate is used to sweeter stuff and not sophisticated enough. And no-one in history has ever started a fight in a pub with a martini glass; it's far, far too effeminate.
A martini is an epicurean epiphany in a glass. Once you've had one, you'll never return to all that Buckfast business. And another thing: during our stay in Edinburgh, amid the torrential rain, we've also realised that a martini glass makes a marvellous makeshift umbrella.
Ben and Tom.
• The Thinking Drinker's Guide to Alcohol is at Pleasance Courtyard until 29 August. Today 1pm.