That's not a beer gut. It's a protective covering for his rock-hard abs.

Um...it's not a beer gut, it's a lifestyle choice?

Errr....It's not a beer gut, it's one too many sammiches?

I don't know what it is. I'm not a doctor.

But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night....

No, not really. I don't think I've ever stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. I've stayed at plenty of Holiday Inns, but not of the Express variety. A lot of Howard Johnsons, too. Are there still any Howard Johnsons around? I honestly can't remember the last time I saw the familiar orange and blue motel.

Isn't that odd? Something you have vivid memories of, something that was ubiquitous, just suddenly disappears. Like the restaurant chain Happy Chef. I remember taking family vacations and always staying at a Ho-Jo's and eating at Happy Chef.

And, what ever happened to Shakeys Pizza? Anyone remember Shakeys?

Sometimes, advances in society don't equal great things. Granted, if I were to have a Shakeys pizza today, I'd probably find it to be disgusting. But as a kid? Holy smokes! It was.....um.....I don't actually remember much about the food. All I really remember was they has a spot you could stand and watch them make your pizza, though. That was cool.

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You know what else was cool? Back in the 1970's there was a pizza place in New Hope, a suburb of Minneapolis, called Pied Piper Pizza. We used to go there as a family on Monday nights about once or twice a month. On Monday night, they had a special where you bought a large supreme pizza, you got a small cheese pizza free. Since I didn't like crap on my pizza, it was perfect.

But the thing that really rocked about the place was the fact that they had a projector set up. And they showed old cartoons, like Mighty Mouse, or Heckle and Jeckle. But not all the time.. They also showed a lot of shorts from Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton. And, they encouraged families to come and spend a lot of time eating and watching the old tv.

Last time I drove past the place where it used to be was about 20 years ago. It was a pet supply store, or something.

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Oh, nostalgia. Why do you sucker me in?

Today I want to talk about the beer gut.

The beer gut is a common side effect of people, (mostly men), who drink a lot of beer without spending hours a day at the gym. And that's because people tend to drink a lot of beer. See, there's these things called carbohydrates in beer. And your body processes those into sugars, which lead to weight gain if enough is consumed.

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Or, to explain it in a simpler way, we like to explain it as "A pork chop in every can". Which isn't too far from the truth. Many of the men I hang out with have beer guts. But that's not really surprising since the guys I tend to hang out with drink beer on a regular basis. We also shot shotguns at little circular disks of clay. But that's besides the point.

But the typical beer gut you see everyday isn't the kind of beer gut I'm talking about today.

Todays beer gut involves endogenous fermentation.

And what, exactly, is that?

Well, it's where your body takes carbohydrates, and instead of creating sugars your body uses for energy, it uses yeast to ferment the sugar into alcohol.

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That's right, you eat food, like a grilled cheese sandwich, and all the carbs get transformed into alcohol in your stomach. And then the alcohol does what alcohol does. It get's the person drunk.

Drunk without ever taking a drink.

It's also known as Auto-Brewery Syndrome, and Gut Fermentation Syndrome.

And the funny thing is, it's a recognized medical condition. Doctors can even treat it with an anti-fungal drug to get rid of the problem.

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Is it a problem? I mean, you could be drunk all the time, without ever paying for booze again!

Of course, there's also the hangover factor, I suppose. Go nuts and have pasta for dinner and suffer a crippling hangover the next day. And, it would make driving tricky.

Maybe I don't mind buying my beer. Well, renting my beer would be more accurate.

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Is it Friday yet? No? One more day you say? Crud.....