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We'd all like to save money on beer: we journos perhaps more than most as we are a notoriously thirsty bunch and expense accounts just aren't what they were in the old days.

The most obvious method of doing so, rising up and slaughtering those who tax and water the workers' beer, isn't really viable.

So, as so often in this messy world of ours, we must avail ourselves of the second-best solution. What you want to do is become ill.

And it will need to be some terrible illness that kills off all our intestinal flora and bacteria if we can manage it. Certain forms of auto immune disease will do it as will overdosing on antibiotics while trying to treat various forms and types of the tropical insistent shits.

Then, then we come to the cunning part of the plan. Before we allow the normal doses of E coli and the rest of the gang to reinfest our guts, we try and make sure that brewers' yeast takes hold. We will thereby turn our own guts into a brewery. Every time we eat a decent load of carbs, the yeast will feast, make that wondrous alcohol and we'll be nicely pissed.

No, really: it IS possible. From an NPR report on a man who has done it already:

Other medical professionals chalked up the man's problem to "closet drinking." But Cordell and Dr Justin McCarthy, a gastroenterologist in Lubbock, wanted to figure out what was really going on.

So the team searched the man's belongings for liquor and then isolated him in a hospital room for 24 hours. Throughout the day, he ate carbohydrate-rich foods, and the doctors periodically checked his blood for alcohol. At one point, it rose 0.12 percent.

Eventually, McCarthy and Cordell pinpointed the culprit: an overabundance of brewer's yeast in his gut.

That's right, folks. According to Cordell and McCarthy, the man's intestinal tract was acting like his own internal brewery.

It's called “auto-brewery” syndrome. And apparently it can even happen just by drinking a soda if your gut is properly prepared. Makes rum and coke pretty cheap if all you've got to do is drink the coke.

I do actually recall a case of this from Japan back in the 1980s. Rather pre-internet days unfortunately, but there was a near-teetotal American living there who kept getting arrested for drunk driving. This is a crime the Japanese don't take kindly to and he faced years of problems but did finally prove that it was his own guts causing the problem.

There are of course, slight problems with the plan. You'll not be able to drive anymore because eating virtually anything will lead to enough sugars (and thus alcohol) to take you over the limit: and the law doesn't define how the booze got into your blood stream, only that it is there.

So anyone whose diet is high in carbs, even that healthy pasta stuff, will find that their liver gives up the ghost pretty quickly.

But this is OK, it could even be seen as the ultimate in Englishness. Our island nation has spent centuries smuggling booze in order to beat the Revenue. So we'd just be continuing that tradition: and just think how green and environmentally sound we'll be when we're consuming properly local booze.

I really see only one problem: it's going to be damn difficult to offer the object of our desires another drink in order to get them into bed for the first time. But what the hell, given our intestinal yeasts, all we'll need to do is have another doughnut and we'll be too pissed to care anyway. ®

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