Friday, December 30, 2011

Days of Beer: An Excerpt

Here's a little piece of Days of Beer that no one has seen before. Well, that is unless you've already read the book.

In my first week in New Orleans I stopped at a local gas station to fill up, and then went inside for a snack. I noticed several large, barrel-shaped coolers stuffed with ice and single beers of various kinds. The sheer beauty of the arrangement stunned me for a moment. I felt the wick of tears come to my eyes. It is for such wonders as this that terms like “smorgasbord” and “cornucopia” were invented.

I’d never been to a place other than a bar where you could buy a single serving of beer, but in front of me now I saw a pirate’s hoard of single servings, the gorgeous colors of their containers vying for my attention. And this was at a gas station.

A sudden terror overwhelmed me then. I feared I was experiencing a flashback from my graduate school experience with that hallucinogenic. Surely, this vision could not be real!

Before the mirage could dissipate, I quickly plucked two tall golden bottles of elixir out of the ice and rushed to the checkout counter. The woman behind the register asked me: “Would you like me to open those for you, sir?”

I stared in confusion at her for a moment, knowing that she spoke in English but unable to quite translate her meaning. Finally, I replied, “I’m…driving.”
She leaned a little closer to me, and in a louder voice to make sure I heard her, asked again: “Would you like me to OPEN those for you, sir?”

I finally understood, and managed, somehow, to choke down the emotion threatening to well up inside of me.

“Well, maybe just one,” I replied.

The link at Barnes and Noble is here


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oh no, don't do it!

Oscar Case said...

HAHAHAHHA! That was a funny one!

Charles Gramlich said...

Alex, too late! And a longggg time ago.

Oscar, thanks, man. I'm very glad you enjoyed the book.

Deka Black said...

Spain is a country of wine more than beer (but we have our share of traditional beer recipes done in abbeys). Maybe that's the reason i like so much read and hear about beer.

I mean, to me, at least, beer have something the wine don't have. Is like wine (even the bad) is high society and beer the normal people.

And indeed is a fun story!

Ron Scheer said...

Got me grinnin'. Thanks, bud. And Happy New Year.

Travis Erwin said...

I somehow missed the news of this release but I fixed that buy just now buying it for my nook.

ivan said...

Ha ha ha.

Nice writing.

Brings to mind Newfoundland.

Lady at the gas station had said, "If you drink, don't drive.

"But if you do drink--driver 'er!

I know it's incorrect.

But I had to laugh.

Charles Gramlich said...

Deka, some of my favorite brews are abbey brewed, like Chimay Ale!

Ron, glad you enjoyed. Same to you.

Travis Erwin, thanks, man, I appreciate that.

Ivan, it's always a matter of how much is impaired driving. One beer. No. But a pattern of beers certainly.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

A little piece but funny and well written, Charles. I'm sure you had fun putting it all down. It reminded me of the many occasions when I stumbled upon a pile of used and forgotten comic-books waiting to be picked up and taken home. What a feeling!

nephite blood spartan heart said...

Always enjoyable Charles.

Deka Black said...

Here the most famus is, maybe, "Abadia de Yuste" (Yuste's Abbey). Named after the abbey where Carlos V, Holy Roman Emperor (1500 – 1558), also Charles I of Spain, retired after giving the throne to his son Felipe II.

The retired emperor carried with him the recipe of his favourite beer, which the monks began to make themselves in his own way.

And since then! ;)

Lisa said...

Oh I love it.

Happy New Year Charles and Lana and family.

laughingwolf said...

right on, charles!

btw, the world beer-brewing fraternity is now recommending folks have a BEER and cheese party, rather than champagne and cheese, especially for new year's eve... to get started... claiming it's LOT cheaper [it is!] and the buzz you get from a good beer is similar to that from the french stuff!

for the wusses who don't like beer [?!?] they say to offer them a glass or two of plonk ;) lol

happy new year to you and yours, bud :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, I've had that feeling about books for sure.

David J., thanks, man.

Deka, mmmym, sounds good. I wonder if I can get it over here.

Oceangirl, thanks, and the same to you and your family.

Laughingwolf, when I got married the first time and we had the toasts, I had beer in my champagne glass. :)

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Land of the free and home of the brave ... Woot!

Charles Gramlich said...

Don, and place of the beer. :)

Randy Johnson said...

Loved this one and some things reminded me of some of my own adventures. Must be a male thing.

I never much liked Budweiser myself and delighted "Weiser drinkers by claiming I'd rather drink a Blue Ribbon.

Charles Gramlich said...

Randy, Never did quite figure out what it is about Budweiser but it's not a fine beer.

sage said...

Nice teaser, Charles! Now I need to read the rest...

Charles Gramlich said...

Sage, I think you might like it.

David Cranmer said...

I'm reading the book now and enjoying it very much.

Travis Cody said...

That's great! This book is on my wish list.

Richard Prosch said...

Hooo-HA! Picking it up right after I jot this greeting. One suds lover to another (and sharing equal disdain for Missouri's more-famous lager) may I recommend Schlafly's, a nice little brewery in St. Louis with something to please every palette. Their pale ale goes well with venison chili. Happiness and best wishes to you and Lana in 2012!

jodi said...

Charles-I'm anxious to see a more humerous side of you. Don't we all have a few beer stories??

Charles Gramlich said...

David, thankee, man!

Travis Cody, I appreciate that. I think you'll like it.

Richard, I have not tasted their brews. Gonna have to rememdy that.

Jodi, I suspect we do indeed.