The day my wife turned into a beer

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That time my wife became a beer.

grazianoLast Saturday afternoon, after finishing an interview with a local author at Barnes and Noble[1], I met with my editor and publisher of Manchester Ink Link, Carol Robidoux at The Shaskeen Pub to brainstorm some article ideas.

In order to get the creative juices flowing, we decided it would be prudent to order a couple of pints of Guinness.

It worked. The ideas came at a frenetic pace.

“Sweet Jesus,” Carol said to me. “At this pace, other than the news, we’ll have the Ink Link filled for the next six months.”

“It’s a beautiful thing,” I said, glancing over my shoulder and noticing a gathering of musicians tuning their instruments in the back of the pub. As it turns out, The Shaskeen hosts an Irish music jam session on Saturday afternoons, and musicians are welcome to sit in. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to jam ‘Whiskey in a Jar’ on the tin whistle with those musicians,” I told Carol.

She nodded. “First, you jam on the tin whistle then we can get back to work.”

So I played the tin whistle, and the clouds parted, and the birds sung, and spring teased Manchester in February while I was playing. From a booth in the corner, an infant on his mother’s lap uttered his first word: “Nate.”

Oh, it was a glorious event that would’ve been made more glorious if my lovely wife was there to share it with me.

There was not a dry eye in the pub when I finished and returned to my stool next to Carol, intending to generate more article ideas. I then noticed my pint of Guinness was nearly empty, and suddenly I began to miss my wife, and my article ideas came to a screeching halt.

“Is something wrong?” Carol asked, picking up on my suddenly dour disposition.

“I miss my wife,” I said. “I wish she was here to listen to me play the tin whistle.”

It seems that any time we’re apart, even for an afternoon, my heart grows heavy with longing. Like the Guinness glass in front of me, I am empty without my wife, reduced to stagnant suds on the bottom of a pint glass.

“I have an idea,” Carol said. “Do you have any pictures of Liz on your phone?”

I rolled my eyes. “Only 634 pictures of Liz,” I said. “Why might you ask?”

“Hang on. I’ll show you,” said Carol, summoning the bartender then conspiratorially whispering to him. Then the bartender dropped a card with a QR code in front of us.

Carol said, “Scan that QR code then upload your favorite picture of Liz to this app.”

“That’s impossible. I can’t pick a favorite picture of her. They’re all so beautiful,” I said.

“Try your best,” Carol encouraged me. “Then wait for your next Guinness. I promise, this is going to help cure your blues.”

“Should I play ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ on the tin whistle while I wait?” I asked.

“Let’s not.”

Now, what happened next, I cannot explain, but the bartender poured a Guinness then brought the pint glass to a magic machine at the end of the bar. When he returned, through some act of voodoo, my wife’s image appeared in the head of my beer.

My wife had turned into a beer! Hurrah! Oh, such a glorious day! The band broke into “My Wild Irish Rose,” and the infant on his mother’s lap giggled with joy!

My inclination was to not disturb my beautiful wife/beer, but I was thirsty so I drank it anyway.

“How about this idea,” I said, invigorated. “What if I write a piece about my wife turning into a beer?”

Carol shook her head. “No one would want to read about that.”


[1] The author is Avree Kelly Clark, a former student of mine. You can read the article here.

About this Author

Nathan Graziano

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester with his wife and kids. He's the author of nine collections of fiction and poetry. His most recent book, Born on Good Friday was published by Roadside Press in 2023. He's a high school teacher and freelance writer, and in his free time, he writes bios about himself in the third person. For more information, visit his website: