"Driscoll, I think you were meant to come to Guyana," said David OG to me on the car ride back from Georgetown Thursday night.
It was quite an evening, sitting at the Frenzy Impact Bar, drinking rum and coconut water. I had spent the whole day touring the ICBU sugar factory with Najuma (pictured above), who had been a great sport putting up with my hyperactive enthusiasm for hours on end. The two of us went downtown later on to have drinks with master distiller Shaun Caleb and the rest of the group, where we started talking more about the booze business. After a long conversation, I couldn't help but make a wrestling analogy about spirits.
But...while the Americans were smirking at me, thinking I was totally confusing our Guyanese hosts with some off-the-cuff explanation, Shaun and Najuma were nodding their heads in complete agreement. Why? Because professional wrestling is HUGE in Guyana!!!!! All of a sudden, Shaun busted in with a Stone Cold Steve Austin reference and the conversation completely switched gears.
"Holy shit!" David OG said, "You guys actually know what he's talking about?"
"Of course!" Shaun chimed in, "I love wrestling." We all started cracking up. "David, who's your favorite wrestler?" Shaun asked me.
"I don't know if you guys followed it back in the late 90s, but despite all of the controversy and the tragedy surrounding what he did, I still think Chris Benoit is the best wrestler of all time." I replied.
And then the unthinkable happened:
"You're right. Chris Benoit put his body on the line every night he went out there," Najuma said. I turned and looked at her and my heart melted. A 23 year old female rum chemist from Guyana had just agreed with me about one of the most passionate opinions I personally hold. It was too much. I had to get up and walk around the bar, while the others were laughing hysterically. She didn't see what the big deal was.
I'll never forget that night as long as I live.