Nineteen years ago I wrote a play entitled TV Alley and staged it at the National Cultural Centre. It was quite a hit. The drama was about the only family, the Benticks, without a TV in a yard. (To own a TV and boast a ‘Vieira’ or ‘Rex McKay’ antenna on your roof was then the rage of Guyana.)
Mrs. Bentick, in order to keep up with her neighbours, began to pressure her husband to get a TV too. But Mr. Bentick was adamant: He would not have a television in his home. He saw it as an agent of cultural imperialism and in his refusing to bend to his wife’s nagging he says vehemently to her, “A TV is a Trojan horse!”
Nineteen years later I’m hearing that Guyanese in Guyana are celebrating Halloween. Nineteen years later I’m hearing that Guyanese in Guyana are hosting St. Patrick’s Day parties. Nineteen years later I’m hearing that Guyanese in Guyana are hosting Super Bowl parties in Guyana. And nineteen years later we have one brave, but sad, Guyanese man with the name Urling declaring in a local newspaper that he is looking forward to his Thanksgiving turkey in Guyana.
And so, one night I’m speaking on the phone to an old friend back home and he says to me: “So when we going see you back in Guyana, bro?” And I thought, “If I should take a trip home, would I be really going back to Guyana? If Guyana is quickly becoming America why waste money for an airline ticket to fly from America to America?”
“Yes, Harold, boy