Thursday, June 15, 2006

Judging The Mothership

On occasion, I will sit astride my high horse and claim that I do not judge folks. At the time I say it, I believe it because it follows the path of my “to each his own” philosophy (which is quite real); and in general because I could not give a fuck what the other guy is up to. But the ultimate truth is that of course I judge people—it is human nature. And, actually, I am very good at it. I can typically tell who is full of shit and who is not. It isn’t that difficult. In the end, I don’t care. The world needs shitheads—if for nothing else, to keep the rest of us (many of us also shitheads) on our toes. Part of this judging mechanism is in place, I believe, to help us decide with whom we want to form acquaintanceships versus friendships or whom we would like to avoid altogether. Two of the more important things in assessing a person’s character, two things I look for, are sincerity and common decency. These, I find, are the two qualities most often lacking in folks today. So when I do recognize these qualities in people, I tend to pay a little more attention, and then I gain a little more hope for another day. It is a nice thing.

With this in mind, Emerson and I trekked to Berry Hill last Saturday afternoon. In part for a little BBQ and in part to support Nashville Knucklehead, whom we’ve grown fond of via this surreal Blogworld, the periphery of which we inhabit.

Now I know about as much of the restaurant business as I do animal husbandry or neurosurgery. What I do know though is people. With his candid talk of blowjobs, B-list celebrity sightings, personal angst, and devotion to his daughter, Knucklehead intrigued me enough to want to make the effort to drop by. Simply put, he comes across as a decent sort with a hell of a sense of humor. That alone is reason enough to want to support someone.

Many folks have weighed in on the Mothership experience and I’ve yet to see a single negative review. The food is exceptional. Kat Coble, Rex, Sarcastro, Lannae, and Aunt B. have put it better than I ever could. One good visit might be a fluke. At this point, it is apparent that the Mothership ain’t no fluke.

My own visit was rewarding as I had hoped. Em and I wound our way through Berry Hill, parked in back of the MS, and made our way around front. Knucklehead was behind the counter—admirably running his own show. He was sweaty, obviously tired, a little disheveled with a hard-working new business owner’s glint in his eye. Emerson and I introduced ourselves. CeeElcee and the lovely RUAbelle were there. They recognized Em from his pictures here and were simply delightful people. I could tell C. was pleased to meet us (as we were him) and not just saying so. He was a good sort. I started to realize that his and Knucklehead’s friendship spoke well of them both.

Knucklehead personally brought our lunch. Goodbyes were exchanged with C. Em was on his best behavior. And then on this, his first day open for business, Knucklehead took a seat next to us and struck up casual, sincere conversation. The guy had to have had 101 things going on, things which needed tending to. But he chose to sit down and visit. There was no preceding sense of obligation—we are but a couple of guys who scribble words and caught each other’s attention. He sat down because he wanted to. The conversation was easy. Comfortable. He was patient as a father with Em’s occasional interruptions. Interested as a good conversationalist when I spoke. Passionate about his own subjects when he spoke. He could have been the biggest dick on the planet that day—aloof as a professor of Education and I would not have faulted him nor judged him harshly for the day was his; he’d labored for it and earned the right. But no. He took nearly an hour of his day and, not so much shared it, as he gave it to a virtual friend/literal stranger and his son. Take what you know of the general populace today—our self-serving, self-absorbed populace—and be rid of it. Em and I neither deserved nor expected the pure selflessness Knucklehead offered. But we got it. For our very easy journey, we received an exceptional meal, great conversation, a guided tour, and an escort to our Jeep. Knucklehead even took a few minutes to show Em the caboose-sized cooker where he works his magic. Then, as casually as when he sat next to us, he shook hands goodbye and left to prepare for the dinner crowd.

I will return to the Mothership. And I will recommend it to others. Not solely because the Q is likely the best I’ve ever had but because sincerity and common decency are also on the menu. And there is no extra charge.


Anonymous Sarcastro said...


2:59 PM  
Blogger newscoma said...

If everything works out, I'm headed their today.
What a lovely review.

4:54 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Thanks, NC. I'm sure you'll enjoy.


8:42 AM  
Blogger Roxy said...

I love to hear about good people. It gets me all goose-pimply. Great story. Wish I was close enough to try the BBQ!

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish I could go support such kindness by visiting his restaurant.

Wonderful post.

5:23 PM  
Blogger LLA said...

this is a great post, and I thank you for the introduction to KnuckleHead, and Mothership BBQ - neither of which I would have found without you!

8:08 PM  
Blogger Writer Mom said...

The next time we're in Nashville, I know where we're eating.

Happy Father's Day!

9:01 PM  
Blogger KellyKline said...

Can't wait to try it!

9:13 AM  
Blogger Mike Kline said...

Where has common decency gone?

11:40 AM  

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