Friday, April 27, 2007

It’s a Wonderful Life at the Mothership

(with apologies to Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life)

Jim Ream’s portrayal of Dr. Funkenswine is the fantasy image most white kids have growing up. Just like Vanilla Ice, as a local Nashville village idiot a.k.a. The Nashville Knucklehead, he dreamed of nothing but playing that funky music (white boy) on bass guitar in bars, hotels and other stages dressed in exotic and outlandish costumes and wardrobes like George Clinton or Bootsy Collins.

But now he is a father and a Knucklehead. He has left behind his ambitions of being a stud, to invest 70 to 80 hours to be the BBQ meister - Dr. Funkenswine - in Nashville, but those long hours still come back to haunt him. The Mothership BBQ is not a shack, it is not BBQ boiled in chlorine city water and doused with liquid smoke, but rather it’s a vibe, a vision of the chuck wagon days when cowboys used to circle the wagons and tell stories of corrupt sheriffs and illegal cattle rustling over pork roasting over a open pit.

These days, over in Berry Hill, Tennessee at The Mothership BBQ, you'll most likely find bloggers and musicians spin their tall tales of politics, humor and musical knowledge while Jim lovingly hand-rubs every rack and butt that lands on his smoker, baby!

The cranky Mr. Berry Hill controls the zoning regulations in and around the small town and all that stands in the way of the Mothership’s greater success is a beer license and a better location. Some say it’s a conspiracy and pushback over the Parliament-Funkadelic intergalactic message of love, peace and slow cooking of BBQ over hickory smoke in a I want it now microwave oven society.

Then to compound things, last year with the NFL Tennessee Titans striving to do great things with QB Vince Young, people lost their focus on good BBQ over the distractions of PacMan Jones, leaving Dr. Funkenswine hopeless and frustrated with the lack of a good dinner business.

Without telling the full story, Jim considers padding his resume as a way of giving up the smoke to spend more time with his daughter, save some money for college and work at a cushy marketing job. Just like George Bailey, $50,000 from an investor other than Mr. Potter would be just what the good Dr. Funkenswine needs to land the Mothership where life forms that come out at night and a expanded base of paying customers exists.

Just as the bloggers in Nashville and far away places came to sing of the praises of smack your Momma good BBQ and the Crack’n’Cheese, - (see the Flickr links below) - the friendships forged over lunch and subsequent meetups were special indeed.

Could it be that a guardian angel like Clarence, who is an investor sent by God, literally show up and expand the Mothership’s message in SoBro? Could Nashville really be Talking if there was no Mothership? Can we just be all like guardian angels and show a little love by supporting the success of some funky BBQ?

I as many others, feel a special kinship with the many bloggers and friendships forged at that restaurant. Heck, I even have a sandwich special named after me – The Woo Special – two pulled pork sandwiches with extra burnt ends and slaw on top. As a stakeholder, I want a place to go hang and take my guests for a good BBQ sandwich. Read the full story and status update at the Mothership blog. Give the man some hope - "If you've ever eaten at, read about, heard about or dreamed about Mothership BBQ, link to the full story.

Let’s sit aside global warming, who's right or wrong by helping the George Bailey’s of the world - like Jim Reams – and Clarence, the angel investor get his wings.

Mothership BBQ Flickr set

Holiday Nashville Blogger Party Flickr set

1 comment:

Lynnster said...

Kerry Woo, this was such brilliant writing I am teary. Applause, applause!