Ricky Bobby & Cal Naughton Jr. Discuss Their Favorite MLKs

To commemorate 2018’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, I thought it might be fitting to visit with NASCAR legends and BFFs Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton, Jr. You may recall, these two represent the “brain trust” that debated which of the Jesus-es was their favorite Jesus one Christmas back in 2006 (e.g. little baby Jesus vs. Man Jesus, etc.).  As it turns out, they didn’t disappoint when discussing the late, great, Dr. King either. Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

TODD: Hey there, Ricky Bobby. Hi, Cal. Thanks for having me. I have to say, Ricky. I love what you and Susan have done with the place. A speedboat for your pool is … interesting. I guess I’ll chalk that up to a “bold move?”

RICKY: “First or last” doesn’t just stop on the race track, Mr. Fake Liberal News

CAL: Yeah, Mr., what Ricky said. Do you even know how many knots that thing ties?

TODD: Ok, fellas. I think we got off on the wrong foot. It’s me – Todd Flora. I’m a huge fan of “Shake and Bake?” … Remember? — we’ve hung out like 14 times! … I just wanted to come BBQ with you, and to celebrate and discuss the MLK Holiday and Dr. King’s legacy. We’re just talking here.

RICKY: Ok … but don’t touch anything. And try not to look me directly in the eyes. I’m not going to fall for your liberal Jedi tricks.

TODD: Fair enough. Uh, hey guys – you know what today is?

RICKY: Monday

CAL: Sun– … yeah, Monday, man

TODD: Well, that, yes. But today is also the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Holiday

CAL: Ho – ly shit. They gave the race-track guy a holiday?

RICKY: Yeah, Cal and I practically grew up racing on all those Boulevards he built in all the … towns.

TODD: … right. Well, you know why he “built” all of those Boulevards named after him? He was a legendary Civil Rights leader. NOW do you know who I mean when I say Martin Luther King, Jr.?

RICKY: Todd … Oh, my gosh. I don’t know what to say. I’m so embarrassed. Of course I do. Dr. King was the foremost dream interpreter of the 1960s. Everybody knows that. Jeeshh. Look at me – are my cheeks red? Cal? Do I look embarrassed?

CAL: You do have a cherubic little twinkle, Ricky Bobby. But yeah… I, too, found that name to be rather special and familiar. In fact, my favorite Martin Luther King is the Dreamy one. He’s up there, not quite at the mountaintop …

RICKY: Nope. He can’t get to that ol’ mountain top. That’s what I think the dream is about. You can’t always get what you want, Cal. It’s also well known that Dr. King was afraid of heights.

CAL: … right. And he’s up there, not quite at the mountain top, and he’s dreaming away. That guy had a lot of dreams. Mostly about black and white kids playing together. Which is strange. But maybe that’s what makes it so cool and dreamy?

RICKY: I guess. But I like Jailhouse Martin Luther King the Best.

CAL: Which one was he?

RICKY: The one in the jailhouse, Cal. Where they put him in the Birmingham Jail. Can you keep up, there buddy? Ok. … He’s sitting there in the jailhouse, right?

CAL: Yeah, ok. He’s got some black and white striped pajamas—

RICKY: Prolly. But Jailhouse MLK was the premier pen pal of his day. He just sat there writing letters to all his friends and liberal newspaper buddies of his. He’s sitting there, right?  He’s writing letters like an old grannie. And then what happens, Cal?  I know you’re gonna read my mind on this –

CAL: Yup. Jailhouse Rock comes blaring over the loudspeaker!

RICKY: You God damn clairvoyant son-of-a-bitch!  That’s right. See, it’s “The King,” playin’ for Martin Luther KING! And here’s MLK, see. He drops his pen, and he and the boys just start dancing for justice.

CAL: Oh, … you better believe those convincing moves are going to earn some justice, Ricky Bobby


CAL: Hey, MLK was a preacher, right?

RICKY: No, I think he was a janitor at a church. But he knew stuff and wore nice suits.

CAL: Well, I like picturing MLK as like a “preacher detective.” He’s going to use the long arm of the Lord, AND the law, Ricky Bobby, to find some justice. And of course he where’s one of those Hipster wool fedoras with his suits.

RICKY: Wow, Cal. I like it. But he’s like Matlock. He don’t carry a gun.

CAL: MLK don’t need one, Ricky Bobby! Preacher Detective MLK is on the case with God!  He just travels around, town to town, always gathering more people, always using the clues to sniff out Heavenly Justice.

RICKY: That’s beautiful, Cal.

TODD: No guys – you’re beautiful. Happy MLK Day. Now what say we get some BBQ going?

RICKY: DAMNIT, FLORA, I said don’t look me directly in the eyes!!

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