Well, it ain’t true that any old dude’ll do, but the joke is funny anyhow. Told it before and I will tell it again. Now. With an every so slightly different inflection. Fresh every time. If Ralph Stanley can tell it, I can tell it. Again and again and again. Wisecracks do wizen, but not this one, dudes.
Q: What’s the difference between a rooster, Uncle Sam and an old maid? (Yeah, yeah, I hate that word combo too, but w.t.h.e.doubletoothpicks?)
A: The first goes cock a doodle doo, the second says yankee doodle doo and for the third any old dude’ll do.
I’m quite sure this “any old dude” who we lured to our table with a promise of bacon would not want to be considered “any old dude”. One would hope not. Out of the driving rain came packs of any-old-dudes pouring into Ruby and Ketchy’s and hunkering down at four-tops. We snagged one or two as they passed.
Ruby and Ketchy’s is the place you think has gone the way of the passenger pigeon. To come upon it rachets up your faith higher than the knotholes in the knotty pine.Snug as bugs we were. Fog-hushed murmuring, waitresses in soft-soles shoes, car tires gently mashing wet gravel out front. Crossing east from Illinois, West Virginia came upon us at lunch time. Not a moment too soon. Rain, rain, rain. Moving down the highway, the water bolts down onto the windshield and froths up off the truck tires with so much more vigor than when you are standing still. Makes a passenger – and the driver too, I presume – road weary and hungering for familiar food.Ruby and Ketchy’s is in the Cheat Lake area, outside Morgantown, which I understand is all that, but we had no way of knowing. Exit, eat, return.And there were milkshakes. Slurped up in record speed on my side of the table. None for the road.Opened in 1958 by Ruby Nicholson, this sweet spot is still run by their descendants. Ruby’s original recipes include meatloaf, vegetable soup and chili. Dang, we will have to drive that way again and partake. Heard a word about piiiiiiiie.