On a bad weather day there might be 20 people in line from 11:15 to 3. On a good day there are more. It’s a constant. On the way from Peterborough to Keene is Marlborough. It’s a wide place in the road where more goes on than meets the eye. But to most east or westbound motorists it’s a place along the way. And Doug’s is the heart of that landmark. Yesterday, after my work in Coyote Canyon and on the westmoreland bluffs overlooking the Connecticut River, I decided to stop at Doug’s on the way back.
As usual there were a bunch of people in line. Here is the thing, there is anticipation. If you have ever had a Doug’s everything you know exactly what to expect. I dare say if you have ever had Tony Paco’s in Toledo it’s the same thing perfectly iconic – perfect quality control. And not duplicated anywhere else. Doug’s Dogs are best served with everything on them and washed down with a Pepsi ( not coke). No, I wouldn’t dream of it.
So I waited, and as I got close I could hear the refrigerator in the little food trailer and smell the dogs. My fellow line mates were all between 27 and 67. The older ones were a bit ruddy. The younger ones a bit the-devil-may-care.
I was minding my own business .. Quiet and watching when a guy pulled up in a 97 chevy and he slowed by the line and said “what’s on?” Some of his buds in line clearly glad to see him said “hey, man we heard you has something a month ago.” “Yeah, it was a heart attack. This body of mine, it’s a lemon. ”
It was my turn and I turned my focus away from this public exchange to my private business of ordering. ” 2 everything’s and a Pepsi”. They were in constant motion inside the trailer. Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to be a master. They are masters. Their hands fly over the implements barely obeying the laws of nature. “Here you go. $3.50, Have a good day”. As I walked back to my truck there was mr heart attack hitching up his pants and getting in line.