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Experiencing the long line at Hot Doug's

One very hungover man puts up with an agonizingly long Saturday wait to get his hands on Hot Doug's duck-fat fries and a frank.


12:21pm Doug Sohn, owner of insanely popular dog emporium Hot Doug’s, is the pope of encased meats, and his hungover faithful—myself included—have come out in droves. The line is spilling out the door and snaking down Roscoe Street. Head aching, I slump into the queue about 45 people away from the counter.

12:28pm I have spotted the alpha-carnivore: a 300-pound dude toting a six-pack of beer and wearing a shirt that reads, I DIDN’T CLAW MY WAY TO THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN TO EAT VEGETABLES. Can’t decide what’s making me gag: the sight of his brews or the thought of someone having an outfit designated for meat consumption.

12:42pm People stream outside carrying Cokes and wearing smiles. One of these lucky bastards announces to no one in particular, “Color me satisfied!” The hungry mob collectively fantasizes about his demise as he crosses traffic-heavy California Avenue.

12:48pm A welcome bout of the hangover burps (you know what I’m talking about) has brought my appetite back. Like a Bugs Bunny cartoon hallucination, the elderly woman in front of me starts to look like a giant, glistening frank. I desperately attempt to bribe her with $1 for her spot in line. She refuses: “You gotta up the price, sonny!”

12:55pm My life has become a Jerry Seinfeld waiting-room joke as we’re corralled into progressively smaller vestibule staging areas. I can faintly hear things being grilled.

12:58pm I’m fuming as people ahead of me milk their face time with Doug; someone gets reprimanded by one of Doug’s minions for stepping out of line to save a table. Not in his house!

1:01pm Exactly 40 minutes after the culinary quest begins, I finally make it to Doug’s register and order. Doug does the math in his head, of course, totally unfazed by the pandemonium around him.

1:39pm Full and hangover-free, I exit gloatingly with my Coke and requisite smile. Color me satisfied, indeed.

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