Keeping Up With The Quahog: A Conversation with Doug
From the Farrelly Brothers to Harry Connick Jr. to James Taylor, Cape Cod has ties to its fair share of celebrities. But arguably the most famous of them all is Doug the Quahog.
While some of our region’s more famous figures try to fly under the radar, that’s not the case with Doug, who can often be seen hobnobbing with locals to tourists alike. One day he’s in Woods Hole tending to the Eel Pond Bridge, the next he’s in Wellfleet, networking with a bed of oysters.
Doug isn’t shy about his love for the Cape, but save for his annual Quahog Day prognostications on the First Day of Summer, he rarely gives one-on-one interviews. Until now. The region’s beloved mollusk recently opened up to staff at the Cape Cod Travel Guide, coming out of his shell to dish on everything from his on-the-go lifestyle and enviable meteorological skills to his favorite places to see and be seen.
Christopher Kazarian: It’s a little chilly out here. Do you always conduct your interviews by the ocean?
Doug the Quahog: Life's a beach. At least mine is. So it makes sense that we’d be chatting here instead of a coffee shop. To be honest, I don’t do a lot of interviews.
CK: Why not?
Doug: Believe me, I'm inundated with requests. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, 60 Minutes, The National Enquirer, you name it. They all want a piece of Doug. I just don’t have time for it. I'm out there living my best life every single day. Like my favorite author Thoreau, I want to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. Just today, I climbed to the top of Nauset Light. Then I made my way to Hyannis and visited the company – Cape Cod Potato Chips – that made Nauset Light famous. After that, I checked out what's on tap at Cape Cod Beer, played a little laser tag at Ten Pin Eatery, and took a leisurely stroll down Route 6A.
CK: Wait, what?
Doug: I took a leisurely stroll down 6A…
CK: Forgive me, but how exactly does a quahog take a leisurely stroll?
Doug: With the help of these guys (gesturing to a formidable crew of black-clad security guards, standing just a few feet away). They shuttle me around to my local appearances in a bedazzled clam basket. I always arrive in style. Especially on Quahog Day. Did you see that swanky Funk Bus I pulled up in at last year's Quahog Day?
CK: Speaking of Quahog Day, this year, you’ll be making your annual prognostication at the oceanfront Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth. Can you give us a hint about what you’ll be predicting for summer beach weather? And do you ever get nervous?
Doug: Unless someone in the crowd has a lemon, shucking knife and bottle of cocktail sauce, I have no reason to be nervous on Quahog Day. No, but seriously. That’s my day to shine. The prediction was off in only one of my 10 years prognosticating, and - between you and me - that was a translation hiccup between Johnny and I (Reporter's note: Johnny Quahog, the only human known to speak Quahog-ese, delivers Doug's annual prediction to the masses). It's not just Cape Cod anymore - the entire country waits with anticipation for my summer outlook. Is it a big responsibility? Yes. But I rise to the challenge. As President John F. Kennedy Jr. once said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
CK: I’m not sure JFK was referring to a quahog’s prediction of the summer weather on Cape Cod.
(At this point, Doug’s Security Detail stop the interview. After several apologies on my part, the interview resumed.)
CK: Ok, let's get back on track. Describe to me your perfect day.
Doug: That’s a rhetorical question. Every day on Cape Cod is a perfect day.
CK: Let me phrase it a different way. What are some of your favorite places to hang out?
Doug: Spanky’s Clam Shack in Hyannis. The Lobster Boat, The Lobster Pot, The Lobster Claw. Quahog Republic, naturally. The Wicked Oyster in Wellfleet. Not to be confused with The Naked Oyster in Hyannis.
CK: So basically, anywhere with a marine creature in its name. Let’s do a quick word association. I’ll say a phrase and I want you to give me your first impression. Let’s start: Tom Brady.
Doug: The GOAT. Just like me, I’m the GOAT of Cape Cod.
CK: Favorite beach.
Doug: Tie between Cahoon Hollow, Race Point, Old Silver, Sandy Neck, Mayflower, Skaket…
CK: You’re listing every beach on Cape Cod. Okay, last word association: Summer.
Doug: Vacation. On Cape Cod. Book now.
CK: Final question. I’m sure a lot of people laugh when they hear that a quahog is Cape Cod’s version of Punxsutawney Phil, only for the summer. What would you say to those people?
Doug: Listen, every July I go to the Barnstable County Fair and ride the ferris wheel even though they have a height restriction. People said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong. I’ve gone on more whale watches, Provincetown dune tours, and sunset cruises than I can count. I conducted the Arts Foundation’s Pops by the Sea concert even though they scoffed at the idea of a mollusk leading the Boston Pops. I stood on stage at the Cape Cod Melody Tent and brought the crowd to its feet with my rendition of “Under the Sea.”
When people say I can’t, I look at it as an opportunity to prove them wrong. This Quahog can do anything he sets his mind to.
Catch Doug's 2019 summer prediction at the 11th Annual Quahog Day on Friday, June 21st at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth.