Lucy Teitler

They told the reporter they were meeting her in front of the Admissions building in ten minutes so she stood there in the dim streetlamp light of Hillhouse Avenue waiting to go to “The Place.” Which place she had no idea.

The car pulled up and she got in, noticing the two six-packs of beer that lay sprawled across the middle of the back seat. They had been looking for her, they said, so don’t be surprised if there are some notes on your door, or a few angry messages on your machine. Get in.

The drive was a dark spattering of exit signs and blurred yellow lines and soon it began to look like the Connecticut of her imagination, all green lawns and white houses. Until they reached a clearing and a big wooden sign that read “The Place.”

The reporter got out of the car and there it was: an enormous rectangle of light, full of circular red tables and people munching happily on ribs and seafood and roasted corn dripping with butter. In the middle reigned the open grill and the upright menu, projecting out like the screen at a drive-in movie theater. Clams, mussels with wine and garlic, catfish, ribs, chicken, lobster.

The reporter sat down and broke open the Sierra Nevada, but not before talking to a blond 15-year-old named Eric and a dark-haired 17-year-old named Matt, both of whom worked roasting the corn during the summers. This can’t be the community utopia that it looks like, she thought.

Are there really annoying regulars? she asked Eric.

He smiled and gestured behind him at one of the crowded tables. “See the guy in the blue hat with the woman whose face looks well done?”

Matt laughed.

“They think they’re like a part of the crew and they try to call you nicknames like Corn Boy and it makes you want to smack them.”

The reporter says the corn looks good. How much corn should they get for four people?

“For four people,” he considers, “twelve should do it.”

So do you guys like working here?

“It’s a love-hate job,” said Eric. Another one of the waitresses came over to pick up a pile of particularly luscious looking corn. “I mean,” said Eric, “I love it all the time.”

The waitress loaded up the corn and looked at the reporter. “It’s a love-hate job,” she said.

T.S. Coburn

Take me to the land where the corn grows on trees

And maritime buoys are strung up with glee

The air is filled with sweet vapors of meat

Now relax and rest your rump on a seat !

Hurree, Hurrah, Hurroa and Hurray! “The Place” is here to brighten our day!

My comrade folded her hands on a beer

Shaking her bangs with adequate cheer

She leaned back to give me truly wide berth

And said, “This is really the best place on earth.”

Hurree, Hurrah, Hurroa and Hurray! The fire glows bright and emits sparkling rays!

Our fellow attendees have brought ample decor

Embellishing their tables with shells of the shore

And bright dining cloths, candles, fizzle-winks

One couple has brought a Playmobil cow.

Good lord! Punish them! It is not allowed! One couple has brought a Playmobil cow!

Forget such lewd crimes and indulge in the food

Some catfish will put you into the mood

So sloven away over your red table round

For the food is superb, when taken pound for pound.

Hurree, Hurrah, Hurroa and Hurray! The Harley FXSTSB “Bad Boy” will lead the way!

The night slowly wanes as we order dessert

Pies of Pecan, Key Lime, and the inimitable Klirt

The last is a lie, pure rhyme scheme affect

It’s time to burn this poem and summon the check!

Hurree, Hurrah, Hurroa and Hurray! “The Place” is here to brighten our day!