On my second day of working at Blue Bell gate selling bike bands, the ladies, who I consider my friends, cornered me.
“So, you know I read your blog.” Barb said. She’s the matriarch of the gate and one of the funniest ladies I’ve ever met.
“Yes…” I trailed off, not knowing why she was standing so close to me with her hands on her hips in a stance that said don’t mess with Texas.
“Well, I’m just hoping you don’t plan on writing anything about us…you know…and some of the stuff we’ve said,” she menaced above me.
So, I can’t write about any of the insanely hilarious comments we made about bikers as they passed wearing nothing but pasties and ¼ of a shirt. I can’t write about the dogs on bikes in their little doggy goggles and little doggy Harley Davidson gear. I can’t write about getting locked in the Port-a-Potty. I can’t write about how badly we wanted a clean, good-looking guy to offer to give us a ride. I can’t write about the stories Melissa and I swapped and I definitely can’t write about…well, I’ll stop there.
I can, however, write about how much I respect and revere the gate attendants so much more than I ever did before. Technically speaking, it’s easy work, but I had no idea how mentally and physically exhausting it can be just to get people to drive in the right lane of traffic. Even with chairs and a fan, it’s really draining talking to people, answering the eternal question of “Where are the buffalo?” and selling entrance passes. Blue Bell is the gate at the west entrance of the Wildlife Loop, so if you came through in the last three days, you proabably saw me. I was usually the one dancing around waving neon green bands in the air.
And in case you were wondering, THE BUFFALO ARE SOMEWHERE ON THE WILDLIFE LOOP ROAD. Just keep driving until you see giant, hulking brown mammals.
What makes this park great is that everyone working supports each other during the rally (or at least that was my observation). One of the park administrators brought us brownies and the resort company gives us lunch if they aren’t busy. I even got some coffee delivered after begging for a while, and Barb and Sheila were constantly making sure nobody was nauseous at the gate because heat exhaustion is a real threat.
On my last day at the gate, the ladies even made me a makeshift goodbye card – I’m Blue Bell for life now!