In order to visit “The Wave” in Utah, you must enter a lottery. Ten people, per day, are allowed to hike the area. John and I dutifully filled in our form, sat down with the hundred or so other hopefuls and were not selected. We decided not to try again because, well because, we were afraid the following would happen…
Shelley: Good afternoon. My husband and I would like to enter the lottery for “The Wave.”
Bureau of Land Management Employee: The draw takes place at 9:00 every morning. If you are still interested, I suggest you show up by 8:30 tomorrow morning so you have plenty of time to complete your application.
Shelley: Hi. I spoke to you yesterday about throwing our names in for “The Wave Lottery.”
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Unfortunately ma’am you’re an hour late. We’re on Central Mountain Time.
Shelley: Whoa. It’s already filling up. John, I’ll block everyone while you scoot to the front.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Relax ma’am. It’s a lottery. Everyone gets to apply. Everyone.
Shelley: Here you go.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: And here you go. The rules explicitly state one application per couple. Both of you are disqualified. Next.
Shelley: Holy S#$T! There must be over a hundred and fifty people here. Our odds are terrible… one in fifteen, maybe?
Bureau of Land Management Employee: No ma’am. Today is a new record, there are two hundred and twenty-seven applicants. Your odds are way way worse.
Bureau of Land Management Employee and Shelley: Twen-teeee-
Bureau of Land Management Employee: One.
Shelley: What? No! I lost my concentration. This lady next to me took her shoes off and put her gross dirty feet on the chair. I vote a do over.
Shelley: John, today is our lucky day. Want to know why? It’s because I have the feeling. You know that special feeling I get when I know I’m going to win. I had it when I won “The Suitcase Party” in Thailand. Sorry I took Toni instead of you. And I had it when I won the cruise. I took you on that one. You’re welcome.
Today, Ms. BLM is going to call my lucky number, thirty-six. Thirrrrrrty-six. You know why that’s one of my lucky numbers, don’t you? Heh. Heh. Heh. (Whispers) My wanna be bra size. Here we go. Here we friggin’ go. We are going to win the lottery today. I can feel it. Yes sir. Yes sir. Thirty-six.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Thirty-one… thirty-two… thirty-three… thirty-four… thirty-five. Application number thirty-five, you have six people on your form. Does everyone in your group still want a permit?… Yes? That concludes today’s lottery. Thank you.
Shelley: Wait a second here. We are not done yet. Not even close. Everyone back to your seats. Only five forms have been selected. According to my math, five more have to be drawn. Sit down. Sir, I’m talking to you, too. Thank you. Please continue.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Ma’am, if I may draw your attention to this sign.
Shelley: Guten tag. Ich bin Deutsch. Zis ees ze drie time I have flown from Deutchland fur ze Wave Lottery. How can ve make this work?
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Here you go, Shelley from Canada.
Shelley: Here’s the thing. I have been trying to be a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” for four years. It’s become an obsession. Some would say a disease. If you don’t sell me a permit, I’ll never ever get to the chance to dance on her show. You don’t want that on your conscience, do you? You’ve got to help me out. Please.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Here’s your form. Next.
Shelley: Do you know who I am?
Bureau of Land Management Employee: You’re Shelley.
Shelley: Nooooo. I’m Ellen DeGeneres. Yes, that Ellen DeGeneres. I’m here to film a segment for “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on “The Wave.” Unfortunately I only have one day to film. Any tips before we head to the location?
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Bureau of Land Management Employee: Only one. Fill in this application and have a seat, Ellen.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Thank you all for coming. If your name wasn’t drawn, you are more than welcome to return tomorrow. Any questions or comments? Sigh. Shelley?
Shelley: For the past eleven days my husband and I have stayed in this God forsaken town hoping and praying our names would be drawn. During that time we have hiked every bloody trail, visited every museum, store and park in a fifty mile radius.
We even played golf on your executive golf course. FYI with the average hole being 500 yards, it is not an executive golf course.
We even had time to meet up with friends we used to teach with at the American School in Japan. Actually that was a great night although I had a wee headache the next morning from the red wine.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: Do you have a point?
Shelley: I sure do. This Lottery is a conspiracy. A money grab. We were informed that “The Wave” hike has been limited to ten people per day because visitors disrespected it. Reallly? Then how come those same people don’t disrespect the Grand Canyon, or Bryce National Park not to mention Zion?
I’ll tell you why. BLM and Kanab have plotted together to fleece us tourists for as much money as they can. I’m so frustrated that I have half a mind to hike “The Wave” without a permit.
Bureau of Land Management Employee: I would advise you against that Ma’am. Hikers without permits are risking a three hundred dollar fine. Each.
Shelley: After staying in a local campground for eleven nights, at thirty-two dollars per day, plus groceries, plus gas for driving to different attractions, don’t forget having to cross the border to Arizona for my wine, who cares? Seriously, who cares? I don’t care. Do you care, John? No. John doesn’t care. We don’t care. That’s it. We’re out of here. We’re hiking “The Wave” with or without your stupid permit.
Shelley and John, your volunteer reporters of “The Comox Valley Echo” signing off.
Stay tuned for an unscheduled visit to Vanvcouver Island.