A Visit from St. Edward (‘Twas the Night Before Shutdown)

We received this piece of brilliant verse in our Inbox last night from Nathan Ament with the note: “I work for the National Park Service in Moab and wrote this on my lunch break today…”  We hope you are out enjoying yourself, Nathan.

Twas the night before shutdown, and all through the Service,
The rangers and admin were all a bit nervous.

The ‘closed’ signs were ready and plans were well made,
And we wondered if we would continue to be paid.

While Congress debated we all scratched our heads,
Unsure whether we should feel joy or dread.

When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my cubicle to see what was the matter.

There on the asphalt, in a truck old and shabby,
All dusty and boozy…it was the ghost of Ed Abbey!

He threw open the truck door, and offered a beer,
And I knew then and there I had nothing to fear.

I said “Where we off to?”
He roared, “God’s country, son!”
No doubt in my mind, twas time for desert fun.

He revved the engine and slammed it in first,
And laughed and grinned and hollered and cursed.

Then he yelled out the window as he cracked a Bud Light,
“Happy shutdown to ALL, and to ALL a good night!!!”

27 thoughts on “A Visit from St. Edward (‘Twas the Night Before Shutdown)”

    1. Photo by Terrence Moore, November 1986, in Abbey’s backyard near Tucson.

      See “Edward Abbey a life” p.176

  1. Excellent! I wish some monkeywrenchers would go take out the gate at Lee’s Ferry because I’m supposed to launch next week for a 3 week trip.

    Is there a larger version of that photo available somewhere?

  2. Thanks for the poen. Yes, we have a launch date of 10/9/13, next week. Have waited 13 years to do this Canyon trip. Alternately, I’m envisioning an “occupy protest” of hundreds of rafts in the city park, complete with pfd’s, baking dutch oven delights and wearing our superhero costumes. But none of it will get me on the river in time, unless our Congress acts soon. Sad.

    1. Hayduke was modeled after a guy called Doug Peacock. Vietnam medic who came back pretty displeased with humans, and spent a couple decades wandering around the rockies. Wrote a couple books on Grizzlies.

  3. This is awesome. But… I always kinda pictured Ed as a blue-collar regional working man’s beer kind of man,,, something like Schlitz, Rainier, Falstaff, Pearl, etc (I think Hayduke drank Schlitz or Schmidts?) What would it be around Moab, Lucky Lager? I forget, ain’t been there in a long time. He might even have ditched Bud altogether after they sold out to the Belgians. Anyway, just making conversation here, this is an epic jingle, thanks! ~JRS

  4. What a wonderful thing to wake up to, “Twas The Night Before Shutdown”, by Nathan Ament, in the Gazette. It is amazing to me how prescient Ed Abbey was and how often the Mountain Gazette seems to be there when needed. Keep the candles burning guys, We need the Gazette more than ever.

  5. good verse, xcept I doubt if ed abbey would stoop so low as to drink bud lite? likely not any “lite” cerveza?

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