Meet John, the Excitable Ent

Ent 2

For some years now I’ve been looking for a green man incense burner.

I saw one for sale once in that shop that sells everything in Liverpool’s Albert Dock. You know the one.

It was a beaut. It had a long root-lined tray to collect the ashes. The green man himself was a large tree stump with a face. You put the incense stick in his mouth, so it looked like he was smoking.

I didn’t buy that beaut. I saw something similar in a new age shop that existed for a short while in Belper. I didn’t buy that one either. And since then a green man incense burner has been my “white whale”. The monomaniacal hunt’s been on.

Well, that hunt came to an end yesterday. Take a look at this guy, found in Nottingham’s Ice Nine:

Ent 1

The Heavy Psych Sounds flyer has been added for scale. That flyer’s the same size as a postcard you might send to your friends from the beach: “I seem to have been away from home such a long time.”

I’ll call him John, and I’ll explain why in a minute. Because we have a problem here.

This isn’t a green man incense burner at all.

Look at the back:

Ent 3

I’ll investigate Alator Giftware at a later date. But for now, look at that barcode.

This ain’t no green man. It’s an ent!

What’s an ent? This is an ent:


It’s one of those walking tree things from Tokien’s Lord of the Rings series.

The most famous ent is called Treebeard, but I’ve called this one John. Because of John Entwistle.

John has problems beyond his not being a green man. First of all, the incense ash is going to fall right into his face. Over the years that could develop into a lovely earthy complexion, but more likely it’ll just make him difficult to clean.

But a more pressing problem. When you give him some incense to burn, John ends up looking very excited:

Ent 4

So the hunt continues for that mythical green man incense burner. But in the meantime John can stay. I love his smile, and though ents aren’t green men, they’re still boss. They make a sort of wine so enriching that it makes hobbits grow, and they live life very slowly indeed.

“You must understand, young Hobbit, it takes a long time to say anything in Old Entish. And we never say anything unless it is worth taking a long time to say.” 

I wouldn’t mind living life at an entish pace. John lives on my desk. Maybe every time I glance at him I’ll be reminded to slow down a little, and drink some wine.

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