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Ancient Champion: The Stump Grinder Cometh Chainsaws drawn on the lawn

Ancient Champion: The Stump Grinder Cometh

Chainsaws drawn on the lawn

by Ancient Champion, Columnist
first published: May, 2021

approximate reading time: minutes

Andrée X Andrée. It's one minute you won't regret so much today.

I’m at a junction. At an intersection. At the Winson Green and Dudley Roads. At the light and headed right and along to the City Road before hangin’ a left back to Bearwood. By the time I make up my mind to give some money to the piano accordion player who is often at this junction at this time in the afternoon, he has gone too far down the line of traffic. Still I feel around for some cash anyway in case he gets back before the lights change. I don't have anything anyhow.

It’s been an extraordinarily great week for me. Damon Hayhurst’s original art for my short story collection Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere is so nearly done. Maybe we can see it next time. I have a new single out, Andrée X Andrée, which, borrowing a term from another industry I worked in briefly, is gonzo. I’ve seen bits of Jason Lewis' video for the next single, Let's Get Yampi Dancing, aston-o'thing...! I’ve been odds-defyingly offered a life changing opportunity, which I accepted and then reconsidering, turned down. Instead to stay in exactly the same, only incrementally worse place each day. Instead. Good week? Great week.

Margo in her ChaletThe Stump Grinder Experience
There’s been a cancellation and the Stump Grinder can make it next week instead of next month. Any experience with stump grinding? I’d been thinking about it, and how, now Margo is gone, we don’t need to be keeping her cat chalet and we don’t need to be keeping her cat chalet elevated on the old cherry stump. Her cat lookout post no longer required, there’s no longer a cat. When I saw the stump grinder’s van on our street, I felt maybe my time had come. The van was attached to one of the shiniest, finest wood chippers I’d seen outside of Fargo. I’d say it was a
Yardbeast because it was in green. Man it was clean. It was cared for. The wood chipper was being watched by a kid wearing double high viz, a beanie hat and what looked like a prepper grade face mask. He fetched his boss and you know that moment when someone is fetching their boss and you’re thinking they’re gonna be like, in the tree surgery game, a leathered,  sun beaten, weatherworn, gnarly, trawlerman type. Yeah. No. More Roger McGuinn fringe than Edwyn Collins in his heyday. Super polite teen tree treater, in of course, the double hi viz and prepper mask. Must be the rage in the business.

Margo plaque

Hollywood Adjacent is happening. The rumoured since the Runes... Museumgoer/Ancient Champion Collective of tunes. The first couple of tracks are underway. Pedal steel, piano accordion, synthetic Orville Peck guitars. It sounds so great, right? So right, right?

Okay, I’ve hit four hundred words so I have to go, except to say something about Prize Writing. Long time since I did that but I am coming back. As a heavyweight. Annette and Janet is my fantasy fan fantasy story highlighting the surely unquestionable brilliance that is Annette Benning, meeting with the actual unquestioned genius that is Janet Yellen to discuss Annette playing Janet in a biopic specifically focusing on Janet’s years as head of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, while on her way up, drawn sketchily from details assembled for an article called Yellen’s Path to the Pinnacle, in the New York Times. More of an old school infographic really. All info no graphics. It’s sketchy for Annette, there’s not much to go on. This version of Annette is quite into Janet’s attempts to arrest the crash with her interventionist monetary policies but wants the production to go further with Janet’s attempts to diversify Fed’s leadership, calling the current casting the last great cattle call for old white men. At one point make-believe agents for Anthony Hopkins, Tommy Lee Jones and one more insert your choice here, are on the phone talking seven figures. “Can’t a make-believe Morgan Freeman do it? He’s already played God.” Biden agreed to a cameo in January but won the Presidency in November, now he's so busy he can’t get his diary straight and everyone pissed at him for winning.

True story. You could find out more from the Economic Policy Institute.

Let’s play out with this. It's one minute you won't regret so much today. Andrée X Andrée, the new Ancient Champion single, was released on Friday and is already a hit in an alternate universe. I should move there. I’m thinking about it. Memento Mori.

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Ancient Champion

Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT while relentlessly recording and releasing instrumental easy listening music for difficult people. The Champ is working on Public Transport, a new short story collection that takes up where 2021's Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere (Disco City Books) left off. It should be ready in time for the summer holidays. More info at

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