Hick is good with a hammer. He's also good for the environment. He loves nothing better than procuring treasures like cast-off wooden boxes, linchpins and concrete saws found on the road, lumber in dumpsters, wooden pallets propped beside the back doors of businesses with "Take me" signs attached, and salvage materials offered in lieu of payment by people who ask for his assistance in wiring and plumbing their newly-acquired rental property.
The first construction project on our land was an outhouse. It was necessary. There was no house yet. Hick had plans to build a barn, and contrary to Jeff Goldblum in The Big Chill, the outdoors is not one giant toilet. The outhouse was second only to the toolshed Hick built on his buddy's land and hauled to town by calling in a favor with a guy who owns a towing company. When we built our house, he hauled the toolshed back. Other projects include an A-frame cabin down by the creek, compete with a plexiglas window upstairs. In the loft. Then he built a new cabin, more conventionally rustic. So of course he needed a new outhouse. Then he built an all-purpose shed to sit in while watching for deer. And a little barn by the creek for hay for his goats, which are nowhere near the creek.
Most of the projects are out of sight. But every time we have a visitor, Hick strong-arms them into his Mule, and takes them on a tour. I'm sure they feel like they're stuck on the S.S. Minnow, with crazy Skipper tooling around, no end in sight. A teaching buddy told me, "That's some kind of community he's got there. It's like a poor man's Silver Dollar City."
Hick's current hobby involves putting siding on his all-purpose shed. He dragged it over to the barn, where it can be seen from the road. I'm not even going to ask where he got the siding. The Pony tells me that Hick ran out of siding this weekend. He came to the house and commanded The Pony to assist him. Seems that license plates are the new siding. Uh huh. Use your imagination. Hick needed The Pony to help take a plethora of license plates off the barn door, and attach them to the shed. And they're not even OUR license plates. You know how old people save them and tack them up on the wall of the garage? At least that's what old folks do out here in the hinterlands. But ours are nondescript, run-of-the-mill license plates that Hick picked up at flea markets. Just goes to show you that some people will buy anything.
I can't wait for this shed to go back down to the creek. The village called. It's missing a shanty.