Cornball Construction On The Dove Field

On The Back Page With Daryl Gay, October 2020

Daryl Gay | September 27, 2020

What in the Siamese cathair is that? Hmmm. Looks like an overgrown duck blind growed onto the back of a pickup truck. Which, by the way, has no business occupying its present location.

And it ain’t duck season. And even iffen it was, we wouldn’t be chasing them in the middle of a cut cornfield on a 100-degree afternoon. Whatever it is, the conglomeration seems to have natural talent: for spooking doves! There came—and went—a drove of eleven that would have waltzed right into my shotgun barrel.

Which, by the way, I feel like gnawing down to the forearm. I dearly love doves; except maybe for the “turned” variety…

Ever been through the process of building a house? (Come on now, you know how my mind works; WHEN it works. Sudden sidetracks are commonplace.)

Seems the truck has stopped—in the exact geographical center of a 200-acre field, sending birds fleeing in all directions—and what appears to be a boxcar of camo’ed coolies has disgorged. Their apparent intent is to hastily unload materials and construct a rather shaggy mansion—maybe six stories—midfield.

Nobody told me. I thought we was going to shoot birds.

Let us consider our options…

We could start picking off coolies, although eights at 50 yards would likely do little more than rile them considerably, further slowing the process.

Negotiate? Well, that’s already been tried, from all points on the compass. The third would-be shooter to the west even suggested, “Get that magnificent truck out of this field!”

At least I THINK magnificent was the verbiage used.

I’m thinking thump a lit match into that thing and it would go up like California. But so would 200 acres of waist-high cornstalks, likely precluding any return trips to what would very probably be a jam-up dove field under non-construction circumstances.

So why don’t we just get political? Everybody else does…

And I ain’t seen no building permit!

If you’ve had a new house built, you’ll know that there are but slightly fewer steps before ground is even broken than there are raindrops in a hurricane…

The financing process alone would have driven Gandhi to drink! But I can simplify it for you if you’ll picture a pie chart. See all them slices? Some steps are simpler than others. Site Inspection, for instance, left a lasting impression.

Following a pair of postponements—each of which required me taking time off work and driving to the Site—“Bubba” finally arrives and waddles out of his county truck. He takes a glance at the rectangle between the orange flags, decorates it with Red Man, then enunciates, “Yep, thet’s dirt. Thet’ll be three hunnert.”

And tacks my permit to a temporary power pole.

Can’t build without it, even in a dove field, so I’m going to attempt political persuasion to preempt prefab.

Gently cross-wising my shotgun atop the dove bucket—which to my mind is about all you really need in this situation—I’m about to go all Bubba on somebody.

Again, gently. Nothing good can come of me screeching at a gaggle of coolies…

But I don’t even make it halfway there; might know somebody forgot to bring the blueprints.

They’re all standing around with some serious scratching of heads going on while my fellow compatriots converge from all sides. Ungently.

You can learn a lot of new words in a dove field, iffen you listen close. I’ve heard would-be construction called lots of things, but none I can repeat here. And there were so many suggestions as to what they could do with particle board and shingles that I can’t recall the half of them.

In the end, the pickup exited using all four carburetor barrels, coolies ricocheting. Abandoned aggregate was then kicked with gusto and invective into what closely resembled a broomstraw igloo. Arson was proposed, but someone evidently came up with the same semi-rational idea I had concerning a 200-acre weenie roast.

Strangely enough, well after the mob returned to its collective buckets and the wonderful cacophony of 12 gauges rose toward a crescendo, a lone figure slipped to the igloo.

From what I could see above the cornstalks, he was wearing a bright yellow T-shirt and a broad white hat. The better to keep the sun out of one’s eyes. And to turn birds away from one’s self in all directions so as to benefit your brethren.

Guys like this are invaluable; wish I knew where I could find them on a regular basis for Saturday afternoons throughout the season.

On top of the earlier entertainment extravaganza, he provided an out-of-nowhere bounty of birds. It was like a sudden and huge aerial DETOUR sign shot up. All the birds I had forlornly watched flapping out of range began turning on the blinkers and darting left or right upon sight of that yaller shirt and white hat.

Within 20 minutes, 15 had come visiting the bucket and I was done.

Later, he was a little prickly, but I think it was mostly because of the questions I asked about his wife. All I wanted was to get her a gift certificate to a hat store, because I KNOW she picked out the one he was wearing. And, well,  to see if maybe I could borrow him for deer season…   


Order your copy of Daryl Gay’s books, “Rabbit Stompin’ And Other Homegrown Safari Tactics,” $19.95 plus $3 S&H and “Life On the Back Page,” $14.95 plus $3 S&H from or 16 Press, 219 Brookwood Drive, Dublin, GA, 31021.

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