There are some people you would want in your enclave at the apocalypse. Somebody who can hunt and dress out a carcass (animal, of course) and provide you with protein. Somebody who can sharpen the chain on a chainsaw. Somebody who knows how machines work, and can fix them when they break. Who can make them run on alternative energy sources. Who can scrounge parts from abandoned equipment and create a gadget that does what you need. Somebody, perhaps, who can take an eighteen-wheeler and cut it down and rig up hydraulics to make it a dump truck. Or not. But Hick knows how, and has made such a dumper before. Hick is that person you would want in your enclave at the apocalypse.
He is not, however, somebody you would want to relay a message for you.
No sending Hick over hill and dale to the next enclave for trading or safety purposes. He would come home with a bag of magic beans, or start World War 4. Maybe both. Because Hick cannot repeat a sentence verbatim to save his life. Or the lives of his enclavemates.
Hick is a one-man game of telephone. He can misconstrue a message when talking to himself. A game of telephone played by twenty people would turn up a more precise version of the original statement than Hick alone. For that very reason, if he or the boys have an other-than-routine doctor's appointment, I must go along. To hear the diagnosis and instructions. Otherwise, Hick will create some new disease in the re-telling. And a care plan that includes buying a new car and driving it to Tahiti. Words are not his friends.
Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which Val might ask Hick to drive her to the big city to a bookstore. A bookstore where her bloggy friends might be signing books. The purpose being for Val to purchase a book or two, meet an online persona, and introduce The Pony to the world of retail tomes. No. Val would not use such flowery language on Hick. She would stick to the basics. "Val go bookstore. You drive."
Upon the re-tell to the boys, Hick could quite possibly say, "Your mother is running away with a guy she met on the internet who owns a bookstore, and she wants ME to drive her there!"
I am worried that one day, Hick will come home and tell me that his doctor says he needs a hysterectomy.