Kickass, the doorstop dog, observes the keeper giving advice to his younger brother on a major life change, and notes that some things never change; such as an older brother’s lifetime role of seeking to lift a younger brother up to an acceptable level of existence.
It goes way back, to Orv being drafted as a test pilot when the keeper’s constant machine-shed tinkering produced a washing-machine-engine device to propel a coaster wagon. In an early test run, with Orv at the controls, the keeper was totally amazed when his device functioned spectacularly; and Orv lurched ahead and went streaking out the driveway, only to crash in the sand next to the garden where Mom and Dad were working. Orv was extracted from the tangle of coaster-wagon and propelling device with only minor injuries, but they were enough to make him cry, and thus to get the keeper chastised by Mom and Dad for endangering his innocent younger brother.
There were many other occasions, and Orv survived. Then in a professional military career Orv rose to the rank of Lt. Col., while during his tour of military duty the keeper remained in the non-commissioned ranks as an SFC. This meant, of course, that the keeper is, by military code, required to salute his younger brother. Orv has never demanded this of the keeper, but there is a subliminal implication.
Siblings are the frosting on the cake of life, the keeper says, even younger brothers, and he would salute Orv if not for his sore rotator cuff.