Kickass, the doorstop dog, passes along the keeper’s observation that humans are the only species that “packs”—and needs to, in preparation for travel, as he and Phyllis get ready for their train/ship tour of mountains and glaciers.
With all other species, when they decide to go somewhere, they simply go, with no concern about how many pairs of pants or socks to take along. It would be the keeper’s wish that he could join that classification and simply head out with what he is wearing, but when he suggested as much to Phyllis, she casually commented that such a travel approach would result in the keeper’s rejection by fellow travelers, travel guides, and her.
Ever anxious to avoid rejection, the keeper is dutifully stuffing luggage with enough clothing to dress his old infantry platoon. In the back of his mind is the memory of once having to buy a pair of dress pants to qualify for “high tea” somewhere in the Vancouver area. He hopes to avoid that kind of thing, though Phyllis tells him that she has done high-tea and it is only a “maybe” on her current list of travel things to do.
The keeper tries to dismiss images of migrating robins carrying little suitcases, or elk coming down to summer grazing area burdened with backpacks containing extra seasonal pelts and last year’s antlers; but it is a heavy lift, and he ends up questioning, yet again, how the human species is considered the most advanced.