Kickass, the doorstop dog, is avoiding the keeper‘s pitiful ploy for sympathy due to his having a cold.
It has been a life-long, firmly held conviction of the keeper’s that for reasons that defy scientific evaluation, the common cold causes him more misery than it does for anyone else, and he is in the process of trying to convince Phyllis of that fact.
As part of his campaign in that regard, the keeper told Phyllis of once writing a column about the UW researcher who did a study to determine if colds were passed on by kissing. It turned out that kissing is a relatively safe activity in regard to the contagion of the common cold.
The keeper is not sure the point was well made with Phyllis, but he does know that the cold he is now suffering is not “common” in any sense, and he expects excessive pampering.