Iím likely the worst suitcase packer in the world but am lucky be married to one of the best.

Iím likely the worst suitcase packer in the world but am lucky be married to one of the best. Ann does all of the logistical planning and the packing for our vacations, because if left up to me, weíd bring our stuff aboard in Food Lion "carry-on" sacks.

I want to help more in the process but canít make the case of why it matters what I wear. Annís attitude is polar opposite, so over the past few weeks, she has been assembling her clothes and which accessories "go" with each outfit.

I believe most men ó certainly this one ó couldnít care less. My formula for appropriate dress is simple: Warm places equal shorts and sandals. Cold places equal jeans and sandals.

My general disinterest in how I look is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, Iím probably the most comfortable guy in any room, which is of highest personal importance.

On the negative side, I likely scare away some potential clients with my beach-bum raggedness. I tell myself anybody choosing accountants because ties match shirts may have flawed priorities. But who knows?

Times they are a changing. This year, Iím making a concerted effort to clean up my travel act on our yearly adventure. Iíve even augmented my "wardrobe" with neat stuff I ordered from a store in Hawaii.

I donít know how their catalog found its way to our door, but they had some clothing items that really struck a chord Ö my chord. Their product descriptions kept using my two favorite styling words, "cotton" and "comfortable."

They offer pants and shorts right down my alley, softest cotton in great colors. And true to the sales hype, their products did turn out to be "unbelievably comfortable."

This isnít an infomercial, but I should mention the store, which is "Crazy Shirts." Unless their clothes fall apart in mid-vacation, you can bet Iíll be doing a lot of business with them.

Now, Iíve done more than "augment" my ratty wardrobe. Iíd pretty much replaced my whole suitcase. So this year when we do our tourist thing, strangers wonít whisper as we pass by, "Isnít it nice of that attractive lady to help the homeless?"

The only thing lacking for a successful trip was a few tiny items of big importance. Solved! Yesterday, I bought snacks to take on the plane.

Anytime I go aboard a boat or plane, I immediately get hungry. Iím sure thereís a clinical explanation, but thatís between me and my stomach.

Iíd have made a terrible Viking. The crew wouldíve thrown me overboard for raiding the food locker before we rowed from the dock.

I wouldíve likewise been a poor Wright Brother. Could "The Wright Flyer" have risen off the sand dune with added weight of sandwiches and a batch of cookies? My travel munchies mightíve created a history mystery.

Otis Gardnerís column appears here weekly. He can be reached at ogardner@embarqmail.com.