So here's what happens. My dad asks if I want to go to London with him, and I say, "Sure, chap, totally," and before I know it, I'm walking down this London street, Gloucester, which is pronounced Glowster for some reason. Like my dad, this whole country has a bad case of the mumbles.
"It's pronounced Glow-ster," he says when I bungle it the first time.
"Glow-ster," he says, sounding vaguely Russian.
Now he wants me to write a column for him about our trip to London, giving my side of the story.
Well, here you go, Daddy-O. God save the king.
First of all, you have never seen so many sickly looking people as here in London. They have, like, 3,000 pubs here and evidently not a single tanning salon, which is a little warped if you ask me. I'd be beheading people too if all it did was rain all the time.
But I swear, I have never seen my dad so happy. Dad says too much sunshine can really ruin a writer, so he's really glad to be here in the U.K., where the lousy weather makes life more exciting and unpredictable.
Oh, what a trip. You should see my dad's eyes light up whenever he spots another quaint little pub. He gets all-Irish and his cheeks begin to flash red like a stop light. I've seen him actually stop traffic.
"Over here," he says, and then nearly gets mowed over by one of those big goofy Austin Powers buses.
Speaking of traffic, here's my dad crossing a street in London. First, he steps off the curb, then he remembers that traffic is opposite from what he's used to, and hops back up on the curb real quick. Then he looks to the right, then to the left, then to the right again and steps back into the street, where he nearly gets run over by a cab.
It's like watching someone do the hokey-pokey at a wedding, only the other dancers are all cars, buses and trucks. Fifteen minutes later, he is safely across, and the U.S. ambassador to Britain is writing a formal apology for whatever pileups Dad might've caused.
My dad -- he's such a dad. When he travels, he's got all these maps in his pockets, just to know how lost he really is
"Dad, I have my iPhone," I say, reminding him that I can get a satellite map at any moment.
"I think we're in -- Waterloo," he says, pulling out another pocket map.
"How appropriate," I say.
CHRIS ERSKINE: MAN OF THE HOUSE
London revisited: The daughter's side of the story
Reporting from London