CHRIS ERSKINE: MAN OF THE HOUSE

London revisited: The daughter's side of the story

Let me say this about London: It really rocks, even when your dad's along, the truest test of any great city.

The taxi cabs are so cool, and the phone booths look like little red candy stores. I love-love-love the tube (subway) and the way the people are so pink and well-scrubbed. Like baby mice.

Sure, London could be improved. They have way too many museums, and after a while all the pubs begin to look the same to me. Imagine a city without a single mini-mall? That's London. Where do they get their nails done?

One night, my dad takes me to this really fancy place full of older men with gray hair. In England, that's how you know it's a really good restaurant, by the gray hair (just the reverse of L.A.).

Anyway, after a little wine, I get really chatty, just like my mom, so I talk nonstop for three, maybe four straight hours at this really fancy restaurant near Parliament.

I tell Dad all about how Twitter works and how he needs to be on Twitter since he has so much to offer (kidding!). Pretty soon he gets all yawny and bobble-head tired, and at one point I think his chin actually touches his stomach. You know, I guess a man can be an island.

"More wine, sir?" asks the waiter.

"Um, I think he's unconscious," I explain. "But I'll have some."

"Of course, miss," says the waiter.

When it came, the bill was, like, 300 pounds, which is almost $500 American. You should've seen my dad's face. The color drains out of it, and his fingers tremble a little like it was a holdup or something.

He starts humming "My County 'Tis of Thee" and then mutters something about throwing all their damn tea in the Thames, whatever that means. Eventually, he settles down and just pays the bill.

"Wow, Dad, that's sure a lot of money," I tell him as we walk out.

"Well," he says, "here's what I think."

"What's that?"

"I think you're worth it," he says.

Sure, Dad. Totally.

chris.erskine@latimes.com
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