The Norman Transcript


July 3, 2013

The measure of a good trip



After lunch, my wife and Emma shopped in Harrods while I hid in a corner and prayed that they wouldn’t buy anything. When they were finished “shopping,” we left the store and started walking in the direction of the “Parent Trap” house. After a few blocks, my wife stopped to ask a nice lady for directions. The lady looked at the address, nodded her head and said, “Right. You just go (something, something, something), hop on the bonnet, sticky wicket, have a go and there it is.”

I swear, the whole time I was in London I was able to understand about half of what people were saying. And often, what I did understand didn’t make sense. Once, I was sitting in our hotel bar having a beer and munching on some potato chips when the bartender asked me if I wanted some more “crisps.” I said, “No, but these potato chips are great. Do you have any more of these?”

Turns out, in England, chips are crisps, and fries are chips. No wonder they lost the Revolutionary War.

Anyway, with the nice lady’s help, we managed to find the right street, turned and kept walking until we found what we figured was the correct house. Just to be sure, my wife asked a guy who was working across the street.

The guy hadn’t heard of “The Parent Trap,” but he did say that American girls were always having their pictures taken in front of the house.

He also said something that sounded like “bangers and mash,” but I couldn’t be sure.

Anyway, we took Emma’s picture standing in front of the house on our camera, and then we took a picture on Emma’s phone so she could send it on to some social media website for her friends to see.

Later, as we were walking toward the subway, Emma looked at my wife and I and said, “Thank you very much for finding the house for me.”

So, like I said, the vacation was a success.

Mike Pound is a columnist for The Joplin (Mo.) Globe. Contact him at

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