Salli does the typical tourist trick of providing a roost for a Trafalgar Square pigeon.

Clampetts Go to Harrods

Went ‘der. Done ‘dat. Couldn't afford the tee shirt.

Harrods is a place the words "audacious," "glitzy," and "venerable institution" were invented for. It began as a small grocery and tea shop in 1834, and as the British Empire grew, so too did it. Today, Harrods averages 35,000 shoppers a day, and on its big sale day that number can swell to well past a quarter of a million people—most of whom are rich and from another country.

"Will you look at that Ma . . . All them pretty lights and gold stuff."

A tour of London isn't complete without a stop in the store, afterall, it is ranked the third most popular tourist site in London. We's tried to get in the big ol' gold gilt doors, past the guards and into the heart of the glitter. But the guards stopped us. Seems we weren't the type what with me in jeans, Salli with her daypack, and the girls with awe in their eyes and stains on their tee shirts.

But we persevered. Made a stink (metaphorically speaking only). Took pictures of the guards. We stood our ground and asked for the manager. We winked at the guard and hold him to have as much fun as we were going to have, and then we threatened to smear the lot of ‘em on the Web. Promised to protect them from our Wicca curses. And generally made a wonderful scene defending the rights of Colonists, the wording (loosly paraphrased) from the Declaration of Independence, and anything else we could think of there in the front of the store, enough to get our way and be allowed passage into the bowels of the conspicuous consumers' Xanadu.

OK. So it is a pretty amazing store, as stores go. Riding the escalator isn't much different from a tour of Universal Studios. And the entire effect is a testament to the success of the pound sterling — even if the store is owned by an Arab selling mostly to Americans.

We couldn't afford anything except some salami and cheeses from their exquisite gourmet section. But this purchase allowed us to get a genuine Harrod's paper bag (with handles) which we carried on our strut around London for the rest of the day.

"Golly Gee Whiz, Ma, people ‘ill think we bought a bunch of expensive doo dads from Harrods, heh?"

"Yea, Pa, as long as it isn't a hot day and it don't get's to stinkin'."

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