Middle-class problems: I'm a middle-aged suburban father - do I belong on a poor man's Segway?


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I'm teetering on the edge, and I've only myself to blame. It started with my daughter's first scooter, one of that brand that every child in the country seems to have (oh, to have the import licence for that cash cow…). Remarkably, and unlike most of the other stuff flogged to kids, it's well made – Swiss, no less.

Boy, do they look fun – the five-year-old, head back, trailing leg cocked just so, circles me breezily as I trudge through the park with the two-year-old strapped to my back. Graceful. Elegant. And, more to the point, zippy. I could do with a bit of that zip to elevate some of my commutes about London. And I know those scooters are cool – well, the models the kids on the skate ramps use, the neon ones they chuck about with ankle-threatening abandon.

Which is how I find myself rummaging about on eBay for second-hand adult scooter bargains; thinking about portability, stowability, how I can knock off a few minutes and a few quid as a I bop around the capital. My finger hovers over "Bid"…

And I pause. I'm a middle-aged suburban father. I clip my eyebrows. I fret about losing my dump permit. Do I belong on a toy, a poor man's Segway? Even the grown-ups riding them in the manufacturer's online video look sheepish. I suspect that I could only get away with riding a scooter in about four central-London postcodes. And one park in San Francisco. Elsewhere, you're basically target practice.

But still –my children would love to see me on one. Hell, you're only 42 once.