Goal for this weekend? Kick-starting my beloved 1986 Honda Spree scooter and tapping into that warm, fuzzy, retro place in my soul. That place where the biggest challenge in my life was figuring out how to advance to Level Five on Frogger and my heaviest responsibility was finding a coworker to take my shift at the B. Dalton bookstore so I could go to the DJ dance Friday night after the game. Considering how much more complicated life has become since those days, is it any wonder why I’d cherish a quick spin on my Purple Rain? (Yes, I lamely named my scooter.)
Some people believe that what you drive says a lot about you. If that’s true, then every time I straddle my scooter and strap on my sensible DOT-approved helmet (I have to set an example for my kids now), I’m thumbing my nose at convention and shouting to the world: “That’s right. I’m suffering from full-blown adult denial. So bite me!” I mean, think about it. What’s more fitting for a reluctant grownup than tooling around town on a two-wheel throwback to the ’80s—the best decade in history? In fact, I’d say my scooter serves as the perfect symbol for accidental adults like me. Some men work through their midlife crises by clinging to their souped-up Corvettes or buying testosterone-boosting motorcycles. That’s what real men do. But not me. I’m searching for the road less traveled, because the main thoroughfare is coursing with ordinary adults, and that scares the hell out of me.
The only trouble with a father of three owning a scooter is that silly little nonsensical sticker attached to the steering column—the one that says “WARNING: OPERATOR ONLY. NO PASSENGERS.” No matter though. Now that my children are old enough to lock their little arms around my expanding waist, I look forward to every spring when I ignore that single-passenger warning sticker, and I take them for the first scoot of the season around our neighborhood. When it comes to transportation and accidental adults, this is how we roll. Now if I can only get the engine to turn . . .