09 | Feb | 15

Richard Johnson

Street Kids

With their electronic gadgets and executive toys, it was always the men who had problems growing up. But nowadays the women are just as bad. And that’s official. Trend-spotters – the people who gave us Sloane Rangers and Yuppies – have even come up with a name for the unfortunates. They are ‘kidults’, big babies who push themselves home on micro scooters, only to sit and watch cartoons or play video games. They live in a never-never land called ‘middlesence’. And their numbers appear to be multiplying. I just never thought I would join them — until I saw the new street food Lego playset.

In the olden days, I would have been wearing a cardigan with patches and leather buttons by now. But I refuse. It’s not that I’m frightened of growing old. I’m relishing it. I’m making the most of it. Something happens when you near those landmark birthdays – whether it’s your 30th, 40th or 50th. You make life decisions. You give up smoking and drinking, discover Buddhism, and realise that life is short. You decide to make the most of what time you’ve got left. And I decided I just wasn’t prepared to be bored any more. So…boom. One Lego playset.

Psychologists are struggling to explain the kidult phenomenon. They seem to agree that the drive to promote youth in society has caused those of us over the age of 30 to feel left out. No-one wants the wisdom of the elders any more. So they are fighting even harder to stay young. Asking ‘Why can’t we grow up?’ is like asking ‘Why don’t we swap our Ferrari for a bland old Skoda ?’ Or ‘Why don’t we go on the least fun, least popular ride in the amusement park?’ Why should we? No matter how many birthday candles you’ve blown out, there will always be a big kid inside. See — I can justify ANYTHING. I can’t wait to brrrm my playset round the front room.