Thursday, 28 September 2017

Fidget Spinner


-Brian Mendonça

My little son who is in Class 1 has graduated from Pokémon cards, Beyblades and cars. Fidget spinner is the in thing now. Recently he tugged at me insistently in the market demanding we visit the toy shop ‘only one time.’

Apparently the kids in the bus he was travelling in to school all had one – the fidget spinner—so he didn’t want to be left out. What was this thing called fidget spinner? I couldn’t even pronounce it right. Undeterred, he strode firmly into the nearest toy shop across the street.

‘Fidget spinner?’ the sales boy asked us. I looked at him incredulously. Was there some kind of setting? The smaller the toy the costlier it got. We were shown a tray of fidget spinners ranging from Rs. 400 to Rs. 600. ‘Please dada, please, please, PLEASE,’ I heard a voice saying. Thankfully I spied one that was a modest Rs. 150.

My son’s joy knew no bounds. He began spinning it away and ‘preparing it for battle’ as he put it.  This involved giving it a rapid twirl and then nudging it close to any object in the vicinity like a glass, a bottle or dish.

I have never seen him so eager to go to school. On Monday he carried his precious spinner with him to the private school bus. ‘Fidget spinners are banned in school. If anyone is found with one the fine is Rs. 500,’ said one of the school boys who boarded the bus helpfully.

I tried to dissuade Dwayne from taking his precious possession to school but he said, he would keep it in his bag. And since the bus picks him up rather early in the morning what harm could there be if he amused himself with his new found toy?

The moment I got back from work I opened the door and asked about the fidget spinner. I realized it was no longer his toy alone. I too had a stake in it.

Dwayne smugly said that a boy in the bus had ‘borrowed’ his fidget spinner for a day. In return he had traded his toy car with him. I felt alarm bells ringing in side my head. Was he destined to have it only for such a short while?

The next day Dwayne reported that the boy had taken back his car but had not returned his fidget spinner. Queenie promptly called the boy’s mother and apprised her of the same. Come evening, the entire family of the father, mother and boy were at our door. The mother apologized profusely for the behaviour of her son who was in Class 5. The fidget spinner was returned. A disaster was averted.

Fidget spinners rival each other in the market. The Saturn Spinner spins for 12 minutes and sets you back by only Rs. 10,000. There is even a Japanese website for such deals called spingear.jp. But right now Dwayne is glued to Doraemon on Disney TV.
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Published in Gomantak Times, Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 27 August 2017.

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