The Reluctant Townie: The Father's Day guide to fidget spinners

The Reluctant Townie: The Father's Day guide to fidget spinners

Another Sunday in June, another Father's Day.

Finding gifts for your dad on Father's Day may be the most difficult shopping trip of the year. What do fathers like anyway? Neckties? Mowing the lawn in athletic socks? Never admitting when they are lost and need directions?

I am a twice-certified father myself (until Maury tells me otherwise!), and I couldn't even begin to generate a list of things I would like to receive for Father's Day. I'm convinced it's an unknowable mystery of the material world — like what happens to us after we die, or how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Or maybe the question is just a riddle without an answer. What do dads like? Perhaps the answer is that they like nothing.

In many ways, becoming a father is like becoming a monk. You may not have the quiet and solitude that traditional monasticism awards, but you quickly learn to become unattached to material things — either because you can no longer afford them, or because your toddler will eventually pour a glass of milk onto them — and you learn to put the needs of others before your own, if only by default.

In theory, these things make you a better person. In practice, it makes you a difficult person to shop for.

So this year, I've decided to look to the youth for inspiration. And it is clear that the youths of today are about one thing and one thing only: fidget spinners.

How do you decide which fidget spinner to get your dad? Today, the Reluctant Townie responds to your most pressing questions.

"HEY, WAIT — what's a finkle spidget?"

A fidget spinner is a palm-sized, multibladed thingamajig with a ball bearing in the middle that allows you to spin it for long periods of time on your fingertips, nose tips, elbow tips, Q-tips, tabletops, flip-flops, foreheads or any other surface you deem necessary.

But basically it's like you popped a wheel out of your Rollerblades and are walking around town spinning it in your pincer grasp like you're David Blaine or something.

"Why would my dad want a spinning thingamajig for Father's Day?"

There are scientists (presumably those on the payroll of fidget spinner marketing departments) who claim that the spinning toys help relieve stress and increase focus for its users, especially those with conditions such as ADHD and autism.

Also, dads are cool. And fidget spinners are cool. Ergo, dads with fidget spinners are cool.

"What's the best advantage to having a fidget spinner?"

Besides the ability to brandish your new fidget spinner while the teacher has her back turned and instantly become the envy of your entire kindergarten class, even that future psychopath, Tommy Mackleson, who kept making fart noises during your show-and-tell presentation last week?

Fidget spinners denote status in the new social economy — you're only as cool as your newest fidget spinner.

Luckily, there are an infinite number of variations to collect. Some fidget spinners have three-blades, some have six. Some have flashing lights or cool designs. Once you purchase a fidget spinner, you open the door to a lifetime of meticulously upgrading your collection, till death or poverty do you part.

"Where can I purchase a fidget spinner?"

Step outside of your home and walk a short distance in any direction. Here there be spinners! As we speak, gas station convenience stores across the country are being converted to fidget spinner depots that will carry the latest cutting-edge fidget spinners.

By 2018, fidget spinner production in the United States is set to outpace the total number of handguns, dime bags of dirt weed and Beanie Babies — combined.

"Is it true that fidget spinners are the key piece in a vast conspiracy to hypnotize the youth of America and plant hidden messages in their subconscious? Are fathers somehow immune to this mass hypnosis?"

Yes. And no. Proceed with caution.

"Say that my dad is less of a spinner and more of a twirler. Are there any fidget options available for him?"

No. What a stupid question. Fidgets spinners spin; they don't twirl. Twirling is for marching batons and silly little children.

Your dad doesn't sound like a human being; he sounds like a robot. Have you failed to take notice of the motor oil he has been pouring on his pancakes every morning?

Good news is, you should be able to reboot him to factory settings by unplugging Dad overnight and letting his battery drain to a zero percent charge.

"If the gas station is all out of fidget spinners, what's a good backup gift for my dad?"

Hope springs eternal with a scratch-off lottery ticket and a tall boy of Steel Reserve 211.

Ryan Jackson has a list of things he doesn't want for Father's Day, a list that begins and ends with the male romper. He can be reached at

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