Some fid­gety

There was a young fel­low from Trin­ity, Who took the square root of in­fin­ity. But the num­ber of dig­its, Gave him the fid­gets; So he dropped Math and took up Divin­ity. Huck­le­berry Finn,

The Compass - - Editorial - Harold Wal­ters My Im­per­fect Slant Harold Wal­ters lives Hap­pily Ever Af­ter in Dunville. He thinks it’s cool to live in the only Cana­dian prov­ince with its own time zone. He does not think it cool to live in a prov­ince that taxes books. Reach him at gh­walte

Last week I was sit­ting with Dear­est Duck in a blocked-solid gym­na­sium wait­ing to see Pop’s East Coast Girls in their dance school’s Spring Concert. I fin­ished read­ing the pro­gram and com­menced to fold it — and re­fold and dou­ble-fold and shape it into ac­cor­dion pleats.

I squirmed in my seat as if I were still a wee bay-boy in a church pew.

Dear­est Duck scowled at me and said, “Harry, stop fid­dling and fid­get­ing. You’re worse than a young­ster. You need one of those fid­get spin­ners to play with in­stead of mo­gri­fy­ing that pro­gram.”

“I’m too clumsy to use those things,” said I, fan­cy­ing my­self play­ing with a chummy-thing like the one I’d seen one of Pop’s girls whiz-whiz­ing on her fin­ger­tips.

When the concert started, Dear­est Duck snatched the tat­tered pro­gram, so I sat on my hands and pon­dered the prob­lem of fid­gets, or fid­get­ing … what­ever.

Like most as­pects of the hu­man con­di­tion, fid­get­ing ap­pears in Great Lit­er­a­ture — Mark Twain’s for in­stance.

One night Huck steals a block of but­ter and, al­most caught by Aunt Sally, hides it un­der his hat. But Aunt Sally sus­pects Huck is up to no good and forces him to sit with her in a room full of peo­ple. And guess what?

In a de­cid­edly fid­get in­duc­ing sit­u­a­tion, Huck is fated to bide still in the warm room while the but­ter melts and drools down his nog­gin.

Huck could have used and fid­get spin­ner, eh b’ys?

While lit­tle girls rigged up in cos­tumes cute enough to make you vomit danced around the stage, I for­got about Huck … … and re­mem­bered Granny. Granny didn’t fid­get. To stave off the urge to wig­gle like a worm in her rocker, Granny pleated her apron, folded it on her lap un­til it looked like … like … like a folded concert pro­gram, p’raps.

Then, sat­is­fied it was creased to com­ple­tion, Granny pressed it flat with the palm of her hand. She re­peated this pat­tern un­til bed­time.

If for some in­con­ceiv­able rea­son Granny wasn’t wear­ing an apron, she twid­dled her thumbs. Her fin­gers in­ter­linked be­neath her im­pe­ri­ous bo­soms, Granny rolled her thumbs one ‘round the other.

Silly boy, I once asked, “Why do you al­ways twid­dle your thumbs like that?”

“Not al­ways,” she said. “Some­times I twid­dles them like this.” And she re­versed the di­rec­tion.

“Harry,” says Dear­est Duck. “I think you’re steal­ing my line?” “P’raps so, my Duck,” say I. B’ys, the concert even­tu­ally ended. It was lovely — both the concert and the end­ing.

Yet I’ve con­tin­ued to pon­der those frig­gin’ fid­get spin­ners.

Cer­tain Pro­fes­sional Peo­ple claim that those gad­gets are a god­send for chil­dren suf­fer­ing var­i­ous hy­per-ac­tiv­ity dis­or­ders. Spin­ners help them bleed off the fid­gets, I s’pose. P’raps that’s true, but the skep­tic in me thinks it just might be a mound of horse whoop­sie.

“Harry! Who are you to say what might be ben­e­fi­cial in such cases?” says Dear­est Duck.

“I’m suit­ably

Duck,” say I.

Al­ways will­ing to fill my Holes of Ig­no­rance with truth I packed a lunch and tod­dled off to Mr. Google’s house. There, I trav­elled around the world seek­ing in­for­ma­tion about those fad­dish fid­get spin­ners.

And, b’ys, you know what? Ben­e­fi­cial ef­fects not­with­stand­ing, those bloody things are dan­ger­ous.

Sure, one young­ster over in Eng­land spun a spin­ner off her mid­dle fin­ger and nearly put out her eye. Con­sid­er­ing that ac­ci­dent, p’raps moth­ers should fear spin­ners more than they once feared BB guns.

Teeth have been bro­ken. Noses have been knocked. Dogs have caught and swal­lowed fly­ing spin­ners.

School teach­ers have de­cided to seek sick leave un­til the fad has faded.

While roam­ing Mr. Google’s realm I learned of a shock­ing ac­ci­dent, the thoughts of which would’ve caused Granny to shred her apron.

One man — naked as the prover­bial jay­bird, I s’pose — some­how man­aged in­ad­ver­tently to launch a spin­ner and sail it up­stream in his al­i­men­tary canal where it drove aground, so to speak, far past the first bend.

I reckon the em­bed­ded spin­ner caused more fid­get­ing than it ever less­ened while twirling on his thumb.

B’ys, I don’t want to think about the phys­i­cal con­tor­tions that placed said spin­ner and said canal in such per­ilous prox­im­ity. Don’t you think about it either. Thank you for read­ing. chas­tised, my

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