An Odd Break Down: Vacation Planning II


Image Courtesy of, By Árni Dagur – Own work, CC0,

A while back I reviewed fidget toys including a comparison between fidget spinner and marble fidget toy. In the review, I explained why we settled on the marble fidget toy over the fidget spinner. Fast forward a little over a month and circumstances have changed.

We are soon to leave for our family summer vacation extravaganza. The kids are excited, the parents are….well…we have mixed feelings on the subject. Certainly excited and looking forward to some quality family time and opportunity to do more exploring of the country in which we reside. Not looking forward to 6-8 hours of driving in the car which includes the inevitable and cliche question from our youngest, “Are we there yet” or sibling squabbles over toys, snacks, whatever.

So, a couple days ago, during our initial family vacation planning session, and in the aftermath of our oldest and special Aspie, constructing a fidget spinner out of Lego parts, we broke down, caved, acquiesced and ordered fidget spinners from Amazon. Rationalizing that such a device would help to occupy little fingers, satiate the demand for stimulation, and keep parents from losing whatever sanity remains while in the car, for hours on end, driving to our destination/s. Of course, I had to order one for me as well. No shame do I feel admitting that I am the biggest kid (my wife might say child) in our family.

I returned to my usual method of conspicuous consumption: I researched fidget spinners on Amazon. Opted for spinners made entirely of metal or metal alloy, on the recommendation of an extended family member who has blown through multiple cheap plastic spinners. Of course, our youngest gad to get a metal alloy spinner shaped like a flower in rainbow hues. Her Aspie brother, no surprise, chose a red aluminium spinner. I chose to expand my horizons a bit and get a two-tone, blue and silver, aluminium spinner. My wife, chose not to get one.

They arrive today. Our kids are so excited that, first thing they asked me this morning was when their fidget spinner would arrive. So, we checked the package tracking to discover that the package was out for delivery. The squeals of joy and excitement exhibited by my kids are for me like cocaine or Oreo cookies which are, apparently, as addictive as cocaine (Levy et al, 2013).

Got to love the American system of food production and government regulation, shaped by pseudo-science, multi-billion dollar lobbying, and elected officials more concerned with being re-elected than the public interest. Just like our healthcare system….. Need to stop this tangential rant. Right, so, on occasion, my kids and I make an Oreo run, buy a bag or two, and of course enjoy the treat with milk. Any other way is just plain uncivilized.

After we return from our road-trip extravaganza, I’ll offer a reflection on our experience with our new fidget spinners. Fun travels await!


Levy, A., Salamon, A., Tucci, M., Limebeer, C. L., Parker, L. A., & Leri, F. (2013). Co‐sensitivity to the incentive properties of palatable food and cocaine in rats; implications for co‐morbid addictions. Addiction biology18(5), 763-773.

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