Monday, September 14, 2015

Minions as Babysitters: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

You might not recognize this annoying as fuck adorable little yellow cartoon character known as a "Minion" from the Despicable Me franchise, now with its own spin-off movie and video game. 

A Minion (capital M) is not to be confused with a "minyan" (a quorum of ten Jewish men over the age of 13 required for traditional public worship); or a "minion" (a follower or underling of a powerful person, especially a servile or unimportant one, e.g., literally everyone who follows Donald Trump around).

If you don't recognize The Minions, capital T, capital M, you either: (a) do not have children under 10; and/or (b) are one of those inscrutable parents who successfully shelters their kids from any and all popular culture (often to their social detriment) by spending all your free time making bird-feeders out of pine cones and sap; picking wild thistle berries for dinner in the forest; and doing other crafty shit even though you're blatantly not Amish, because you are reading this blog post on a Smartphone or a laptop. Obviously, this particular post isn't for you. Everyone else, drop everything. I'm about to hook you up with a babysitter you don't have to pay.

For better or worse, my kids have received slightly more iPad action than usual lately. The "no screen time during the week" flexible mandate has been bent to the breaking point in the face of "rehearsals" necessary to mitigate my impending on-stage humiliation at the Juneau Lyric Opera 2015 "Diva's" event. 

Which is how we discovered "Minion Rush." "Minion Rush" is a free video game available for the iPad, and this is literally everything I know about it: 

It's a free video game available for the iPad. It's called "Minion Rush." It involves Minions. A 5 year-old boy and 8 year-old girl can quietly play it together without killing each other for a very long time. It makes a lot of noise, but can be turned down. You can win "bananas" and get onto a "water slide." (I know this because every once in awhile, my kids will emerge from hiding to brag that they "got ten bananas" or "made it to the second water slide"). My response is "GREAT!" even though I couldn't give two shits, have zero idea what they're talking about, and am just happy that they're occupied.

"Minion Rush" will probably make your kids stupid, but that's the price of freedom. (I didn't say this babysitter was "free," only that you don't have to pay them). And in my case, freedom = the ability to caterwaul "Patience" by Guns N' Roses and march around my living room rapping like Run DMC's worst nightmare so that I can do exactly that in public five short days from now.

Minions as babysitters: an idea whose time has come.

A Minion. I ate a 6-inch tall Minion made out of marzipan in Amsterdam this summer and it was delicious. I kind of love that this Minion seems to be flipping everyone the bird here.

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