Sunday, May 10, 2015

The minions are coming

Uh oh. I've really done it this time.

I've opened the door to the minions, and now they are barging through. And this time, they're coming at me where I live.

It's already started, but it doesn't figure to end any time soon, if I know my sister-in-law.

But let's go back to the beginning.

I have already written twice (here and here) about hating minions, the walking yellow globules from the Despicable Me series, so I won't rehash those arguments at length. I will remind you, though: I hate minions. We can allow this post to serve as my inevitable minions rant that would have accompanied this summer's release of Minions, the Despicable Me spinoff.

Because of that spinoff, there are a ton more minion-related products flooding the marketplace than usual ... but I am again getting ahead of myself.

When we were in the U.S. last fall, my older son found a yellow minion winter hat at T.J. Maxx and put it on his head in the store. I immediately balked at it, just because of what it was, but almost as immediately I realized how cute he looked in it. I refer you to Exhibit A:

As Exhibit A amply demonstrates, I caved and bought the hat.

I figured, my son doesn't actually know what minions are. He has been very carefully kept separate from them. To him, it's just a cute yellow hat with eyes. And it made a nice little accoutrement for the rest of our trip in America.

Well, it's been summer since then here in Australia, so we haven't seen a lot of that hat. But the weather has turned, and we are nearly a month-and-a-half into autumn -- a season that actually begins on the first of March, by convention, rather than its 21st. And lo and behold, that hat has found its way out again, like an evil that had been hibernating, waiting for its chance to pounce.

It's still cute, but now it is also portentous.

See, my sister-in-law saw it yesterday for the first time. We were having lunch over at the kids' grandfather's house, and then she was taking them for the afternoon so we could go see a movie (While We're Young). And whenever she takes them, their collection of toys, books or clothes ends up enlarging by more than a few items. (She's about the most generous person I've ever met.)

I was aware of some the items upon first getting home. But it wasn't until clearing out the dish rack this morning that I saw not one, but two of these:

I repeat: Uh oh.

Now just because my sister-in-law brought them one minion item, it doesn't mean that she is going to start hitting the minion meme with the full weight of her purchase power. The kids have plenty of other interests, especially since a specific interest in the minions has not yet been established, as such.

But the encroachment of these guys in our house means that they could gain a foothold, and that's what worries me.

The funny thing is that when the topic of my son's hat came up at lunch yesterday, I made sure to immediately contextualize its purchase. I explained to my sister that I thought the Despicable Me movies were rubbish (I didn't actually say "rubbish," but I'm feeling particularly Australian this morning), but that the hat was cute so we bought it. I didn't want her to confuse me with someone who actually endorses minions, and I wanted to be as clear about that as possible.

The message she took was: "The kids like minions, and it doesn't really matter what dad's thoughts on the subject are."

I'm not blaming my sister-in-law. It was I who opened the door. It was I who stood there at the decisive moment, with my credit card in one hand and a minion hat in the other, and made the purchase.

But if they want to go to see Minions, I'll leave it to her to take them.

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