Friday, April 12, 2013

I Love My Minion (And Other Crucial Toys)

I went out and got myself a Minion.

No, not a real one, they don't exist, silly. It's a plush toy, a one-eyed, yellow, blue overall clad Minion to add to my collection of other cartoon character toys. They're characters that for some reason I relate to quite nicely.
Me and my trusty Minion.  

Maybe my life is like a cartoon. Maybe I've got the brain of a five year old. Sue me.

Minions are those worker bees in the animated film "Despicable Me."  They're the always cheerful, sometimes clumsy, sometimes put upon workers who try to make the evil main characters schemes and projects come to fruition.

My newly acquired Minion  joins Beaker, the hapless lab assistant to Dr. Bunson Honeydew from Muppets, and the Tasmanian Devil, the tornado like, slobbering foil to Bugs Bunny, at a special spot in my house.

Call it my shrine, if you will.

What I have in common with these characters is they are simultaneously simple and straight forward enough, but none of them are easily understood, the way they babble on about the scary things they're exposed to. Their demeanor is a strange mixture of fear and acceptance, though they all have their own way of going about it.

But they're my imaginary friends, if you will, because we all experience life in much the same way. Yes, I know my life is real, and the Minions, et al, are just cartoon characters, but bear with me.

For me and the Minions, Beaker and the Tasmanian Devil, things are totally out control. We feel at the mercy of others, especially in the case of the Minions and Beaker.

For me, the Minions, Beaker and the Tasmanian Devil, things usually end up badly, but comically so.  Here's a video that shows the life of the Minions. They're obsessive like me, get distracted often, and things get weird, like they do for me. OK, maybe not exactly, but close enough

Watch this example of the Minions at work to illustrate my point:

It might seem funny or odd that a middle aged guy like me has an affinity for such toys. First of all, come on, it's not like I relate to them like real human beings. It's not like I have conversations with them, arranged in a circle in a playroom somewhere. I don't take them to bed with me like a Teddy Bear.

But all adults need a nonthreatening, non-human, not terribly complex muse to cling to. These are mine.

They tell me that whenever I feel overwhelmed, threatened, oppressed, I shouldn't get too upset. Their episodes always end in laughs, and mine will too, no matter how bad things seem in the moment. At least I can hope so.

Maybe I'll make the Minions, Beaker and the Tasmanian Devil regular muses in this blog. And I should bring back Darlusz, the ceramic frog I also have. I used to use him in blog, giving him the voice of a wise but naive Polish immigrant that lives with us.

Because sometimes made-up characters give us all more insight that me, or any other human can do.

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