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I Want Minions*

February 9, 2015

*NOT the ones in the Despicable Me movies

A minion is defined as: a loyal servant of another, usually more powerful, being (Wikipedia) or: a person who is not important and who has to do what another person of higher rank orders them to do (Cambridge Dictionary Online). Synonyms include: underling, henchman, flunky, lackey, hanger-on, dogsbody, follower, hireling, vassal, stooge, toady, sycophant.

Smee (from the movie, Hook)In books and movies, it’s usually the villain who has minions. They carry out their boss’s orders and do their dirty work for them. Minions ask no questions, follow directives to the letter, and do not whine about the heinous acts they are required to perform (oftentimes they don’t speak at all). Minions are neither servants nor slaves (in the strictest sense of those terms); they have a specific purpose (to get the job done at any cost). They are totally dispensable; more tools than sentient beings. Minions (if you can believe what you see in the movies) appear to be fairly easy to come by (perhaps you simply order them from ‘Minions ‘R Us’), totally submissive, lacking in empathy and morals, and always eager to please their master, regardless of the task assigned (although no one ever seems to explain what’s in it for them – a place to sleep and three square meals a day, perhaps?)  Some villains have a single minion (Hook had Smee; Goldfinger had Oddjob); others have whole armies of them (the Borg Queen had her collective; Darth Vader had his Imperial Storm Troopers).

What I don’t get is why it’s only ‘the bad guys’ who get to have minions. Why can’t a nice, middle class, law abiding citizen (like me) have one (or two)? I certainly have quite a bit of ‘dirty work’ that needs to be taken care of on a regular basis. I bet there are minions out there who’d like to serve as an underling to someone who’s a little less ‘evil’ than their current boss, someone who assigns tasks that don’t involve  a whole lot of blood, guts and gore. Is there a job-matching site where a ‘person of higher rank’ can find a good, reliable minion? If so, sign me up!

Minion Hat from ZazzleOr – wouldn’t it be great if you could have a spell cast on someone who’s preternaturally evil themselves (say, some narcissist or sociopath who’s ‘done you wrong’ in the past) and turn them into a minion? I can think of several people right now (including a couple of family members) who’d make great flunkies. Once turned into minions, they could lurk in a corner somewhere (behind the curtains, perhaps) or stand silently in a small closet until called upon to (for example) empty the kitty litter, take out the trash, clear the snow from the driveway, weed the garden, dust and vacuum the house, clean the bathrooms, etc.  As minions, they’d have to do it all willingly, efficiently, and without a single sneer of resentment or animosity. I could even get them hats that identify them as minions (from How great would that be?!?!?!

Robot & Frank MovieSome might suggest that technological minions are already among us or on the horizon. We’ve already got autonomous ‘robots’ that can vacuum floors, mow lawns, assemble cars, and pick up rocks on Mars. Humanoid robots are being tested in home care situations (if you haven’t seen the movie, ‘Robot & Frank’  , I strongly recommend it; it’s a fun and touching story about how one man [in the near future] adapts his ‘companion’ robot for his own purposes), and Google is apparently very close to launching a driverless car. But  I just can’t see myself getting the same satisfaction out of commanding a programmable robot to wash the kitchen floor as I would a flesh and blood minion who has pledged themselves to me (where’s the ‘power’ in a relationship when one half of it is constructed of steel and circuits and software?)

I definitely think I’m on to something here. After all, if I had my own minion(s), my life would be a thousand times better, because I could spend way more time doing the things I want to do vs. things I have to do, now that I’m on … the other side of 55.




  1. February 10, 2015 3:42 pm

    Cats are way ahead of us in getting minions because “dogs have masters; cats have staff.”

    • February 10, 2015 6:54 pm

      You are right. I am a minion to my 2 cats. Hmmm … maybe they can teach me a thing or two about getting what I want when I want it.

  2. February 9, 2015 4:36 pm

    I would love to have a couple of minions, or at least one well trained one. Oh, how much of my time I could free up. I’m with you. Anything to free up time to do only what you want to do.

  3. February 9, 2015 2:50 pm

    I had minions a long time ago, but I called them children. Actually, I think I was my brother’s minion when I was growing up.

    • February 9, 2015 3:15 pm

      Unfortunately, children (and husbands) tend to whine when you tell them to execute some despicable task, so they’re not ‘quite’ minions (besides, you have to feed them and take care of them). No, I want minions that are quiet and totally subservient!

  4. February 9, 2015 2:18 pm

    If you find a way to get those minions, let me in on your secret. I could use a few myself. Shhh…I won’t tell! 😉

    • February 9, 2015 3:14 pm

      I think you need to be part of some secret society to get your own minions, but I’m not giving up on the idea.

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