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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern
  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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What's a Minion?....

What's a Minion?

When I opened my box of Cheerios this morning, a small toy fell out. It was a small yellow figure with big googly eyes. Wonder what this is?" I thought. As usual, I asked Honey, who knows the answer to all trivial questions.

"What's this?" I asked him
"It's a Minion." He replied. "What's a Minion?" I persisted.

"You know, they are from that movie, Despicable Me."

"Oh… I didn't see the movie."

"Neither did I, but I still know what a Minion is. They are a fad like Cabbage Patch dolls or Beanie Babies."

"Oh." I felt really stupid. Apparently everyone in the entire world knows what a Minion is -- everyone except me.

"Why don't you watch the movie on TV?"

I thought about it and wondered if the movie is available on our service. I did the search thing and there were two movies called Despicable Me. I opted for the original so I could start at the beginning.

I don't usually pay extra to watch movies as there are more free programs available than anyone could possibly watch, but I pressed OK and grudgingly paid the $3.99.

Was the movie worth $3.99? Well, no. It was a computer-animated cartoon about an evil character with a pointy nose who wanted to be the biggest villain in the world and steal the moon to prove it. The plot went downhill from there.

I did get to observe the Minions, however, a mass of three-feet-tall helpers whose only purpose in life is to seek and serve a despicable master. They had human qualities although they resembled a bright yellow egg. Each had one or two big eyes, and wore goggles – just like the figure in my Cheerios. They all had the same haircut and spoke gibberish. I found out later that they were multi-lingual and spoke Minonese, a combination of French, English, Italian and Spanish.

The Minions were a cheerful crew of manual laborers who built a space craft for the evil villain in spite of incompetence and bumping into each other. Characters were immune to the obstacles of space travel, such as, gravity, lack of oxygen, and freezing cold. But after all, it is a cartoon, so anything is possible.

I now knew what Minions are, more or less. According to Hollywood legend, Minions have existed since the beginning of time. They are simple-minded and must have a master to serve or they become depressed. They are boisterous and playful creatures, chattering, bumping into each other and falling down as they work. There are supposedly 899 of them cheering for their master.

Silly as all this may seem, they have been featured in three movies, seven shorts, and are making another movie now imaginatively called Despicable Me 3. The original movie was released in 2010 and grossed 1.4 billion, which explains the reason for sequels. The latest film is a spin-off featuring the Minions and released in July 2015.

How could I not know about them?

The Minions are a product of Universal Studios, and have spawned a slew of merchandise of all types in addition to a simulated ride at Universal Hollywood and Universal Florida. Among many others, they are licensed to Hasbro Toys, McDonalds, and General Mills, which explains what one was doing in my cereal this morning. There are six to collect, so I will be eating a lot of Cheerios.

It is difficult to keep up with the latest fads without small children to keep me informed by nagging, crying and whining to see the movie, get a CD, and buy whatever toy or tee shirt all the other kids have. Now that I think of it, having no pesky children to bug me for overpriced merchandise might not be such a bad thing.

I suppose that makes me somewhat of an evil villain too -- despicable me.

Copyright 2015 Sheila Moss

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