Saturday, February 2, 2013

Minion Auditions

Dedicated readers of this space--all dozen of you--will know that The Witch of Doom has long been a fixture in our family.

This year, Daniel requested a Witch of Doom themed birthday party.

Since the Witch always has horrible staffing problems (she goes through a new minion every few months), it seemed obvious to try holding a recruiting day.

I invited the kids on Daniel's DI team to come over this afternoon, and I met them at the door and cackled "Prospective minions! Tee hee hee."

I waited until the last possible moment to put Geoffrey down for a nap. When I took him up, I poked our heads into the play room and said "See the cute baby? He's going to sleep. Don't wake him. Do you know what I do to minions who wake babies? I turn them into alligators. And then use their blood for potions. And then eat anything that's left."

After a few minutes of free play upstairs, I called them down and distributed pencils and this document to fill out:

[Remember, blogger has stupid formatting issues. --ed]

Application for Minionhood
I ____________________________ do hereby apply to become the minion of The Witch of Doom.

1.      I want to become a minion because: (check all that apply)

I’m bored
Thinking for myself is too hard; I’m a natural follower
I want to be on the winning team when she conquers the world
I’m trying to earn enough money to put myself through Hogwarts
I want to get some experience, then stab her in the back and take her place.
I love doing exhausting, unpaid work while my master screams at me.

2.      As a minion, I would be willing to fill the following position(s): (check all that apply)

  Lab assistant 
Soldier/cannon fodder 
Scapegoat (the person who gets blamed for everything)
Porter (the person who carries around all the heavy stuff)
Research assistant/librarian
Test subject (the person who finds out if the new potion works and/or is poisonous)

3.      My preferred method of punishment involves: (rate on a scale with 1 your favorite punishment and 5 being your least favorite):
__ Being turned into a toad                              
__ Being turned into an alligator
__ Being locked in a dungeon
__ Being deprived of food and water
__ Being banished to another plane of existence without an obvious way to return

4.      If the Witch banished me to a parallel universe. I would: (check all that apply)

Cry for my mommy
Try to colonize the place. Build shelter, plant crops, await rescue.
Try to conquer the place. Enslave the populace, hope nobody comes to the “rescue.”
Explore and experiment, trying to discover a way home.

5.      If the Witch hired another minion, I would: (check all that apply)

Cry for my mommy
Be grateful someone else can now help with the heavy lifting in the lab 
Try to poison my rival 
Sabotage him to make myself look good
 Declare myself the Master Minion and bully the new guy unmercifully
Thank the Witch for making all the decisions so I don’t need to worry

6.      If an enemy attacked the Witch of Doom, I would:
Duck [Should have said "Freeze in terror." Ah well. Deadlines.] 
Step in front of the lightning bolt and die loyally for her
Seize the moment and steal from her
Seize the moment and finish her off
Show some initiative. Try an experimental new spell I’ve been working on against her enemy, and hope it doesn’t accidentally turn her into a platypus.
Show some initiative. Try an experimental new spell I’ve been working on against her enemy, and hope it also “accidentally” turns her into a platypus.

May I comment that a disturbingly high number of children said they would stab me in the back? And one very sweet little sister (kindergarten age) said she would take a lightning bolt for me. She got the highest score of the day. Eric was the only one who offered to be a research assistant.

The kids demonstrated their laboratory assistant credentials by trying to get zombie eyeballs across the room without dropping them. While using only one hand. To hold a teaspoon on which the eyeball was balanced. While also racing a rival.

Fortunately the cracking/squishing/leaking wasn't too bad. I even managed to salvage three out of the four eyeballs later and use them in a salad.

We played "monster freeze dance," where the kids chose a song from a book of Disney tunes, and I played it in minor. They danced like monsters, but when the sad and creepy music stopped, they had to freeze in place. They were really good at it! Hardly any of them went "out."

We played a Minion version of "in the manner of the adverb," where one kid assigned his peers to prepare a potion, or ride a broom, or harvest bug intestines while he guessed what the secret adverb was.

I had a lovely little "green slime worm" eating contest prepared, but we ran out of time.

After the games, we all went into the kitchen, where I served cockroach pie, bug guts pie, unicorn blood, and mud juice. The bug guts pie (which tasted surprisingly like pumpkin) was singed. I explained that my most recent minion, #23, Frank, had been lax. "I turned him into a toad in punishment. And then I scraped off his warts for potion ingredients."

While they ate, I filled out their certificates with titles like "Untrustworthy Minion" or "Minion, third class." I pointed out that this status would remain with them, and the next time they're at my house, I could point to any of them and say "You! Minion! Do a load of dishes. And don't break any."

I had prepared a fun potion recipe but then didn't have time to prepare a game around it. I still sent a copy home with each child, along with their applications and their certificates of minionhood. I had scored the applications based on how much I liked the answers. One child, L.E., was very proud of her negative score.

Overall it was simple but fun. I think everyone had a good time, and I didn't completely lose my mind. I mean, I was a little harried and frazzled at times, but never too terribly. Some of the other moms helped out a bit. (Thanks!). And that's good, because Jon was in San Marcos (90 minutes away) skydiving.

I got six new minions out of it. Fair deal, I think.

Here's the potion recipe. Nothing amazing, but then, I churned it out in about twenty minutes. The main idea had been to plan a game around it, not dazzle anyone with its merit.

I told Jon this morning, while he was cleaning the living room and I was doing dishes, "It's a good thing my brain is so fecund, or I'd never get away with procrastinating so much. This is a chicken and egg thing, though. Which came first? Preponderance of ideas, or procrastination?" 

Sleep Potion Recipe

By Gail “The Witch of Doom” Homer Berry

For this potion, minions dear,
I require a goblin’s ear.
Eye of newt and wart of frog,
Wing of bat and tail of dog.
Of the dragon (nasty serpent)
I need BOTH his livers, servant.
Also three cups of his blood--
But no more, lest cauldron flood.
Griffin talon, harpy hair,
And a sphinx tongue if you dare.
(To its riddles pay no heed;
They will make you mad indeed.)
Viper venom (rattlesnake)
Stir with dwarven garden rake.
Also each ingredient
Might be disobedient.
To the cauldron from the land 
They must not touch minion hand.
If you mixed this potion well,
You’ll have brewed a potent spell.
When applied, it ought—in theory—
Make your enemy be weary.

[To read a really good minionhood application, try the one by Aaron Williams, author of PS238, the comic book about children with superpowers. I don't have a good link. Sorry.)


Renae Kingsley said...

My sons loved the party! Evidently the games were a hit! Well done on creating a unique and fun way to celebrate Daniels birthday!

Carolyn said...

Whenever I think about minions now, I'm reminded of Despicable Me. The minions in that movie were adorable.

Brian Thomas said...

Good call signing them up early. Make sure they know their place before those otherwise rebellious teenage years!

Gail said...

Brian--The Witch's constant staffing problems come from having minions who are either smart (but uppity) or loyal (but dumb). Her brilliant plan is, indeed, to recruit children. "Smart enough to be useful, but young enough to be malleable," she cackles. "Then I'll get fifty years of loyal work out of 'em before they perish in a laboratory accident or in the line of fire."

This plan is somewhat hampered by her occasionally trying to capture, kill, or maim the recruits. Patience is not her strong suit, and she tends to mistreat her minions. That's the other reason for her staffing problems.