I used to love the color yellow. It was the color of cold lemonade on a hot summer day. It was the color of ripe bananas, fresh pineapple, fragrant mustard—most of all, it was the color of hope. But now when my thoughts turn to yellow, I picture nothing but the plump golden bodies of the Minions created by Universal Studios, and I crave the sweet release of death. 

Yet I live on, tormented by the memory of beady eyes watching my every move through those unfashionable retro welder goggles. Before Universal Studios launched its $593 million marketing campaign to promote Minions, a 2015 spinoff prequel to the Despicable Me franchise, I knew neither true fear nor hatred. But fear I soon learned, as I was forced to evade aisles upon aisles of Minions pillows, yogurt cups, and toilet brushes in the grocery store. And hate I soon did as well, as the dwarfish abominations with male pattern baldness grinned at me with perfect teeth on billboards and TV screens and Amazon packages.

Most of all, I mourned for our youth. For months on end, almost every child who crossed my path wore Minions apparel of some kind, painfully unaware that the tiny henchmen on their shirts and backpacks literally “lived to serve” — and served villains, no less. We should have guided the next generation towards heroism before it was too late. Instead, our country’s children have succumbed to submissive, exhibitionist monsters wearing overalls and rubber gloves and absolutely nothing else.

Every night, I toss and turn in grief and guilt and madness, the Minions’ grating laughter playing like a broken record in my mind. I cannot even take sleeping pills to put me out of my misery, because Minions are capsule-shaped, for crying out loud. I cannot possibly let them inside me. Writhing under my covers like a Minion in heat, I ponder the same eternal mysteries: Why do only some of them have one eye? If they “evolved from single-celled yellow organisms from the dawn of time,” will natural selection eventually do them in? I dream of sending every single Minion in every single alternate universe into premature extinction with a baseball bat, for they must exist in real life somewhere, somehow.  

You might say, “Dude, chill out. That was half a decade ago, and the Minions are kind of cute. I liked Kevin the best.” But I raise you this! When have you ever trusted a Kevin? And how can you forget our subjugation under Kevin and Stuart and Bob’s ruthless tyranny? Alas, I must bear the burden for all of us. History has forgotten my suffering, but that is all right. I remember All That Was, so I can brace myself for All That Will Be. Universal Studios is releasing a sequel, Minions: The Rise of Gru, on July 3, 2020.  

—V. Liu