Oh My God, Stop With the Absurd Hunger Games Merchandising

Rumors are bubbling about a potential Hunger Games amusement park, which would presumably combine all the joy and wonder of a dystopian police state with the thrill of being hunted down and murdered by a pack of desperate, starving child-warriors. And to this I say...really? Could we just not? Maybe not every popular book/film franchise is ripe for a bunch of ridiculous merchandise and tie-ins. Especially when said franchise concerns a bunch of essentially enslaved teenagers raised in grinding poverty rising up against their authoritarian state to protest being forced to kill one another for sport.

I mean, I liked the Hunger Games just fine, but the story isn't exactly packed with whimsy and fancy and fun the way, say, the Harry Potter universe is. And I know I'm being overly credulous by even entertaining the idea that "taste" and "sense" and any concept not $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$-related might make their way into these merchandising decisions at all, but I'm saying it anyway. This is WEIRD. This is a WEIRD IDEA. A HUNGER GAMES-THEMED SANDWICH IS WEIRD. A HUNGER GAMES-THEMED HOTEL IS WEIRD. ALL OF THIS STUFF IS WEIRD.

Nonetheless, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ soldiers on. Here's MTV on the sandwich:

It's a team-up that would make Peeta Mellark proud: bread-friendly sandwich chain Subway has teamed up with "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" to produce a line of "Fiery Footlongs," Sriracha-powered hoagies that hope to cure the hunger games happening at lunchtime in your tummy...the Sriracha Chicken Melt and the Sriracha Steak Melt.

And the proposed theme park:

Fans of Suzanne Collins' dystopian drama, "The Hunger Games," may want to add a bow-and-arrow or trident to their holiday wish list, if plans for a Panem-themed amusement park move forward. That's right: Soon, the only thing standing between would-be tributes and the arena could be the price of admission.

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer told analysts during a quarterly earnings report conference call on Friday (via Variety) that the studio has been approached about a "Hunger Games" theme park in two territories and was mulling the matter.

Though Feltheimer had no further details to add, we assume kids won't actually kill other kids at the proposed attraction.

Ohhhhhhh, ha ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha! Kids won't actually kill other kids. Don't worry! Yeah, I was 99% sure that wasn't the plan, but—real question—what ARE the kids going to do at the Hunger Games theme park? Like, really? It's not a fun universe, by design (that's kind of the point?). So what could possibly work as a ride? Here's the best I could come up with:

HUNGER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD: This ride is great value for your money, because it's long—like, super long. Like, a week and a half long. You just buy a ticket, and then they chain you down in a coal car and leave you in a mine without any food.

PIRATES OF THE STARE-IBBEAN: You're trapped in a boat with two pouty animatronic dudes you don't like that much. They both stare at you until you agree to "love" one of them.

THE MUTTERHORN: While waiting in line, all your most cherished friends and loved ones are "disappeared" and transformed into freakish oozing Dr. Moreau hell-hounds by the park's in-house madmen. Divested of their humanity, they eat your flesh and delight in your screams. (Hot Tip: If someone in your party is on crutches, your mommy and little sister can get whisked to the front of the trepanning queue!)

THE HAUNTED MANSION: It's exactly like the Disneyland ride, except you're visited by the ghosts of all your loved ones who either starved to death or were brutally murdered by the state for being political dissidents.

'Kay!!!

Beyond obvious stuff like Mockingjay pins and archery lessons, the only Hunger Games tie-in that actually seems like a cool idea is the Capitol-inspired makeup line. Because there's this part in the story, you see, where the people in the Capitol wear cra-a-a-a-a-azy makeup, and so making makeup-themed makeup is a merchandising tie-in that actually makes sense. If there was a whole chapter in the book called "Haymitch 'n' His Hoagies" and it was a vital plot point that you should never ever talk to Haymitch before he's had his morning $5 foot-long, then MAYBE THE SANDWICH THING WOULD MAKE SENSE TOO.

Jesus, you guys. Not everything has to be a thing.