Dystopian story would be novel if it weren’t so true
Updated: April 5, 2012 3:56PM
“The Hunger Games” is a dystopian type of movie and novel. “Dystopia” is a place where there isn’t any hope.
Which kind of describes my experience at the gas station earlier. Feeling hopeless, I filled up the tank and passed the $70 mark. The gas pump hissed like a cobra. When I swiped my credit card to pay, it made a blood-curdling scream.
In the new film, beautiful young people are forced to play the “Hunger Games.”
In my low-budget version, it would be a bunch of middle-aged people complaining about the humidity and needing knee replacements. Likely people everywhere would line up and volunteer to kill us. And we’d be told we’d end up as Soylent Green if we didn’t get hustling.
The gist of my film would be depressed Americans forced to have lower expectations, and the toothy, garish hosts laugh as we crabby contestants are herded onto the stage. The host threatens: “Chop, chop, you middle-aged cretins, or I’ll force you all to Zumba!”
Fred, a pudgy accountant driving a 12-year-old Accord, is selected first.
“Choose, Fred,” the host chortles. “Fill your car’s tank or ride a unicycle into work?”
“With gas prices like these? I’ll take the unicycle,” Fred replies.
Fred is then told he can’t have his blood-pressure medicine. “Whoops. Looks like your company’s about to make layoffs, too. You know what that means.”
“Hello, Unemployment Office!” the crowd shouts as the “APPLAUSE” sign is flashed.
Next, a middle-aged woman steps up to play.
“Choose, Mildred. Take that second job at McDonald’s or lose your home?”
Mildred balks. “A second job will mean an 18-hour work day. If I stand that long, my varicose veins will burst.”
They shove Mildred offstage, outfit her with weapons and send her into the forest.
Now it’s my turn. I pick up my bow and arrow, and like the gorgeous lead in “The Hunger Games,” I narrow my eyes to look cool.
As I take aim, though, I fumble for my bifocals and am quickly killed.