Rock, Paper, Car?

By Sarah Bruce
Illustration by John Crossen

It is a simple game: paper beats rock, paper is driven over by car, and car gets stuck on rock. At least that’s what was happening in Leduc, Alberta, where an inconveniently placed rock—the intention being to keep drivers off the curb—was doing its job so well that drivers were getting stuck on top of it sometimes two or three times a week.

Often hidden beneath a dusting of snow, distracted drivers were not seeing it as they turned into the gas station where it resided. Its infamy grew over the years and it came to be known as “the money maker” by local towers who were frequently called to the gas station to rescue stranded vehicles.

So, not only was the rock causing damage to the underside of many vehicles, but drivers were also walking away with a tow bill. Last year, a truck even drove right over it and kept on going, dragging the rock into the gas station parking lot. But the next day, the rock was back on guard, waiting for its next victim.

Unfortunately—fortunately?—the story made news headlines this winter (paper does beat rock!) and as a result, the rock itself was eventually towed away for good. It has not yet been determined if anything will replace it—to keep drivers driving on the pavement and not the grass—but motorists off to the pumps are grateful, even if the towers will be missing their sweet little money maker.