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Rock Shortage Leaves Rock Climbers in Shambles

by Juli Freedman

Bad Habits Editor

art by Eva Sturm-Gross

[originally published April 22, 2022]


This week, the National Commission of Rocks and Minerals hosted a press conference announcing their new findings about the rock shortage. They predicted that by 2024 they will cease to make more rocks, and that by 2036 there may be no rocks. The rock climbing community has relied on rocks for their sport, which involves climbing rocks. This decline in rocks has led to the popularity of rock climbing gyms with plastic neon rocks charading around as real rocks. We sent our resident “One Time I Boned A Rock Climber” Guy, Juli Freedman, on the scene to see how the rock climbing community has been reckoning with the news.

JULI FREEDMAN: Thanks for meeting with me, I know this news has taken a real toll on your community.

FOSSIL FRANK: Yeah, I haven’t slept in days. No rocks? No life.

MOUNTAIN MARTHA: Man, there used to be so many rocks. Now what do we do?

JF: I see that this is an especially emotional topic so let me know if you need a tissue or anything.

FF: I have cried so much over this that I now have a medical condition where I physically can't cry anymore tears. I have cried them all.

JF: Oh wow

MM: I have the same condition. Are we supposed to climb the same rocks? And then just climb, no rocks?

FF: And fake rocks, wow they do not compare to the real thing. I was supposed to Free Solo this summer.

JF: That’s a big undertaking

FF: But then I decided that it would be too hard and I got nervous. You know ever since the movie came out, kids have been rock climbing like crazy. They go crazy for Free Solo guy. How do I tell a child that there will be no rocks by the time they get out of diapers?

MM: Kids go kookoo bananas for Free Solo guy. There are feral children running up and down the street trying to climb anything in sight. And I will be like “here is a rope,” and I look at their possessed faces as they paw at my face and say “NO! FREE SOLO FOREVER BITCH!”

JF: That's been a big problem here too.

FF: I don’t know how we are supposed to satiate the kid’s hunger for free-soloing when they aren’t making any more rocks. And don’t you dare bring up the gyms. I think Big Gym paid NCRM [National Commission of Rocks and Mineral] off so they could keep making fake rocks and get away with it

MM: I heard they are starting to make fake rocks to look like real rocks

FF: *violently throws up*

JF: Not on my new Heavin by MarK Jacub!

FF: I’m so sorry *keep throwing up but even more violently*

MM: Wait, Frank, is that what I think. . .

JF: Oh my! it's ROCKS!


FF: *just keeps yakking up a storm*

JF: Well in Shaggy McScooby fashion, ruh roh I think we caught the bad guy!

MM: What do you have to say for yourself you filthy rock eater? What do you have to say to the free solo children!

JF: Is that the grand canyon???

FF: I am so sorry. I just wanted every rock in the world. I didn’t know it would cause a national shortage.

MM: One question.

FF: Yeah my dear friend Martha.

MM: Can you really not cry anymore?

FF: *slowly shakes head* no

MM: You son of a bitch

JF: Well this whole thing was very funny to me and I stand by this article.

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