Over the weekend a little road trip was in order to meet some friends and check out some local shops in Lansing, as it's not a city I get around to too often. Before heading home I needed to fill up on gas when I pulled into a Meijer gas station and notice something ridiculously awesome on top of it. It was what appeared to be either a blow-up or ceramic giraffe, overlooking W. Saginaw Highway.

We've got some hilarious roadside attractions in Michigan, but I don't think I've ever been as baffled by any other one more than this; I have questions. First, why out of all animals did they go with the giraffe? I guess it is tall and easy to spot. Second, how long has this been up there and what's the significance behind it? Amazingly I found an answer, and it goes way farther back than I would have guessed.

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I came across an article from the Lansing City Pulse that describes through some hard investigation, the Meijer, which has been around since 1966, once featured a bunch of these kinds of animals and this one managed to survive change:

Throughout the '70s and '80s, each Meijer featured a playland for children called “The Oasis” in the center of the store. Often, those were filled with kid-friendly animal statutes. During a store remodel, a contractor ordered a giraffe that was ultimately too large for the kids to play on. Rather than return it, the contractor played a “joke” on the store manager and installed the statue on the canopy roof of the gas station.

I had no idea this was such a huge deal to people in Lansing, but is no doubt hilarious. Apparently the giraffe is intended to forever remain on top of the gas station.

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