Straightforward. In fiction, prisoners spend their days either chipping large boulders with picks or operating license plate stamping machines at an assembly line, or similar.
No Real Life Examples, Please!
- One of the Game Over screens in Amazon: Guardians Of Eden mentions spending your days in jail stamping out license plates
- Fairly OddParents - The kid's play area is depicted as a prison, complete with license plate stamping machine.
- Spongebob Squarepants - When Mrs. Puff goes to prison, she's shown chipping at large boulders at one point.
- The Three Stooges did the boulders bit on several occasions.
- Happens in Lucky Luke.
- Brother Where Art Thou uses it as well.
- Inmates of Victorian prisons were required to operate treadwheels and hand-powered cranks. Sometimes this would serve a useful function, but sometimes they'd just be stirring sand in a barrel.
- Rambo is literally shown doing the "making big rocks into little rocks" bit with a sledgehammer for his stunts in First Blood.
- Johnny Bravo while inmate is told to chip a large boulder, glue it together then chip it again.