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In a London Parking Lot, a 6-Year-Long 'Magnum Opus'

Gareth Wild was determined to park in 211 separate spaces at supermarket
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2021 1:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – If you took a survey on people's favorite things to do, finding a parking space likely wouldn't rank very high—unless you're Gareth Wild, who just finished his "magnum opus" related to the activity, reports the BBC. In a Tuesday Twitter thread, the 39-year-old production director from the Bromley section of London noted that he's long shopped at the same Sainsbury's for groceries, and that he admires its "great" parking lot. Back in 2015, that got him to thinking: What if he made it his goal to park in every single one of the lot's spaces? And so he set about that task, first creating a map to ID each space. "Rather than walking around the car park counting each space and exposing myself as a lunatic," the dad of two said he used a satellite image that showed an overhead view of the lot, allowing him to document all of the spaces he could legally park in.

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He kept track of the "monotony" in a color-coded spreadsheet to give the presentation "a bit of extra razzle dazzle," detailing along the way which spots he thought were the best and worst "because I'm such a swell guy." After his first child was born two years into the project, Wild was able to park legally in the family spots—bringing the total number of spaces he needed to "conquer" to 211, per the New York Times. Although he wouldn't allow himself more than one spot per trip, he admits he'd sometimes sneak out at night to pick up something small, just so he could knock off a hard-to-nab space. Wild pulled into the last spot on Saturday, noting to the BBC he felt "a moment of elation." He also felt a bit of melancholy, but said the mission helped him get through the pandemic. "It's just nice to have a break from all that and just think about something stupid," he says. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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