A local man’s chronic inability to parallel park has become the city’s newest tourist attraction, drawing crowds and generating significant revenue for Bendigo’s tourism industry.
Terry “No-Park” Franklin, a 42-year-old sales representative, has spent the best two decades struggling to squeeze his rusty 1998 Holden Commodore into even the most generous parking spaces. His persistent yet futile attempts to master the art of parallel parking have not gone unnoticed by locals, who have turned his ineptitude into a source of amusement and, more recently, a bona fide tourist attraction.
“People come from all over the country to watch Terry try to park his car,” said Jenny Fitzroy, Bendigo’s Director of Tourism. “There’s something oddly fascinating about witnessing a grown man struggle so mightily with such a basic task. It’s become a symbol of human resilience in adversity.”
The spectacle, which takes place daily during Terry’s lunch break and after work, is said to have boosted Bendigo’s economy as visitors flock to the city to catch a glimpse of the man dubbed the “Pavarotti of Parallel Parking.”
Local businesses have capitalized on the phenomenon by offering parking-themed souvenirs, including “I Parked with Terry” T-shirts and bumper stickers that read “Honk if You Can’t Parallel Park.” The city’s food vendors have also jumped on the bandwagon, offering culinary creations such as “Terry’s Tire-Turning Tacos” and “Parallel Parking Pies.”
To accommodate the influx of visitors, the Bendigo City Council has designated Terry’s usual parking spot on Williamson Street as an official tourist site, complete with a viewing platform and guided tours of the area.
Despite his newfound fame, Terry remains humble and somewhat baffled by the attention. “I don’t know why people find it so entertaining,” he said, attempting to straighten his car for the seventh time in a row. “I’m just trying to park my bloody car.”
As Terry continues to attract visitors and contribute to Bendigo’s booming tourism industry, city officials are considering erecting a statue in his honour – one that would, fittingly, be impossible to parallel park next to.