RICHMOND, Va. — It was a crisp May morning as Fan resident Matthew Gable readied himself for his attempt to break the world record for most bags of groceries carried in a single trip between a car and an apartment kitchen.
“I feel satisfied with my prep work,” Gable told us over a cup of coffee. “I haven’t shopped for groceries in about two and a half weeks, so I’ll have no trouble putting together a serious haul.” Showing us the inside of his fridge, Gable pointed out a few moldy oranges and a single PBR saying, “Yeah, this is about when I know I really need to get to the store.”
Next on his preparation agenda was ensuring that he would absolutely not find parking anywhere near the entrance to his apartment building. “The key to pulling this off is going to be motivation.”
Walking outside, Gable surveyed his packed street and lead us to his 2004 Honda Civic, currently parked directly outside his building. “I snagged this spot last week and have not driven anywhere since—it’s too prime. The moment I pull out of here this spot will disappear and the closest parking will be a block and a half away.”
Gable then fastened the laces on his sneakers and, holding his car keys loosely in his hand, said, “Let’s do this.”
After a grueling one-and-a-half hour shop at his local Kroger, Gable pulled his car into a street parking spot a full block from the entrance to his building. In his trunk were a total of 18 (mostly) paper bags at varying levels of fullness; he was aiming to beat the standing record of 15 bags by a healthy margin.
In attendance for the record-breaking attempt was a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records, along with a few supportive friends and family members. Peedmont reporters were onsite with our affiliates at Style Weekly and RVA Coffee Stain providing coverage as well.
Gable then carefully moved the bags into two groups, attempting to distribute the weight as evenly as possible. He then passed his hands through all of the bag loops and, with nothing except a low guttural grunt, hefted all of his groceries into the air.
Using his forehead, Gable closed his trunk and slowly began the walk to his front door.
Along the way we witnessed many exciting moments, including several bags threatening to break under the strain on their handles. There was a moment of desperation when Gable reached his front porch and, pinching his key between two barely-free fingers, almost failed to open his door. It was with a titanic effort that he ascended two flights of stairs, but he at last reached his kitchen and, with an enormous sigh, dropped all of the bags on the floor in front of his fridge.
After a modest round of applause and a formal ruling that the previous record had been broken from the official, Gable collapsed on the couch.
When asked for comment Gable said simply, “I always knew I could do it, but I’m glad to have it in the books. I’ll unpack all of ‘em sometime tonight or something, I guess.”