There is nothing worse than buying a puzzle second-hand, taking hours or days to complete it, only to find there are missing jigsaw puzzle pieces. Now a pensioner in the U.K. has volunteered to check every puzzle donated to the HUGS charity shop to ensure that every single piece is there.
According to the Sunday Express, the shop donates its profits to the Forever Friends Appeal, which fundraises for the Royal United Hospital in Bath, a worthy cause indeed.
— Caitlin Marsh (@CaitlinM_Echo) May 9, 2015
To many, this would seem a very tedious and puzzling task to take on, but Michael Barry from Bath in England loves the job. He says it’s a peaceful experience, putting together all the donated puzzles to check for any missing jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Barry is a retired construction worker who has plenty of time on his hands, and he happens to enjoy assembling jigsaw puzzles. This made him the ideal candidate to volunteer for the task.
Now he enjoys spending hours every day, putting together the donated puzzles to ensure that whoever finally buys them gets the full and complete deal, with no missing jigsaw puzzle pieces to disappoint them.
— BBC Radio 2 (@BBCRadio2) May 9, 2015
According to Barry, he has completed over 300 puzzles over the last two years and has discovered almost 2,000 missing jigsaw puzzle pieces along the way, making him reject around 147 puzzles for that reason.
The Mirror reports that even though the tested jigsaw puzzles sell for only a few pounds, Barry takes great pride in ensuring that the customers are satisfied and can take home the real deal with no missing jigsaw puzzle pieces to spoil the experience.
According to Barry, who is a retired widower living on a pension in Bath in Somerset, he likes to do his bit for charity and says this is the only thing he can actually do to help.
“It’s my passion. I don’t watch much television, I just sit and do puzzles.
“It’s very peaceful. I do it all for fun.”
He says that after losing his wife, Rosemary, 10 years ago, this gives him something enjoyable to do and that it keeps his mind “ticking over.” He says he often stays up until one in the morning working on the puzzles.
“I have my dinner and then I get the puzzle out, sometimes I sit for hours and only place two pieces.”
“What can you say about puzzles? It’s challenging. It keeps the mind ticking over. You can get really difficult ones.
“I have about 16 to do at the moment and that will take about a year.”
Barry added that even if there is only one jigsaw puzzle piece missing and the puzzle has to be trashed, he doesn’t find the task frustrating. He just stresses the point that you cannot sell a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing and carries on to the next one.
A while back, the Inquisitr reported on a strange story relating to a pensioner in Italy. The man had a Picasso painting worth $16 million, which he told police he received as a gift.
[Image: CC BY-NC 2.0 Cindee Snider Re]