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Trying to find an anthology which has a story in it about a lucky man who seems to be in god’s favour. Things always turn up for him. Ends with him driving out from a parking bay, just in time to leave it empty for the real god’s favourite to enter. Might have been published by Penguin. Thanks.

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Trying to find an anthology which has a story in it

That's "The Importance of Being Important", a short story by Calvin W. Demmon, originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1963, available at the Internet Archive. You would have read it in either a hardcover or a paperback edition of 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories, an anthology edited by Isaac Asimov, Terry Carr, and Martin H. Greenberg.

about a lucky man who seems to be in god’s favour. Things always turn up for him.

Stanley Scheer believed himself to be the most important person in the world. He believed that everybody else in the whole world had been put there to help Stanley Scheer.

[. . . .]

And he believed that if he needed a parking space someone unimportant would get a Message or something from Them and pull out right in front of Stanley Scheer.

Ends with him driving out from a parking bay, just in time to leave it empty for the real god’s favourite to enter.

One day Stanley Scheer got his bankbook down from the shelf, took the waiting elevator down to the garage, and drove to the bank. As he pulled into the crowded parking lot, a car pulled out of a parking place directly in front of him, leaving him a vacant space. It was the only vacant space on the lot. Stanley Scheer smiled, drove into the space, stopped his car, and got out. He walked into the bank, deposited his paycheck, walked back to the parking lot, entered his car, and started it up. Then he dropped it into reverse and spun out of the parking space, barely missing a car which was waiting behind him. He mashed the accelerator to the floor and roared out of the parking lot, careening wildly around corners and rocketing down the street with smoke pouring from his exhaust pipe.

In the bank parking lot, the car which had been waiting behind Stanley Scheer pulled into the space. The Most Important Man in the World got out, shook his head, smiled sadly, and walked towards the bank.

Stanley Scheer, who was killed in a head-on collision on his way home, had fulfilled his Ultimate Purpose.


Note: John Christopher's "Man of Destiny", which was suggested in another answer, is a completely different story, about a spacewrecked astronaut; you can read it at the Internet Archive.

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  • Thanks sincerely for the info, very much appreciated. Especially as there were other stories I miss.
    – Arivaca
    Jun 2, 2018 at 23:00
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That sounds like "Man of Destiny" by John Christopher. The story is exactly as you describe - the main character has an unbroken string of luck that makes him believe he is chosen for some vast, mysterious purpose, and the last paragraph explains that purpose - events in his life have been arranged so he'll pull out of a parking spot at the exact time for the REAL most important man in the universe to pull in.

Here's a page with listings of where it has been anthologized: https://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?55243

I read it in "101 Science Fiction Stories" by Martin H. Greenberg (Editor), Charles G. Waugh,& Jenny-Lynn Waugh.

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  • Sorry, wrong story. Please see my answer.
    – user14111
    Jun 1, 2018 at 5:41
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    "Man of Destiny" by John Christopher can be read in the may 1951 edition of Galaxy SF, for instance in this archived copy. It features a man landing on a far away planet, trying to be a god to the natives. No parking lots whatsoever.
    – SQB
    Jun 1, 2018 at 8:36

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