So, some asshat parks in the spot you clearly shoveled out and dibs-ed with a lawn chair -- do you A) slash his tires, B) light his car on fire, or C) write a passive-aggressive note that makes him feel really terrible? You think it's the car-on-fire thing, but you're not totally sure, are you? Thankfully, the fine folks at the Chicago Dibs Tumblr are, which's why we hit them up to help us put together an official rule sheet for every Chicagoan's favorite spot-saving pastime.
We wrote down the unwritten rules of parking dibs
There must be substantial snow
Like, multiple inches in near-zero temperatures for starters. This may seem obvious, but there have been plenty of weaksauce attempts at pre-snow dibbing (too soon, guys).
The space has to be in front of your place
... Not two blocks over. If your paranoid neighbor who watches everything you do can’t see your car, then it’s not a dibs.
Properly shovel the spot
... With a snow shovel or, for you renters, a tennis racket and a trash can lid. You’ve only earned the spot after exerting the proper manpower.
The following objects are acceptable dibs space-savers:
Lawn furniture (the older and uglier, the better). If it looks like a '70s shower curtain, you're on the right path.
Household items that aren't getting much use.
Our Lord and Savior. 'Jesus Saves' was actually the first-ever dibs.
The following are NOT acceptable dibs space-savers:
Your grandparent’s walker. As if Winter for the elderly wasn’t already brutal enough.
Cereal boxes. This is just garbage strewn in the street.
Death threats. Somewhere, there’s a madman coming back from another Malort run with a wood chipper in tow.
Dibs lasts for 48hrs
... After the snowfall you dug it out from, not in perpetuity. Yes, we know you wanted to include the parking spot in your daughter’s dowry, but the 100 cattle will have to suffice.
‘Retaliation’ does not mean ‘criminal offense'
Cover a thief’s car in snow, or, for multiple offenders, throw a slice of baloney on their hood as a matter of street justice. But just because Mayor Daley blessed the dibs tradition (issuing a “fair warning” to anyone who takes a dibs-ed spot), that doesn’t mean slashing someone’s tires is acceptable. Also, the person whose tires you’ve slashed now knows where you live, idiot.
And finally, if you don’t like it, join the club
No, really... there’s an organization aimed at stopping dibs, called Chair-Free Chicago.
So, is dibs a scourge on society or a great city tradition? Let us know in the comments.