In Defense of DIBS

In Defense of DIBS

Winter certainly took its sweet-ass time finding Chicago this year.

Raise your hand if you missed the cold and blustery weather during December and January.

Yeah – me neither.

And, thanks to the mild mid-winter weather there were plenty of other things that I didn’t miss…

• Like Roz Varon ( “The Natural Laxative”) freaking out my shit before leaving on the 45-minute commute each morning…

• And the weather guys/gals resorting to tag-teams offering BREAKING NEWS to remind us that it’s going to be cold, the wind is going to blow, and snow is going to accumulate…during the winter…in Chicago…Thank You Captains Obvious.

• Listening to all the catch phrases associated with the record-breaking weather patterns – Snowmageddon – Snowpocalypse – Juno – Linus and on and on and on. When did we start naming these SOBs anyway??

• Talk of DIBS – pro or con – just like picking your favorite team to root for each summer -everyone in Chicago has a side.

So- I’m going to go ahead and put this out there: I am PRO DIBS; since I was about ten.

Back in 1977, I learned all about the “DIBS” and a shit-load of other things from my dad’s secretary.

Her name was Bev – she had big hair, manicured nails and the mouth of a sailor on leave.

I loved her.

During school breaks I’d go work downtown with Dad. Bev was responsible for running the place and keeping me busy. This meant manicures, lunch, and eavesdropping on stories peppered with language I was far too young to hear.

It was February – I was probably off for Lincoln’s or Washington’s  Birthday. Back in the day we got ’em both off.

Bev and I were taking the elevator back up to the 21st floor following our lunch in the cafeteria.  She was relaying her experience with DIBS  (I’m fairly certain it was not called DIBS 40 years ago…but trust me…same concept) to a guy that she knew.  Not sure if he was from the same neighborhood, but based on the conversation, he knew exactly what she was talking about.

All these years later, I can’t even recall the neighborhood Bev lived in. Mom and dad always used to say she lived at “Arch and Archer”.

Today, when I Google such a location, I get nothing.  Now it dawns on me…Bev lived in a Polish neighborhood…ahh…Arch and Archer…must be the epicenter of the Polocks

Full disclosure:  My dad made Archie Bunker seem pretty tame and mom was no Edith.

Back to the story – To put it mildly, Bev was pretty pissed off.  There was a storm the previous day.  Billy-her boyfriend- spent most of the early evening digging her Grand Prix out of the spot in front of the house.  Hours.

Bev made it clear that Billy was in no shape to be taking on that pile of snow. But he did anyway.  He wanted to make sure she would get out on time for work the next day.

Before he started digging the car out, he cleared the snow off their cars along with the other neighbors’ cars.  Using the kitchen broom made it fairly easy.

Shoveling the shit “pre-snowblower era” was the hard part.

The job took a couple hours.

After he dug the car out, he pulled it out and double parked it a few doors down while he took a shovel to the space in order to make it snow and slush free.

After he cleared the space, he went to get the Grand Prix.

As Billy headed over to her car, Bev noticed the neighbor from next door heading out his front door.

Bev referred to said neighbor as “that lazy fucker”.

I told you I overheard all of the peppered language.  I was double digits.  I could handle it.

I bit my tongue as I thumbed through the National Enquirer Bev had bought earlier, so I wouldn’t giggle and draw attention to the fact that I was all ears to this convo.

Apparently Bev was screaming to Billy to “hurry the fuck up” because that “lock sucker” was going to take her spot.

In 1977 the term “lock sucker” was lost on me.  It only took a few years for me to figure out I just heard Bev wrong.

Billy didn’t hear Bev either.

And, that lock-sucking- lazy- motherfucker got the spot Billy worked for hours to clear.

The “lock sucker” asked him if his name was on the spot, the lazy fucker told Billy “he didn’t own the goddamn street”.  A person could park where ever they wanted to park.

Bev told the guy on the elevator she was headed to Goldblatts after work.  She needed to purchase an ironing board.

Billy told her to spend whatever she needed to spend in order to get a very sturdy model.

Next time he was going to spend hours cleaning out her parking spot he was going to use the ironing board to save it until the Grand Prix was back where it belonged.

As a ten-year old, I thought their idea was reasonable.

The older, wiser me concurs.

Only a complete asshole would take the spot of someone who spent hours clearing the spot his car had always been parked.


How about you?


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