Sunday, February 6, 2011

Parking Dibs, Super Bowl, and Life Decisions

Hello, my adoring readers! Well, as the snow has finally relented and people have stopped foaming at the mouth with stories of snow, I want to discuss my evolving views on the issue of parking spot "dibs." For those of you who are not from Chicago, after a big snowstorm in the city, many people will dig themselves out of their parking spot and then put random assortments of junk - usually lawn chairs, garbage cans, or bins of various kinds - in the spot to call dibs for when they return. The thought is that since they took the time to dig out this spot, it is rightfully theirs until the snow is cleared. Here's a picture of dibs in action.

Now, at first this seemed fair to me; if you are going to take the time to dig a spot out, you should have it for a while. Also, since I have the luxury of having a parking lot to park in, I didn't feel that it was right for me to have a strong opinion one way or the other. However, this changed when I began trying to visit people in other areas of the city. Nothing is more frustrating than circling endlessly around city blocks looking at crappy lawn furniture and bins sitting in spaces that could be taken by the cars they were meant for. My new position is this: Shoveling out your spot entitles you to one thing: getting out of said spot (I know, two colons in one sentence is weird). If you want to always have a spot you can: 1) pay for a spot in a parking lot or 2) fill out the necessary permits and build a garage. Then, you can fill that personal spot with all the assorted lawn furniture you want. Heck, you can sleep in it for all I care.

So, today I was daydreaming of spending my afternoon walking the cities of north Chicago throwing people's assorted spot-saving paraphernalia into the sidewalks and opening up the hundreds of saved parking spots to the masses. I chose not to do this because:
1. I didn't want to get beaten senselessly by a mob of angry Chicagoans.
2. I think it might have thrown the city of Chicago into a dystopian nightmare of looting and general rioting as people took revenge on the cars that had the audacity to move their dibs garbage. In my mind it involved zombies; I don't know where they came from in this scenario, but they're there now, so you'll have to deal with them.
3. Most importantly, it was Sunday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon is nap time.

Your welcome for sparing Chicago of all this unnecessary zombie violence. My laziness (I'm a slothful 9 on the enneagram after all) has probably spared many a post-apocalpytic nightmare.

The Super Bowl just ended. I am happy that Aaron Rogers won, happy that Ben Roethlisberger did not win, sad the rest of the Packers won, and sad the rest of the Steelers lost. My favorite commercial had to be the Bridgestone Tire commercial where the driver avoids a beaver who returns the favor by blocking his entrance onto a collapsed bridge over a raging river. The fist pump to the chest is what got me.

Well, Midwinter was great, but I can't say I'm ready for school to begin again. I feel like I should be done after those strenuous first two weeks. In good news, I have two chapters of my thesis completed, a third in rough draft form, and another paper almost finished. I'm feeling like things are coming together.

Okay, hypothetically if I was having to choose between being a pastor and a professor, which would you pick for me?



  1. I HATE parking dibs. I think it totally violates the idea of community.

    My favorite Super Bowl commercial (and the commercials were slim pickings in my opinion) was the Bridgestone (I think) one with the kid as Darth Vadar.

    Now that you present the option, I might have to go with professor. Hypothetically.

  2. I would probably choose pastor, because maybe then it wouldn't reflect so poorly on your position for you to spell "choose" incorrectly. bam!

    but for realz, i appreciate your sense of humor, story-telling, and passion in the pulpit. that would also serve you well in the classroom. i think you would be great at either.

    also i imagine that your idea of zombies comes from babcock and the many, which in that case, would be terrifying. although i guess they're not really zombies. close enough, right?

  3. If being professor means that you would be staying at North Park and henceforth Chicago, I say professor!

    Also. If you've ever been the person to dig out your parking spot for an hour, only to have a horrible, lazy neighbor take it, you might be more into the idea of dibs. You better believe my mom wrote an angry note and attached it to our police-officer-neighbor's windshield when she took my mom's shoveled spot as the spots in front of her own home sat mounded with snow.

  4. Bostonians are all about dibs. They'll slash your tire if you take their spot. But the mayor made a new rule that after 48 hours, the garbage collectors can take whatever refuse is in the spots and throw it away. Now the people just slash the mayor's tires. Well, not really, but I'm sure they want to.

  5. I agree with Kyle on all counts, although I think you'd make (do make) a great pastor, so if you are planning to leave Chicago anyway, I'd say that. Otherwise be a professor and stay here. That's fair, right?

    I used dibs for the first time last night since Luke had shoveled out an entire spot (we're talking a spot that no car was parked in during the storm, so it was completely buried), only to have another car take it next time I went to work.

    Not having to shovel or walk 3 blocks from my parking spot at midnight was so worth the passing feelings of guilt/petty-ness.

  6. Professors get summer/christmas breaks.....pastors get potlucks and offerings-I think it's a toss up

  7. dibs is so dumb and you're right...all it entitles someone to is the ability to LEAVE their spot. so dumb.

    darth vadar all the way!!!

  8. Teacher-Working weekends is a choice! The dibs thing must be something new because I never saw anything like that when I lived in Chicago. Yes there were storms way back when

  9. Dave, as a fellow native Minnesotan, I'm glad you've noticed this and feel the same as me. We come from a place that snows a lot more than Chicago, and you don't see us whining about having to shovel out a spot up there.

    You live in a place where there's snow - deal with it! Dig out your spot and move on. I think the county was trying to get an ordiance past that banned "dibs," but I don't know if it went anywhere (even if it did, you probably couldn't really get people to enforce it).

    Anyway, my view is probably biased since I've only witnessed your pastoral (rather than professorial skills), and while I'm sure that you'd be good at both, I can attest to the fact that your sermons are great.

  10. I have been getting SO ANGRY every day I see those lawn chairs still sitting there. Why do I have to drive around the block four times when I get home at 5:30 and there is hundreds of feet of PUBLIC curbside parking sitting empty, save dozens of crappy lawn chairs and stools and boxes ALL NIGHT. (I mean, I don't. I usually wiggle into a spot so that the front bumper of my car is touching their stupid broken bar stool.)

    And you know what? I DID spend a night digging my car out of three feet of snow. And when I left for work ... I set it free! BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO! Those are the rules in the SUMMER, those are the rules in the WINTER. If you want to park in front of your building, GET HOME EARLIER.

  11. I love my sister.

    I guess "dibs" is different when you live in a neighborhood with lots of parking. I grew up on a street where if every person's car was parked in front of their house at night, there were still tons of spots left. THAT'S why it was so annoying when you shoveled out a spot and someone else parked in it... because it was totally obvious that your neighbors just hadn't shoveled out their spots. On Amy's street, for example, dibs would be SO annoying.