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dibs Chicago
Photograph: Zach Long

Check out photos of Chicagoans getting creative with ‘dibs’

The winter tradition is controversial, but we begrudgingly admire the ingenuity.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

When snow falls in Chicago (and continues to fall, as it has over the past couple of weeks) and residents have to dig out their cars, a controversial winter tradition comes into play. The unwritten rules of "dibs" are simple: If you take the time to shovel out a parking spot, you're entitled to put some junk in it to prevent others from taking it while you're driving your car to work or the grocery store. And if you decide to move the folding chairs or boxes marking a space that someone else shoveled to park your own car, you have to be prepared to face the consequences.

It's not the most neighborly of practices and it's definitely illegal, but you'll see "dibs" on streets throughout Chicago whenever it snows—if just one person on your street starts saving a spot with an old lawn ornament, others are likely to follow suit. Whether you agree with the spot-saving technique or think that it only makes winter parking even more of an ordeal, you have to admit that some folks get pretty creative when it comes to finding items to place in their parking spots.

After putting out a call for photos of interesting items being used to call "dibs" earlier this week, we've gathered pictures of the most outlandish things Chicagoans are using to save their parking spots after shoveling out their cars.

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