A Chicago tradition escalated on Saturday when a man found his car window broken from a “dibs” chair in Andersonville.
Brett Jackson, 35, had parked the car he had shared with a friend a few hours earlier on a snow-covered West Carmen Avenue near his home near North Broadway.
Just like in other parts of the city, multiple snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures meant limited parking spaces, and many neighbors called “dibs” on shovel spots with chairs. Finding unclaimed parking space for the 2016 Honda Civic was no small feat that Saturday.
While parking, Jackson spotted a white chair a few feet in front of him, but it was on the sidewalk and didn’t reserve any space, said Alec Patterson, the 24-year-old owner of the car and with whom Jackson shares it.
When Jackson returned from a walk later that night, he found that the car’s rear window was broken – the same white chair that was balanced with one leg in the back seat among broken glass.
A chair is shown in a broken window. February 6th. Alec Patterson, the owner of the car, said the chair was on the sidewalk when the car was parked and not being used for “dibs”
Shocked, Jackson called Patterson, who lives in the South Loop, to tell him what happened and to plan next steps.
“I actually kind of laughed,” Patterson said, remembering the moment Jackson called him with the news. “I thought it was kind of funny that someone was extreme enough to throw a chair in the back of my car.”
Patterson’s theory is that a neighbor used the chair to claim the spot he shoveled, failed to put the chair back after leaving, and Jackson unknowingly moved in before returning. It is also possible that another person disrespecting “Dibs” moved the chair to park on the spot and then left and left it open when Jackson pulled up.
“I totally respect the ‘Dibs’ game, but I think it’s a little too far,” said Patterson. “Leave a note on my car like ‘Hey, I dug this up’ or ‘Can you move your car, please? I’ve been spending time. ‘ There are other suitable ways to accomplish this. You never want to start a fight with fire, you always want to start it calmly. “
Jackson eventually called the police to clarify what had happened and a report was filed around midnight Sunday, according to Chicago Police Department records.
He and Patterson then decided to just leave the car as it was overnight and take care of it later.
In the days that followed, before Jackson cleaned the backseat glass and had the window replaced, a passerby took a photo of the scene. The photo quickly garnered attention on social media. Users on multiple platforms called it justice for disrespect for “dibs” and others felt it was “dibs” that went too far.
Alec Patterson says a “dibs” chair was used to break the rear window of his car after his friend parked it on Feb.6
Patterson said it wasn’t until someone sent him a link to a post on a Facebook group in Albany Park that he found the photo of his car floating around. From subreddits to various Facebook groups, reactions that he described as aggressive were mounting everywhere.
“Yeah, it’s that serious. They basically said f —- me and the 1 hour plus I was out there shoveling and they called me a goofy! And you know it’s a struggle against words to call a Chicagoer “goofy” so it’s up there, ”commented a user on a public Facebook share of the photo.
So Patterson decided to speak up and post on a private Andersonville Facebook group. He bluffed over footage of the incident to inspire the neighbors to send him photos or videos they might have from that night.
Patterson said he didn’t want to involve the police or see who broke his window. He just wants them to be ashamed, pay him back and move on.
It was $ 390 to replace the window, and it was even more expensive to repair the speakers from water damage, he said.
Beyond his Facebook post, Patterson said he decided not to care what happened.
“I try not to waste my time doing things that are not productive to my mental energy,” he said. “Especially during COVID. You only have so much mental energy right now. “