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August 31, 2011

People, we’ve all done it. Laid claim to a chair or booth by laying our sweater down.

We call it


When you call “dibs”, you are staking out a claim to a space, at least temporarily.  You can call dibs on the front seat of the car too, but THAT dibs is better known as “shotgun”.

Calling DIBS is what you do when you are faced with the desire to keep a chair for yourself when you will need it —

not NOW, but SOON.

I had a negative DIBS experience today and I need to discuss it here. This is my own private area with which to work things out and to make you watch. (smile)

I will briefly describe the situation:

I took my laptop to Safeway as I often do, where I can be online, see people I know and wave at them, and maybe get a cup of coffee at the $tar(five)bucks. There are a bunch of tables there (no waiting, no reservations) and there are two small ones that are near the power outlet.

One was taken and the other had some bags on it. Nobody sitting there so I asked the nearest people (man, lady and a bunch of noisy little kids) I asked if the bags were theirs?

Noncommittal replies, shrugs…

I sat down. There were three chairs…I sat in one.


oh, wait. I just sat down at an empty table that had some groceries on it. Nothing bad about that.

I plugged in, turned on, surfed up…for about twenty minutes.

Then I heard a voice say, “Ya got all you need there?”

I said, “Excuse me?”

It was a man. Older. Grouchy. Sarcastic.

He said again, “You got all you need? You COMFORTABLE?”

What is it with old people? I secretly wished that he would get to the point…..

The man did NOT say, “I was going to sit there…”

I would’ve immediately jumped up and said, “excuse me.”

Instead, he was sarcastic and nasty. He let me know

in a loud voice

That I had robbed him of what was rightfully his.

He was indignant.

It took me a moment to understand. Apparently, this man had left his groceries on the table and then went—somewhere. Where? To get lunch? To get more groceries? To take a crap in the Safeway bathroom? I don’t know. I did not ask and the answer was not volunteered.

I just got a crabby guy in my face asking if I had everything I needed and then he said to me:


I am???  Ya THINK????

What I think


I think that the DIBS rule needs some examination.

Some revamping.

I think that the use of DIBS was abused.

In order to call DIBS:

*     You must actually CLAIM DIBS out loud, to others (so that they can pass the word on to the new arrivals)

*     You cannot claim DIBS and then NOT RETURN for a period of–  Oh, more than 18 minutes. DIBS should not be

forced to extend longer than that. It could run into overlapping DIBS, which could conceivably destroy the

Universe. Or so I’m told…

*     Leaving Groceries is too impersonal to throw down as your DIBS marker. It should be an article of clothing, like a sweater

or a coat.  A false limb would be an acceptable item as a substitute, if no extra leave-able clothing is handy.

*     If somebody ACCIDENTALLY OVERLOOKS your DIBS, it is not OK to scream at them and draw that sort of negative attention.

All that happens

(when that happens)

is that you get all sweaty and red in the face

and I hand out my business card to all of the SPECK-TATERS.



To steal your groceries….

(I didn’t really need the denture cleaner or the roach motel, but thanks for buying them anyhow)

HAW HAW HAW HAW !!!  Had ya going for a minute didn’t I?  🙂

I never stole the man’s groceries. That was me


I do that

time to time.






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