Don't do Dibs before it gets deep

Kinda, I said, telling him that his book didn't give me absolute credit for inventing the term "Dibs," which others have begrudgingly done. He wrote that "some" credit me.

"Won't happen again, Judge Dibs™."

But what really frosts my robes, Mr. Brown, is that I stupidly didn't cash in on the Beer Can Chicken craze, which I helped promote. Later, Williams-Sonoma made a fortune selling chicken roasters at highly inflated prices. And now you come out with a Dibs book, when I should have done it. I'm stoopid, right?

"Oh, no, Judge Dibs™, you're not stupid," he said. "I self-published this."

He's not stupid either, hoping to make a profit but promising to give some of the proceeds to charities. These include St. Jude Children's research, the Danny Did Foundation dedicated to stopping epilepsy-related deaths in children and another charity for cats. So two out of three is not bad.

"Don't be angry. I could make it up to you," Brown said.

How?

"I'll be your bailiff in the Court of Dibs and shout, 'All rise!' and like that."

Great idea. Every judge needs a bailiff. So I questioned him.

Do you wear a Rolex?

"I bought one underneath the 'L' on Wabash and paid 20 bucks. Does that count?" Brown asked.

Do you own cars that your meager bailiff's salary couldn't possibly cover — say, a couple of new Bentleys and Corvettes with vanity license plates from the Illinois secretary of state?

"No, your honor," he said.

Not good. Not good. At least, do you own silk suits and hang out on the Viagra Triangle, and believe the people laughing at your jokes think you're funny and amusing?

"Unfortunately, no," Brown said. "Sorry. I don't even have the special loafers. I guess I can't be your bailiff then."

Someday, my lad. If your book catches on.

The good thing is that Brown has the soul, and mucho Dibs in his heart.

"Dibs is all about a Chicagoan putting forth the effort, or, as you have said, you could have your wife or significant other do the shoveling so you won't get a heart attack, as long as you're doing nothing but drinking something tasty. Like a sambuca."

Or a hot toddy or hot-buttered rum.

He also understands the severe breach of etiquette when someone disregards your legit Dibs. Or when some loser claims Dibs before snow falls.

CHICAGO

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