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'The Dibs Hustler': Comedian Tackles Chicago Tradition in New Video

By Emily Morris | January 13, 2014 1:34pm
The Dibs Hustler
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Youtube/alonzo alcaraz

CHICAGO — In "The Dibs Hustler," local improviser Alonzo Alcaraz digs into the beloved and hated Chicago practice of "dibs."

"People like to refer to me as a 'Dib hustler,'" character Juan Jose, played by actor Jessie David Perez, says in the video that went up on YouTube Saturday. "I don't look at myself like that. I like to call myself a 'guardian for parking'."

After the city received plenty of snow last week, Alcaraz, a Brighton Park resident and comedian, saw an opportunity in all the headaches.

"I was noticing on Facebook all everyone was talking about for a whole day was dibs," he said, referring to the practice of shoveling out one's parking spot and using cones, chairs or other means to claim the area.

He thought "it would be funny to get someone who was a human dib," Alcaraz, 36, said.

In the video, "entrepreneur" Juan Jose says he'll remove your dibs and personally hold your space — for a price.

"You need to go ahead to your pilates class, I'm here. You need to go to your yoga class, I'm here. You need to go see your baby mama, I'm here."

Alcaraz said he posted the video to YouTube after filming it in Ravenswood with fellow improviser Perez and Perez's roommate.

An alum of Latino sketch comedy group Salsation Theater Co., Alcaraz plans on incorporating the video in a new show he's opening for at Joe's Bar in Lincoln Park on Sunday night.

Alcaraz said he's lucky enough have a driveway and doesn't often worry about dibs, though he did once make the risky (and some would say sacrilegious) move of parking in someone's claimed spot. Fortunately for him, all he came back to was a stern note.

"I was lucky enough not to have my tires slashed out," Alcaraz said.