When I was in my early twenties, I carried an aluminum baseball bat in the back of my car. It was initially gear for summer seasons of Chilihead softball: I worked at Chili's for a few years -- and, like many corporate chain restaurants, Chili's really wishes it were a high school. Because just as at high school, everyone who worked there was just trying to fuck everyone else
. We also went on group field trips where we secretly drank booze, gave fellow staff members and regulars nicknames (some of which were mean and only used in private conversations behind the dish pit when we were talking about said person, like the guy we called "Chicken Tacos"); we even had our own softball league. And, like the varsity players of Chili's High, corporate called its restaurant employees "Chiliheads."
After I was fired from Chili's for reasons not fit for print, I kept the bat in the back of my 1973 yellow Volkswagen Super Beetle, Nancy, for eight long years -- never brandishing it once, though I had planned on using it as a weapon if I was ever attacked...by a baseball? But like Chili's, Nancy and the bat moved on and out of my life. Fast-forward to the present, where I now drive a Subaru. Like everyone else in Colorado.