"You must ride Uma," I told the Mrs. Uma is her derestricted '09 Honda Met, a thing that is petite, of a pure cream color, and, with its tiny recurved windscreen, a little petulant and spoiled looking. She was so christened after Mme's favorite actress; has a replica State tag that says "Uma." Mme works full-time, and turns her hand to a variety of other interests, and sometimes Uma is neglected, unridden, and she accordingly has more hours on the trickler than does her namesake on a tanning bed. Nonetheless, glow green through the indicator as she will, she often refuses to hold a damn charge for more a few hours, balmy weather and personal shed notwithstanding, for all the world like she's sending-back an unsatisfactory bottle of wine. And Lord help you if she gets a fill-up without an aperitif of Stabil; in the humid summertime air, the gasohol captures and retains water, compounding the battery thing. "If you don't ride Uma more, her seals will dry-out, and she'll get water bloat. You don't want Uma to get bloat." This witticism is unappreciated, but hey! It was me, last time, with the day long purging of H20 from the fuel system; the draining and siphoning, the carb cleaner and Stabil, the plug-pulling, and the cramp-inducing endless power-pumping of her tiny, bobby-pin like kickstarter. So. After looking-in on her yesterday lunchtime, turning the key and failing to get the faintest glim from the electrics only 36 hours after her last trickle session, I lost it. I'd spent the morning at heavy labor on the farm (the grounds and garden beds), was aggrieved, wet to the knees, besmirched with topsoil and mulch, and not in the mood for a pout from a 49cc scoot. Out from her shed she was yanked, up onto her stand, and then given one swift kick, getting her attention, and making her to drop her copy of Vogue, as it were. And she started. And settled into an idle while i drank the rest of my dirt and ant-filled coffee and smoked the last of my cig, eying her warily. And then got my lid and gloves, and we set out at WOT, determined to get her well and truly charged on her own hook, and not by dint of a spoon-feeding with a trickler. Now I recognized that I was getting a little carried away by anthropomorphization, and this instance was particularly denigrating and downright sexist, for which I will no doubt catch hell. I don't care: I don't assign personalities to stuff, usually, but this damend little witch reminded me all too clearly of a high-maintenance bijou I once dated; demanding, passive-aggressive, and manipulative. Part of the Charm, I used to think. Well, we went a-flogging: passes at full throttle along the three miles of sole remaining twisty course in these parts many, many times, then off into traffic, whipping and weaving back and forth, lane-splitting to the head of the line at lights, then back up and down a series of steep hills, me talking all the while, "Attagirl; I didn't pull that restrictor plate and buy you those up-jet implants just for show..Feel the Burn!", as the lithe hyperactive instructoresses used to shriek on exercise videos in the 80s, "bounce off that rev-limiter, Baby!", "We both know what the Parts Diagram says, Uma; a new battery that hasn't been deep-discharged too many times is $116.31 plus tax, and that ain't gonna happen, Child," and so forth and so on, until I noticed people looking at me, long-legged as I am, nearly three feet of inseam clamped athwart a tiny scooter like a praying mantis on a housefly, seated on the rear fender, damn near, declaiming like a wife-beater to a Honda Metropolitan scooter. Two hours we were out, both overheated and aglow, and only coasting in for a fill when the fuel ran out. Then quietly and demurely home, a quick nightcap of Stabil, and the tarp, outside. I swear i could hear her begin to snore, and that her legwarmers were collapsed around her ankles. This morning, she fired right up. I believe we've reached an understanding.