I’m worried my motorbike is sentient…

I used to teach a module about magazines, and one of the tasks was writing a “real-life” story. (If you want to find out how unsuccessful that endevour was, read this post from my very short-lived blog about being a newly qualified teacher.) So, I’m fully aware how this post title would not be out-of-place in a trashy magazine, but perhaps without the polysyllabic word “sentient”. I also need to admit my unhealthy habit of anthropomorphising things. Maybe I watched Beauty and the Beast a few too many times as a child, but I have been known to create elaborate stories about office stationery and equipment. For example, there was Larry the Laminator who was in love with Tracy the Trimmer, but she liked Gary the Guillotine (a bit of a tough guy), but don’t worry, it all worked out in the end. Let’s just say, I have a vivid imagination.

However, when it comes to Sally, my motorbike, she just seems to have too much character. First of all, she is painfully stubborn. She hates mornings more than I do, and takes a few minutes of kick-starts to get going. She also takes longer when it’s most awkward: I’m in a rush or my landlord is watching. Sally also throws strops. I went to Phnom Penh for a few days, and not liking being left alone, she was tempermental for weeks after.

She is also jealous. The school had a guest from Singapore, and I gave her a few lifts. Of course she didn’t like this, so on the way to a meeting at a cafe, the back tire went completely flat and needed replacing.

Then there’s the blatent double standards. There is a young guy (far too young for Sally) that lives with my landlord. I think he’s a nephew or an in-law’s nephew or something. But Sally has a painfully obvious crush on him. You may think this is an exaggeration or a painful but ubiquitous misapplication of the word literally, but the following scenario has played out to a certain conclusion literally every time. If my landlord sees me struggling to start my motorbike, either he’ll call over the young guy to do it or my landlord will try himself, fail and then call over the young guy to start it. This probably happens once or twice a week. However, the young guy has never had to try to start my motorbike. As soon as he takes a step towards me or even glances as Sally, she suddenly springs into action. She will work, without fail. She can play up for me, but not for him apparently.

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