Got the seat off. I no longer feel sad. I feel happy.
A confession... my failure to get the seat off was second-hand... the bike was in my son's garage, and I was relaying instructions to him. Once he got the stereo noise level in the garage down low enough to hear the click of the seat release (and stopped pushing on the key), it was no problem. Swapped out the battery with one he had sitting around from his Buell... which brings up another question about liquid-filled vs. sealed batteries, but I don't want to stray off topic and be a bad Forum Citizen.
Thanks for the help, guys.