Cast your mind back to "Bridget Jones", "Sex And The City" and that whole chick-lit-single-girl malarkey. Not so long ago, but already almost off the radar, thank the Lard. One of the terms from back then is 'Smug Marrieds', people whose relationships are permanent and entirely wonderful (at least from the outside) and who were thus only intermittently bearable.
Well, there's a new tribe on the block. They've been out there for a while, but recent events have forced them into the open. You'll know some: you might even be one. These are people who say "Spyware's a real problem, I hear," and "I don't know what all this trouble with desktop security's about." They are the Smug Maccies.
Apple fans have always been pains in the backside, an attitude the company has never failed to cultivate. Posters with Picasso, Einstein and other secular deities underlined the cultish sense of superiority, while the Switcher ads instilled the fervour of the recent convert. It's a good way to cope with the insecurities that otherwise come with being heavily outnumbered: the more obscure a computer language, hardware platform or other religion, the more ardent the adherents.
But people, enough already. Today I have had two such encounters, one from a bloke from a record company who asked me "Is it true that my Macintosh doesn't need antivirus software". "Yes," I said. "It also leaves you more time to be smug". "Well, smugger" he replied. The other was an otherwise impeccably disreputable graphic designer, whose natural instinct towards Smug Married is to seduce both of them without the other knowing. She said "I know I don't need it, but I soooo want a Mini. It would be, like, my baby".
You see my problem. One's choice of computer is a personal matter, and I do not seek to judge -- how could I, a chap who once nearly bought an Atari ST [Ed -- And who has been letting the office know how much he wants a Mac mini...]. I know the joy that well-designed products can bring, and how it's all the greater when all about you are knee-deep in dreck. But heaven help me -- one more simpering, bright-eyed expression of undying love and we'll be testing the splinter point of white polycarbonate with an industry standard crowbar. That's one comparison a good old-fashioned ironclad dreadnought PC aces.