There is a small Utopian village in London where brothers and sisters roam together in perfect harmony, pausing only to exchange a wink that says, ‘It’s great here, isn’t it? I mean, God, it’s good.’
It’s a place where the floors are spotless and the walls are clutter-free. Never too hot or too cold, with lighting designed for perfect vision, it is set to the sound of contemporary recording artists so familiar you wonder if they’ve been to your house for a cup of tea.
No-one raises their voice. No-one loses their temper. They just want to help.
Welcome to Apple World in the Westfield shopping centre.
Buying an iMac from this temple isn’t shopping at all. It’s like meeting the in-laws or getting baptised; you’re becoming part of a family.
One that wears sweatshirts and sends dozens of emails. One that sees technology as your portal to a better you, replete with software to burp louder and direct movies from your toilet seat.
In San Francisco there are Apple elves who have never seen daylight, whose lives are dedicated to your hard drive. They bus around a campus the size of Asia to discuss with other elves how to maximise your system preferences and minimise your interaction with fellow human beings; you are in safe hands.
Sprinkled with the fairy dust of Uncle Sam, the White City brethren are more user-friendly than their free-standing mice. They know to greet with both hands, in the manner of a kindly pastor at the knave of a church. They know your experience will be ‘awesome’ because they have ways of making it so. Agree to be added to their newsy database and they’ll look like they’re coming up on an ‘e’.
Express interest in more than one piece of kit, wearing a demeanor ripe for enlightenment, and you will be given the full attention of a plastic surgeon measuring up Susan Boyle.
If only they could take you back to their Apple apartment and keep you in luxury under the stairs forever to explain the endless possibilities. The widgets! The firewalls! The Mountainleopard Felatio application!
As it is, they will have to make do with taking 79 silver coins from your pocket, for which you have the right to drag them out of their hospital bed to ask how to download Cheryl Cole’s latest single onto iTunes.
Them: And when would you like to meet your new Mac?
You: Do you mean like a date?
Them: Yes. This week or next?
You: I need to get a babysitter. Buy some new slap. Will it have lost interest by Saturday?
Them: Hey, whatever works best for you, right? It will be here waiting at reception.
You: O.K. Tell it nice things… Can I alter my personal details?
Them: Sure. What would you like to amend?
You: Say I’m 34, not 36. And a natural blonde.
Step aside, yoga. I’ve got a 3.30 pm Photoshop initiation to honour the divine in me.
And I get to do it sitting on a high stool with a double espresso.