Lost, Presumed Drowned

Authorities in Southern Wisconsin tonight report that a local resident, Lester Smith, has fallen victim to the lure of a sea of Apple products. Smith, a self-proclaimed OS-agnostic computer user, had for years used a Mac at work because “That’s what they assigned me” and a hand-me-down PC laptop at home because “Hey, it was free.” His one recent computer purchase had been a netbook running Ubuntu, ostensibly to breathe the rarified air of Linux, but mainly because it was cheap.

Family and friends say that despite his overall satisfaction with the computers at his disposal, Smith often mentioned a nagging desire for an iPod touch. They would frequently find him reciting a list of reasons not to buy Apple, reminding himself that his iPaq 110 PDA better served his needs (having not only a suite of MS Office apps, but also a built-in voice recorder), and that he really didn’t want to get hooked on Apple’s iTunes and app store. That he had to repeat this litany again and again seemed to disturb his mental balance.

Witnesses say that Smith finally broke under the pressure at roughly 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 13, when his daughter mentioned a sale and a 10 percent off coupon. Smith was last seen exiting a Best Buy on the east side of Lake Geneva, carrying an iPod touch, clamshell case, and earphones with integrated mic, and muttering something about having purchased the electronic equivalent of a spoon, lighter, rubber hose, and syringe.

Experts say that a better metaphor would be “sailing off into unfamiliar seas.” Smith’s family members fear that he is lost, never to be heard from again.

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