Gentle readers — all three of you — I am writing to you from the warm, sweet embrace of my brand new laptop. Under the threat of leaving the realm of “that fruit company” for the kinder, less flickering world of PCs, the folks at Apple finally got the message and replaced my computer. It only took four tries! So although this one’s keys are slightly funny, and the CPU runs a little louder than the last one, it is blessedly flicker-free. Ah, bliss.

Once we’d secured said computer yesterday, I thought I couldn’t possibly get any happier.  But no, the best part was yet to come. Waiting in the mail when we got home was a big padded envelope containing a black Apple logo T-shirt. It was of course way too big for me and went straight to my husband, but still, I had to laugh. Come on — I lost all my data, my wedding video, hours of productivity, and my peace of mind, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt! It struck me as very funny at the time, although my hubby seemed much more concerned with the parking ticket he had gotten in the same delivery. (Don’t blame him, really — I’d take a T-shirt any time, too.)

I really started laughing though when I looked at the invoice that was included with the T-shirt. It listed the item as one “Appeasement logo T-shirt.” Oh man, I almost died. As if a silly T-shirt would actually be enough to “appease” me after all the drama I’ve been through with this damn computer! But for a history geek, the word appeasement takes on a thoroughly different connotation, making it all the more hilarious:

Appeasement is a policy of accepting the imposed conditions of an aggressor in lieu of armed resistance, usually at the sacrifice of principles. Usually it means giving in to demands of an aggressor in order to avoid war. Since World War II, the term has gained a negative connotation… of weakness, cowardice and self-deception.

I guess in this situation that would make me the aggressor, and that fruit company gave in to my demands by sending me a T-shirt “in lieu of armed resistance.” I wasn’t aware that I made them sacrifice their principles, but hey, fair enough.

Funny thing was, I laughed so hard at this unintended irony that it almost did serve to appease me. OK, so the brand new functioning computer went a long way, as did the speed and efficiency with which they treated this lucky fourth complaint. But in the end, perhaps I won’t leave the land of the fruit company after all.

I am, in a word, appeased.