I Hate that @%ing Paperclip
Thing is, on the Mac it's NOT a paperclip. It's a cute little classic Mac -- with feet. When I'm just writing and there's no help to offer, he sits there wiggling his feet and looking around. See? I just called it "he!"
And that's why I'm so terribly conflicted. The MS guys knew what they were doing. They picked a help character that's something towards which most long-time Mac users will feel a natural affection. When he gives unwelcome help hints, they're just as obnoxious and annoying as when they come from the paperclip who bothers me when I use one of the Windows boxes at work. I want to hate him as much as I hate the paperclip, but I just can't seem to muster the same intensity of loathing. And it's because the little Mac is so damned cute. It's like being attacked by a mad koala bear -- you're still going "Awww... cute!" even as his deadly claws rip open your jugular.
And yes, I do know I can turn the damned things off. (Paperclips and endearingly anthropomorphicised Macs, not enraged koala.) I turn off the paperclip all the time. But the little Mac is so cute, sitting there in his tiny window, wiggling his feet.