Hooray! My iMac broke for good this time!

GateHouse — Oh my God you guys the best thing just happened: my Mac finally broke! For good! It’s totally useless! THIS IS AMAZING!

Wow, this, I don’t need to tell you, is fantastic news if you are 1. a dippy Mac nerd and 2. a Vrabel, because the regular replacement of even sleek sexy Apple objects, whose very existence demands expensive upgrades at regular intervals, does not come easy to Vrabels.

Which is not to say that we eschew technology. My 80-year-old Uncle Jim, for instance, last year brought home a forehead-slappingly monstrous new iMac, one whose screen was easily large enough to humiliate most of the movie theaters in my hometown. It was terrifying, not just because my family wouldn’t have been more surprised if he came home and announced he had just purchased a previously undiscovered Jackson Pollock from an auction in Amsterdam, but whatever, it was way cooler than anything we had.

And what did he do with this glorious piece of sleek gorgeousness? He literally set it up on a desk that has been around since before I was, next to a computer called a Commodore Amiga that he literally purchased in 1989, on which we literally spent spent visits there playing hours of “Zac McCracken and the Alien Mindbenders” and which is literally STILL SITTING WHERE IT SAT IN 1989. I haven’t the foggiest notion if it functions or even turns on or has been totally gutted and is housing a family of vagabond gerbils, but it is there, this wonderful metaphor or progress, of the inexorable march of technological improvement, of my family’s still-lively inability to even remotely begin considering to throw things out if there is any chance it can serve some vague purpose down the road, or, failing that, if they can sell them to people for Bears-ticket money.



Anyway, so as a Vrabel I am conditioned to do things like keep cars until they have 275,000 miles on them and when you drive down the road sparks are created and hex bolts fly out of the engine and you keep hearing small explosions.

So I had to wait until my current iMac either wheezed out of life or someone accidentally smashed it with a sledgehammer maliciously. I can’t tell you how many times I invited my son and his friends to play with rocks or paint or fireworks by the computer but would you believe they were cautious and respectful of other people’s property? GREAT THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR WELL-MANNERED CARE, KIDS. Dammit.

So this is why it was SO AWESOME that a few months ago I begin noticing my iMac’s screen developing a series of thin vertical lines, an apparently not-uncommon symptom. My Mac Nerd Friend Morgan, a certified Mac samurai Informational Technologist Master-Class Triwizard Orc of some repute, took one look at my besmirched, graffiti’d display and said, calling on every last shred of his years of training and expertise, “Yeah. They do that.”

With this learned diagnosis in hand, I had but one course of action: Await the inevitable, because, again, replacing the Machine Which Still Technically Could Get Me On The Internet To Steal Music was off the table. I could only sit, patiently, and wait, for months, for that grand and glorious day when the display started going all Flaming Lips-concert jiggly and fire started shooting out of the back of it and applesauce began pouring forth from the CD drive. And that finally, inevitably, happened today, first via a thing where the screen made it look like someone got blisteringly drunk and started jamming my computer in the side with an electric cattle prod. It was awesome. Frankly between my computer and Gadhafi it has been an awesome month for Objects I Don’t Want Around Anymore.

And the best part is that now I get to go shop for a new Mac, which, assuming they offer a payment plan that takes effect in the mid-2040s, is one of my most favoritest things to do; I have already made plans to drive to the nearest Apple Store where I can be utterly claimed by at least 20 of the store’s 250 23-year-old employees with chinstraps and blue T-shirts and finally, after YEARS of waiting, say, “YES. YES YOU CAN HELP ME!” instead of what I usually do, which is wander around like a twitchy chipmunk, seeing if they have any Amigas in the back for cheap.


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

14 responses to “Hooray! My iMac broke for good this time!

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