IMAC EVE: Sure Cure For The Dog Days Of Summer

The Dog Days arrived early this year. The thermometer in Wichita read 108 in June and the dew point wasn’t far behind. In spite of an unremitting wind, we’d hit the summer doldrums before summer began. And July continued what June begot – with a vengeance.

As for the Mac, we were in a sort of doldrums of our own. No, not a ‘down in the dumps, this is the pits’ sort of depression. It was a period of well-deserved calm. A time to regroup and reflect on the tumultuous turns of the past year. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel, the inn at the top of the mountain, the port after storm. We began to feel relieved, relaxed and gotta face it, just a bit bored.

August. Texas lay panting under a searing sun as the Mac world curled up in the shade, biding its time. The first iMac exhilaration was over and the bondi-blue beauty not yet ready to ship.

Sure, Steve had livened things up in July with his red eye flight to address the crowd in the Big Apple and ‘beleaguered’ was no longer our Apple’s first name. Profits were soaring and both the media and Wall Street were once more finding Apple a surprisingly sweet byte. Ahhh. How delicious it was.

But: Where was our daily fix of angst and anguish? The frenzied search of the Web for the latest dose of Mac mania? Where had all the invigorating rumors gone? What was life without a couple of Mac conspiracies crisscrossing the Net, gaining momentum as they went? It’s been a far cry from the hysteria mustered up last August.

The thrill of victory is all very well, but were we Mac lovers too long galvanized by the agony of defeat to savor success? Had we gotten hooked on living at the bleeding edge? Was an occasional bone from the media too fleeting to keep the old adrenaline pumping?

Guess I, at least, had been well and truly hooked. Suddenly the Web seemed a lackluster pla’ce, fit only for those savvy enough to understand the underpinnings of ‘Carbon’ and OS X’ or to feel passionately pro or con about ‘Charcoal’ as System font by default.

Was the ever-ready Microsoft, the only action left? Were we to be reduced to reading nothing but The Tale of Two Bills? I don’t know about you, but I was getting mighty bored with both. Microsoft, as they say of poverty and pestilence, is always with us. But their theme song of ‘One for All and All for Bill’ soon loses its charm. And as for the other Bill — I blush to watch the nightly news.

Monica surely takes ‘not washing the hand that shook the hand’ to new heights. Gosh, I didn’t even save my prom dress. But don’t blame Bill too much. He’s like a kid in the candy store who can’t keep his hands off the darn marshmallows. And hey, the marshmallows are free.

Still, it’s almost mid-August, and the two Bills are, no puns in intended, the hottest thing going. Both are in danger of being called to account for their deeds — in the flesh and under oath. Or to take the Fifth as need be.* (Yes, I know, Bill C plans to testify via tape. Maybe, under the circumstances, baring all that flesh was just too much.)

Which reminds me, the closest I’ve come to a whiff of conspiracy lately is to wonder if the Dark Side might not be behind the call to charge Janet Reno with Contempt of Congress. Let’s see now, Microsoft is annoyed by the DOJ, which like a pesky gnat on a summer’s day, just won’t go away.

They’ve even got the audacity to order Big Bill himself to take the stand for not one, but two, sessions. There goes a lot of golf out the Window. If you were the richest guy around and had more lawyers on tap than the rest of the free world combined, what would you do?

But I’m not hooked on DNA, National Politics or Microsoft. I’m hooked on the Mac. Withdrawal makes me edgy. I yearn for something Applelike, something sweet and juicy, to sink my teeth in. Something to put a little pizzazz in my summer.

Wait just a minute! Hold everything! It’s August! And it’s almost half over. Could the Ides of August** be upon us already? Lord-a-mighty, today’s the 14th. Hallelujah! It’s iMac Eve!!! Where does the time go? Only one more shopping day, folks, til that bondi-blue beauty hits the shelves. Finally, a chance to touch it. Stroke it. Gaze soulfully into it’s translucent blue innards. As the old song says — ‘Make it mine… Make it mine… Make it mine!’

Gotta go, Guys. Gotta wash my hair and gas the car. Maybe stick a few iMac brochures in the window and hang a really, really big sock by the fireplace. So much to do. So little time. See you in the farthest corner of the nearest CompUSA (just behind that bondi-blue stocking ladder) first thing tomorrow.

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