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Time to bite the Apple

Rick Ryckeley's picture

Finally, after all these years, I now know what has become of Down the Street Bully Brad.

He’s the kid who took great joy in tormenting yours truly almost daily during the seven years my three brothers, sister and I spent growing up at 110 Flamingo Street.

Seems Bully Brad is still up to his old tricks — mainly making my life as difficult and painful as possible. It seems worms have infected my computer by way of an email.

They were unleashed by none other than my old arch-nemesis. I’m sure it was him. Who else would do such a dastardly deed?

Now I’m the proud owner of the world’s largest paperweight. Or so The Boy tells me. Good for weighing down all those papers the gray and black one keeps pushing off my desk in the middle of the night. Not so good when it comes time for writing this weekly column.

So it’s off to the store — The Wife and I went for a new, worm-free computer. Kinda funny we ended up at a store that sells just Apples after being infested by worms, ain’t it?

The soon-to-be Daughter-in-Law said guys are attracted to shiny new things. That’s why we buy stuff all the time. Now that’s just silly. There’s a shiny new computer that has a 27-inch screen. Size, now that’s why us guys buy stuff.

After just one step inside the store, I was amazed. Walls were covered with all kinds of cool stuff. Stuff, until yesterday, I didn’t even know existed. Stuff, now, I just can’t live without.

For example, they had a clock radio you can use to recharge your phone. Remember the days when phones hung on the wall and didn’t need charging?

The store also had cell phones and protective cases in every color you could imagine. Those wall phones from back in the day came in colors too: yellow, green, or black. No protective case needed. Phones were made out of super hard plastic.

Just ask any of us kids that got hit upside the head with one. Trust me, a lot of dents were put in them — our heads, not the phones.

On tables scattered about the store were computers so small they could fit into your purse. Of course, since I didn’t have my Man Purse with me, I headed towards the giant screens in the back of the store. The Wife was left with the saleslady up front. This turned out to be an expensive idea.

Who knew fair and balanced actually means if I get a huge new computer for my desk, she gets a little silver one for her purse that cost almost as much? Silver, now that’s shiny! And it goes with everything.

The nice folks at the computer store said they could schedule a technician to come out in a day or so for the installation. The technician could also transfer all information from my old computer. His name was Brad.

They looked at me funny when I said, “No, thank you. He already has my email; I don’t want him knowing where I live.”

Three hours after we entered the store, we finally exited. I’m proud to say The Wife and I helped the company’s falling stock prices rise a bit. We also did our part to stimulate the sagging economy. Buying a bunch of extra stuff you really don’t need with money you don’t have, why, it’s the American way!

The Boy did the installation when we got home — minus worms, of course. And yes, he too now wants a big shiny new computer.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, is in his third decade as a firefighter and has been a weekly columnist since 2001. His email is His books are available at]

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