So you may have slogged through my nervous breakdown post last week in which I went to Fry’s Electronics store in Burbank and left with a hard drive and the voice of Steve Jobs in my head, all but doomed to get me some iMac goodness because my nearly four-year-old eMac is, well, just a cranky shadow of its former, loveable entry-level self.

But I was good. In the weekend that passed I avoided the nearby Apple stores. Yes, I dallied online at MacMall and MacWarehouse, customizing the purchase of my new computer. But I never got down to actually making the buy because I just get worn out and preturbed by all the free-after-mail-in-rebate sidecrap that you end up buying with the computer: gigabytes of RAM and a graphics tablet, and an Epson all-in-one printer. By the time I got to the checkout, the bill was up over $2000 — and that was without the three-year and $169 AppleCare Protection Plan.

Sure, after printing out and completing the not-easily-found rebate forms and being sure to submit them within the required time window with the corresponding original UPC codes, receipts, an original sonnet and a notarized blood sample I’d be getting $300 of that back in various checks that may or may not arrive in six weeks to four months.

Keep all that bullshit, I said.

Then came yesterday. I had to go to Samy’s Camera on Fairfax to pick up my repaired Canon G3, and guess what’s near there? Yes, The Grove. And what’s in The Grove. Yes, an Apple store.

But I was good. After I got the camera I headed up Fairfax to Third and made a right. With The Grove slipping past me on my left as I headed east, I said to myself “No, I will not be buying an iMac at The Grove today.”

The voice of Steve Jobs inside my head cursed.

But there was reason to my resolve. See, Apple Stores only carry the brandest of the brand new iMac’s with their Intel chips, and from my excursions online with MacMall I found they’re clearing out the last of the iMac G5s at a pretty substantial pricebreak. Being something of an Apple loyalist, I scoffed at the news that it would be putting Intel inside its next generation of computers, and decided I would get me one of the last remaining “true” Apples. Of course, it didn’t hurt that the 20-inch iMac G5 was only a couple hundred or so more than its newer 17-inch counterpart.

Sot there I was, proud and resolute and on my way to Costco to get various fruits and such in bulk. I got tangerines and mangos and coldcuts and coffee and artichoke hearts and hearts of palm and grape tomatoes and sweet mini peppers…

And an iMac G5.

It couldn’t have been better scripted. Thanks to Cybele on her Candy Blog spotlighting Lemonheads and the other awesome-sounding flavors I never knew they made (grape… and cherry!)I made one last turn down the candy aisle jonesing in hope that some mass quantity of Lemonheads would appear. They did not.

So at the end of that middle aisle I jogged over to the electronics section, came down past the line-up of high-def TVs just for the fun, bore right at the end and there right in front of me next to the Verizon Wireless kiosk were stacks of iMac G5 boxes. The 20-inch version.

The. One. I. Wanted — and get this: included in the purchase price was the three-year $169 AppleCare Protection Plan. Included. No rebates. Nothing to complete, stamp, mail, and pray. Pure Apple computer iMac goodness. Just grab it by the handle and go.

Which I did.

And the voice of Steve Jobs inside my head wept.