East Coast Bob
We were sitting with the Old Timer down in the park the other day, enjoying one of the last days of fall, when one of the Local QRPers came along and sat down beside us. "I was down at the DX Club meeting," he began, "and it seems that Slim is active again." We nodded in agreement, "Yes, we've heard that too. He's been on from VK0HI in the last month." The QRPer nodded vigorously. "Yes, and I worked him twice. Sure had the adrenaline pumping. A brand new one for me!"
"Wait a minute", we replied, "that was Slim that you worked, not a station from Heard Island. You know that Slim never was there at all. And you'll never get QSLs anyhow. Why bother getting excited about it?" The QRPer looked at us a bit quizzically. "Wait a minute," he replied, "don't your DXCC totals include a QSL from Heard Island, VK2ADY/VK0? Might not be Slim, but it's the next best thing . . . and the QSL is stuck right on the wall of your shack, too! Don Miller, W9WNV, 1967. If the league counts that, you can be sure they'll count my QSOs too." The QRPer had hit a nerve but we took a deep breath and just replied, "Well, we have the card and the league counts it, so what's your point? You don't have any VK0HI QSLs even if it wasn't Slim."
"No problem", the QRPer replied. My cousin, East-Coast Bob, has a colour laser printer on his computer and he's going to print off a VK0HI QSL for me. Says he can make it look like the real McCoy. If your bogus Don Miller card counts, why won't mine. You've been around the track long enough to know the tricks", he grinned slyly. We jumped to our feet and glared at the QRPer. "We worked WK2ADY/VK0 back in '67 and we got our QSL without printing it ourselves, Buster! And who says it's bogus? If the league counts it, then it's a good one. W9WNV sent in the paperwork . . . where's the VK0HI licence going to come from?" We were heating up to the boiling point about now! "And what kind of DXer are you, anyhow? You know you worked Slim . . . you and your cousin East-Coast Bob should be kicked out of the DXCC program!", we roared.
"Well, the way I hear it, your card from Miller has a picture of Heard Island on it with the snow on the wrong side of the mountains. Sort of like it was lifted from an atlas or geography book.", the QRPer said with a wide grin and slowly stepping backwards. "I figure my cards that are coming from East-Coast Bob are as good as your Don Miller QSLs. Bob says his computer program can print up a Heard Island licence too! Not many of us locals have Heard confirmed, but I'm going to. Yessiree! VK0HI, 1995 operation. That'll give me my 150 country endorsement sticker, too."
Son of a Gun! What could we do? The QRPer was far enough away now that we couldn't get our hands on him! "Don't you dare send any fake cards into the league!", we bellowed at the QRPer, "You'll end up getting all our hard earned QSLs re-examined, that's what you'll do! You and East-Coast Bob will get booted out of the DXCC program and the rest of us true blue DXers will get our totals reduced! You just leave well enough alone!", we shouted at the QRPer. By now he was well out of range. "Gotta go check the mailbox for my cards.", he shouted and off he ran. We turned to the Old Timer for advice, for this was a serious situation. "What do you make of that?", we asked.
The Old Timer just shook his head back and forth slowly and smiled. "You know, I must have ran that script by that QRPer 20 times", he chuckled, "and I wasn't sure he was going to be able to pull it off." What could we say? We'd been had by The Old Timer, and had good! So we said nothing, smiled and sure hoped that the Flat Days of DXing were nearly over. As we'd often heard, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop" and the Old Timer and the QRPer sure had a lot of spare time on their hands! Bring on the DX!
This story is in the public domain and may be reproduced in any format. - VE1DX
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Last updated on Thursday, 12 April 2007