Don't Work That Last One!

    One of the Local QRPers came up the hill last week and as soon as we saw him hopping from foot to foot in exasperation, we knew something had happened. We opted for the sympathetic approach even though we were not sure what the QRPer was troubled about. "Have you turned fifty?", we asked, "or has your first grandchild been born?" The QRPer sat dejected in the chair and and responded "I thought that you of all people would understand", he said in a low voice, "it has nothing to do with my age or my grandchildren. Don't you read QST and CQ anymore? Didn't you notice my call on the DXCC Honor roll and in the CQ DXCC standings? Surely you, of all people, should know how terrible this is!"

    We had to admit we had seen this particular QRPer's call on more than one occasion in both magazines. What we were failing to understand was why he was so depressed. As QRPers go, this one was a fair DXer. So we had to ask for clarification. "Why are you so down in the dumps", we asked, in a properly sympathetic tone. "Aren't you satisfied with your standings . . . as we recall you worked 3V8BB in the fall for your last country. We remember seeing you at the club meetings exhausted and red-eyed from tuning for 20 hours straight, looking for a new one. It must be a great feeling of accomplishment to know you've worked them all. Now you can sit back and relax."

    The QRPer was not to be soothed. And it was as if we had hit a nerve for he narrowed his gaze ever so slightly and began to glare at us with his beady little eyes. "You may think so, Buster! But think of the burden I now have! Just think of it! I might miss one!" he exclaimed. At this point we were completely lost. "How can you miss one if you've got them all worked?", we asked. "What if a new one comes on the air and goes away before I work it? Maybe it'll come on while I'm away on vacation. Don't you realize how bad I'd feel to be at the top and then fall off . . . maybe with little or no chance of getting back there again?" The QRPer was obviously very worried. "They always come on again." we said to reassure him. He shook his head, "How about those who missed Peter 1st? When will that come on again? Or those who are waiting for Mount Athos or Bouvet to come on again? A mighty long wait. My worst nightmare is that I will be away and North Korea will be activated for the first and last time!"

    Son of a Gun! We thought DXing was supposed to be fun. The QRPer shook his head "I'm caught in the trap of both having and fearful of having not. I can't rest. I spend all my days tuning for the new one I might miss. I can't sleep and I can't eat." He jumped to his feet and stomped down the hill, off to the shack to listen for a P5. What could we say in such troubled times? There was no consolation here. As Albert so often would say, "All things are relative, some things more so."

This story is in the public domain and may be reproduced in any format. - VE1DX

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Last updated 15 December 2020