One of the Local QRPer's beat his way up the hill and sat down in the chair rather wearily, puffing from exhaustion. This was the same QRPer who had done the flip-flop as to whether Scarborough Reef should count, once Red-Eyed Louie had verified that his QSO was good. We really didn't know what to expect because this QRPer was a bit unpredictable. He had confused look on his face and he looked a bit worried. "What's new?", we asked, hoping this would be short and simple. "It's BS7H again.", he said, "I heard there was a meeting at the ARRL this weekend to make a decision." We had to admit that we too had heard this. "And the Big Guns are betting it will count and will be added to the DXCC countries list. Red Eyed Louie isn't tuning the bands this weekend. Why, Sun-Spot Louie hasn't even issued a Solar Flux report or an Ap Index in two days. Everyone is waiting for the League to announce their decision. Even the Hero of Mafeking is only telling us: 'Be prepared for the decision!' What do you think of that?", he asked.
"Well", we replied slowly, not wanting to get drawn up into the controversey, "if the league approves it, then it should be added to the DXCC list . . . on the other hand, if they turn it down, then it shouldn't be." We figured this was about as neutral as we could be. We weren't sure exactly what the QRPer was up to so we had decided to take the cautious approach. "You've got it confirmed, and so do I", the QRPer continued with his puzzled look. "But I'm not sure if I want it to count or not. You see, since I have it confirmed, it will up my DXCC total by one. On the other had, it will add another country to the overall country count. I'll be as far away from Honor Roll as I am now. So I worked it for nothing! I'm not losing ground, but I just break even by working a new one." We were starting to get a hint of where the QRPer was coming from, but not enough to offer an opinion. "What if they don't count it?", we asked, putting forth our best poker face.
"Same thing", the QRPer said, looking at us with his beady little eyes, "Same thing if they don't count it. You see, I need 157 right now for Honor Roll. If they count it, I'll need 157 and if they don't count it, I'll still need 157. In fact, if Martti and his friends keep putting new ones on, I'll have to work every one just to break even. Don't you see? These guys who find new ones are hurting us DXers! They don't know the meaning of DX IS! Someone should tell them to stop finding new ones. They are ruining the DXCC program by putting new ones on! Why don't they go and operate from somewhere that I need that's already on the DXCC list?" He stood bolt upright, trembling a bit and wiping the sweat from his upper lip. It was clear the strain of all this was taking it's toll on the QRPer. It was also clear he was filled with doubts about the Eternal Enigmas and the Inevitable Truths.
Son of a Gun! These were trying times in this world of DX and we were out of our league here. The QRPer's lack of understanding and the sheer distance from his being a true blue DXer and a Believer was beyond us. So, we hauled the QRPer up the hill to see the Old Timer. He repeated his story, ending with, "and how can I ever reach Honor Roll if they keep adding new ones?" The Old Timer was quiet for a few moments, then he turned to the QRPer and said, "The true meaning of DX IS! is not written in the DXCC rules and it is not created by any decisions made by ARRL committees. The true meaning of DX is a state of mind! It is burned in the hearts of true blue DXers and measured by the degree to which the seats of their pants are cut knee-length! Don't count your DX by quantity! Once you understand this, you will begin to be a Believer. And once you are a Believer, you will become one of the Deserving." The QRPer looked at the Old Timer with an even more puzzled look. "But how does the seat of a DXer's pants determine if Scarborough Reef will be added to the DXCC list?", he asked. The Old Timer turned back to his rig and simply said, "If you have to ask the question, you won't understand the answer." And that's all he would say.
With that, the QRPer was off down the hill to the DX club, where everyone had gathered. We turned to the Old Timer and asked, "Want to go down and hear the decision?" He replied, "No, I think I've heard enough for one day. It'll count. As Albert and Martti often say: All things are relative, some more so. Besides, do you want to be around when about fifty Locals start analyzing the decision!" Son of a Gun! Some of the Mysteries of the Ages are harder to understand than others. DX IS!
MANY THANKS TO CHEN BZ1HAM, WANG BZ1OK, TIM KJ4VH, MARTTI OH2BH, PETRI OH2KNB AND OLLI OH0XX/DU1 FOR THE BS7H HUANG YAN DAO (SCARBOROUGH REEF 1995) DXPEDITION!
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