One of the Local QRPers beat his way up the hill the other day, this one completely bent out of shape and ready for a fight! He wasted no time and drew himself up to his full five foot five and a half inches. "What's wrong with the ARRL?", he bellowed, sweat breaking out on his forehead and his beady little eyes were flashing. This was not only a vague question, but one that we didn't care to get into. Before we could say a thing, the QRPer slammed the December issue of QST down on the table and shouted, "You belong to this outfit, Buster, and I want some answers. And I want them right now!" By this time he was puffing pretty hard and he was shaking from head to toe. We'd never seen this QRPer so upset. "We are only an associate member," we replied, "How can we second guess the ARRL? Why are you hollering at us?" We were not to pleased with this QRPer, as it was clear he was trying to dump his tale of woe on the first ARRL member he could find.
"Stop ducking the issue!", the QRPer roared, "why isn't my call in the new 50-MHz standings? Where is it? What did you do this time to cause the league to ignore me?" Son of a Gun! We had no idea what the QRPer was ranting about, but we were also not going to stand for this, either! "We have no idea what's wrong with your 6-metre standing," we replied in a firm and rather loud voice. "You know darn well we have no interest or control over 50-MHz or how the League deals with them. And if you don't settle down, we are going to show you the door pretty fast! Now calm down and tell us what the problem is." The QRPer glared at us for a second or two, decided we were serious and sat down at the table. "They left me out! The ignored me completely.", he said, going from rage to despair in less than 30 seconds. We had to admit we felt a twinge of pity for the QRPer, but after his ranting at us, we weren't going to show a lot of sympathy.
"Look", he whined, "look on page 98! They have a listing of all the top dog 6-metre types and their standings. They've got states, DXCC countries, grid squares, and even a column for best terrestrial DX in kilometres. I've beaten over half of these guys in every category, yet my call isn't in here. Why are they singling me out?" By now the QRPer was actually in tears and they were running down his cheeks and spattering on the pages of QST. What could we say? Our initial notion of booting the QRPer back down the hill was replaced with pity, for while it is a competitive hobby, one DXer does not enjoy seeing another in tears . . . and we knew this QRPer was a fairly good 6-metre operator. On the other hand, we were out of our league in dealing with such a depressed QRPer. So we took the QRPer up to see the Old Timer.
The QRPer repeated his story to the Old Timer, this time holding back his tears. We had suggested he get hold of himself on the way up, for although the Old Timer has most of the answers, he doesn't have a lot of patience anymore! "So why do you suppose they ignored me?" the QRPer finished, handing the issue of QST to the Old Timer. The Old Timer looked at the listing for a few moments, then asked, "Did you read the small print after the heading?" "What small print?", the QRPer replied slowly. The Old Timer drew in a deep breath and began reading 'To ensure that the standings reflect recent activity, information must be submitted within the previous two years. Stations dropped for lack of recent reports will be reinstated with a current update. It is not necessary to have worked additional states or grids, but please confirm your continued activity at least every two years.' He leaned back in the chair, "Did you read that?", he asked. "No", the QRPer replied slowly, "no, but surely the league would know that I've been active during the past two years. Don't they listen to 6-metres in Newington?"
The Old Timer handed the magazine back to the QRPer. He leaned back in his chair and simply said, "To miss attention, you can't beat a big blunder." And that was all he would say. The QRPer threw the magazine on the floor, let out a bellow that could be heard in the barrancas of Palos Verdes country. The last we saw of him, he was running down the hill, waving his arms and looking for his ARRL Section Manager. The Old Timer looked at us for a moment in silence. What could either of us say when all had already been spoken. Only that the 50-MHz standings would be published again next year! DX IS! Especially when you make the listings in QST!
Best Regards, Paul
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