DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

Excuse Number Nine!

We were sitting on the front porch, watching the sun approach the horizon and thinking of gray line on 7 MHz when one of the local QRPers came hippity-hopping by. He was walking his dog, but the way he was prancing about made us wonder who was walking who! We got him calmed down enough to ask what all the excitement was about. "It's my 40-metre antenna!", he said, puffing for breath and breaking out in a sweat. "I ran over the coax with the lawn mower and cut the shielding. Now it's all black and corroded and I can't work a thing on 40!" We were totally confused at this. It's not often a DXer is happy over broken equipment or faulty antennas. "Why is this good news?", we asked, trying to keep a neutral face. "Well", the QRPer said, drawing himself up to his full five and a half feet, "you know how the Big Guns used to beat me out on 40 CW? Remember? I never could bust the pileups, and they were always teasing me?" We had to admit that this particular QRPer had taken his share of torture on the 2-metre DX repeater over this very topic. "Why is cutting up your coax going to help your 40-metre CW ability?", we asked slowly.

"Simple", the QRPer replied, "that FT5W has been showing up on the low end of 40 and I've been missing him. The other guys got him Sunday night on their first or second call. There is no way I can work him now and save face! So, I'll just leave my coax alone. It'll fill up with more water until it is completely useless . . . and by that time it'll be too cold to replace, anyhow. The FT5W will go QRT and the guys will all feel sorry for me. How can they tease me when I don't have anything on 40-metres to work him with." We just stared at the QRPer in disbelief. "This is great!", he said, getting up and trotting down the hill, hauling his dog behind him and whistling happily.

Son of a Gun! Just when we thought we had heard it all. We tried to find some wisdom in the words of the QRPer, but none were forth coming. There are just some things that defy explanation, and this is one of them. Only the Deserving? On days like this, it isn't hard to distinguish the Deserving from the non-Deserving! As Sir Gus had so often said, "He's a decent feller, you old rascal!" We weren't sure, but we didn't think Gus had met this particular QRPer . . . but then again, Gus had been around the track a few times more than we had. Maybe we had missed the pitch! DX IS!

73/DX Paul VE1DX

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