DX Stories by Paul M. Dunphy, VE1DX

Much Ado About Nothing

One of the local QRPers came by the other day and made his way up the hill. He was clearly on a mission, complete with his sweat on his forehead and a glare in his beady little eyes. He didn't waste any time, "What's with this DXCC-2000 proposal? Where did this suffering stuff come from?" He had a newsletter rolled up in his fist and he kept waving it around for emphasis.

Son of a Gun! We'd read all about the DXCC-2000 announcement and we hadn't found anything wrong with it. We had to know more. "What's wrong?" we began, "There aren't any major changes. Just clarification and a few minor adjustments. No one is going to loose anything and . . . "

The QRPer held up his had and cut us off in mid-sentence. "That's what you guys all say", he said, "but it isn't so. There are fundamental problems here. And the most glaring one that I work DX countries, not something called an 'entity.' That sounds like something out of a science fiction movie! What is wrong with calling these places on the list countries? How will it sound if I go around saying that I worked a new entity? It will sound like I've been watching Star Trek or the like! I'm all for new ideas, but who dreamed up this futuristic foolishness?" He pounded the newsletter into the palm of his hand to drive home his point. We looked at the QRPer for a moment and then said, "Wait a minute." We went into the shack and looked back through our files and found what we were looking for. We open up the magazine and read out loud, "The basic rule is simple and direct: Each discrete geographical or political entity is considered to be a country." We turned the cover of the magazine over so the QRPer could see the date - QST, 1935. "Clinton B. DeSoto, W1CBD", we replied, "he was the one who decided to call DXCC counters an entity. So we're not going off into some futuristic change. The League is simply reverting to what the original thinking was back in the thirties . . . going back to the roots of DX, so to speak."

We sat back, confident we had averted a crisis. Not so. A QRPer convinced that he is right is not easily swayed from his course. "That may be so," he continued, "but doesn't W1CBD end his sentence with the word 'country?' And haven't DXers been calling them countries for 60 years? Now, the League says I have to call them entities! Well, I won't do it! When I work a new one, I'm calling it a new country. And just what can the ARRL do about it? Nothing! Nothing at all! What do you think of that, buster?"

We had to ponder this for a moment. This was clearly a case of much ado about nothing, but we knew full well that the road to DX understanding is often a rough and rocky one. Someday this QRPer would become one of the Deserving, one who works DX for the joy of the new ones, and not for counting the stickers. But we also knew it would be a long time before this one understood the Eternal Enigmas of DXing and had a full grasp of the Mysteries of the Ages. So we decided to offer him some advice. "Why don't you do that?" we replied after a little while, "call them countries as much as you want. Call them countries on the air, on the 2-metre repeater, and at the DX club. No one will care but K5FUV. And when you send in for your DXCC endorsement, fill out the form and just ignore the word 'entity.' You already have your DXCC certificate that says, in part, 'has submitted evidence to the American Radio Relay League showing two-way communication with other amateur stations in at least one hundred different countries.' You can put the endorsement stickers on your original certificate and K5FUV and the others at the DXCC desk will never know the difference. You'll show them!"

By now, the QRPer was beaming with this newly found notion. "That's right!" he exclaimed, "I can call them anything I want, can't I. And I bet a lot of the Big Guns will be doing the same thing. Only us true-blue DXers will call them countries, too. It will separate the real DXers from the wannabes!" He looked around carefully, then said, "We better keep this to ourselves, though. Us true-blue DX types have to stick together, right?"

We just nodded slowly as the QRPer made his way down the hill slowly. There wasn't much more we could say. So we decided to check our QSLs against our entity list. One never knows when a QSL will be found that will add to our entity total . . . for as had been said in the GM entity many years ago, "A rose by any other name is still a rose." And with the sunspots rising, and DXpeditions to rare and exotic lands being planned, we weren't too concerned what the DXCC desk called our roses! DX IS!

73/DX Paul VE1DX

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