Last week while hanging out at the Lost Island DX Society clubhouse, SSB operator extraordinaire Rusty Key stopped by. Someone mentioned that CQWW was quickly approaching. While the other LIDS were excitedly discussing the prospects for banner propagation this year, I noticed Rusty was awfully quiet.
"Hey, Rusty, you planning another big operation for WW phone this year?" I asked.
Rusty turned exceedingly shy, looked at the ground and said, "Naw, don't reckon I'll do much."
For one of the most prominent LIDS phone operators this was shocking and suspicious. It took a little prying to find out what was going on, but eventually Rusty fessed up.
"I was DQ'd last year."
"What!? Were you running Uncle Percy's amp that has the tube with handles again?" I asked.
"Naw," Rusty replied indignantly, "I won't even running the limit. My fancy digital wattmeter sat on 1495 all weekend!"
"Well, what was it then?"
"If you must know, they said I was operating outside the contest time period."
"Rubber clocking?! Who in the world gets nabbed for rubber clocking in this day and age of computers? Besides, the contest is 48 hours long and there ain't no less than 48 hour categories, at least until this year. How did you end up 'operating outside the contest period'?"
"Well, come 2359Z on Sunday night I had been up for over 48 hours straight. I guess I just zoned out and kept calling CQ. Guys kept coming back to me, so I kept working 'em."
"You mean guys kept calling you after 0000Z? Didn't, uh, your rate drop quite a bit?"
"Well, yeah it did, but you know the secret to contest success is Butt In Chair even when the rate drops. I figured it was just a lull, so kept CQing and kept working 'em even at 5-10 an hour."
"Hmmm, well guess fatigue can come into play and anybody can have a lapse of judgement. Well how long did you operate?"
"You mean when did I stop?"
"Yeah, when did you stop?"
"Yeah, I don't know what happened. I was so tired I finally fell asleep at the mic and didn't realize what had happened until I woke up Thursday. I apparently hit the macro button I had written to automagically send my log to the contest sponsor when I fell asleep. It was too late then."
"So the Contest Committee automatically disqualified you?"
"No, not a first. They wrote and asked me for an explanation. I panicked and responded with some gibberish about the compression and expansion of time due to Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. I think I even worked in something about leap years. It was desperate and stupid. That was when they disqualified me."
"Can't say as I blame them. So you're sitting the old 'WW out this year?"
"I guess so. I was thinking I might borrow the club call for the contest. It would be a good year to run Uncle Percy's amp again."