The Tales of Flashover House – The Golden Zimmer Award

It was breakfast time at Flashover House and the residents were discussing the poor HF conditions and the lack of DX.

“The trouble is” said Angus,” That we are not exotic enough. There are plenty of people out there but they are not at all interested in G stations, they have worked hundreds of us already. Wouldn’t it be nice to be on the receiving end of a pile-up with everyone wanting to work us.”

“I have been thinking.” said G2.

“I don’t like it when you start thinking,” said Weasel.” It usually means that you are about to drop us in the cart.” G2 ignored him. “I have been thinking, Flashover House has been on the go for ten years so why don’t we have a little celebration and apply for a special event call-sign? For instance, GB2FOH”

“That won’t exactly get the customers queuing up” said Weasel.

“I haven’t finished yet.” said G2 “What I have in mind is an award with an unusual type of points system. The calling stations are awarded points in line with the age of the Flashover House operator they are working. All we give them is our name and age. For instance, if they work Angus they will score seventy points, and if they work Matron they will collect nineteen.”

“That sort of flattery will get you an extra helping of treacle pudding.” said Matron. “…But we must be realistic. Put me down for thirty-nine and three quarters.”

“How many points will they get for working you G2?” enquired Rees Morgan. G2 took a deep breath.

“Ninety-four!”

“That will make you the most desirable ham in the country.” said Weasel.

“That is exactly the point I tried to make to my late wife” laughed G2. “But she never really went for the idea. Anyway, as I was saying, We can ask for a special event call and request a mention in RadCom. I would suggest that we operate from 0900 until 2100, run 2 metres and 80 metres all day with, perhaps, 10, 15, and 20 as conditions permit. Let’s not make it a quick-fire operation like a contest, if we chat to the stations we work and tell them what we are trying to do, it will be more of a fun thing and, you never know, we may convince some of these younger hams that we are still alive. We could arrange a sort of certificate the WAI or Worked All Inmates award say a caricature of us all standing in front of the house, with our signatures on the back. We could send one of these to anyone who collects 500 points or more. “It might be a good idea to have a special prize for the overall winner.”

There was the sound of a Welshman clearing his throat. “No, Rees Morgan” said Matron. “We are definitely not going to invite Jill Dando to present the special prize. Any more of this and I will be adding bromide to my next shopping list.”

“I go for that…not the bromide, but the special event idea.” said Angus. “But we had better get a move on. ln this game we have to try to keep one step ahead of the grim reaper, and we don’t want to lose old G2 as he will be the star of the show. I would suggest that he keeps making short appearances on each of the bands to keep the customers on their toes. About the certificate. I know a lassie who draws very well and if we get a photograph of us all taken outside the house, I am sure she would make a sketch of it and show us, not necessarily to our best advantage.”

So, wheels were set in motion. The special event call was issued, a nice mention was made in RadCom, and soon the great day arrived. It was agreed that Matron should start things off on 2 metres while the junior G4 washed up the breakfast pots and it wasn’t very long before contacts were being made. Weasel joined in shortly after on 80. He was under strict supervision as they didn’t want him lying about his age. A little later, the other HF bands were given an airing and conditions were pretty good, first to Europe and later to the west. Some of the overseas stations couldn’t quite understand the points for age system, but they soon got the hang of it.

Harbottle, the only non-ham resident, appointed himself tea-boy and patrolled the corridor with refreshments. At about mid-morning, there was an agonising cry and Weasel shot out of his shack in terror, “I was laying it on a bit thick with this Italian party, and all of a sudden she says she is coming over to marry me” he gasped.

“Never mind Weasel” said Rees Morgan. “Just send her a photograph of yourself. That will soon put her off”.

The day continued very well with all the callers joining in with the spirit of the thing but it was a few days later when the QSL cards and certificate requests started to come in that the fun began. They were bombarded with offers of cut-price funerals, and even a book entitled “Have fun with incontinence and amaze your friends”. The big surprises though were the hundred or so letters asking for information about vacancies. Weasel however, had other things on his mind.

“Do you think,” he said to G2, “That woman from Italy really meant what she said?”

“She seemed a very determined sort of person from what I heard of her and she did mention in passing, that she has three big brothers.” said G2.

“I wonder what she is like?”

“She sounded big and fat to me“ said G2 piling on the agony. “I would say that things are not looking good.

“Omygawd!“ cried Weasel, burying his head in his hands. “You make it seem absolutely terrible!”

“That’s what friends are for”, said G2.

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