He Died Signing Off

He Died Signing Off

Now if you ask most people what the leading cause of death for hams is, they would probably say something like heart attacks, cancer or electrocution; but they would all be wrong. The leading cause of death amongst hams is CB. Chatter Box or the Inability to Sign Off.

It's a disease whose affects start slowly like the first time you decide to wish everyone listening to have a good weekend. Then suddenly, before you let up on the key, you realize that the members of the families of the people listening also deserve to have a good weekend. So you let them know. Then you ask yourself why shouldn't the entire world have a good weekend and you say so.

Next thing you know, the repeater has timed out, and are you embarrassed. Others quickly get on the air to let you know that it's okay, they all done it before. Don't let yourself be lulled into a false sense of security. They are just in a more advanced stage of the addiction for which there is no cure.

Soon other symptoms show up. You get a tattoo that reads "Born to Talk". Now when the repeater times out you hardly notice. You take pride in your ability to talk so long without saying anything.

One day it finally happens, your trying to sign off and you seem especially long winded. The repeater times out again and again, but you no longer notice. Your vision is blurred. You break out into a cold sweat and the fever kicks in, but you can't let go of that key and you can't find a way to say the two simple words that can put an end to this episode, "Good Bye".

The pain in your finger grows, yet you haven't the strength to let go. Time goes by. Your rig melts down. You are no longer on the air, but you just can't stop talking.

They find you on the floor when they finally break down the door. With a look of terror on your face. Your mouth frozen open, your hair standing on end and your tongue stiff as a board. Your wearing a T-shirt that reads "I won't give up radio till they pry the mike from my cold dead fingers", and that's exactly what they do.