September 1947 QST
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL
for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
Whether or not this kind of stuff
goes on over the Ham bands these days, I couldn't tell you. It is easy to
believe the level of obnoxiousness of some people back in the 1940's when this
"'Phone-Band Phunnies" article appeared in QST magazine, featuring "Little
Stinky." Of course if you assume
the way kids are portrayed in contemporary movies and TV shows is typical of the
real world, even the behavior described herein would seem mild in comparison. Fortunately,
kids today have a plethora of social media venues for treating others to their brands
of personalities, so maybe the Ham bands are spared the abuse.
The proud father who carries around pictures of Little Stinkey and bores everyone
he meets to death by showing the pictures and demanding comments on same has long
been a subject for derision in story and cartoon, but this character reaches the
very acme of obnoxiousness on the amateur 'phone bands. Here he no longer thrusts
a shadowy likeness of Little Stinkey upon you; he thrusts Little Stinkey himself!
"Just a minute, OM," Proud Papa will say.
"I'll let the junior op say hello to you. Go on, Stinkey; say hello to John."
There are great quantities of what the broadcast men call "dead air."
"Come on now, Stinkey; please say something to the nice man."
Still nothing but an echoing silence.
"Ha, ha! That's the way they are, OM. You can't keep them still when you want
things quiet, and then when you want them to talk, they won't say a word. But I
think I can persuade him to say something." There is a certain grim, desperate,
but determined note in his voice as he says this, and then you hear sounds of a
sharp scuffle that create a clear picture of a child's arm being savagely twisted
while a bull-whip is brandished over his head. By listening intently, you finally
hear a small whimper of anguish.
"There you are, OM!" Proud Papa says with a note of triumph in his voice, although
he is still breathing a little hard. "I'll bet that came through all okay. He really
loves to talk over the mike when he gets started. Think I'll make a fine business
ham out of him, OM?"
It is best not to say what you think. - John T. Frye, W9EGV
Posted July 7, 2022
(updated from original post on