With a few moments to spare after unwrapping the kids' gifts on Christmas Day, I turned my overworked FT-450 to 20m.
I sent a CQ on JT9. A strong signal came back in reply. 'Good start', I thought.
Except, the message, which carried no identifying information, simply said 'WATCH YOUR ALC'.
Well, that was a bit odd, because I've several tens of thousands of QSOs without a single such complaint about ALC before. My power was the same as it always is, and the ALC meter was completely inactive.
The complaining operator was, in fact, both misguided and of the wrong frame of mind for Christmas Day. Given his JT9 signal here was +15dB S/N, no doubt he thought my similarly very strong signal was overdriving.
Unfortunately, and as is far too commonly the case on amateur radio, the operator had to keep on sending pointlessly admonishing messages without once sending his callsign or locator, thus making his offence a matter of law, and worse than had I actually been overdriving.
Once again, it left me thinking: 'why does anyone bother with ham radio?' Thankfully, that feeling soon passed...