I was following the SATERN operation on 14.265 on Monday or Tuesday, and through it all, various net traffic, Andrews Global Command checking in, etc., someone, somewhere, has a mic hung open. Didn't sound like VOX. At least there was no sign of a break. At first, I thought the NCS had a sensitive mic and someone working and talking in the same room, but it kept on without a break during other stations' transmissions and during dead air time. A woman's voice dealing with some kind of issue. "I faxed... such and such." "I emailed you." "Well if you don't want..."
On and on, minute after minute. Every now and then, a man, probably her husband, wandered through, and they exchanged a few shots before he wandered off, and she went back to yapping. Little or no fade, and a signal strength at my location maybe half of most of the active participants, so it was always there in the background. Don't know how many could hear it. It's a pretty disciplined net, and folks know not to yammer away trying to stop QRM, especially the open mic kind where the one person you're hollering at is guaranteed to be unable to hear you. Maybe they were doing something useful or net-related, but it didn't sound like it.
After a while, it became kind of surreal. The net calling for any affected area stations and doing other business associated with an enormous catastrophe, while those two are going back and forth, apparently without a thought to the fact that they weren't having to wonder when or if someone would come along and try to dig their butts out the rubble or wandering around pulling the pipes off the wall in hopes of getting a few ounces of water. No great moral here. It was just kind of a moment.
*For those too young to remember when radio did something other than play music and allow folks to call in and infuriate each other, The Bickersons was an old 40's radio show where the characters, a married couple named John and Blanche, traded abuse.
B: You used to be so considerate. Since you got married to me you haven't got any sympathy at all.
J: I have, too. I've got everybody's sympathy.
B: Believe me, there's better fish in the ocean than the one I caught.
J: There's better bait, too.