11.  Adventure with election posters

My life held a strange, mysterious secret. On the one hand my family was absolutely convinced I had a disorder that needed treatment. I was just as convinced, on the other hand, that no treatment would change my thinking or that I wanted to feel any different. On the contrary, I was having a ball. Nobody at home was even mildly interested in the adventures I was living; daily experiences, many of which were supernatural.

On my way home from a driving lesson my brain reminded me of a chore I had to complete. (It had to do with taking down election posters, more on that jaunt a little later). I argued to myself that it could wait until tomorrow, because there was really no hurry. Still, as I continued toward home, I felt the familiar unease, which I had learned was my sensitive spirit trying to tell me something. I felt at that moment as being out of equilibrium with God’s direction. I turned off the main road to see if I’d feel different.   

Still unsure, if the chore couldn’t wait until the next day, I prayed: Lord show me by the next vehicle I see, if it’s really you, who wants me to do this chore right now! The next vehicle I saw was yellow. That wasn’t unusual. It was the timing - exactly as I was praying I heard the word ‘yellow’ spoken on the radio (ABC Newsradio, 20/12/04 – 10.50 am) and then saw the car. I obeyed immediately and did a three-point-turn.

Then I realized it was in Ways Av. Manningham. God had many creative ways of speaking to me. I loved it. It was awesome to live like that. 

Later, after I had completed the chore, which I explain in a moment, I spotted a Toyota Celica on the Norwood Parade, a major shopping precinct east of Adelaide. On previous occasions I had imagined people were touching base with me in coded ways, perhaps after reading my strange story.  One of them was through colours.

As I waited at the lights on the Town Hall Corner, I noticed a parked Celica, Registration Number …950. As a young lady exited the driver’s side, wearing a red top and blue jeans, I took more notice (not because of the tight pants, it was the colours). A moment later a male passenger exited, wearing a yellow shirt. To me it was significant enough to note in my diary. But I added: “It just can’t be co-incidence! If yes, I idiot.”  

The chore that needed doing, and I felt I ought to do, was removing political posters from telegraph poles after the election. I wasn’t asked to do this. I just did it, especially those that had obviously been forgotten and left hanging long after election day. This practice had started in 2002, after the previous state election. I had seen a few posters of a local (Labor party) candidate left hanging, and spontaneously removed them and delivered them to her office.

After the October 04 Federal election I again noticed old posters and it bothered me. My wife called this meddling in others people’s business. I regarded it as a job that needed doing – and I did it. Often it was the location of a poster that triggered my interest. I would make a mental note to take it down later. (A ladder was required to remove posters).

I saw one poster on a post (is that where the name poster came from – they hang on posts?) at the end of ‘Lord Howe Avenue’. Over the years that name had called me into action various times, e.g. a phone call to a real estate agent, (because the saleswoman’s name and house number clicked); a garage sale advertised on a sandwich board, and now an election poster, still hanging at the junction of Lord Howe Ave and Fosters Road. (Of course I saw the word ‘faster’ in that name).

Many posters I noticed were of opposition party candidates. Some were placed near bus stops, and their number clicked, (e.g. 31 in Northfield, 51 in Para Hills). Or it hung outside a special house number – 103 in Pooraka, between 113 & 115 at Ingle Farm etc. They fitted into my numbers game, which made me think after a while, they were left there on purpose.

I had the distinct feeling of being watched while removing posters; even at 6.30 am on Sunday mornings. This went on for a few weeks after the election. The feeling that somebody was playing a game with me grew stronger. 

The reason I say this was one particular Democrats billboard. I noticed it hanging very high at the busy corner of Wright Road/Bridge Road, not far opposite Royal Avenue, Ingle Farm. Long ago I had one of my earliest weird experiences, right on that corner, during a driving test (Chapter 17, More in number). Much action had also taken place in Royal Avenue, some of which I had not written about.

One Sunday morning early I sneaked out with the big ladder, as to not wake Isobel and having to explain. (Previously a small, lightweight one had sufficed). I drove five kilometers south on Bridge Road, parked illegally on the bus stop and climbed on my big ladder. Even then, I could barely reach the Democrats poster. (Please keep in mind - this was not a game of snakes and ladders). The yellow cardboard poster was dirty. It had been cut and looked very worn. The candidate’s name rang a bell. I didn’t think he had taken part in the 2004 election. 

A phone call to the Democrat’s head office confirmed my hunch. I was told that the candidate, with the melodic name Schubert, had run in the 1998 Federal election.  I had passed this spot a hundred times during lessons and on the way to church. That poster had not been hanging there since. Some prankster had fun putting the poster up on this pole and, who knows, was probably watching me remove it.

Another cluster of election posters is worth reporting. Shortly after the election I had seen them and assumed they had been forgotten. But I just kept spotting another and another. Two hours later I ended up returning 53 posters to the MP’s office. A week later I was again on the road very early one Saturday morning. Once again, as one poster led to another and I found myself at locations, the names of which fitted into my story. Was I given messages? It certainly was a unique way of communication.

The best example was the corner of Nelson Road and Down Ct.- Dawn Ct. was the place where I had taken the photo of pallets on the back of a truck (Chapter 41, Mind). At the time I had been investigating a link to the scandalous story of the same MP, whose poster I was removing that morning.

An ABC radio announcer early that morning was asking people to phone in and tell if they were doing anything of interest. I thought of phoning. But then, how would I explain how much fun I was having, removing old election posters from telegraph poles?

One other morning around 11.20 am I overheard a lady again on the ABC’s talkback radio program. She said that she was visiting from Murray Bridge and found it surprising that there were still election posters hanging up. She mentioned the location - the Golden Grove shopping center. I had spotted this poster the day before, driving my son and his friend home from school. I had suggested to them, if one of them would stand on my shoulder, we could remove the poster.

I might as well have suggested we strip naked and run across the road. “You are not going to do it, Dad!” came from my 15-year-old in the passenger seat. I wasn’t’ going to start a war. The poster would hang until Sunday. Bit it didn’t. I heard about the poster mentioned on radio the very next day, I dropped everything, rang the station and told them the poster was going to be removed promptly. I first said, within an hour, but then decided to do it straight away.

Before their show had finished at 12 noon, just before the news, I had indeed done the deed and phoned to tell them so, which was promptly announced during the program’s closing remarks.

The most memorable EPI (Election Poster Incident) started right near the place, Kelly Farm, about 1 kilometer away, where I had taken down posters 2 1/2 years earlier. They were of the same colour, bright red and of the Labour Opposition Party. On Tuesday morning, 26th October 04, I packed my small ladder into the Suzuki, drove two minutes into the next suburb and removed a total of nine (note the number) posters.

Unlike the Liberal Party, I didn’t know where this candidate’s campaign office was to return the posters to. On the back of one of the posters I read an address. This was where I was going to return my find. (Looking back now, I think I was expected). Read on and see if you would agree with my thinking.

The name of the road I saw on the back starts with Mont, which I made into Man (on) cross.... The property number was 436. (Later I noticed the business next door is called ‘Attitude…’). Can you see where the 9 fits in? Somebody must have read and understood the magic of what had happened with 963 and was 4 it.

But there was a further clue, which fitted, both an object and the locality – the Clovercrest Shopping Centre. It nearly blue (misspelling intended) me over. To park my vehicle legally, I pulled into the laneway beside No. 436. A lady exited the premises just as I arrived. She looked in my direction, but seemed in a hurry to leave. I just placed the posters outside the front door of the shop, got back into my vehicle and started to reverse.

Just then I noticed my clue - a blue cap. I almost dismissed it, but curiosity got the better of me. How could I not remember the remarkable moment on Anzac Day 2004, when I picked up a blue Sunkist cap, which had been planted by a secret fan? I stopped reversing, applied the handbrake and looked to see, if indeed it was a Sunkist cap – it was, identical to the one I had picked up at Clovercrest Baptist Church? (Mind, Chapter 31).

The premises where I dropped the posters were the actual office of a Member of State Parliament. By another strange twist, involving the number 369, a few days later I was to drop a business card at No. 5 B… Street, Kensington Gardens. The name of the street was identical to that of the Member of Parliament.

The only conclusion I could draw from these links of posters to addresses, to names and other trivia - likeminded people were reading my autobiography and enjoyed playing mind games. If they believed my main message in doing so, it would answer my long-standing question, why am I behaving in such child-like manner? What purpose is there in my larrikinism?

Does it matter how people find God - as long as they are finding real love and inner peace?  If you are labouring on a project, which sounds tedious and silly to be doing, if you have the assurance that you have been called to do it - then go for it and do it.

It may be as simple as clearing telegraph posts of election posters.

Chapter 12