1. All fun and games
As the year 2003 unfolded I was increasingly astounded at the way God was fulfilling the dream HE had shown me long ago. There were no longer any mood swings caused by any illness. I felt healthier than ever. My life continued with light-hearted fun events, which I turned into humour and, simultaneously, I presented the serious message that every reader of my story had to confront repeatedly.
One fun incident was triggered by a promotion by a national Video-Hire firm. A card picturing a man in tears had the following text to advertise their stores:
“Missing you …
A while ago you walked out the door of our store and we haven’t seen you since. Was it something we said? Something we did? Maybe you’re seeing someone else?
Perhaps the spark has faded and you’ve forgotten what attracted you to us in the first placed. Have you forgotten the solemn vow we made to you? With the B-Store’s promise, the title you want is in store or you’ll rent it free. And we still mean it from the bottom of our hearts.
We miss the way you lit up our store and quite frankly, we’d like to woo you back. So here are three special offers we hope will boost the chemistry between us. Simply bring this card with you on three separate occasions and you’ll be able to rent a new release for only $ 2.95. You can be sure that you will leave satisfied.
So let’s try again. Please come back – we miss you.
The Team at B-Store.
The picture of the man in tears initially triggered my reaction. When I read it I saw the clues amongst the text and was in stitches about the creative, witty advertisement. The misspelling of Isobel’s name topped it all off.
I sent the following letter to the Head office of B-Store (not the real name) in Melbourne:
Re: Missing you ... (dated 21/05/03)
Your emotional pea to loo (sorry, plea to woo) my wife back to your store put a strain on my tear ducts. (Just like on the advertisement). I thought they’d (block) bust for a minute.
You must be careful what you promise, even if it’s from the bottom (of your heart). How can you guarantee that the title my darling wife wants is in store? And if not she can rent it for free? It’s like me saying to my learner, if you don’t see the red traffic light, don’t bother stopping!
How romantic, the way you describe her lighting up your store - she is magic, isn’t she. How lucky am I to have her light up my days for 32 years, almost. No wonder, her ancestor Mr. Newton invented the light bulb. Or was it Tommy Ediso? Who cares, nobody reads the fine print anyway.
Your comment that she may be seeing someone else got me thinking. As soon I saw your postcode my suspision was confirmed - 3051. I knew it - all along.
It’s him, the rotten sod, my psychiatrist. They have conspired to pretend that she is so upset about my little excursions (I only went for 10 days to LA, come on) so she can see him legitimately. That’s why they want to keep me on tablets. How clever - but my beloved numbers never fail me!
Now it’s OK to woo customers into your store, but don’t get any ideas about my Isobel. She is mine - I have vowed to defend her till Des us do part (Des is the name of our financial adviser). He’s been seeing us every night since my trip to the US. Hey, that makes me think - they way he looked at her the other night???
Please tell your advertising guru’s they are very clever. The Marketing Dept. however ought to know that to misspell someone’s name is a na na.
Kind regards, from her gellous husbond.
Our Financial Advisor really is called Des. Of course, he had not been at our house at all. I just hinted humorously at the financial doldrums we were in. Isobel kept reminding me about the damage I had caused flying off to the US on wing and a prayer, so to speak. The hint of her having an affair with my psychiatrist is, of course just plain fun. The postcode of the Video hire firm is indeed 3051.
How was I going to recoup the financial damage? I prayed to God and reminded HIM that it was HIS idea I should walk the streets of LA. Since I was in HIS service it is only fair that HE pays the bill; but how? Not even God is legitimately allowed to print money. Even HE has to use banknotes, real ones produced by the Government. Following the condemnation by my family of my action, I almost lost faith that the miracle encounter at the bookstore in Melbourne was really from God. Why bother chasing the end of a rainbow when you know there’s no pot of gold or at least enough to pay my US travel bill.
Nevertheless a number of times during my prayer times I felt God was confirming that my action (to travel to the US) was right. It had not been a mistake, all was well. It still took all the courage I could muster to contact the celebrity I had met in Melbourne, by whose encounter (in part) I justified my trip to the US as “God’s will”.
At first I tried to find a contact email online and write to her directly. When I couldn’t find one, I sent the following letter via her publisher.
c/o Harper Collins
PO Box 321
Pymble NSW 2073
Angus & Robertson – Book Launch - 31/03/03
Needless to say that I know you better than you do know me. Our path first crossed in Munich 1972. I only saw you win one of your heats. How disappointed you must feel now, having missed out on the Gold, only because of drug cheats. The second time we met, this time face to face, was when you attended above mentioned launch of your biography and I was one of the customers in the queue.
You impressed me by helping me over my nervousness when you got up and gave me a hug. It was so emotional, I almost broke down sobbing. It’s a long story why I approached you, what it was all about and where it led me. (I had my camera ready, but forgot all about a photo).
I am what you’d call a whistleblower. Not only did I discover information about injustices (and crimes) but I put them online. That weekend I had attended a function in Melbourne. Before I left Adelaide, I felt threatened by the people who had reason to have me silenced. During the weekend I thought prayerfully about what to do. I felt God wanted me to fly to the US, weird but that’s how it is.
On the Sunday 30/03/03 I heard you on the radio in the evening. You spoke so positive about your fight against cancer and life generally, I could have sworn you are a Christian. You see, the next day, I said to God, if HE really wanted me to go to America HE’d have to show me through something extraordinary. To just pay for the trip by Credit Card would not be special.
This is why I mentioned to you that my wife disagrees. She thinks I acted merely as a result of a mental condition, which I suffered from years ago. (Perhaps this is true to a degree, but may still be part of God’s grand plan). When I stumbled across your launch by sheer fluke (or guidance, I would regard it as) I thought you may be the extra special answer I was looking for to get a green light. (A little later I received further confirmation that I was doing the right thing). You may not have understood me clearly in my emotional state. I tried to ask you for backing of my mission to go to the US. Initially paying the fare by credit card would be easy, I knew. But to face the music of my wife later (she was and still is very cross with me) if I only could tell her of the “miracle” to prove that it is all for real.
It is terribly embarrassing to have to face this moment, crunchtime as it were. I am not even sure, if your participation is really God’s will; we are not in financial difficulty. The damage done altogether is about $ 7000.- (3500.- is for a short hospital visit, a bit much for 5 hours). Instead of a donation, which I would hate to accept, let me ask you to consider a deal.
Attached is an outline of an invention which I have a provisional patent taken out. If you were to buy it from me for above amount, you would get something for your money. With your VIP connections you have a better chance of turning this idea into reality. So far I offered my patent to a Motor Company, they declined any involvement. If it goes anywhere you may even be better off than $ 7000 and can support your cancer projects.
I know this all sounds a little strange. But I am very serious about the offer. Please think (or pray) about it.
Looking forward to your reply.
PS Chapter 64 online tells the story. I promise complete discretion if this matter goes further.
I was rather serious about the offer of giving my patent in return for the money. It would be truly a win for all. As a celebrity she would perhaps be taken more seriously with the invention. I believed that my simple attachment to the brake pedal could reduce rear end road crashes. An inventor’s greatest reward is to be taken seriously; seeing how your brainchild is making life better for the community. If there are financial rewards as a spin-off, even better.
There was no direct response to my offer. However, one hint that the message got through came a few days later. A phone caller from interstate (I heard the short beeps after answering) asked, if she could sent a prospectus about an investment to my address. It involved the sum of $ 7000. Did I hear correctly, 7000 dollars, the exact amount I mentioned in my letter? I said yes to her request of sending me a brochure. Would this lead to the breakthrough regarding financing my trip and subsequently proving ‘it’ to Isobel?
What if the two figures being identical were just co-incidence? A few days later I received a brochure and phoned the investment company. The sales person I spoke to promised great returns if I invested money. I did not sense any hint of help financially and was not prepared to risk more money to recoup losses. I believed God sent me to the US. HE would have to pay for the trip. In time HE would, of this I was convinced.
I was much less worried than Isobel, but frustrated to be constantly regarded as irresponsible, when I firmly believed to have done God’s will. I wished HE would somehow get the message through to my wife Isobel. Or was I the problem - my body back in Adelaide, buy my mind still in La-La land?
To take my mind off the serious side and the money worry (or should I say Isobel’s money worry) I was always alert for a trigger to have some fun. One catalyst for another caper entered my ears on the morning of 22/2/03 between driving lessons. I overheard an advertisement on Radio 5 DN which mentioned the name Isobel, Queen Isobel, to be precise. I can’t recall the full ad but made a mental note, looked up the company on the internet and filled in their online feedback form. It was to a waste disposal firm in the southern suburbs of Adelaide:
Services: Salvage, Recycling
> Comments: I heard your ad on Radio 5 DN today. It menioned Queen Isobel.
My wife's name is Isobel, does that make me the king??
> She thinks I'm a bit mad, so do I need salvaging or recycling?
> Kind regards
> Dieter Fischer
A short reply arrived a few days later:
Thanks for the E/Mail.
I think were all a bit mad and we all have waste and need to recycle as much
As far as being the King your quiet entitled to especially at your place.
Were the kings of the south.
During my absence in the US Isobel had contacted my psychiatrist and sent him some of my writing taken from my website dieterfischer.com. On May 15th Isobel and I visited my psychiatrist on her request. I agreed on one condition: if I was to go back on tablets, I was allowed a week to think about it.
The doctor seemed pleased to see me, but I was well aware that my case must be a puzzling one for him. There was no way I could even attempt to justify my way of thinking. How could I possibly explain my belief that somebody died in my place, why I connect road fatalities and why I attended the victim’s funerals? Even if I was able to tell my “sob story”, it would be regarded as trying to excuse my insane actions, something that bi-polar patients are good at.
During this, our first interview for over a year, the doctor contradicted himself rather bluntly. Three years earlier he had agreed with me sympathetically that I had been mistreated at work in a big way. Now, as I sat there with my wife beside me, he changed his view and said that it may have been just my imagination (that I was mistreated at work years earlier). He and Isobel pressured me into accepting a trial period on medication. I refused profusely, knowing that one cannot deny the existence of facts and data in one’s brain, simply by killing it off with a dose of tablets.
One of our democratic rights in Australia, indeed in all free countries, is the “Freedom of thought and speech” I certainly thought and spoke differently. To admit I need medication would weaken my stance. I would be betraying myself. Tablets cannot change a story from fact to fantasy. I was sure of my documented facts.
I hated the subtle threat of being again forced into hospitalization, which of course includes drugs. Worse, there was talk of the possibility of me being stripped of access to finances. This would ruin all my future plans to bring my road safety game onto the market plus cripple any development of future ideas.
Together with the twins Chris and Doug, who had come across my path through, what I perceived was, a miracle, we were painstakingly labouring on the online version of the road safety game I had invented in the early 1990’s. My dream was for students the world over to play amongst each other, learning road safety as they play. My plans of a political career would also require me to have access to finance. The visit on May 15th to the psychiatrist, which I only agreed on to please Isobel and my sons, was in my opinion a waste of time.
Isobel found it difficult to share my dreams or understand my motives. It is one thing to not support something, but another to actively work against it. She still acted on a fear basis, rather than trust and faith in God and in me, her husband. Surely, just because of an unexpected trip to the US, a man is not condemned and stripped of all his rights? I wrote in my diary: “Isobel will take all the love I can muster.”
My initial doubts about my pilgrimage to the US diminished during the months following my return. I was sure that God had led me under incredible circumstances in the path ordered by HIM. Our main newspaper the Advertiser coined a phrase for their “classified-advertisements” section – You have come to the right place. This is how I felt about every moment I spent in the US. I had been where God wanted me to be. I believed in a divine cause all along. I had to walk the talk.
Many readers of my website had, some still have, doubts about the authenticity of this story, including many in the US. Since I walked their streets, ate their food and stayed under their roofs, many had their doubts removed and confirmed that it is all for real. I believe this factor, more than any other, was the main benefit resulting from my unexpected tour across the Pacific. Soon they would see video proof to remove all doubt.
Not so Isobel. To her my 10-day excursion to the US during early April 03 was the second big stumbling block towards faith in my sanity. (The first one being the “Sobczak factor”). I agreed it is abnormal to think that someone died in my place. But one Sunday morning, around the time of the first anniversary of the policeman’s death, a clear rationale came to me. If I was indeed suffering from, or was in danger of developing, a Messiah Complex, I may be identifying with Christ’s fate to the point of self-destruction. I could have ended up laying down my life physically, playing out the martyr complex.
As a dead man I would be of no use to influence the present. My dreams would never be fulfilled by a premature death. The Sobczak saga steered my thinking towards a positive future. Another point about this phenomenon is God’s absolute demand for our obedience. Had I initially not seen the situation clearly and prayed it through hours of tears, fears and doubts, who knows, if I would have noticed the co-incidences and further road deaths; the name Ben or Mitchell, the name of the Salisbury train crash victim etc. Life is full of “what ifs” which remain unexplored forever.
On May 26th, 2003 I drove my little green Suzuki north-east from the city though the winding roads of the Adelaide Hills toward Tungkillo. It took a few enquiries to find the place, where Bob Sobczak, the policeman, had died on his motorbike a year earlier. At first I drove past the spot and ended up having to ask again at the pub in the next town, Palmer. I turned around, drove back and still could not find the crash site. Again I had to ask for direction at the General Store in Tungkillo. Doubts about my action surfaced during the search. I considered abandoning my mini-mission and just driving home again.
I finally found the yellow markings, the evidence of a road crash, still visible on the road. Minute amounts of debris still littered the embankment of the blind bend. (I collected a broken piece of plastic from a mirror as memento). I parked the car in the side road opposite where Bob had died. The time was exactly when it had happened, just before midday, a year earlier. I had brought some flowers from our garden, placed them at the crash site and just stood there for a few moments. I thought of Bob’s wife. What would she think if she knew about me? Would I find the courage to contact her? What would she say?
It took me two days to finally pick up the telephone and dial her number. It was difficult to explain the complexity of my reasoning, why I as a total stranger was contacting her at this time. She grasped my feelings for calling her very quickly. Still grieving for her husband, she said that she would never get over it. I told her I had written the story online, could I send her an extract? She agreed. I selected and copied the two chapters, about the funeral of her husband and the remembrance service at the Police Academy.
Here is the letter I sent to the widow of the policeman that died on 26/05/02:
Dear Mrs. Sobczak, (dated 28/05/03)
Thank you for being so patient with me during our phone conversation today.
Many people think that I am crazy, even my wife does. We love each other very much, but are not agreeing on this point. I am including some excerpts from my story that I uploaded on the Internet. The reason for using this media is the cost. It is the cheapest way to get the message out to the whole world.
The message I have to bring is simply one of God’s love for HIS creation, all of us. It is a long story, 165000 words in 77 chapters and nowhere near finished. It is about the fight of good versus evil. As I mentioned, there are casualties in every war. Your husband’s death, plus that of other people in road crashes etc., is the tragic outplaying of this incredible story.
Ultimately, I believe, it is all part of a higher masterplan, even when we find it very hard to accept that a loving God would let this happen. I trust making contact with you will help you overcome the pain. If you get a chance anytime, anywhere, read the whole story on www.dieterfischer.com and may you find Jesus as your own personal saviour. HE wants to be your good friend, and as close as Bob was to you.
Thanks again for your understanding.
Would I ever speak to or send a letter to the parents of Ben Mitchell and Glenn Knott? Would they be as understanding as Mrs. Sobczak? What if they turned their grief into hate and blame me for the loss of their sons?
Many more accidental deaths would cross the path of my awareness in 2003.
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