10. Harmless fun or hopeless fool
When I first migrated to Australia from Germany in 1969, I was told by Germans already living here, how they would possibly have done better migrating to America. The joke went something like this: “If Wernher von Braun, the brilliant German rocket scientist had migrated to Australia, instead of the US, he would have succeeded in running a washing machine repairs business”.
Often immigrants make the mistake of comparing their old country with the new environment. They soon find faults. Trying to change things to the way they did things, they get bitter and cynical. The problem with me was the blunt, undiplomatic way I brought my ideas forward. I would think and speak my mind and was often misunderstood and labeled a trouble-maker. This in turn ostracized me and, looking back over the years, may have contributed to mild depression that I had suffered from childhood.
German people are a difficult culture to get along with. (Just ask my wife). However, after living in this new land of promise for over 30 years, I had made up my mind to no longer be counted amongst the complainers. My brash, impatient approach did not get me anywhere.
One morning I read a particular name on the TV screen. My story had now become rather complex. Without trying I invented letter combinations or names, which sent messages to my brain. Of course, I did not always act on what I understood the message was. Doubts about the origins of names, data etc. were never far from my mind. Neither was my faith in my unseen friend, who to this day has never put me to shame.
I was as outspoken as ever and sent emails or letters when I felt prompted. One morning, after perusal of the daily paper, I sent the following email to show support for our Prime Minister’s view on marriage:
Finally a brave politician to defend the institution of marriage! Mind you, getting married is one of the greatest gambles there is: You sign your life away in a state of drunken stupor (love drunk) and when you wake up (usually before she had time to put her makeup on, you realize that you're off L-plates (love plates). This is where the rubber meets the road. Now you're supposed to steer this ship (relationship), but you are constantly interrupted (nagged at) from the passenger seat, when all you want is enjoy the P's.
Still marriage is the best way for two people to enjoy life's plus' and minus'. A plus and a minus sign make a cross. Didn't the Lord say, the man who wants to be married must take up his cross and follow her? Elementary Watson.
Congratulation John Howard for standing tall.
Kind regards from the frog capital of Australia.
Dieter Rolf Fischer
Driving past the Advertiser Office on the way to a meeting of the Speaker’s Club I could not help noticing the unusual number combination on the large digitals display board above the entrance. I had to tell them in an email:
Just before 7am this morning I passed your building in King William St. The digital display showed (and as a safe driver I can only look very briefly) - 11 11 111 21, changing by the second as it does. What does it count down to? Is it the Olympic Games, 11 months, 11 days etc ? Just curious.
I don't get to read the 'tiser a lot these days. Every time I do, however, there is always something positive I had not realized, e.g. that Dame Edna Average knows a lot about Australian neighbourhoods.
Dieter Rolf Fischer
PS For the first time recently I saw the sculpture of Queen Adelaide in the Town Hall. I wondered how many people had heard of the artist - Lindsay Daen? Names are a strange commodity. Recently I discovered Cliff - I like that name and Winston and Tony and Mandy and Hank many others. Please pass on my regards to Rebekah D.
In his daily column “Thought with Marty Smith” the journalist quoted Superstar Dame Edna Average: “If God is not in your neighbourhood, guess who moved!” This was the reason for above comment – knows a lot about Australian neighbourhoods. My discovery about the name Cliff? If you take the phrase “See Life” and write see as C, add the next letter after e (e + 1 = f) you end up with Cliff.
On the TV program Sunrise the hosts were asking the audience, if they thought teachers were paid a fair wage for the job they were doing. How could I not take this opportunity and publicize the plight of driving instructors in Australia. Because we run our own businesses, an by and large enjoy our work, we don’t complain generally. I emailed the feedback line:
My son earns around $ 200 a day as a contract teacher. I am also a teacher. To earn his level of pay, workers in my teaching profession have to start work around 7.30 am. Rush around through traffic jams, from appointment to appointment (some are disappointments). Most don't get home till well after six pm.
Then the paperwork and phoning clients begins. Time to go to the toilet is a bonus. Lunch at a Fast Food outlet is governed by how desperate you are to use their toilet.
The word Fast Food was named after a staff member at a Burger-joint. As soon as he saw the L-plates race into the car park he yelled: Foo- fast!!.
We are abused from unthankful parents, who don't want to hear the truth about their darling's performance. But worse are Government auditors, ridiculing our professional ability, because their puny little procedures go up our nose. We hate obeying them, because they have nothing to do with the real aim of our profession - safe drivers.
I am a driving instructor, mainly. But we have to be multiple skilled. Driving Examiner is only one other hat we must wear. Counsellor (marriage, family, life skills etc) furniture removalist, taxi-driver, psychologist etc etc. are all in day's work. I would swap pay any day with a high school teacher on $ 40 000.
But teaching logarithm, moronism, DNA'ism (Desoxyriboneuclein Acid is how we pronounced it my German Biology classes - does anyone know how to spell it?) is more important than how to stop your child from being a road accident statistic.
For the same reason, Piano and Tennis lessons are far more expensive than driving lessons (here in Adelaide, anyway). Thanks for a listening ear - Sunrise, the talkback of breakfast television!
Dieter Rolf Fischer
PS There are many other special skills I could have mentioned, but being so busy (and humble), time (and God) will not allow me.
Very seldom did I receive a direct response to an email, which I did not expect anyway. However, I was sure that my notoriety in sending crazy emails had become legendary. What people really thought I never knew, because even my closest friends, who had distanced themselves to various degrees, never commented either positive or negative about my website. But I had a hunch that some tried to make contact with serious enquiries regarding driving. Here is an example:
Wednesday, August 13, 2003 11:25 PM
Subject: parallel parking
> When you parallel park, do you keep both hands on the wheel or can you
just use one? Thanks for your help
My reply was, as usual, mixed with subtle humour:
The key word is "control". If you want the short answer to your question -
it is "yes".
The long answer I am working on. In fact, what co-incidence, it is the
subject of my doctorate in leadership, titled - "Hands-off Government Interference in Driver Training - a hands-on guide to useless bureaucracy." It will be published in about 5 years and will take another 10 to come into effect.
I bet you can't wait.
The surname of the writer was also that of a state politician. If any of my theories, as to who people think I am are correct, the sender’s name makes a lot of sense. Many names, those of friends, politicians, streets in the neighbourhood etc. took on meaning as I discovered more and more co-incidental parallels with my story. Only a few months ago I had stumbled across the following:
Branching out from Goodall Road, where we live, is Liberman Road. The second street on the right is Myall Road and 35 paces beyond that is Mitchell Drive. If I turn left and walk 100 paces up Mitchell Drive I reach Goodwin Court. Goodwin I like, but the CT has a negative connotation, depending what you read into it. The street name Goodwin would sound better as Avenue (AV). Why I take note of such trivia and play with it must be the nature of my “illness”. That’s according to my wife. In my opinion it is harmless fun.
Are there many people in the world, who like me, have written a book and gradually discover surprising names, facts, data? Maybe their surrounding district has names linked to their book; or their friends have interesting names? Politicians or celebrity’s names - all tie up with their story?
I was puzzled and wondered where God’s purpose was in all this; or if indeed my mind plays tricks; or worse, if satanic influences were leading me astray. Certain friends had hinted at the possibility.
In Mid 2003 I did another serious piece of whistle blowing. It was a thought that far-fetched that I did not even have courage to save it on my P/C. A scripture in Isaiah included my numbers 5 and 1, but the first word of each line produced a code I just could not ignore. One day all will be revealed.
I mailed a hard copy to an influential businessman in Melbourne and deleted the copy on my computer. In the letter I questioned the truthfulness of information we read and hear in the press. I hinted at the possibility that we all fell for a huge hoax, orchestrated by sinister elements with evil intent. In my mind I saw people being convicted of murder, who were possibly innocent, because of this perceived hoax.
I did not possess any secret information, just an eye for an anomaly in a newspaper report and the line-up of words in the scripture verse in Isaiah. Over the following few months I would see time and again articles, reports on TV or on Radio that I saw as pure fabrication. On Friday September 5th, I emailed the ABC (our National Broadcaster) my doubts. This time I combined a brief item on ABC Newsradio, with a TV program I happened to catch a glimpse of one night:
Is it me, or are there stories on the air that are just too hard to swallow?
Newsradio 972 SA - Wed 3/9/03 - I caught a glimpse of a story - Somebody threw a net over seven children, trying to catch them near an overpass? He wore a Hawaiian Shirt and drove a van with a rear door opening? Just what would the would-be fisherman have done with seven kids in a net? Did I hear the name Mike R.?
AAHH! OOHH! Of course - Catalyst last night gave the answer - Cannibalism is on the rise again. I was half asleep, but just caught a bit of the 1927 film. Even back then they made films of cock-and-bull stories. It all sounded a little Cannibull. Then again, it may just be me and my suspicious little brain.
Kind regards from Adelaide
Dieter Rolf Fischer
PS If there was not such a long wait for brain-by-pass surgery, I would get in the cue.
I had a real laugh, when I heard above news item while driving the car - a man with a fishing net trying to catch little children from a road overpass! Was I hearing things? Were there any other (intelligent or mad) listeners picking up weird news items and querying the media responsible? It had taken a couple of days of chewing things over before I commented. The film on cannibalism made a perfect combination for above fun email.
There were times when it really would have been easier to admit to myself that I really have a mental illness. How easy it would be to shut my eyes and ears and live on tablets happily ever after. Or would it be “unhappily” ever after? I knew I had started something and could not suddenly say - it was all a joke - I give up. One must be true to oneself. More importantly one must yearn to know God’s will and carry it out. Despite feeling a fool many times, sending fun emails (and serious ones) to the media and other contacts, was HIS will at the time.
The strongest source for doubts if I indeed was in God’s will with such tomfoolery came from the family. I was forced to talk less and less about what I was seeing and writing about to other people. Bouncing back thoughts about questionable articles or news items was out of the question. I was still living a secret life outside my marriage and family. My life centred on my unseen friend, whom I thought about a lot and who I tried to please.
At the end of August I wrote to some of my German friends about what has been happening. It was difficult to explain my experiences in an email, even a long email. To explain my frustration at Isobel’s lack of curiosity and ignorant blindness, I wrote the following, humorous, simple story. It illustrates that co-incidences can only happen to a degree. There must come a time when one has to ask questions.
Imagine a policeman notices a man with green trousers, yellow shirt and red cap in the street. Later it is revealed that in the same street was a break-in. The next day he sees the same man (green trousers, yellow shirt and red cap) in another street, which also reports a break-in. His colleagues say it is just a co-incidence.
When it happens a third time, same clothes, different street, break-in in same street, he tries to convince his colleagues that there must be a connection. They think he’s crazy. (Burglars don’t walk around in the colours of traffic lights).
The whole sage continues for another week. Same man, same clothes, burglary in same street. Finally the detective loses his patience. He tells his fellow officers – I am doing something about it myself. You can all get lost.
“I’m going to organise some fresh clothes for this poor chap, so he won’t have to run around in this clown outfit for weeks on end.”
The incredible circumstances that led lead to the road crash on September 24th affected me deeply. I pleaded with Isobel to also pray that she may see that it can’t all be just a co-incidence. She assured me she does pray and that I need not concern myself with ordinary circumstances. “Car crashes happen all the time, just get over it”, she would argue.
At the same time I kept discovering new connections about the bizarre event of September 24th. The female driver of the crashed vehicle was on the way to deliver “shoeboxes” as part of the worldwide operation “Samaritan’s purse”. The word purse is part of my text in my road safety book page 65: “Don’t U-Turn on impulse, if you have forgotten your…., or purse etc…” The passenger in the back of the vehicle was supposed to have called out that she forgot her purse (or bible), causing the driver to suddenly turn.
Regardless, if purse or bible, around that time I watched on the news an item about the devastating bushfires in the US. It was within days of uploading my mysterious story online. Speaking unusually calm, a woman was telling, how she had lost all her possessions in the fierce fire. “I’m left with nothing, except the clothes I have on and my purse.”
I knew that God again had spoken to many people through this latest car crash. I kept wondering about the future and where it all was leading to. In my second circular letter to my German contacts I tried to explain what had happened, putting it into an easy-to-understand format.
(Much of the following information has been printed previously).
Newsletter No. 2 – 30.09.2003 (translated from German)
Dear friends in Germany,
My previous newsletter confused many of you even more. I understand that. However, I just can’t sweep under the carpet what is happening here.
May I tell you what has occurred recently? It was again very peculiar and involved (as happened a few times before) a traffic death. My whole story started with my protesting against a system, which in my opinion, causes more crashes than the previous one. This goes back to 1991. Looking at statistics now it appears that I was correct. The fact that traffic deaths (car and airplane) play a major role in this drama is very ironic.
It is not about being right. It is about God’s will. His will be done in my life and in that of all of us, from the smallest to the mightiest.
On Monday morning 22/9/03 I had a booking for a first time client at 7.30 am in Gilberton. The house, the garden, the tennis courts all looked as if they were not just millionaires, but multi-millionaires. Because no one answered the door I asked an employee (gardener) if James, the learner driver, was home.
No, he didn’t know. I was slightly perplexed because the man did not even seem to know James. But he gave me the surname of the people (I only had a first name, James). The lesson was lost. I had already planned to visit nearby TV Channel Seven after the lesson. I walked the short distance on foot. I was going to check what had happened to my video cassette. The story is a whole chapter in itself. All I will say is that I produced a short interview between myself and Isobel and gave it to the TV crew. It was exactly a month to the day. They were going to view and return it.
I sat in the foyer for some time. I read a brochure of the Animal Welfare League. My attention was drawn to an address: 65 Kesters Road. It is the location of a second hand shop which raises funds for this organisation. Because it is not far away from us in Para Hills I thought I would visit there sometime.
My enquiry about the cassette did not result in anything. I was given a Sydney phone number to ring. Later at home I emptied our neighbour’s letter box (they had gone on holiday). I noticed that they had received a flyer about a coffee morning, but we didn’t receive it. It was from the Animal Welfare League in 65 Kester’s Road. For me this was more than a co-incidence. (Such connections had me thinking for years and I always pray about it, what the meaning of these links are).
On Tuesday 23/9/03 I cycled along Kester’s Road after visiting the post office. I went for the first time into this shop of the Animal Welfare League. There were clothes, kitchen utensils, pictures, shoes, books etc. Anything you can think of that people donate and that is then sold. I was searching for LP records, because I still have a player and a sizeable LP collection. I found a Reader’s Digest Album, a set of five records: “He’s got the whole world in his hand”. It cost 5 dollars. I promised to pick it up later, because I was on the bicycle.
There were other strange items I noticed. To explain it all would be too complex. I am the only one that sees it that way. I can’t talk with Isobel about it or with anyone. In any case I am convinced that it has nothing to do with an illness of the mind. It is a spiritual journey I am on and will continue under his guidance (Romans 8, 14).
The next day, Wednesday 24/09/03 the fatal crash happened. A 66 year old lady (according to the newspaper) turned right and was hit by a speeding motorist. It happened right outside the Animal Welfare shop. The lady died instantly, her husband is still in hospital. Isobel’s mother lives right around the corner. The victim was good friend with a driving instructor friend of mine, Jack. I have known him since we moved to Adelaide in 1983.
Isobel’s mother explained that a passenger, who was picked up just prior, said: “I forgot my bible!” The lady driver then turned quickly to pick it up, when the crash took place. (In my road safety book, page 65, I am warning not to turn on impulse).
The woman was on the way to deliver parcels for “Operation Christmas Child”. The organisation, headed by Franklin Graham, sends gifts in shoeboxes to children in poor countries for Christmas.
Why do I see everything from a spiritual point of view? My whole story is based on one thought – God is speaking to us humans through a very strange method – car crashes. He is calling us to repentance and wants to show His power over life and death. He has shown me much injustices (Psalm 94). I published it on the internet. Why through me? I can not understand it either, but that’s how it is. I am very humbled by it all.
Because I have pointed my finger at possible murders, drugs and other criminal activity, just as it was drawn out by God, I am obviously aware that I am a marked man. I am trying to report things secretively, but nowadays this is impossible to do. (I am convinced that this email is not only read, but will also be translated by the people who wish to do so).
I know that all this sounds like I have “gone round the bend”. Sometimes I do doubt the significance of my mission. I know that I speak the truth. The truth will make us free. In the past few years I really have learned to trust. Trusting in Him, because He truly holds the whole world in His hand.
I dearly wished to translate my whole website dieterfischer.com into German. (The 82 chapters are full of such happenings). It will take time. It will be when He wants it to happen.
Greetings from Adelaide
There was some positive response to this letter. I noticed a shift in attitude from definite opposition of my weird thinking to a more neutral, ‘let’s wait and see’ position. As was the case at my end, my German friends may have realized that the final chapter was going to be a long way off.