54. Figures, facts and serious fun.
Approaching the summer of 2002/03 my preoccupation with number, letters and facts had almost reached a stage of obsession. By chance I bumped into one of my closest allies from the Family Standards Association. When the subject of PL, the paedophile, came up she had told me in very clear language that I was becoming obsessed with the issue and to just drop it. I realized that on that point I may have been the only person in South Australia to hold the view that an injustice may have taken place.
Following my return from Germany I had correspondence by email for a short time with an old Christian ‘friend’, who under the guise of brotherly love told me, I ought to repent. “All your thinking is from the devil,” (or similar) he emailed. It was upsetting to hear strong opposition from the Christian Community. I kept my mind open to accept that I am wrong, if God would lead me that way during my prayer sessions. Until then I kept praying for that man who always maintained his innocence and knew his bible very well. I wrote again to PL and delivered the letter personally to the prison gate. Since I never received any more letters from the prisoner, I suspected that my mail was intercepted.
I emailed the ‘friend’ in Germany to “thank him for his concerns and to not let my spiritual wellbeing be on his shoulder. If indeed I was on the wrong track, there would be friends closer in Australia who will lead me back into the fold”. Eventually his persistence made me place him into the “blocked sender” box.
If God did not have a purpose in the course my life was taking, why a all, why the name Ben, why my craze about numbers 315? This number became even more remarkable in the early days of 2003, when the road toll for 2002 was publicized. There was a staggering co-incidence:
In 2001, the road toll had been 153, my beloved number. During the latter part of December 2002 I had the gut feeling God would pick a special number for the year’s death toll. On Sunday morning Jan. 5th after learning the latest statistic I emailed my group of five friends.
(Please note that in the US this date is written as 1/5/03, a fact I only realize later thinking about it in church. As a bit of a lark, I placed $ 15.30 into the envelope for the church offering that Sunday, Jan 5th 03).
I just mailed the following short 'letter to the editor' of our statewide newspaper The Advertiser. Will be interesting to see if road safety this year is taken seriously enough to receive attention. Last year the paper made a fantasic effort to highlight road trauma. It seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Road toll upturn
The road toll for last year was that of the year before (153) plus 1.
When are we changing direction in this state's unrealistic road safety practices?
Wouldn't we all like to look at next years figures and see South Australia
stand not so tall in the toll?
If road deaths weren’t such a tragic subject, I would have said that God used a sense of humour. My timely email, both to the Advertiser and the group of politicians and media, received a response from one of the members of the Upper House of Parliament:
I like your little letter in particular "not so tall in the toll". Have a great year.
I knew my letter would not be printed as a letter to the editor, because usually I received an acknowledgement of a submission. These had been absent for some time. Nevertheless, I knew people were starting to take notice of me and my numbers.
If you take the number 315 and add 1 (plus 1) you arrive at 316, the number representing the verse which I used to tell people God’s plan of restoration from the Gospel of John.
Why did I place myself and my family in jeopardy, because I could picture numbers, link them and imagine all sorts of things? Are there other people in the world born with my condition? Do they tell everybody, place the blueprint of their lives, dreams and numbers, (like my 315) onto an overhead projector and magnify it for the whole world to see?
No, God has an interest in all aspects of our lives. He is not a torturer without purpose. Our problem is we dismiss HIM and HIS promptings too quickly without questioning and investigating what lay behind it.
A thought entered my mind that may explain why I could look at a number and almost automatically read it in both directions. In German, if you say 153 you do not say one hundred and fifty three, but you say literally, one hundred three and fifty. Please don’t ask why, I don’t know and even ‘ol mi’ can’t be bothered spending energy to go into batting just to find that out.
On Valentine’s Day 2003 love literally floated in the air in Adelaide. Numbers and letters played their game in my little brain. My computer sprung to life (no pun intended) at 4.30 am. Since it was Friday and I had not emailed Rebekah the previous Friday, I felt I owed her something.
The discussion in the media had been speed limits. A law was to start on March 1st which, I could see, would confuse motorists. I emailed Rebekah at 5.31 am:
I hate to sound like a doomsday prophet, but I can see history repeating itself. A few years ago the government spent millions introducing time restrictions for every school zone. You had to look at your watch, if the sign applied at that time. It was unworkable and chaotic. The poor taxpayer (we hear so much about him/her, but never a name?) had to fork out another 3 million to change it all back.
When life was simple (in the good old days) we had a default speed of 60 km/h in built-up areas and 110 km/h. outside. In between there were 80 km/h zones. That was about it. But as from March 1st. it will be a nightmare to forever having to think, what is the limit here. OK, you get to know your area, but what about when you visit far away suburbs? We can only guess, how long it will be and how much money it will cost before a politician makes an issue out of it and changes it all back again to score points with voters.
A lower limit will save crashes, no doubt. The point I am making is the marketing; If it's too complicated, people won't like it or understand it. How about three speed limits (did I say sweet limit before, must have been thinking of something else?)
Basis limit as default: 55 km/h - I love the Roman numerals LV = 55
Arterial routes: 70 km/h - a good number
Where practicable: 90 km/h - exists on major roads
On my website I suggested years ago a simple colour coding system, using every tenth white line in the centre as additional prompt, as to what limit applies. Using the colours of traffic lights we could have
Red - 55 km/h
Orange - 70 km/h
Green - 90 km/h
In theory, if you entered data about road conditions into a computer and it would work out a safe speed, then every road would be different and change every few moments. This is unrealistic, but motorists would understand and accept a simple solution such as three basic limits, colour coded.
Schools is a category on it's own. Does the average motorists know the difference between Emu, Koala, Wombat, PA-crossing and zebra crossing? Councils ought to be encouraged to keep additional speed limits to a minimum.
Perhaps Valentine's Day (V-Day) is a good time to talk about simplicity, KISS, as it were.
Enjoy the day, God bless
PS (I know what you're thinking - I hope the PS's is more interesting than the rest).
Well, you remember Samela Harris starting an article with Thank God? This is how I got Hank. Try WinsTon. If the -t- were a cross, we know who wins on and on and on ....? (No, not John Howard).
(The suggestion above has a mistake in it. It should be green – 55, orange 70 and red 90 km/h).
My idea of colour coding speed limits, using the colours of traffic lights amongst the white lines in the centre of the road featured on my website for at least 4 years. I had submitted it to the Motorist’s Association and the Department of Transport. Their lack of positive response may have been the catalyst for the article on my website – “How to submit an idea,” which makes fun of government bureaucracy. An officer from the department (who also was a brother from church) told me, it would take 10 years to implement new road safety ideas.
I had placed an advertisement in the Advertiser that day, which featured a 16-page Valentine-day special section. In a typical “do you want fries with that” the telephonist taking the advertisement asked me if I wanted some kisses at the end. I had never heard of a telephonist kissing someone over the telephone. I declined, saying: “No, I am too old for that”. This was my message to Isobel:
Thanks for loving me.
Me and my numbers.
It cost me $ 24 but Isobel was and is worth it. She had just turned 55. I happen to hear many songs about kissing on the radio on the way to work that morning.
Isobel still was not at a point yet, where she was even slightly interested in my numbers game. I perceived clear proof that there was something special going on which was media driven, but as yet not out in the open. A typical example (and there were many more) was a huge, colourful advertisement in the newspaper advertising liqueur: ALL 10 % OFF as the main text. I read it as all won, all being well, all being God.
My calm, confidence mixed with humour made for some rather funny, weird comedy around our house. It was even more hilarious when Isobel approached me with some stories herself, which I knew were about my story. For example:
Isobel told me of the humour of her lecturer at the MYOB computer course she was attending. He explained about credits and debits and how in accounting debits are really credits and vice versa.
“It’s like a zebra asking his mother if it was black with white stripes or white with black stripes. Mother says - go and ask father. Father says it’s too hard a question we have to go and ask a higher power – God. So they climb a mountain and ask God. God says – you are what you are or you is what you is! Does anyone know what double entry in German means”
At that point she laughed real heartily with her lovely big smile. It fascinates me every time she laughs like that. I suggested that the “is” possibly stands for Isobel and I am German. This caused a change in mood and I am accused of turning everything around to think it is about me. Then I wished I had not said anything.
What fear of a repetition of my mental problems must be in her spirit, stemming from the time I was high and out of control? Her refusal to even for a moment entertain the idea that there is some validity in my thinking was her mind’s defence mechanism. I was so sure about my position that I started getting concerned that Isobel would wake up one day with a rude shock that will be difficult to bear. There was absolutely not the slightest doubt any more in my mind that God was in control of my life and everything connected with it.
When and how would Isobel find out that she is famous? Has there ever been a case where a person was world famous and didn’t know it? Only two weeks prior, on February 6th after my prayer session, I happened to walk through the lounge room and glance at the television set. It was tuned to a breakfast program for Adelaide and the eastern states. On the screen was a map of northern Australia showing Willis Island and a line indicating it is 500 km out of Cairns. The show hosts were talking to their most remote viewer on their program.
I immediately recognized Willis as “will is” and of course the 5. The name Willis had surfaced in the Advertiser newspaper in 2002 (see chapter 31). An obvious set up like this warranted an immediate email:
If I remember correctly David wore a green tie yesterday. Today he's gone red. What will Is think, if he wears yellow tomorrow? Is is my wife, she's great, except sometimes she thinks I am a little .. (you know, eh...). But eventually Is will, they all will. Because God's will always will be done.
Kind regards from remote Adelaide
Dieter Rolf Fischer
Surprise, surprise I received an immediate response:
Thanks for writing to us.
Rest assured, our producers will direct your e-mail to the relevant person
and it WILL be read.
Your feedback and thoughts are appreciated.
Attached was a logo of the TV station with an eagle soaring in the sky above. From the word WILL in capitals I realized this was not just a standard reply, but my intuition that someone was playing games with me (or should I say with Isobel) was correct. Would they continue the game with that yellow tie next day? In my imagination I planned to play a trick on Isobel which could resolve the stalemate.
If the show hosts would agree, I could email David to wear a green, yellow and red tie alternatively on Mon, Tue and Wednesday. If Isobel still would not believe that someone is listening to humble me, I could offer to let her choose the colour for the Friday program. This would give David a chance to buy a tie on Thursday, if Isobel would pick a funny colour. Knowing Is, she probably would still regard it all as co-incidence, in which case we would let her choose not just the colour of tie of the male host, but the dress of the female show host as well.
Following above email I had hoped that David would wear a yellow tie next day. This was not the case, how devastating, since during a phone call to my son Ben in Sydney I had already eluded to the possibility, without giving details. Perhaps another time; any TV stations interested?
It did not worry me, since I realized I was bordering on the edge of manipulating things to suit. God withdraws when we try to start taking charge. I was just having serious fun; yet at the time of writing this, I am as eager as anyone to read the last chapter of my book, possibly titled: “Worldwide search for tablets to calm dizzy Issy!”
Alternatively one could start a competition with possible endgame scenarios, the one that turns out closest to the real-life story wins first price. I am not sure if I will want to be present when Isobel’s eyes (and that of the rest of my family, especially my sons) will finally be opened.
Valentine’s Day 2003 I experienced television as I had never before. I sat in the kitchen eating lunch and could hear the TV in the background. What I heard rocked my brain. The handsome young man was praying aloud for his girl on the soap opera “Days of our lives”. I could only hear the last five words: “In the name of Jesus.” For a moment I could not comprehend it. If Isobel had not also seen it, I would have called my shrink for an appointment.
Praying aloud, mentioning the name of Jesus was unheard of in Australia on mainstream television in the middle of the day. I immediately phoned Rita in the office of Family Standards Organization, knowing that she probably would not watch this type of program, even when at home. Had revival finally broken out via the media?
Over the months, even years that I had been trying to persuade Isobel to open her mind and to accept the fact that extra-ordinary circumstances were taking place, a clear reason for God’s action surfaced. The whole sage was a lesson, how God is trying to speak to people. Many are incredibly stubborn; the message falls on deaf ears; stony ground as the bible would call it. Habakkuk’s statement in chapter one and verse five that you would not believe if you were told speaks just of this scenario.
Are you, the reader of this real-life, free to air religious comedy, behaving like my wife? You have God’s story of HIS incredible love toward you all written in plain language. But instead of opening to the (Microsoft) Word, you are held back by fear, complacency or plain ignorance of what HE has been trying to show you for years. When will you take notice? The human heart can be very stubborn. This is why the words “Please yield, give HIM your all” appear on Crash Seven on my driving-school website. It is your personal invitation to think seriously about HIM.
My Suzuki’s number plate is WEW 228. Does this not sound like - to woo?
Don’t wait for a road death or until the newsreader wears a green tie before you listen and hear Jesus’ call to follow HIM. Take God seriously now. A godly attitude is the beginning of all wisdom.
Autobiography - Dieter Fischer
1. More in number 2. A sound mind 3. Now I'm found 4. Candle and the Wind
5. Realm of Nature 6. All in his Hand 7. The Wonder of it All 8. To Think God loves