22. Real Sad – Real Mad
It was only about 4 pm and I had never cycled amongst the vineyards in the Southern Vales district. I took the opportunity to return to McLaren Vale a different way to make the pleasure last longer. Cycling through these beautiful, gently sloping vineyards made me forget the seriousness of my mission. Or was it serious? If what I had alluded to, possibly fake car crashes, was true, then things were not all that sad. This would explain, why I didn’t feel deep sadness looking at a burned tree that afternoon.
Yet, the matter was serious. How could I possibly deal with these names, which fitted so perfectly into my world of codes? Should I run to this person (Street name 1) and say that I had communication (Street name 2), saying I needed money to go to California (Street name 3)?
Cycling a few minutes further, I came across code name number 4. It was not a street, but a property. Decoded it reads very plainly – “O child, go”. As if this teasing force, this uncanny, persistent code-game was following me, only minutes later I spotted name number 5 – “Be God’s Rock”. I was not looking for these names, but I would have found it hard to cycle blind folded.
Only moments later came another clue. Near a house, of which there were few, I saw a large carton. At first I cycled past, but because it was near a house, I turned and picked it up. It was a large box, which had contained take-away food from the Barnacle Bill chain of seafood stores. The writing on it read Sea Chest.
As I was cycling along I pondered – Sea Chest, could that mean ”See HE C Ts?” Only now, as I write I thought of the word Barnacle in Da Ninci – Born a C & L. You may suggest I ought to have brain-by-pass surgery, urgently. Oh, no! Fun such as this keeps the connections in the brain active. I wonder what is better - growing old with a playfully active, outside-the-box thinking mind, or with a clogged-up brain, struggling to remember what day your wedding anniversary is?
On returning to McLaren Vale about 20 minutes later I felt like riding a little longer, instead of returning to the car immediately. Passing the Hotel McLaren the name prompted me into stopping for a drink. Locals are always a good source of information. I ordered a shanty, light beer mixed with lemonade. Nobody took any notice of the sweaty stranger, so I started a conversation with a man, wearing a T-shirt ‘Deception’.
I asked, if he knew anything about the fatal crash two days earlier. He didn’t say much. His mind was on a screen reading results of the betting that goes on in hotel bars. He said, he knew the young man, but gave little detail, except their ages. Damo was 19 and Danielle 16 years old.
Still finishing my drink, I noticed somebody had left a few coins on the bar unattended. They were clearly placed as 55 cents (a 50 and 5 cent piece on top of each other) and 10 cents, separately. I liked these numbers. Why not join the game? I would only cost me 10 cents, so what? As I was returning my empty glass onto the bar, I slipped a 10-cent coin unnoticed so it would add to 75 cents of unattended coins. My dairy says: “How funny is that?”
I cycled past the office of a Driving School, which I once had worked for and been treated fairly badly. But I felt no emotion, either good or bad, as I looked down the empty driveway on the Main Road. At the Eastern end of the town I liked the name Field Street, so I turned left there. Opposite a walking track lay a very large cardboard box, which had contained lettuce. I saw a nearby bin and did another clean-up job. (No Da Ninci, unless one wants to decode lettuce).
Not only colours, but letters such as show above, had me excited. The place on the right is in a street meaning (translated in to German) pious. The number is 99. That's why I took the photo long ago. Today I probably wouldn't bother.
It was not far around the back of the town to return to my car. I would have loved nothing better than to continue my excursion on two wheels, to enjoy more of the fresh air and sunshine on the lovely cycle track, which once was a railway line. But it was getting late and I returned home after a day I will never forget.
My diary reports a little magic that evening. Let me quote it word for word, because I had forgotten it:
Just as I read ‘Weekend Magazine’ Philip Adams’ Page it said – White doves. On EBI FM Radio they played a song – (and somebody asked afterwards): “What does it mean white dove?”
I had obviously heard the words ‘white dove’ at the same time as reading them in the magazine. Normally Philip Adams and I meet under great controversy, not under the symbol of peace! This must be a good omen.
With a Saturday like this, what else could I expect than a Sunday with more magic. It was February 13th, 05. Please, nobody think I am bored, nothing to do and therefore was looking for excitement. Life just came toward me and I embraced it with open arms and my colourful, coded mind.
I woke at the ungodly hour, even for me, at 1.36am. Far too early to rise, but still alert enough to realize the figures were the same ones I went to bed with, plus one. (I clearly remembered going to bed at 10.35pm). I listened to the radio for a while and now realize, this is where I made the mistake.
From experience I should have realized that inevitably I would hear something and feel obliged to comment. This is exactly what happened. As I glued my ears to the transistor I heard an item on the BBC, London about a soccer player from Spain. He lived in North London and was unsure, if he ought to return to his home team Real Madrid, because he had not scored a goal since the previous October. To make matters worse the young man felt homesick and (may I add) the weather in Britain in February would have magnified his yearning for home.
At the end of the broadcast the journalist asked, what listeners were thinking - should he leave or should he stay? “Please email us at …”
No way was I to rise at 1.45am to send an email halfway around the world just to give my opinion on something totally irrelevant to me. I fell back asleep wondering about Hosea, the name given as that of the soccer player. The next book in the bible after Hosea is Joel. (I just couldn’t help myself bringing the bible into my thinking, nothing new). Joel was the character who prophesied that old men would dream dreams. How I can identify with that!
Allow me to briefly sidetrack into a complete different subject for a moment. I know the books of the bible for one simple reason. We had religion as a subject at school and had to learn them in order, both the Old and New Testament. German readers in my age group would remember: “In des alten Bundes Schriften, merke an der ersten Stell, Mose, Josua und Richter …. Here was something I learned in school, which came to be of use regularly. As I pondered Hosea's plight that night I knew immediately Joel came next.
Some years ago, when I had a few mental stresses, I remember the Pastor announcing a bible reading from Isaiah. One could hear everyone’s pages in their bibles rattling, but it eventually died down as the Pastor started to read the verses.
I however had gone completely blank. I still was turning pages (after having been a Christian for 35 years) looking for Isaiah before the Psalms. (What you do of course is this, you just stop turning the pages and stare at the bible anyhow. Those around you just assume you have found your place).
About 2 years ago I had an idea, which would be the perfect solution to finding an obscure book within the bible in a flash – Numbers. Here is an outline of the suggestion:
Number all the books in the bible - from Genesis (1) to Revelation (57). The bible has 66 books, but numbering from 1-57 only is required, because some have two, or three sections (Kings, Chronicles etc).
Instead of page numbers in the bible, which are seldom used, because they are different for each edition, have the book Number (Genesis 1, Exodus 2, Leviticus 3 ......Revelation 57) printed on the bottom corner of each page.
When the preacher announces the reading from Habakkuk, he mentions number 32. Everybody finds the scripture in a flash by navigating with the numbers on each page.
Such a system would make the bible more user friendly for new-Christians (and older ones under stress). Regular users would soon know the 57 numbers corresponding to the book required. (Habakkuk is 32, I already remembered it just by typing this).
(Please click here for a complete list of suggested numbers).
When I again woke at 3.12am (on 13/2/05) I did something I had never done before. I rose up in the middle of the night and sent a poem to the BBC in the UK. Here is what I came up with that morning:
Email to the BBC, London – 13/2/05 – Please note 2/13 is the way Feb. 13th is written in the US.
Early to bed I went on digits one-zero-three-five,
My wife believes I have an illness, a crazy life.
This morning I woke on numbers one-three and six,
Ah, plus-one, I’m aware, HE is playing HIS tricks.
I heard HIS call in many ways prior,
When it’s early ‘n the morning, I listen on the wire.
Talkback, hits from the 60’s or whatever is on then,
I ended up listening to the BBC, London.
Scoreless since October, a young soccer player
Lived in North London, his name was Hosea,
He missed his mummy, which made him real sad,
He longed to return to his home (team), Real Mad.
The radio host asked what do listeners think?
What a challenge, let an email our active minds link.
So when my numbers come up – without fail I know ‘em,
Woke again at three-one-two and made up this poem.
As a PS, I include one almost without fail,
Did you notice the twist in this little tale?
People will think it’s all made up, which I hate,
But it’s true, two, one-three backwards – is today’s date.
Dieter R. Fischer
PS I am sure the soccer player’s name was Hosea, definitely not Joel. Should he go or should he stay? He should dance the "Last Waltz" (by James Last) and have a good talk with David on how to beat Goliath by scoring goals.
The PS is probably best understood by Germans who are my age. James Last (a big name in German music) did not compose the Last Waltz. The lyrics of the Last Waltz start with – I wonder should I go or should I stay. I loved dropping the last 3 letters of Real Madrid. Real mad went so well with real sad.
One day my wife Isobel and I heard a news report on the ABC, while driving in the car. Even she found it amusing – a “Toilet Summit” had taken place in Beijing, China. Of course Isobel did not see the first four letters of the word toilet as toil. Neither would she realize that I had only recently uploaded that word as the feature word to conclude Part Two of my autobiography (And of a sound mind).
Some will say, why didn't you tell her right then? I say, what do you think I have been trying to do, unsuccessfully, for two years or more? It's a bit like the Gospel of Christ - it's in the too hard basket, I don't want to hear about it now, it's all man made, one day I may read the bible etc. etc. Should I hate my wife for that? No, I love her very much.
I really wondered, if the newsreaders were having a little fun with listeners, making up little stories and reading them real fast. Perhaps they were having bets – if anyone were to challenge the story or would they get away with it?
Even if there were doubters like me, who on earth was in a position to investigate successfully, if a meeting of international experts on toilets really took place in China? How was one to become an expert on toilets? It never said if they had separate conferences for males and females. Did Morocco sent a delegation? From experience at the Youth Hostel in Casablanca, they could do with improving their holes in the ground.
(Casablanca, what a name to do a Da Ninci!).
There were too many unanswered question. This called for some kind of recognition that some listeners do listen and think at the same time:
Email to ABC Newsradio - Subject: Toil and crosses
On Sat. 20/11/04 (ABC 972 - 5.55 pm Adelaide time) my wife and I were most amused at the report about the Toilet Summit in China. There was something I always wanted to get to the bottom of - Why do woman visit the toilet in pairs, what do they do when they get there and why do men, walk it alone? Did they shed any light on this practice at the summit or will it forever stay secret woman's business?
I think a back to basics summit, where such fundamentals are not just wiped, can't wait for Bellfast 05. It has an important roll to play in our overtechnicalized world.
Dieter R. Fischer
PS Please let me know, if a white paper has been released. Since I am not flush with funds and my wipe put a lid on the finances, I only want a copy if they are for free.
The news item had concluded that the next summit for 2005 was to be held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The latest news out of Bellfast, sorry Belfast, is that no venue has yet been secured. None of the Five-Star Conference Centers under consideration has passed the scrutiny of inspectors, because of their standard in toilet facilities. (None could prove it could cope with a mass outbreak of diarrhea).
Morocco is considering hosting the conference instead.
Sorry, got to go!
I could make up a poem, about fake car crashes while …