38. Bob Kneel who?
On my way to my 9am driving lesson one Friday I switched on the radio. I did not listen to ABC 729 very often but somehow the government run broadcaster was programmed and came on. A nationwide program spoke of a legendary figure named Bob Neil. My ears became attentive when Adelaide was mentioned. The man was supposed to live somewhere in the North Eastern suburbs of Adelaide. Not many people knew him, yet he was supposed to have been around for 30 years or so.
The lady journalist mentioned a website under the legends own name. That night I visited bobneil.com. If there was considerable doubt that I was referred to as Bob Neil in my mind, it was greatly diminished after clicking through the website. Bob was supposed to be the patron for the University Football team the ‘All Blacks”. He was reported to be operating from his ‘bunker’ in Salisbury. I live five kilometres from Salisbury. A famous swimmer was shown with a caption: ‘Bob taught me to swim.’ I teach people, but not swimming.
Another photo showed a young man with the caption ‘Bob found my car’. I was reminded of spotting my learner’s stolen car once, after recognizing the number plate. The website had a reference to the Berlin Wall. Bob Neil was said to be world famous, with fan clubs in London, Singapore, Berlin and other places.
That evening I emailed the producer of the show I had heard on the radio. I queried if I had spelled the name correctly, Bob Kneel? It sounded someone has thought up a clever hoax and my mind linked it to me. Was I more famous than I imagined? Or is notorious a better word to use. It was hard to find a contact email address on the website, but I did manage to locate one.
I was unsure how to approach this matter, without making a fool out of me or insulting them. I read about a party which was to take place the following Saturday. I considered going and sent the following email:
Is Bob Neil expected to be attending Saturday's Party? Let me know if he is.
Bob D. Fischer
To my surprise I received a prompt answer:
As with all legends you never know what they are going to do, however we
are preparing for something special which may be the arrival of Bob Neil.
Very interesting, I thought. The Saturday night in question was free. I considered going to the function. I asked my friend Geoff if he’d consider coming with me to the special event. He declined for various reasons. There was also a $ 50 entry fee which I would have hated to have to pay. I never got there. But my curiosity took over and I emailed Tom again the day after the party:
Did Bob Neil show up at all on Saturday night? Many of my friends are
intrigued who this character is. If he wasn't there Sat. did you ever meet
Bob D. Fischer
By now Tom must have become intrigued who I was. He replied with this email:
Bob Neil did show up and he had a wonderful time drinking and chatting with
passer by's. Being a player at the Blacks I have meet him numerous times.
As you said, he is an intriguing man with unique philosophies on life. May
I ask what is your interest in the legend and what is your background with
Should I read this as – keep your nose out of our business? Well, what should I say? My final email, which put an end to the Bob Kneel, sorry Bob Neil, saga for awhile, went like this:
That puts me at ease, because there was a time when I thought I was Bob
Neil. Ask my wife, she thinks it's the result of the leftovers from my
mental illness two years ago.
I have no academic background and no connection to the Uni. 'That's why I
would have felt out of place had I attended Sat. night's party.
All the best to you and the blacks. Pass on my regards to Bob Neil. But
then, what would be the point of that. He's a true VIP and possibly not
interested in a little fish like me.
Bob D. Fischer
Until an interview on ABC Radio 891 a few months later, I heard very little about Bob Neil, the legend. On Phillip Satchel’s evening program a young lady was interviewed one Tuesday. She seemed to know a lot about Bob Neil. She even knew his wife Irene. Isobel thought I was crazy believing she, perhaps, was referred to as Irene. Isobel never read any of my correspondence, emails or took notice of me sending a little basket to parliament house for their show-and-tell. Her mind was still shut off to any of my escapades. This was her way of coping with this dilemma.
The Sobczak drama stirred me up and confirmed my higher calling for a special mission. It was good that I did not know how widespread my writings already were. It may have sent me on a high and ruined the magic of what was happening.
The World Soccer Cup finals in Japan & Korea in mid 2002 added to my already excited mood. Right at the opening I noticed one team standing out with their colours red, green and yellow, Senegal. Not only the colour of their shorts and jersey but a five sided star right in the middle. The underdogs from West Africa had little chance of becoming champion. However, on the first round it eliminated reigning champion France in a sensational victory.
After I heard this result and remembered the victory I experienced in the banning of Baise-Moi, the violent pornographic French film. I wrote a short note to the Advertiser newspaper, which was published the next day:
“There are two subjects the French need lessons in.
One is Soccer and the other film making.”
I felt a little cheeky doing it, but it expressed my feelings both towards the battlers Senegal and my disgust at the French who produced Baise-Moi. I was encouraged by the appreciation from the Federal MP and the “pro-family” organization to speak out more on moral issues. An item in the advertiser made my blood boil. It appeared just after my application for Government funding to print 5000 of my road safety books had been rejected.
It was revealed that the Minister of Transport, Diana Laidlaw who was also Minister for the Arts, diverted 6 Million Dollars from road funding into the arts. There was a public outcry, but what can anyone do when people in power juggle our money and use it how they want to? Underneath I had to control my anger arising from injustices like these. On Sat 7/6/02 I wrote an email to the advertiser:
To Patrick McDonald, Art Writer for the Advertiser Newspaper:
On Wednesday I received a letter from the SA Govt. advising me that my application for a grant has been rejected. I had applied for $ 54 000 to print 5000 copies of the road safety book I had written. (I am the guy who thinks more emphasis ought to be on the L than on the P).
On Thursday I read in the 'tiser that 6 Mill. Dollars surplus were taken from the transport budget and put into arts.
You think I am furious? Not any longer; God forgives even the biggest of sinners. He forgave me, after I secretly wished that someone named Di, ought to do just that. Oh the human heart, how treacherous it is!
Bob D. Fischer
The reference to the L & P was an insinuation that I had taken note of an article in their paper about P plate drivers and the whole system of licencing. The front page special had shown a huge red ‘P’ printed all on its own. I emailed a short note, which was printed on June 5th 02:
“To make a real difference in road safety, another letter must be added
to the single ‘P’ its twin brother ‘L’.
Personally attacking people was never my style. I lose respect of weak personalities who lack substance, who have to lower others to make themselves look good. This is why I had to be careful wording my letter above. The waste of money into Arts projects reminded me of another article in the paper months earlier. It reported an arts event that took place during Adelaide’s 2002 renowned Arts Festival. The Festival made a million dollar loss.
A female was displaying a strip tease on stage. The men are then asked to come on stage (for a closer look) and pour honey all over the woman’s naked body.
What would the bees think, having worked long and hard to produce the honey? I emailed the reporter of the newspaper on 08/04/02:
Email to Tim Lloyd:
I couldn't agree more with your comments about some vision needed for our next Festival. In your paper a few weeks ago was a description of a "so called" artistic act:
A naked women rolling around a stage, while members of the audience pour honey over her.
Do the organisers think I will be so impressed; just dying to get to the next Festival? Perversion would better describe this kind of stage show.
We need people with vision and ideas. As long as their minds are clean and they are in touch with what people will enjoy.
Ironically, a shortage of honey developed in Australia during the following months, because of draught. It would not surprise me, if God was so disgusted in the manner we treat his gracious gift that He said: “If that’s what you do with honey, you need a lesson in how to respect my provisions for you”. In the early months of 2002 the 'Advertiser' repeatedly reported a happy, optimistic mood in our state. A picture showed patrons enjoying themselves in an outdoor Café. In another edition farmers were praising the eradication of rabbits on the land and commented that it never looked so good.
It was delightful to read headlines such as these amongst the usual murders, robberies or Government mismanagement. I emailed the paper and suggested to link major articles to their daily message from the scriptures in the bible. At the time the farmers were happy I suggested they should have quoted 2. Chronicles 7, V. 14:
“If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven an forgive their sins and heal their land.”
The silence to my emails did not really bother me. I had nothing to prove, just a job to do. Whereas years earlier I would have loved to place myself centre stage, I felt I had matured and was happy that God was using little me. I often wondered where it was leading to, but this was in God’s hand. There were things I needed to do and God promised to do HIS part. It worked well that way.
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