2. Lessons in French
One night at the end of June 05 I happened to listen to the BBC News one morning, after waking early. The reporter read a very unusual item, connected with the US Grand Prix motor race in Indianapolis. Only six cars took part. It was an easy win for Michael Schumacher. Curve 13 apparently proved to be a problem. French tyre manufacturer, Michelin, didnít think their product was safe enough to meet the challenge of this corner. French Michelin chief Pierre Dupasquier said that this one was the worst corner of all 19 Grand Prix circuits.
As I listened to the British reporter pronounce the French name, Michelin like Mitchellin, my antenna went up. I thought to myself - fancy reading news to a worldwide audience, and pronouncing Michelin like a primary school student would. Unless it was meant as a faux-pas, just to assert, which language is regarded as number one in the world? Excuse-moi!
Around the same time another world superstar (in the Australian/British sports world) made headlines in the media. Shane Warne, the Australian Cricketer, was allegedly caught out again, sending text messages to a female, during a tour with the Australian National Cricket Team. The media reported that his wife Simone was finally calling it quits. Newspapers were having a field day. (Who would they write about without the Shane Warnes of this world?)
At the conclusion of the same BBC News bulletin two reporters were discussing the name of a Russian tennis player at Wimbledon; which syllable had the accent, the first or second? Being a helpful character, I thought I could assist in the French pronunciation, even though my French is very limited.
I composed a fun email, mixing in a Russian tennis star, plus the Aussie Cricketer, who I am sure is enjoying the publicity he is receiving, on and off the sports field. Whoever was reading it, I was hoping, would understand it was meant to be in good humour.
Email to BBC Sports, UK
Subject: Get the names right
Your Sports reporter this morning (around 19.45 pm GNT) needs a few French lessons. Imagine I would call the Cancer Charity ďMake-a-witch-Foundation?Ē Thatís what he did with the name of the French Tyre Manufacturer Michelin, called it Mitchellin? What a waste of an L and a T. The French should be very cross with him.
This as bad as my Cricket mate Wayne Shorne. He always pronounces my German name Dieter as DIEter, as if. Watching him field the other day I noticed him pulling out his mobile phone in the middle of the finally over, and send a text message. But it got worse. The message came to my mobile phone.
His concern must have been heavy on his mind - I shouldnít sit so close to his wife Misone Ė he was worried I was getting too friendly. But there was more. He accused me of giving her a kiss. I wouldnít kiss my own wife in public. (On her request we had stopped kissing after our funny moon. Iíve been eagerly longing for that special kiss ever since).
I think Wayne just gets jealous. Why, I will never know. Recently I went to IndianApolis (I put the A there so you know how to prOnounce it). He was real Nvious that I hadnít asked them to come with us. Actually, I had asked Misone first. She said she couldnít go and I couldnít be bothered just going with Wayne. So I went with Anna, (her surname is Russian, sounds like Kourn-KNEE-kova). We play tennis together, mixed-up double, thatís all.
You should have seen the way Wayne mocked me when I got back from watching the F1 ace in the uSA? If it wasnít for good friends like Misone S. and Anna K, where would I be? And, of course, nearly forgot, my wife IsoBELL. We really love each other and do everything together, except go to Cricket and Motor racing. She also doesn't think I should be playing tennis. It's too dangerous, she thinks, and stays home, while I am having so much fun with Anna.
If your Sports reporter wants the French lessons, Wayne's wife Misone is French. She does them cheap, even engages in practical sessions, like going to Cafes and Restaurants and only speaking French with the students. Iíve been having her for 5 years already. Why do you think I know my French so well?
Dieter R. Fischer
PS Please donít tell Wayne about any this, he and the tax department know nothing about the extra money Misone makes. They might get funny and start sending text messages.
As usual I received a standard reply that my email has been received etc. Personal replies were, understandably, very rare. What happened to my prolific, satirical creations didnít worry me. I had fun writing, which kept me occupied. I preferred writing and having fun to the alternative medicine - tablets.
To break the lengthy text I was looking for a snippet in my diary. It fell open to this; the date 18/5/05. Did you notice how all names, surname and Christian names of the 3 people mentioned include at least one Ďaní? I had seen the item in the newspaper, fancy that.
Three days before writing, I attended a strange funeral. The number 116 played a role. (Above date reminded me).
Another media I had engaged in, talkback radio, seemed to shut its doors after I hinted at a certain, serious subject. One overnight program I used to listen to and phone in occasionally let me wait an hour, after which I was told, there was no air-time left. I figured that must have been pushing over the acceptable limit on a previous occasion.
On another daytime program, on the ABC, I felt I was receiving a similar treatment. In mid July I phoned in during a political interview concerning the conflict in Iraq. A professor in politics from Monash University, Melbourne gave the commonly held view about the USA acting with deception going into Iraq. I was going to bring out the other viewpoint - that Saddam Hussein had to be removed, just on the threat of possessing or developing deadly weapons.
I was going to ask the professor, if he had had his way, would the evil dictator still be oppressing the people of Iraq, and would he do something about it? If yes, what?
I had phoned toward the end of the interview and was told they were taking no more callers. This was understandable and didn't cause to upset me. I knew I could make my point during the hour-long open talk program, called Soapbox, between 11am and 12 noon. I finished a job outside and phoned the radio program again around 11.40am, thinking there would be sufficient time this time. Again I was told that there was no time to fit me in.
I expressed that I didn't get on air earlier and suspected it was because I was a whistle blower. A brief exchange followed between the lady screening callers and myself, which made me realize that she knew me, and about my whistle blowing. I was not even given the option of just holding the phone to find out, if there was enough time to make my point.
I suspected another door may have shut permanently. I had phoned this station regularly over a number of years. Once I even won a little price in a phone-in-your-story contest. (No, I didnít tell that story!)
A dump truck had featured in my story in Chapter 21 (Mind). When I saw this one in Rowett Street, Kapunda I couldn't resist snapping a photo.
During the same excursion to Kapunda I learned that the mansion, taken from convicted Magistrate Peter Liddy, had been renamed Mount Saint Rose and was in No. 5 ... Street.
In my initial inquiries about the Peter Liddy case I had written to the ABC, because my first tangible discovery, that something didnít add up, was from the website of an ABC current affairs program. As far as I was concerned nothing had been done to investigate what I had written. To totally ignore whistle blowers is the most common response to their cry. Still, some are facing physical threats or abuse, which I was thankfully not experiencing. (Should I add Ė yet?)
Even after I published my findings about the alleged, pedophile magistrate here on my website, did I not receive any response from anybody. To keep silent in the face of a persistent, questioning voice, only makes sense under one condition - there is some truth in what that voice is saying.
I have the distinct feeling that many journalists agree with me, but have their hands tied by those in power above them. If this is so, can we ever accuse a third-world country for not allowing a free press?
Newspaper editors prefer stories about married sports stars, playing around with other woman. Gossip and scandal may be bad for blood pressure, but do wonders for circulation.
Those sleeping masses, which gobble up everything that is dished up to them via the TV or in print, are often quick to complain how bad things are. But who is willing to stick his or her neck out to change things? Those who do, after researching the truth, and speak out fearlessly, are the ones who bring positive change. Those who humbly call on God to help them are on a real winner. It does not take force, violence or bombs.
Ironically, the best news to circle the globe in years has screened Ĺ hour ago on the TV News. The IRA has announced the struggle by the gun has not worked and is trying political means to bring change. Congratulations. May I suggest to those who initiated this wonderful step, to ask for Godís will and for HIS help to carry out your plan. Peace with God's help will last - forever. Promise.
I did not allow myself to be discouraged by closed doors. In Godís timing those door would open, if they needed to be opened. ĎKnock and it shall be opened to youí is good advice from the bible. Allow me to expand this: Pray first as to which doors you should be knocking on.
When I experienced knock backs or was hassled by family members for not being normal, I mentioned it to God. He understood and responded in HIS usual, unusual ways, if you know what I mean. The magic with co-incidental links in numbers always astounded me and reminded me, I was not alone on this journey.
One of these magic moments of encouragement happened on July 13th, 05. That morning I had written a letter to a TV Station, with copies to 3 politicians, a newspaper, a radio station plus another TV station. My letter explained what I really thought might have taken place in the alleged hit-and-run accident I went to testify about. The following paragraph is just the conclusion of one of my boldest whistle-blowing letters yet. The full text I may publish in due course.
But there is ONE who sees. HE doesnít like lies. HE likes truth and justice. One day the truth, all secrets, will be shouted from the rooftops. It will wipe the smiles off many faces and put one on mine.
I enjoyed writing this letter. The success of the previous letter, the episode I exposed in the previous chapter, gave me great boldness to speak up in this high profile case.
The very same night, after I had mailed my revealing letter, telling politicians and the media that God one day will reveal the truth, something happened. I took my bible into the bedroom to read a passage or two. It was not my regular EDWJ (Every Day with Jesus) reading, just anything to go to sleep with. Falling asleep while reading is common for early risers like me.
The next morning during my prayer time, for some peculiar reason, I was reminded of the reading the night before. I vaguely remembered it had been from Jeremiah 9. Thinking, how funny it would be, if it was Chapter 9 and Verse 3-6 and they had some meaning. I opened my bible to look it up. I was correct. In a few seconds I knew I God was working a little magic, just for me.
On the very day I had called for truth in the judiciary I had been led to read this passage:
Jeremiah 9, 3-6
It does not happen very often, but it is possible that God chooses to confirm a thought or a message through a scripture, opened at random. It means that HE really means it.