This is it, folks. Your favourite columnist has hit the bigtime! This will come as no surprise to our 1.37M fans. (Give or take a few!) The big announcement will come in a moment – and the news will hopefully trigger a raise from the editor. YCBS on its own is already worth what you pay for this newspaper.

After writing four books, and with little more than modest success, we at last find my name in a hardcover book selling all over the world. Read on please …

Belgian and world renowned author, Gerd de Ley has penned a number of exceptionally popular books; including, ‘Great American Humour’, ‘African Proverbs’, and ‘Cowboy Wisdom.’ His latest book is called, ‘Irish wit, Wisdom & Humour’. Inside are quotes from GBS, Swift, Wilde, Joyce, Yeats, and many more. It is the ‘many more’ we are talking about here.

This is important for those of you who boast about knowing the writer of YCBS. Nestled half way down on P69 of Gerd de Ley’s book is a quote attributed to one Bernie Comaskey. I knew nothing about it until a lady, having purchased the book, wrote me from London.

That I knew nothing about it should be good for a hefty lawsuit against the publishers; and this coupled with a meaty increase in my value-added remuneration from ‘The Leader’, could mean that my days of being an impoverished small farmer are numbered.

The quote in question and attributed to me comes from one of my ‘Don’t Forget’ and it is; “The Less you do, the less mistakes you make.” All I will say here is that Mr de Gey made a mistake in not paying me up front.

Ah … OK so, maybe we have oversold ourselves here. All I managed to achieve was one line in the middle of someone else’s book!

Look, (‘look’ has become the in-word, in every sentence, in every conversation so I’ll say it again) Look … everyone makes mistakes – except my late father. I’ll tell you that one first.

Not renowned for his patience or tolerance, Daddy was severely chastising my brother and I one day. We had a case and eventually my brother Willie, hesitantly suggested; ‘I think you are making a mistake, Daddy’: To this came the response which has lived on amongst family members ever since: ‘I don’t make mistakes …!’

Truth is we all make mistakes and I have made more than my share. Most turned out OK in the wash, but there are still a few I would have loved a second shot at. That being said, we are all in extremely exalted company when we make mistakes.

This unfortunate scribe is not the only writer the publishers got it wrong about. Harry Potter was rejected twelve times before a publisher agreed to accept the book. JK Rowling went on to earn a cool $1BN.

Donald Trump makes a dozen mistakes every day. He made the mistake recently of assuming he could buy Greenland from Denmark – as if the largest island in the world was as available as a long-horn Texas steer. His naivety on this one probably was influenced by the mistake that Russia made in selling Alaska to America for two cents an acre.

We all regard the Dutch as being shrewd business people, but there was nothing shrewd about them when they discovered Australia a hundred years before the British. The Dutch expedition concluded that it was nothing but ‘a useless desert’ – and left it where it was!

Nobody died due to those above mistakes. This was far from being the case when Archduke Ferdinand’s driver took a wrong turn and presented his charge at the feet of an assassin. This caused the First World War, and probably the WW2 as well. A big price to pay for one little mistake?

And while we are on a war footing: The great Napoleon invaded Russia with devastating loss of life – despite the advice of his generals. That was bad enough, but along comes another leader – known as Adolf in the playground – and he copied the same catastrophic mistake.

I wonder how did the guy who reduced the lifeboat numbers on the Titanic, because it was unsinkable, feel when she sunk. His answer could have been, ‘anyone can make a mistake.’

To conclude on a less ruinous note: Decca Records turned down the Beetles. I hope the publisher who turned down my book is reading this!!

Don’t Forget

A wise man learns by the experience of others. An ordinary man learns by his own experience. A fool learns by nobody’s experience.