Listen up folks for another bit of sound advice, courtesy of this column. We are all better at giving advice than taking it – despite having two ears and only one mouth. Perceived wisdom is dished out like snuff at a wake (actually, we should stop using that one – as snuff at a wake is as rare as hen’s teeth nowadays) Anyway, the odd morsel of good advice does occasionally  fall on fertile ground. This is where YCBS comes into its own with free advice.

Talking of free advice, and my grand-uncle Dinny springs to mind. Dinny had enough black sheep in him to make a flock of piebalds. He once received advice from a solicitor, which wasn’t meant to be free, but the bould Dinny refused to pay on the grounds that he didn’t take the proffered advice!

This week we are offering you a free plan, so ingenious – or as Blackadder would say; ‘so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel!’ Let’s hear it, I hear you all holler…

Whether you live in Leitrim or La Zenia, the risk of a house break-in is ever present. No matter where you live, the fear of an intruder is never far away … unless you are a fool – and fools don’t read The Leader!

It is a surprising statistic that most break-ins occur while the house is occupied – and not always in the middle of the night.  Any plan which will send the intruders scurrying away before the harm is done, has to be welcomed. We have tried many tricks and devices over the years but nothing comes near our secret plan specially devised for 2020. Times change and we have to change with it. ‘Keep ahead of the game’, as they say.

I was always a great believer in the referee’s whistle. In my house there are whistles everywhere and when I was in the bar business, whistles hung on nails all over the place. There is nothing fit to unnerve a prospective robber than for him to hear three or four shrill blasts on a whistle. There was nothing more effective … that is until now!

When we owned a shop and post-office, I had a massive (adorable) Alsatian called ‘Silver’ who had the run of the place at night. I thought Silver would handle any eventuality until a shop in the neighbouring town, with two guard dogs was cleaned out one night. What the thieves did was to bring a little terrier bitch with them, which was in heat! The dogs neglected their post to woo the lady. I know … I know, Ladies – that’s the male species for you all over!

A blast from a shot-gun has always been a decent deterrent. Unfortunately, when fired indoors – as it has to be if you have an intruder coming up the stairs; this exercise will result in the wife’s favourite interior decorator being around the place for a week or two. No, guns aren’t everybody’s cup of tea.

There is a multitude of house alarms on the market these days. You have bells, buttons, cameras, electronic, trip-wires, phone connected alarms – and the devil knows what else. It is good and necessary to have your house alarmed, but the fault here lies in the fact that your highly-skilled burglar can be in and out before the consequences of the alarm kicks in. He knows how much time he has got. Read on please …

We hear the term ‘modern age’ being bandied about to cover everything that is new. You cannot have a more ‘modern age’ than March 2020 and this is where we announce the plan guaranteed to put the fear of God into any invader of your home. There is no greater satisfaction than to hear a panicking prowler fleeing for his life in total terror.

This is so simple you will wonder why you didn’t think of it yourself.

You hear the floor boards creak and you know you have an intruder in the house. All you have to do next, my friend, is COUGH! Not just any old cough … you need to put a finger on the back of your tongue and let rip. Elbow your partner in the ribs and now there are two of you coughing. Sprinkle a littler pepper on the children’s pillows and let the sneezing begin. A colophony of kids wheezing and sneezing is as good as lobbing a pin-less grenade. Time now to put on your face-mask and head for the stairs. If by any chance the burglar is still there, frozen to the spot on the landing, offer to forgive and shake hands with him – as you wipe your nose with your hand.

Tomorrow, this 2020 loser will hand himself in to police and request solitary confinement …

Don’t Forget

Blowing out the other person’s candle won’t make your shine any brighter.