Lokomotiv Lipp-Zig 4: Das Leben ist kein Ponyhof
The door to the chairman’s office slammed shut behind them. Justin and Herr Lipp sheepishly walked the corridor in silence, down towards Lipp’s own boxroom of an office. Not a noise was made until they were back inside.
Justin wrinkled his nose. He always did in here. It smelt slightly damp, with a hint of industrial-strength bleach. He didn’t think Lipp was to blame. Justin was fairly certain this has been a janitor’s storage closet a season or two ago.
“He’s not wrong you know. It’s not been a great couple of months.”
Lipp grunted in what Justin assumed was agreement as he sat behind the tiny chipped flat-pack desk that had been squeezed into the space.
Silence reigned. Justin didn’t dare break it. Lipp’s face was contorted in thought. The minutes stretched on.
“JA! I have it.“ Lipp slapped a sweaty palm on the desk, sending yellowing piles of paper flying. A small avalanche dislodged a bronze under 16’s trophy from atop one of the piles and sent it crashing to the tiled floor. “We need booty.”
“As always Herr Lipp, I don’t follow.”
“Booty. You know. The booty room?”
Justin slowly shook his head. “Can’t say I do.”
Lipp looked momentarily crestfallen. His face drooped even more than normal. “You know like the Shankly. We need to get a group of the best minds around for our Booty room. We can meet and talk like men, and drink lager shandy. It’ll be a real good treat. Mhm!”
It finally fell into place for Justin. “You want me to go get Fernando and Arjen and we can discuss tactics and recruitment?” He had his doubts there would be sufficient brainpower on offer.
Lipp seemed to share those doubts and waved a hand dismissively, “We need more people. Come. We will go out on the town. I have some contacts.”
Coaches for the Booty Room
Justin was shell shocked. They had spent the past six hours in a dark corner of a coffee shop not far from the stadion. Lipp had made some hushed calls on his old fashioned Nokia, and one after the other various well known former footballers had come to visit them at their sticky table.
What happened next was always the same. With a sleazy smile and a wink bordering on the obscene Lipp pushed a manky brown A4 envelope across the table to them. They then peeked inside, went red in the face (or green in one case).
Lipp then uttered pretty much the same phrase. “Congratulations. A coaching position has opened up on the team. Trudi my PA will attend to your contract. Training starts at 10 am prompt on Monday. Alles klar?”
Open-mouthed Justin watched the last visitor of the night, Rossi, storm out the coffee shop with his envelope. Not once had he seen what was inside but no one, not Adler, not Rossi and certainly not Altintop had looked pleased with the contents.
The only one smiling, or leering, was Lipp. “Well that was splendid Justin! We now have our booty room.”
Justin knew he was going to regret saying this but he had to. He chose his moment carefully though. “Have you ever heard of KISS?”
The strained silence in the cramped Booty room (or the kit room as it had been) was only broken by Lipp spluttering and spilling some of his Babycham. “Kissing Justin? On work premises? I must pro…”
“No… I mean…” Justin looked around. None of the other press-ganged Booty room members looked willing to clarify things for him. Torres was reading the back of the laundry powder box, Arjen was practising stepovers on a dirty sock, and new members Adler, Rossi and Altintop were all avoiding each other’s gaze and taking a special interest in the pattern of the floor tiles.
“Look…” Justin grabbed a few dirty boots, empty Babycham bottles (Lipp and Arjen had managed to get through a few) and started to position them on the floor. “The last few games haven’t gone to plan. We’ve stuck with the diamond but the lads just aren’t getting it. We need to make things simpler for them. Keep the shape but change the demands.”
“And Justin. My Justin. The kisses?”
“Keep it Simple Stupid.” sighed the assistant manager. “We go back to basics, work on the shape first and let them play.”
There was a brief pause and Lipp nodded solemnly, “Okay Justin. Who am I to argue with the wisdom of the Booty.”
Bruno-Plache-Stadion: Lok Vs Jena
As the fourth goal (or the eighth in two games) rippled the back of the Jena net Lipp spun on a Cuban heel to face Justin. “I could kiss you Justin. It is that simple.“
The assistant manager took a step back. “I think it is working Herr Lipp. They are playing with freedom now.”
“Ja.” Lipp was politely applauding the goal, his thin leather gloves making an awkward slapping sound. “Their heads are no longer filled with nonsense. Go hard or go to my home, as they say Justin. And they are hard.”
To punctuate Lipps mangled turn of phrase Lokomotiv’s defensive midfield stalwart, Zickert, went studs up into the back of a confused looking Jena player.
Lipp shuffled closer to Justin and leant in, invading his personal space. “Tell Trudi to order more of the Babycham. The Booty Room celebrates on me tonight.”