Giovanni Trappatoni, the ex-Ireland soccer manager, has sensationally handed in an application form for the always-vacant lollipop person job in Coalisland – once voted the most dangerous job in the world by Which? magazine. The East Tyrone town has failed to attract one applicant since the job was first advertised in 1972 despite the promise of £20’000 per year, a lucrative pension, a Honda Civic and free sausage suppers every day. Local independent Councillor Jamie Campbell has admitted he fears for the Italian maestro:
“I’m slightly worried about this latest development. In 1975 one lad from the Intermediate did his work experience here as lollipop man and lasted three hours. The last I heard he was fighting demons in his head. I know Trappatoni has worked in hostile environments such as Milan and Turin, but Coalisland is a whole new level completely. The people won’t take too kindly to being told to stop when their car is already moving forward. It’s ‘arrivederci’ already I’m afraid, Giovanni.”
Coalisland has notoriously been resistant to any form of traffic control since the introduction of cars to the area in 1927. Recently it was revealed that no parking tickets have been issued in the town since 1985, when Dennis Taylor was nabbed the morning after his victory parade.
Trappatoni has ignored pleas to take a break from the country and insists he can do a job:
“As manager of Ireland all I ever heard was ‘Coalisland traffic’ this and ‘Coalisland traffic’ that from the players. We even had a training routine exercise called “The Coalisland” which was a game where no one took corners. I know I can make a difference. Initially I will keep it tight and slow the pace of the town down and encourage a safer environment for jay-walking. Eventually we’ll be enforcing total driving which will see people use the handbrake for up to 20 seconds. I believe in my motorists”.
A small problem arose this even when Trappatoni informed us he intends not using a lollipop stick but will instead shout his instructions. Unfortunately the word for ‘stop’ in Italian is ‘bastad’ which might cause early teething difficulties.