Not satisfied with upsetting every woman who is fatter than her, Miley Cyrus raised a few more eyebrows this week when she thrust her pelvis in the face of Berwick-upon-Tweed, the sometime singer stopping off to open the seaside town’s latest pawnbrokers, The Money Shop.
The controversial performer — twice voted ‘Artist People Would Most Like to See Burn Out and Quickly’ by TIME magazine — breezed into town on Monday wearing a pair of tiny hotpants teamed with her tongue, which was thrown around her neck like a casual meat scarf.
Traffic along Eastern Lane ground to a halt as fans as young as seven jostled to have their bongs signed by Cyrus while men dressed as Beetlejuice touched themselves surreptitiously through their pockets.
However, not everyone was comfortable with the former Mouseketeer twerking the crowd.
“This is sending out the wrong message,” said disgusted Tory campaigner, Anne-Marie Trevelyan. “The question we should be asking ourselves isn’t about the morality of hiring a young, mentally fragile woman with a history of fellating sledgehammers for attention to open this store. Rather, we should be asking how many hock shops does one street need before Berwick gets labelled as irredeemably common?”
Hank Schrader, Head of Town Degeneration at Northumberland County Council, is dismissive of the criticism, believing that the new pawnbrokers will provide a sense of continuity to the town at a time of vast economic upheaval.
“The leaseholder has gone to great lengths to obscure the period features that were recently restored,” he said, “so there’s no chance that the premises could be mistaken for a shop that any decent person would want to enter. If you shut your eyes you can almost imagine people shunning it to shop elsewhere. Magic.”
With regional youth unemployment running at an all-time high, apprentice housebreaker Skinny Pete, 19, believes that The Money Shop could be a way for young adults to get their foot on someone else’s property ladder.
“Society labels my generation as thieving scum because it doesn’t understand we’re owed a living for looking less ugly than old people,” he said. “The Money Shop will provide a safe place where we can take our first steps in the world of commerce away from such unfair value judgements. Plus, it has a frosted window so acting furtive has never been easier.”
But Big Issue vendor, Jesse Pinkman, expresses the worry of many of the town’s residents.
“I can’t sleep at night for fear that the pawn shops will start mating with the charity shops and spawn retail outlets selling burglary-led merchandise packaged in pictures of sad-eyed toddlers with harelips. That’s two quid, love, I’ll keep the change.”
In a bid to dispel the public’s perception that pawn shops are only patronised by junkies hoping to do business over a failing kidney, Money Shop manager Skyler White plans to rebrand her store as a ‘faux-shopping experience’.
“The Money Shop is a shop and a shop sells things,” she explains. “In this case, as the name would suggest, we sell money. But we don’t actually sell money, but it could mean that if you thought about it really hard, perhaps after having suffered a stroke or something. Anyhow, it’s part of an aspirational lifestyle. Who doesn’t love shopping? Not me and certainly not Miley.”
The Tennessean former virgin flew in from the US as part of a promotional tour for her new single ‘Wrecking Ball’, the video for which shows her riding a demolition ball naked apart from her boots. It is alleged that she had to pawn her clothes when Disney dropped her and pushed her adrift with a ten-foot barge pole.
“We couldn’t believe Miley agreed [to open the shop],” gushed Ms White. “But she completely shared our view that the whole ball thing was appropriate, what with us being a pawn shop. Which we certainly are not.”
But Cyrus’s management let slip that her appearance in Berwick was actually the result of a miscommunication.
When questioned directly, 20-year-old Cyrus — famous for having a tongue so long it’s frequently mistaken for an Axminster stair runner — confessed to the mistake with her trademark transvestite laugh.
“Pawn, porn — I bet darlin baby Jesus is just tickled pink with me right about now, y’all. Hell, it’s not every day I make such a catastrophic error of judgement.”
Cyrus then spent thirty minutes chatting with the mayor before gamely noshing off a tray of sovereign rings and a DeWalt leaf blower.