The music video on the wall of screens in the pizza restaurant played a feed from one of the satellite music channels. The blacks and greys of a threatening urban landscape chosen to complement an aggressive rap anthem were replaced with the bright white background of the video for the current number one, a song called Grrl Power that had provided young women with their phrase of the month: ‘Don’t touch what you can’t afford’.
On screen a pale-skinned blonde, wearing nothing more than a strip of flesh-coloured silk bound around her breasts and making a V between her legs, was surrounded by five muscular, dark-skinned male dancers, wearing torn checked shirts, ripped jeans and hard hats. The dancers began the song by tapping out a rhythm with their steel-capped boots that was then taken up by the electronic drums that throbbed behind the melody.
‘My mamma told me when I was just a little girl,’ the soloist knocked her knees together and struck a cutesy pose, ‘that nothing in this life is free. Your daddy should have told you that ’cos, boy, the biggest cost to you is gonna be me.’
The catchy chorus picked up the tempo. ‘Credit cards: don’t cut it.’ The soloist began to grind her crotch on the thigh of the nearest dancer who held his hands up in the air but was clearly enjoying eyeballing the girl’s writhing body. She pushed him in the chest and he fell down theatrically. Moving to each dancer in turn and repeating the pantomime, she sang, ‘Pay-day loans: forget it. Overdraft: you can stuff it. In hock: you don’t get it.
‘Ooh, don’t touch what you can’t afford…’
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