After months of strenuous training and dedication to debauched over-excess, troubled pop star Britney Spears has at last been accepted as a backing singer for legendary hell-raisers the Rolling Stones.
"Boy, that was tough," said a jubilant Spears, emerging blinking into the light after a week spent strait-jacketed in the padded sanatorium of an LA psychiatric hospital. "These guys operate a pretty intense initiation programme, that's for sure."
Spears will now join the wrinkly super-group on their sell-out "Why the Hell Aren't We Dead Yet?" tour, thus fulfilling a life-long dream to experience the camaraderie and hedonism of stadium rock.
Early attempts to infiltrate the band's inner circle proved fruitless for the former Disney Club warbler. Excessive drinking binges and the ingestion of a bucketful of prescription drugs were scoffed at by Mick Jagger as "the sort of behaviour you might expect from Ronnie Wood at a low key family barbecue."
"It was only when she shaved her head and exposed her undercarriage to the paparazzi upon exiting a taxi, that we first sat up and took notice of old Britney," the ageing lothario recalled, scratching his chin. "Even then, we weren't about to give her the gig based on the frivolous antics of a poor little rich girl who's fallen off the wagon."
Indeed, it wasn't until Spears upped the ante by locking herself in a cupboard with two infants and a loaded hand-gun, before being stretchered on to an ambulance in the full glare of the world's press, that the band finally invited her into the fold.
Jagger was still somewhat reluctant, however - fearing that the Stones' hardman image may be compromised by the inclusion of a feeble woman on backing vocals. "I suppose, as we get older, our hiring standards have inevitably slipped," he said. "Poor old Charlie (Watts) was forced to drink a bottle of absinthe before stripping naked and goosing the Archbishop of Canterbury during a live Songs of Praise broadcast. Those were the days when men were men."
There remained one voice of dissent as Spears boarded the tour bus: "It'll end in tears," guitarist Keith Richards said gruffly through a haze of crystal meths and marijuana smoke. "They'll be inviting Amy Winehouse to join us next. Well let me tell you this: Until she sets fire to that bee-hive while bungee-jumping into a giant vat of finest Columbian Marching Powder, she can forget it."