Beware of the inflatable pool toys

Singer Taylor Swift and musician Calvin Harris went public with their relationship via an Instagram post where they were seen on the back of a large inflatable swan, but they have since broken up.
Singer Taylor Swift and musician Calvin Harris went public with their relationship via an Instagram post where they were seen on the back of a large inflatable swan, but they have since broken up.PHOTO: TAYLORSWIFT/INSTAGRAM

LONDON • It is natural to feel sad that the relationship between Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris has now come to an end.

Amazon, for instance, was so moved by the news that it selflessly sent a press-release of a themed playlist of songs "to help both of them and their fans get over the romantic parting", within hours of the story breaking. But that lovingly compiled and in no way shovedtogether-in-five-minutes playlist was a temporary bandage.

It may also have been a diversionary tactic as the news carried deeper - and unexpected - significance for the world's A-list celebrities.

You will remember, of course, that Swift and Harris went public with their relationship via an Instagram post in which the couple were pictured frolicking on the back of a large inflatable swan.

Was it mere coincidence that this relationship, cemented as it was on an outsized pool toy, came to an end just 24 hours after disturbing footage was released of an apparently unconnected incident in which Rihanna fell off a large inflatable swan?

Edward Snowden may not want to touch this story, but it is time for someone to take their lips off the rubber valve and use them to blow a whistle. Contrary to what the powerful figures behind Big Inflatable may have you believe, what happened to Harris and Swift is not "coincidental" to what happened, in the same 24-hour window, to Rihanna.

There is only a single conclusion one is able to draw from these two "unrelated" events: Inflatable swans are cursed.

Not so long ago, Vogue, no doubt in on the whole thing, was billing these rubbery beasts as "the unexpected pool party accessory of the moment", while none other than Swift declared herself part of the "swan squad".

Now the veil of joy has been removed to reveal tears and trauma.

The dream is over and the curse may extend far beyond - the swans are also favoured by the likes of Kendall Jenner. Could it already be too late for Justin Bieber, who has been pictured in a 1.5m inflatable doughnut? What fate will befall Martha Hunt and Diane Kruger, both of whom have been pictured in close proximity to 1.8m inflatable flamingos?

And after it was reported that searches for "swan pool toy" spiked after Swift's initial endorsement, what responsibility do celebrities now have towards their fans?

This is just the beginning of a far bigger story - and it is about to blow up.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2016, with the headline 'Beware of the inflatable pool toys'. Print Edition | Subscribe