The Pop Star Hasn’t Learned the Price of Eggs

Rayla had been famous since she was fifteen years old. Even if she hadn’t been, she would never have needed to keep track of such “frivolous” things as the cost of eggs. That’s what parents to an underage teen were for. And her parents were nothing if not accommodating. It was they who encouraged her to focus on her “craft,” enter the singing competitions, feebly shop her demo tape around (her mom was only too happy to drive her) and, in effect, keep “enduring” until someone could see that she was a star. The problem with being “seen” as such before one actually is a star, however, is that it can be rather expensive to look like one. This is how Rayla—when she was still Rayanne Smolley—ended up coming across as a bad (and aged) imitation of JonBenét Ramsey. Overpainting her face and doing her blonde locks up “real big, beauty queen-style.” Even so, her music seemed to transcend her poorly presented appearance under the pretense of being presentable.

It was a label executive who homed in on Rayla after she walked away from a development deal she didn’t like. He smooth-talked her into joining him on a new label he was starting at the time, Gigantic Gizmo Records. It wasn’t the best name, but Rayla remained allured by what he was offering her at the time—which felt, to a fifteen-year-old, like total creative control. When she was seventeen, that’s when it all really launched with her first proper debut album. It took no time for it to climb to the top of the charts, despite being a country album. She was “Miss Tennessee,” after all. She wasn’t yet accustomed to the idea that pop music was actually the thing. But less than ten years later, she had transcended into the world’s “premier” pop star, shattering records and selling out stadiums and generally being the girl that other girls wanted to be…the guys, on the other hand, were afraid of her. Sure, she was “hot” by the usual Aryan Barbie standards, but the little boys that orbited her were always afraid they would end up as the subject of one of her songs…which, of course, they invariably did if they dared to tango with the “dragon.” Her inner beast unleashed seemingly every time she was broken up with.

All of this is not to say she didn’t live a very happy life. One characterized by the usual cliché trappings of wealth: private jets, lavish getaways, multiple properties in the most expensive cities in the world, her pick of any haute couture she wanted and, needless to say, a menagerie of animals that were just as well taken care of as she was. Free to live in her own imaginary world, where her mind could wander and occasionally come back into her body to jot the impressionistic song lyrics down (the ones that never ceased to add to her bank account), she grew increasingly out of touch with what the majority would call reality. Cold, hard, dreary reality. Why would she want to be part of that anyway?  She was too “special” for such a thing…even if she took noxious shits just like everyone else.

For the most part, somehow or another (a.k.a. thanks to the arsenal of handlers she hired to make sure she came across a certain way), she was still able to seem “relatable” to her fans. What was annoyingly referred to as a “relatable queen” just because she could make the quotidian elements of a breakup sound more poetic than they actually were. She did, however, run into a bit of trouble when she dared to use the word “FAT” in one of her music videos, resulting in an outcry that caused her to edit it out immediately. She couldn’t risk being controversial, after all. She had her bag to protect. And in the meantime, she would keep protecting her body as well…by avoiding being fat at all costs. Of course, she would never say in public what she actually thought of being fat, which was that it was disgusting and untenable. As such, she was on a strict diet. One that often required the consumption of at least one hard-boiled egg a day. And she specified to her chef to always ensure the eggs used were organic, even if she wasn’t sure what exactly that meant. She just knew that it was probably higher-quality, therefore healthier. Plus, what could the nominal cost difference possibly be, ten dollars? Big deal. Anyway, she was somewhat irritated to find that her chef had the gall to invade her personal space one morning by knocking on the door to her yoga studio and informing, “Excuse me Rayla, your breakfast might be absent of an egg this morning and I just wanted to let you know.”

Rayla furrowed her brow. “Why, what’s the problem?”

“Well, um…” Before he could tell her there had been a vast shortage of eggs due to an avian flu outbreak, one of his staff members came along and whispered something in his ear. The chef nodded and then shooed the underling away so that he could tell Rayla, “Actually, it’s fine. We’ve got it.”

Rayla shrugged and went back to her exercise regimen, thinking nothing of the “issue” until about two weeks later, when she found herself seated at the most prestigious awards ceremony in the industry. And dreading the moment the comedian host of the show would sit next to her and chat as he had been with certain other guests. She knew he would target her because she was too big not to be approached. When he came at her, however, she was totally unprepared for him to ask if her fans might do for the price of eggs what they had done for the concert-going set earlier that year by putting a glaring spotlight on the monopoly held by a major ticket-selling corporation. Rayla was more than somewhat confused by the question, but she went along with it by assuring, “Yes, whatever you need, my fans are your people. They’ll get the job done.” But her facial expression betrayed her vocal assurance as she flashed a look of perplexity at the camera that went viral the next day.

The backlash was immediate. She was accused of being some kind of Marie Antoinette—totally unaware of how the plebes had to live because she obviously had no idea that Trent Norbert was referring to how expensive and unattainable eggs had become for most people. A once pedestrian grocery item had now mutated into another celebrity luxury. And it was angering the masses, even Rayla’s devoted fan army, who called themselves the Rayla Mob. Mercifully, Rayla was blessed with the luck of a pop star when, just a few days later, the price of eggs actually did go down, prompting the Rayla Mob to gleefully take credit for the turn of events, solely because it suited their self-inflated sense of importance to do so.

So it was that, just as suddenly as the backlash arose, it died down when the public saw that the price of eggs had diminished. Rayla was a “relatable queen” again instead of just another out-of-touch one. To commemorate this moment in “her history,” Rayla would release a song mentioning the incident later that year, featuring the lyrics, “And they say I don’t know the price of eggs/But I’ve paid a pretty penny to get to you without using my legs.” Ostensibly, this meant she was trying to get to her lover on her private jet instead of walking. Whatever the case, it was a hit, and people quickly forgot about how unrelatable Rayla truly was until the following year, when she posted a lavish photo of painted eggs piled high in an ornate basket on her social media accounts. This at a time when eggs had all but disappeared from existence after another major avian flu outbreak. But the clincher that really got to people was the fact that, deliberately placed in the background, her collection of Fabergé eggs rounded out the display of opulence.

When the outcry began pouring in, it was so intense that Rayla had to wonder if she could write a catchy, clever, self-referential pop song again to finagle her way out of this. And yet, even if she couldn’t, it’s not as though her bank account wouldn’t be able to afford her eggs for the rest of her life no matter how expensive they got.


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