"I think about retiring all the time" ... Kylie Minogue.
It began with a universal gasp and ended with an emphatic tweet from our queen of pop.
Had she, or hadn't she quit? That was the burning question after news reports began to filter in of Kylie Minogue's imminent ''retirement''. The next day, while the music world reeled over the ''end'' of a stellar career, Minogue and her people busily took to Twitter.
Yes, Kylie had parted ways (amicably) with her long-time manager, Terry Blamey, but, as she tweeted, ''#lovers #notquitting''. This was followed by a heart, microphone and movie camera, an endearing yet resounding reminder that the Kylie show, in whichever guise, would definitely go on.
At the risk of offending Kylie loyalists, I wasn't just disappointed by her rebuttal, I felt downright let down.
It's not that I dislike Minogue's music - Confide in Me, Spinning Around and Can't Get You Out of My Head are pop genius one and all - it's just that it's not every day that you get wind of a celebrity making use of the exit clause.
Inside that 24-hour window, we saw Minogue through a new light. For the briefest period, she stood apart.
I mean, how many ageing pop princesses do you know of who have willingly hung up their microphones, let alone abandoned sequins and feathers? (Yes, Cher. I'm looking at you.)
And to be fair, it's not like the conclusions we jumped to were totally unsubstantiated.
In October, ruminating on her silver jubilee, Minogue spoke candidly of a future when she would walk away from the limelight.
''I think about retiring all the time,'' she told the British magazine Closer. ''I'm in a big house and doing lots of cooking and ordinary things in tracksuit bottoms. My hair is in a topknot and there's not a false eyelash in sight . . . I envision a big garden and dogs. Maybe even a family . . . I still think a family would be lovely.''
I'm no psychotherapist but there seems to me to be a serious longing in this daydream.
As someone who struggled for years with her infertility before hitting the IVF jackpot, it is difficult to brush off Minogue's persistent talk of motherhood, which, of late, seems uncomfortably frank and unguarded.
If she wants to have children - and plainly she does - she best hop to it. The truth is that, much like showbiz, conception favours the young. It stands to reason, really. Both parenthood and parading on stage require endurance and elasticity.
The last time Minogue took a significant break from her pop career was for something far more sombre than acting. In 2005, in the midst of a gruelling concert tour, she received news no woman wants to hear. Breast cancer.
Five years on, age 42 and blessedly cancer-free, Minogue sat down to an interview with her long-time pal Molly Meldrum. When recalling a recent incident at a children's hospital that she had been visiting, she momentarily broke down.
''The reason that that gets me is,'' she said, as a flush of impromptu tears played havoc with her mascara, ''the greatest part of my job and what I do is the humanity of it and there's certain moments where that really cuts through.''
Spoken by someone who clearly understands that ''there is more to life than simply increasing its speed'', as Mahatma Gandhi reminded us.
No one can say that Minogue hasn't given it her all. She's sold more than 70 million albums, launched a successful lingerie line, an eponymous perfume and inspired thousands of women to get tested for breast cancer. After 25 years, who would begrudge her if she was to swap her gold lame hot pants for, as she says, a daggy pair of tracksuit pants?
The thing is that, at the age of 44, Minogue's pop princess days aren't numbered. They're pretty much over. This is not to be spiteful or malicious. She and I may not share the same stage but we do have something significant in common. Our age.
I'd hate to see this former Melbourne girl go the way of Madonna - constantly having to reinvent herself under an unforgiving spotlight until she becomes a pumped-up parody of the bright young thing she once was.
After all, wasn't it Kylie who light-heartedly pooh-poohed Madge's unfortunate cheerleader outfit recently and didn't we all nod in hearty agreement? She gets it, even if she's not ready to admit it. Just yet, anyway.
Jen Vuk is a freelance writer.