Vinay Menon: Pete Davidson is back on his heels, so why keep kicking him in the butt?

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson dated for roughly 155 days.

The filming of Titanic lasted five days longer and, when you think about it, had a similar ending. Did you know the eastern chipmunk can remain inside a burrow nearly seven months longer than Ariana and Pete shacked up? If this relationship were a can of StarKist tuna, it would still have three to five years of shelf life.

Why am I boring you with these numerical correlates? To make a simple point: Davidson may well spend his remaining years regretting those 223,200 minutes.

For a love that lasted a blink of an eye, his future is suddenly blinded.

After they broke up two weeks ago, Davidson is not just the bad guy — he’s up against a girl who can do no wrong.

Now, look. I don’t want any trouble with the Arianators. Ms. Grande’s fans are fiercely loyal and, if I’m being honest, scary. To the faithful, Ariana Grande is not just a singer with preternatural talent. She is inspiration. She is a deity and any slight is blasphemous.

If Kim Jong Un ever talked smack about Grande, there is no doubt the Arianators would storm North Korea and imprison the Supreme Leader in a cell reinforced with gummy worms and leotards. They’d rage tweet at him, face to face. They’d force him to listen to a deafening loop of “God Is a Woman” and “Dangerous Woman,” while bound in a black bunny mask and shackles monogrammed with AG.

Arianators are not screwing around. They do not let anything go.

And in the tabloid haze of this doomed relationship, that’s why I pity Davidson.

I’m not taking sides here. I’m just saying look at recent events with an open mind.

On Thursday, to promote the Nov. 3 episode of Saturday Night Live, the show released a trailer. In the short clip, host Jonah Hill stands between musical guest Maggie Rogers and Davidson. Near the end, Davidson says, “Hey Maggie, I’m Pete.”

Rogers (no acting skills): “Hey Pete.”

Davidson (not much better acting skills): “You wanna get married?”

Rogers (now with the acting skills of a dead pigeon): “No.”

Davidson (looking at the camera): “0 for 3.”

So, yeah, a lame, self-deprecating jab that, without directly referencing Ariana, cites their aborted engagement (and two others). Nothing wrong with that, right? The guy is a comedian. Comics mine personal anguish for universal laughs and connect with brutal honesty, right?

Apparently: wrong.

The SNL promo reached Grande, who promptly tweeted (and then deleted): “for somebody who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh.”

Two subsequent (also deleted) tweets: “hell naw tho” and “thank u, next.”

Damn. That is Arctic cold.

The thing is, when you have the cosmic powers of Grande, there is no such thing as “delete.” If God wrote, “Shut your mouth” in the clouds and then erased it, it still couldn’t be unseen by mere mortals. And her thinly veiled, ephemeral shots at Davidson were all the Arianators needed to grab their pitchforks:

How dare this extraterrestrial-looking freak show with metallic hair and the jawline of a beluga whale exploit his relationship with our goddess? How dare this irrelevant show take Ariana’s unnamed name in vain? Ariana does not deserve this passive-aggressive garbage from a jackass who should’ve never been with her in the first place.

That’s really the subtext of this dust-up. For 155 days, a majority of Arianators never understood what Ariana saw in Pete. She was out of his league. She might as well have been engaged to a lawn mower or bag of pretzels: this made no sense to them.

But now that the relationship is over, it’s time for everyone to take a deep breath and slug back some amnesia shots. It’s over. Let it be over.

Ariana Grande is a superstar who, in many ways, is just getting started.

Pete Davidson is a so-so comedian who earned his biggest rush of fame by standing by her side. During those 155 days, from May to October, his name appeared in 5,216 media stories globally. He was a fixture in the tabloids. He was a somebody.

Now, he’s the guy who dropped 100K on an engagement ring, got Ariana-inspired tattoos and lost custody of a pet pig. He went from a possible Mr. Ariana Grande to … who is that guy again? This is very sad for all involved.

As TMZ reported Friday, Davidson — freaked out by his former soulmate’s angry reaction to the SNL promo — killed a planned sketch he had written for Saturday’s episode. He’s back on his heels. He’s looking over his shoulder. This poor guy is now a hot dog vendor with no buns and no condiments. He is screwed and he is alone.

Ariana Grande may well be the strongest and bravest celebrity alive today. She has endured far too much tragedy in recent times, including the horrific terrorist bombing at her concert in Manchester last year and, in September, the overdose death of her ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller. But she keeps on keeping on. She keeps on getting more dazzling, day after day.

The same, unfortunately, can’t be said of Davidson.

So cut him some slack, Arianators. For once, let it go.

Vinay Menon is the Star’s pop culture columnist based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @vinaymenon

TORONTO STAR

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