However many hair extensions and blonde highlights you put on something, two seagulls fighting over a dead pigeon is always going to look like two seagulls fighting over a dead pigeon. The dead pigeon, of course, is Donald Trump. Seagull one: with a sweet golden beehive, it’s his first ex-wife Ivana Trump. Seagull two: with a honey-streaked blow dry, it’s third and current Mrs Trump, Melania. The winners: no one. The losers: many, including the dignity of the human race as a whole.
Seagull one’s first advance came in an interview with Good Morning America, when Ivana – who was married to Trump from 1977 until the finalisation of their bitter divorce in 1992 – made the bold claim that she had a “direct number” to the White House.
Not, of course, that she might be saying this to cause any kind of jealousy. “I don't want to cause any kind of jealousy,” she said. You might assume this was because no one, but no one, could conceivably be jealous of having a direct line to the toddler on a Sunny Delight rampage who is somehow the most powerful man in the world.
There are people whose literal job is to have a direct line to the president who probably wake up every day praying that they could escape forever into a dream world where containing Trump’s diplomatic-incident scale tantrums was someone else’s problem.
But no. Apparently Ivana genuinely regards having the number of the Trump-phone as a desirable gig. “I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that,” she said, and then continued: “because I’m basically first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady.” Which would probably have been enough to get Melania’s hackles up, even if Ivana hadn’t added an exquisite flourish of pass-aggery: Melania, said Ivana, is surely chafing at the “horrible” responsibility of living in Washington.
Seagull two clearly is not going to let an open challenge to her prized dead pigeon go unanswered. Through a spokesperson, Melania announced that she “loves” living in Washington, is “honoured” by the role, and added for good measure: “There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise.” Subtext: stick that in your tail feathers, seagull one. Although perhaps seagull two would feel a little more secure if the White House hadn’t failed to confirm or deny Ivana’s “direct line” claim.
This is the kind of bizarre soap scene that America voted for when it chose Trump for president. Set up a ring in front of the press pool, and the President might as well be back parleying his celebrity in wrestling rather than politics: two WWE divas trash talking each other over the big man, all disputes to be settled by bodyslam at a future date.
But what the wrestling storylines never answer, and what’s still a mystery in the real-life version, is why the divas should care. Melania seems to shrink from physical contact with her husband; Ivana’s divorce documents included horrifying allegations of cruelty. Yet here they are, going beak-to-beak over some grubby carrion. If only they could find a way to link wings and go looking for chips: Ivana, Melania, there’s so much more to life than dead pigeon.
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