Runaway Bride Wilbanks Gets Probation, Cooking Show
ATLANTA – Jennifer Wilbanks, America’s Runaway Bride, parlayed her fifteen minutes of fame into a half-hour cooking show as a result of pleading no contest to a felony charge of making false statements to police. Dressed in a black jogging suit and running shoes—but without her trademark multicolored afghan over her head—Wilbanks pleaded no contest yesterday to a felony charge of lying to police about her famous flight to avoid getting married last month.
Wilbanks’ disappearance four days before her ostentatious wedding prompted local authorities to conduct a massive hunt and led to national television coverage. She turned up on her wedding day in Albuquerque, New Mexico, claiming to have been abducted and sexually assaulted by “an Hispanic man and a middle-aged woman.” A story she later recanted.
As part of a plea agreement that keeps the 32-year-old medical assistant from communal showers, Wilbanks was sentenced to two years’ probation, 120 hours of community service, and continued sessions with jumper cables as part of her medical treatment. She readily agreed to devote the community service time to the production of twelve half-hour segments of a cooking show entitled “Getaway Meals,” which will air on WKKK, a local access cable channel serving the Greater Atlanta Region.
Willy Bob Thurston, program director and night watchman at WKKK, said he was delighted to have Wilbanks join the station’s roster. He described the target audience for “Getaway Meals” as “busy workin’ women who can’t always be home when their men expect them to have supper on the table.” According to Thurston, “Getaway Meals” will occupy a time slot opposite “Thirty Minute Meals,” the Food Network show hosted by Rachel Ray.
“That beeyotch gets on mah nerves,” said Thurston. “She talks way too fast, and you can just tell she thinks she’s cuter than a bulldog puppy. She can’t cook a lick, and Jennifer Wilbanks got a much better rack than those two cat toys ol’ Rachel’s sportin’.”
If Wilbanks’ performance in court yesterday is any indication, she’s got a way to go before she’s ready for television, even a local cable access channel in the South. She fidgeted constantly with the diamond on her left ring finger, her voice faltered when she addressed the judge, and she looked as if she was going to start bawling at any moment.
Wilbanks declined comment when she left the courtroom, but her fiance, John Mason, predicted that her television show would be a success.
“I’ll never forget the corn dogs and hush puppies my Jennifer left me the day she took off to enjoy some quiet time with herself,” said Mason. “That girl’s been blessed, and I’m blessed to be able to eat her cooking.”
In other news, Swiss scientists admitted that oxytocin, the so-called trust hormone contained in a nasal spray that fosters trust in its users, is virtually worthless in treating sinus conditions.
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