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US Weekly Owes Me Four Bucks

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Bastards. I’m expecting a personal check from Jann Wenner for four U.S. dollars.

In the February 27th US Weekly, there’s a mention of how Jennifer Wilbanks, the racist, road-ready bride and personal pet peeve of mine, is getting her life back to normal and preparing to cash in on literary riches. Here’s the exact US Weekly passage:

Runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks, 32, told the New York Post that she has turned her life around and plans to marry fiance John Mason, whom she left at the altar 10 months ago, even though they have not set a new wedding date. The couple are penning a self-help book for a reported $500,000.

Now, I can grudgingly live with Nicole Ritchie “writing” a novel. I can choke down the rising gorge of my breakfast at the thought of Victoria Beckham (formerly Posh Spice) admitting “I haven’t read a book in my life,” even though she’s listed as the author of a 528 page autobiography.

But for some strange reason, Wilbanks invokes a literary ire in me that will have me visiting rooftop ledges if her name appears on a spine at my local bookstore anytime soon. Naturally, I want to follow up on this sign of the apocalypse news story, so I go to the original source: the New York Post.

The original article was posted on the Post’s website on February 13 and has since been archived. Now, it’s only available for a $3.95 fee, but that’s a small price to pay for me to bring you, loyal readers, the complete story and also stoke my suicidal rages. I fork over the dosh and read the article.

The piece details how her autograph hangs in a local pizzeria (signed “See you in Vegas!”), how she’s chillin’ in a new townhouse, how she recently started a new job, how she’s attending therapy sessions, and it naturally details her disappearance after “she decided she couldn’t bear the idea of walking down the aisle before 600 people.”

Although my ultra polite mother would be aghast at the admission in the article that Wilbanks and her betrothed haven’t returned the booty of wedding gifts they received, I of course, zeroed in on the talk of writing a book. Here are the only two New York Post paragraphs that feature any bookish talk:

There has been talk of a $500,000 book deal, but the runaway bride said it hasn’t been finalized.

“We want to do a self-help book, but later on down the road,” she said. “I’m not ready yet. I’m just not ready to make myself that vulnerable again.”

That sounds to me like a helluva long way from they “ARE penning” a book, and the emphasis is most definitely added in that sentence. “For a reported $500,000” is a helluva lot different than “there has been talk.” Shit, I talk to my cat all the time about the million dollar book deal I’m going to get. He generally just rolls over, unimpressed, spits up a hairball, and goes back to sleep. But that’s still a situation where “there has been talk,” isn’t it? Can’t we all make that claim? That Post article was a total waste of time and money because US Weekly misrepresented the situation.

To paraphrase Johnny the Paperboy in Better Off Dead, “Four dollars! I want my four dollars!” I’m hopping on my bicycle, riding to NYC, and I’m coming to get you, US Weekly.