“Runaway Bride” gives Chamber hot marketing idea for Demopolis

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

I first want to blow off some steam and then I will recommend a Chamber of Commerce idea for Demopolis to consider.

I am livid.

I could bite the head off of a ten penny nail right now.

Email newsletter signup

It is a result of the antics of Jennifer Wilbanks, i.e. the “Runaway Bride.”

Her antics have resurrected a long-ago buried, horrendous memory of mine.

For you see, I once suffered from the antics of a “Jennifer” type person.

Before I share that with you, let’s first discuss this current Jennifer.

Jennifer-we know your type.

The quintessential “I’ve got it all and deserve more” type of person.

Is one wedding shower enough for a “Jennifer?”

No way.

She has eight.

That’s not a misprint, readers.

You read correctly-eight wedding showers for this girl.

Do you think three or four bridesmaids are enough for a “Jennifer?”


Fat chance!

Try fourteen.

Think of that many gaudy bridesmaid dresses that had to be made.

I bet there hasn’t been that much chartreuse fabric ordered since the last “Gay Pride” parade in Miami Beach.

So, what do you do when you have it all and all is not enough?

A “Jennifer” knows-you just leave town and let others clean up the mess left behind.

So, this Jennifer, who was already the toast of Duluth, Georgia, now is the toast of news shows such as CNN and Fox, and will soon be the toast of the Oprah-type talk shows.

And then, of course, she will have her made-for-TV movie special to coincide with her book tour.

Congratulations, Jennifer.

It’s all about you.

As referenced above, I know all too well about the “Jennifer” type.

The experience came while I was in the sixth grade.

Her name was Ruby Nell.

She sat two desks behind me.

Freckled face with a dimpled right cheek, bangs pulled back by blue butterfly hairclips, a bubbly personality, and able to throw a wicked curve ball.

She was a goddess.

I worshipped her.

But of course, she paid me no mind.

She went “steady” with Ricky, a seventh grader.

Well, one day rumor spread throughout the classroom that Ruby Nell and Ricky had “broken up.”

The next day, a Tuesday, I went for broke.

I asked Ruby Nell if she would sit with me at lunchtime.

She thought for a moment, and then finally replied, “Sure, but let’s wait until Thursday.”

I did not question why the wait.

I was too excited.

I could not concentrate much the rest of the day.

Wednesday was even worse.

By Thursday, I was getting short of breath.

Finally, Thursday’s lunchtime arrived.

Now readers, you need to know what Thursday lunches were like then.

It was hotdog and fries day, topped off with a marshmallow Rice Krispy Treat.

I always got a carton of chocolate milk instead of regular milk on Thursdays to better enjoy the Rice Krispy Treat.

So, there I sat, forbidding any of my buddies from sitting to the right of me.

I responded to each with, “Sorry, this seat is reserved for Ruby Nell.”

She finally arrived and sat right next to me.

After a brief “Hi” she immediately asked if I was going to eat the Rice Krispy Treat on my tray.

I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and before I could even say anything, she just picked it up, said, “Thanks” and then with a terse, “I’ll see you later,” she took her tray, with my Rice Krispy Treat on it, and went and sat with a couple of her girlfriends.

Well, my buddies, Ernie, Snake, and Buck, who were sitting across from me and witnessed the whole ordeal, laughed so hard that they were snorting chocolate milk through their noses.

I sat there stunned, forever scarred by the “Jennifer” type.

(To this day, I quickly take a bite out of my dessert as soon as it is delivered to the table to stave off some smooth-talker from absconding it.)

So, having shared that with you, I now am ready to run a Chamber idea by you.

Since the story broke about the “Runaway Bride” of Duluth, Georgia, Duluth has gotten world-wide press coverage.

Hits to their web-site have gone through the roof.

It has been a bonanza for Duluth.

What I am recommending is that we ask Governor Riley to officially declare and establish Demopolis, Alabama, as “a city of refuge” for all people who get “cold feet.”

The possibilities are endless.

We could establish a modern day “underground railroad” network that could assist in bringing people with “cold feet” to our city.

(That way, no-one would have to resort to falsely blaming Mexicans in a van for abducting them, as Jennifer did.)

We could heat the water at the public square fountain so that, once here, they could soak their “cold feet” in our warm waters.

Once inside our city limits, a refugee could not be harassed by the offended party.

Jimmy Carter, however, could be sent in frequently to try and mediate.

Think of the cottage industries that could spin off.

Billy Traeger’s Turtle Back Cookies could be renamed and sold as Scairdy Cat Cookies.

Local hotel honeymoon packages could be converted and marketed as “real weekend getaway” rooms.

I suspect that Demopolis would continually get people flocking to its borders for refuge along with the welcomed accompanying press corps, resulting in great coverage for Demopolis.

It is a growth industry, for I am sure there are still a lot of “Jennifers” and “Ruby Nells” out there.