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The year was 1977...I was just about to turn 5. One of the greatest space epics in the history of film had made its debut that summer. My mother transformed me from mild-mannered kindergartener into......PRINCESS LEIA! She made me a white dress with a silver belt and I remember that I wore a white turtleneck underneath it. The best part was that she was able to take my waist-length hair and give me the trademark Princess Leia "cinnamon bun" hair do! Man, I was hot stuff!

That same Hallowe'en, my dad was helping out with the Jaycee's Haunted House that night, so we went by to see him. He was working crowd control and walked us through the bottom floor (the second floor was deemed 'too scary' for younger children'). This house looked haunted in the middle of July at 12:00 in the afternoon, so you can imagine how the added chaos of manufactured scares played on my 4-year old mind. I knew that nothing bad was going to happen, because "Daddy was there", but it was still scary. I remember that they had a vignette of a talking disembodied head (the old 'stick your head through a hole in the tabletop' setup). The lady's face was made up to look corpse-like and she kept pleading for help. To this day, I'm extra squicked-out at the thought of a living decapitated head. There was another room where a guy in a gorilla suit pushed through the "bars" of his cage and lunged at you. My dad was holding my baby sister (about a year and a half old at the time) and she punched the gorilla guy in the face. (She always has been a bruiser! :p ) Everyone around us got a good laugh out of it.
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