Universal Studios – or, The Beetlejuice Story (Sunday, January 20, 1991)

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This is where Thirteen’s journals start to get a little fuzzy chronologically, since most of the entries about our trip to L.A. were written after getting back home, and often in a piecemeal “oh, yeah, I forgot to mention this other thing that happened when” kind of way. From what I can tell by the entries, though (and from matching up what outfits we were wearing in the photos), we spent Sunday at Universal Studios Hollywood and at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, called Mann’s at that time.

As you can tell from the photo above, our time at Universal Studios, much like Magic Mountain, was a combination of private tours/rides and photo-op interactions. We saw the Riot Act stunt show and the Animal Actors show, with Amy — the most outgoing of us — volunteering to be an audience participant in the latter. (As an introvert, I hate the entire concept of audience participation.) Fievel’s Playland, where you climbed around in a giant lobster trap, slid down a banana peel, and sat at spool tables on thimble chairs, was also fun, especially for Amy and Sarah’s younger siblings. (This was before Fievel Goes West was released, so everything was still based on settings and props for the original film.)

Most of the time, we had a crew from 20/20 and a few other reporters and photographers with us, but occasionally we were on our own. We had reason to be thankful for that after lunch, when Amy, Sarah, Mom, and I were looking for the ladies’ room but couldn’t find it. Finally Mom figured we’d just have to stop a park employee and ask. Which she did.

The employee just happened to be Beetlejuice.

Okay, fine. We were assuming he would just, you know, point us in the general direction. Tell us to head down that way and take a left.

Yeah, no.

Staying firmly in character, and with his legs crossed, Beetlejuice led the four of us on an impromptu parade to the restrooms, with occasional commentary to make sure the crowd around us knew exactly where we were going.

I could have killed Mom, but I decided to let her live until we got home.

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(No, we weren’t paying homage to Frank Parker; that’s just where we happened to be.)

Later, at Mann’s and the Walk of Fame, we were again amused at how, thanks to the ever-present camera crew around us, there would always be tourists taking pictures of us, too.

There were these two girls at Mann’s. They were watching us and the camera crew and everybody. One of them said, “Who are they?” The other replied, “I don’t know — I think they’re a new singing group.”

“What’s their name?”

“I don’t know, but I’ve heard them sing.”

I wonder if any of them ever figured out who we actually were…

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