Back in the 1970s, women bought fat juicy novels to take with them to the beach. Those were the days of Jackie Suzanne. Because I was a kid then I remember so many of these books floating around and my sisters and I were read them, even grossly inappropriate ones like Valley of the Dolls. It was how we first saw the novel Jaws, that giant shark swimming up to catch the unaware swimmer. And it was how I first heard of the Exorcist. The book was the scariest thing I’d ever contemplated which was why I never read it. But my older sister did. I remember her telling us younger ones about how the little girl in the book carved out the words “help me” on her stomach. It was, of course, a big deal when The Exorcist came out. Back then, parents took their kids to movies, even movies like that one. How else can I explain that I saw The Exorcist as a child? It was the scariest thing I’d ever seen and it just got more and more scary as the years wore on. As many times as I’ve seen it, and despite my being an atheist, it still scares the shit out of me.