In March 2012, 23-year-old Maggie Goldenberger was in the middle of a six-month trip to India and the Philippines with her then-girlfriend. They were travelling from India’s southern tip and heading north for Rajasthan, stopping in at Internet cafes around once a week, for 15 to 30 minutes at a time, just to check in with family and friends.
At one such Internet pit stop, in Hampi, Karnataka, Goldenberger received a message from a friend in the U.S., who wanted to draw her attention to an image she’d spotted on Facebook.
It was a picture of Goldenberger when she was much younger, around 11 years old, wearing unfortunate pigtails, an ugly vest, and a grotesque expression: eyes wide, eyebrows pitched sharply skyward, chin drawn inward, mouth agape, and retainer-clad teeth bared like a hissing harpy or cat. In her hands, she proudly displayed three books from the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, in their original 90s editions: Monster Blood III, It Came from Beneath the Sink!, and Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes.
The picture had been captioned, in characteristically thunderous Impact font:
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