Dear Smiley: Three-year-old Thomas' request from his grandparents was not one but two pirate ships, complete with tiny pirates, cannons, and swords.

He soon designated them the "good pirates" and the "bad pirates."

While watching him set up his ships, I asked, "Thomas, what do good pirates do? He replied, "They fight the bad pirates."

"Oh," I replied, "what makes the bad pirates bad?"

After brief consideration, he replied, "They steal other pirates' snacks, say bad words, and poop in their pants."

Good and evil, from a 3-year-old's perspective.

KATHERYN HANNON

Baton Rouge

Shattered illusions

Dear Smiley: When I was 8 years old and in the Cub Scouts, our den had a field trip to the Luling ferry.

We rode in the bridge, and each of us had a turn at the helm.

Though this was exciting, there was more to come.

Here on the same boat with us was none other than Roy Rogers.

After a few moments, the heat and humidity had his make-up running.

Needless to say, my image of Roy was permanently damaged.

MICHAEL LaCOMBE

Metairie

Match game

Dear Smiley: It seems a new thread in your column is about mismatched shoes or the lack thereof, prompting this memory:

Some time ago I had two identical pairs of sandals, one silver on gray and the other gray on silver.

One day, trying to decide which pair to wear, I put one of each on. Undecided and in a fit of whimsy, I walked out my front door in my mismatched sandals.

A man and a woman happened to be passing at that moment, and the woman glanced at my feet (my stoop is elevated so my feet were almost at eye level), saying, "Do you know your sandals don't match?"

I replied, "Yes, and I have another pair exactly like them."

I've always been proud of that witty comeback.

DONNA DANIELS WAKEMAN

New Orleans

Oh, THAT Georgeann

Dear Smiley: In 1978 I was an Air Force broadcaster trying to go on a quiet tour with my wife in Istanbul, Turkey.

We had a busload of USAF tourists from several bases. There was one very loud-mouthed individual from a distant base in Turkey.

He was pleasant, but relentlessly talking to most of us on the bus individually or by whole sections of seats!

He introduced himself, and I introduced my wife and said we were from Covington, outside New Orleans.

He said, "I know exactly where you're from. My cousin Georgeann is from there."

Yes. I had dated her and…yes, it's a small world.

T-BOB TAYLOR

Panama City Beach, Florida

Movie headgear

Dear Smiley: Cowboys always wore hats in saloons, and when the obligatory fight happened, those hats never came off no matter how violent the action.

In the film noir category, the villain had his hat low on his brow, while the protagonist wore his hat rakishly to one side.

Newspaper reporters, when confronted with some startling news, used their pencils to push their hats back a bit.

Those hat clips mentioned in the column can still be found in some old New Orleans churches.

FRANCIS CELINO

Metairie

Those old sayings

Dear Smiley: One saying I like to use is, "I am so old, I knew Captain Kangaroo when he was a buck private."

And my Pawpaw Charley used to say, "It is still early; don't go nowhere, we are getting ready to open another barrel of nails." No idea where what comes from.

YOGI NAQUIN

Gray

How time flies

Dear Smiley: I have heard many, many times that as one ages, time seems to accelerate.

I can attest to the fact that this statement is all too true.

Point of fact: I have one of those one week, seven compartment, pill containers for my daily meds.

It seems to me I have to refill the container every other day.

ROBIN ROSHTO

Baton Rouge

Avoid beanstalks!

Dear Smiley: I've been diagnosed with a chronic fear of giants — Feefiphobia.

Hopefully, it's curable.

ALGIE PETRERE

Central

Dear Algie: Maybe while the doctors are treating you for that condition, they can perform a Badpunectomy.

Thought for the Day

Dear Smiley: Always be yourself, because the people who matter don't mind, and the ones who mind don't matter.

MARVIN BORGMEYER

Baton Rouge

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.