Excerpts from the responses by prominent figures to letters from "Little Billy," the grade-schooler alter ego of prankster Bill Geerhart, appearing in the book "Little Billy's Letters":
Attorney General Janet Reno, writing to settle the issue of whether Batman or the Terminator is the better crime fighter:
"I read Batman comics when I was your age so I know of his efforts to fight crime better than I know of the Terminator's work."
An aide to religious broadcaster Jim Bakker, responding to Billy's suspicion that his dog, Tippy, might be possessed by a demon and need to be shot:
"Just read your letter to Rev. Bakker.
"In our pray time we were praying for you.
"We feel you should not shoot Tippy.
"We hope all is better and Tippy is back to normal."
O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro, counseling Little Billy on how to defend himself from allegations that he -- not his dog -- destroyed his sister's doll:
"Is there any forensic evidence that will support your theory that the dog killed the doll? Were any scraps of doll clothing found near his dog house, perhaps? How about tooth marks on the doll's remains (assuming there were remains)? If so, a good forensic dentist should be able to match them to the dog."
Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, answering an inquiry about his favorite McDonald's food:
"Almost anything they put out is acceptable. I like to go to Roy Rogers, too, for a beef sandwich. But I hope most of all that you eat something more than what these fast food places put out."
Former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, on Billy's run for third-grade class president:
"You may be on the verge of a greate political career. The first office for which I ever ran and won was as president of my third grade class! You, too, may become a governor and run for the presidency!"
Buzz Potter of the National Hobo Association, responding to Billy's desire for a possible life as a hobo: "The word hobo describes a person who is curious about all things in in life, is self confident in his or her ability to lead a meaningful life, is fascinated with traveling and seeing new places and most of all shows respect for people. Hoboes believe in themselves and their future."
Former Defense Secretary Robert Mcnamara, advising Billy on whether he should dig a moat around his treehouse to keep his enemies away:
"It will work if you dig it deep enough; and your enemies can't swim!"