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Matthew:

Who makes those funky looking Terminator-style shades that kind of make everybody look like Ah-nold Schwarzenegger, and is it a conspiracy or odd coincidence that only senior citizens seem to be wearing them? Do the shades actually do anything for the folks that wear them, besides blocking out those harmful UV rays?

-- Salvatore Filippone, San Diego

So you're bugged when you see gramps stylin' down avenue in those bad, bad shades. Hmmm. Better turn this one over to Grandma Alice. She'll set you straight.

"Thank you, Matthew. And as for you, young man, Mr. Filippone, wait til you get to be our age and you want to make a fashion statement. Think it's a coincidence that there's a Baby Gap but no Grandpa Gap? No Extremely Old Navy? Does Ferragamo make orthopedic shoes? No. We're just handed a muumuu and a copy of Modern Maturity and shoved into a corner with a bunch of cats and a bag of knitting and an afghan. Why does everybody think old people are crazy about fuzzy things?"

Uh, take it easy, Grandma. So what's with those glasses he asked about? We're running out of room here.

"If some granny wants to look like the Terminator, well, I say that beats Driving Miss Daisy.

The glasses, Grandma.

"If Mr. Filippone wants his own pair, he will have to have eye surgery-- probably cataract surgery, that's fairly common-- then get them from his doctor. Not that I wish it on him, you understand. The very dark, oversized lenses keep out much of the direct sunlight and also block reflections and indirect light that could creep in around the edges of the frames if you were wearing those stupid, squinty, slitty little shades. There are some fashion statements we old farts are smart enough to avoid."

Picky, Picky, Picky

Re: Our explanation two weeks ago of those huge, scary glasses oldsters wear that look like Terminator shades. Our pal Brent Millman's long and colorful career at Pacific Eyes & Ts has finally paid off. He feels we cheated you out of the real deal:

Those old folks glasses are called Solar Shields. They're available at chain drug stores for about $12.99. Among the features you mentioned, the main function is that they fit over the prescription glasses all old people should be required by law to wear while out in public. I worked at Pacific Eyes & Ts in Encinitas. The glasses Arnold wore in the first movie were Gargoyle "Legends," and in the second movie he wore Rayban "Balorama"s. Dirty Harry wore the Raybans also.

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