I had to explain to a coworker once that pirates were indeed real, and do exist to this day.
She was doing some employee survey and God help her, she saw my pirate stuff and asked me if I liked pirates. I said, "Well yeah, I do; I've always liked pirates."
She said, and I quote, "Yeah, but are they real?"
"...what do you mean 'are they real'?"
"Are they real, are there pirates, or did you make them up?"
My face, I'm sure, was priceless. I said, "Well yes, there are still pirates to this day. There are stories all over the news!"
"But what do they do?"
Exasperated and just totally mind-blown, I said, "Murder and steal, of course; that's what pirates do!"
She was pleased with herself for learning something new, and I had a headache.