My mother used to play a game with us kids. Or at least with me–by the time I was born my brothers were too old for such silliness. It was called Owl-Eyes. We’d press our foreheads and noses together, close our eyes and count, “One, two, three-WHOO-OO-OO!” On ‘WHOO-OO-OO,” we’d pop our eyes open wide.
That’s the kind of excitement which entertained us kids in the forties.
Anyway, Jerry and I play Owl-Eyes sometimes. We’re lying in bed and one of us presses forehead and nose to the other’s and we say, “One, two, three–WHOO-OO-OO!” and we pop our eyes open.
But now it’s not just entertaining. It is a study in biology, perception, and design. The thing is, from this distance (or lack thereof), if you close either eye you get different perspectives. Parallax. I think Picasso’s paintings were all about parallax. (I just Googled Picasso and parallax and I guess I’m not the first one to make this connection.)
Seen at close range, Jerry may have two normal eyes, with a tiny one between them. Or three eyes with a fourth hovering up to one side. Or one eye above a very squashed nose.
I’m going to summon all my artistic powers and draw samples for you: