If I should ever lose an eye
While playing BB guns,
I wouldn't even fret or cry -
I've got a bag of new ones.
It's wise to keep some googly eyes
In case they're ever needed.
Make sure the eyes are every size
So any face can be completed.
The sidewalk has a little crack,
All crookedy and grim.
I add a couple eyes, and smack!
That crack is now a grin.
I put the googly eyes on lips
And two eyes on my thumbs.
So when I eat my tater chips,
They watch for falling crumbs.
If I should meet a wandering nose
That's fallen from its face,
I'll give it three or four of those
To fill the missing space.
I'll need that bag of googly eyes
When enemies are near.
A hundred googly eye disguise
To fill their hearts with fear.
So keep a bag of eyes with you,
I strongly recommend.
You never know who needs a few,
Or what's around the bend.
A few years ago, my family had a staycation (vacation where you don’t leave town) and planned a whole list of activities from arcades to miniature golf. One of the favorite things we did on that vacation was the googly eye walk. We took a bag of googly eyes in many sizes and looked for things in our neighborhood that could be turned into a face, then added the right pair of eyes with tape. I highly recommend this activity for a family outing. We found a tree with a branch that had been cut short. A pair of eyes made it look like a tree person with a long, woody nose. We found several cracks in the sidewalk that looked like crooked smiles and turned them into happy faces. We used a pretty good-sized bag of googly eyes and left the neighborhood much cooler than it was before. I didn’t get to see how people reacted to the eyes everywhere, but we did check back a few days later and some were still there. It’s a good memory for my kids and they’ve been asking to do it again.
It’s funny how many things already look like faces even before we added eyes to them. Human brains just seem to want to see faces in everything around us. I believe this phenomenon is called pareidolia. We tend to see living things in clouds, shadows, or just about any object with two dots and a line below it becomes a smiley face. We’re just hard-wired to want to find other faces to spend time with. We should really embrace that impulse, not just with a bag of googly eyes, but by actually going out and meeting people face-to-face. There’s a huge, satisfying difference between meeting someone on social media or in a video meeting and actually being near them.
But this poem is also about being prepared. Do you have a bag of googly eyes within easy reach at all times? I have a tactical pouch that I carry my car keys and money in. It’s also where I keep a flashlight, lighter, aspirin, compass, a bit of rope and several small tools. I’ll be adding googly eyes to the pouch. I’m prepared for being lost in the woods or tightening a screw, now I’ll be ready for those times when pareidolia strikes and the perfect almost-face appears on a wall switch or stumble on a smiley-shaped smudge on the floor.