Here are two females named Lucy.
Pop quiz: Guess which one is using 100% of her cerebral capacity?
Answer: The dog. The movie character is fictional, and besides, she spends most of the movie working her way up to 100%, whereas Lucy the dog is always at maximum capacity. She’s working with all she has, folks – she’s not holding anything back for later. Both neurons are firing all the time.
Of course, the problem is that her two brain cells are always asking the two questions – “Where’s Mom?” and “Where’s dinner?”
Nowadays, before I leave the house in the morning, I have to turn on the cable receiver – not the TV itself, you understand. Just the sound from the cable, to play at a very low volume all day long, so that Lucy won’t know that she’s alone. This is supposed to relieve her separation anxiety.
I ain’t buying it, though. Lucy is as dumb as a dog gets, but she knows that none of the voices coming out of the speakers are her mother’s voice, and that’s the only “separation anxiety” that she has – she’s separated from Ethel, and she’s anxious about it.
Lucy will stand outside the bathroom door while Ethel is in there for ten minutes, or she’ll sit staring at the door to the garage if Momma went out that way two weeks ago. It’s all the same to Lucy – Momma went that way, and so Momma will have to come back in that way. Time itself is meaningless – Lucy lives in the eternal now. She doesn’t have any autonomic sub-processes going on to tell her that hours, days, weeks are passing – just the two neurons in her head, “Mom” and “Food”.
Lucy’s continual “Mom? Food?” questioning can be interrupted, however; if you tell her to go outside, then she’ll go outside, and when she sniffs the traces of her previous byproducts, then bowel or bladder might let loose; call her back inside, and the “Food?” neuron suddenly takes precedence. If Lucy poops in the yard, she gets a treat.
When I poop in the yard, I don’t get a treat. I just get an earful from Ethel. And sometimes the HOA sends us an email.
In a little while, I’ll go home – I’ll beat Ethel there, because Ethel is now on a 7-4 schedule at work, which means that she goes in at 7:00, but still doesn’t leave until 5:30 or 6:00. I almost always get home first, and then I have to watch Lucy go through a manic-depressive cycle – manic because the garage door opens, and depressive because I’m not Ethel. It doesn’t do much for my self-image – seeing the family dog be sad that I’m the one that walks in the door isn’t something to cheer one right up.
But I can understand it. Because, as soon as I get in the house with Lucy, I’ll only be thinking two things – “Where’s Ethel?” and “When’s dinner?”